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Restaurant lunch highlights:

Mike Sanford: 'Professional Eater'

GLOBmaster2013Mike Sanford is a communications professional who enjoys all the trappings, bells and whistles, and social pleasures of eating out.

"I shamelessly annointed myself with the moniker Professional Eater," Mike says.

"It fits me well," he added

"I love food, all kinds of food.  The only thing better than carrying on a conversation about culinary delights, is eating food.

Mike spent the first 20 years of his professional life in the newspaper industry.

“My father was a newspaperman, and I have been around ‘the business’ my entire life,” Sanford said.  After attending college at the University of Florida College of Journalism and studying public relations, management opportunities with the New York Times Affiliated Newspaper Group pulled him back into the newspaper business.

Later in life Mike’s career trajectory was radically altered by an automobile accident resulting in severe head trauma.  “ThIs event truly was, and continues to be, a life changing experience for me,” Sanford said.

Sanford cites the multi-task communication responsibilities of his first post-accident position as Director of Communications for a regional state agency as key to what he describes as his new personality:  “I am now the guy that won't shut up,” Mike says. "Being a spokesperson fit me very well."

"I'm a good listener, I want to know what's going on, and nothing moves conversation forward like a great lunch!"

Lynn Dirk, Content Editor

LYNNmug052015The Gainesvile Lunch But Blog's Content Editor and Staff Writer is a medical writer/editor who LOVES soup and word play of all sorts--except Scrabble.  In fact you can find her list of all the ways Bananagrams (yea!) is SO much better than Scrabble (boo!) at a story on Bananagrams at NPR.org (9th comment down!). 

She has lived in Gainesville since 1969 minus 2 years.  In fact, as a UF student, she lived at 121 NW 15th Terrace, where, instead of luxury apartments, there were barracks that in the student ghetto in the pic , and can trace the development along 34th St. from the time there were cow pastures on both sides of the road to when there was a very large yellow billboard with big red letters proclaiming "Cheese n' Crust Superstar" (oh, Leonardo's, how you have enriched the history of Gainesville!).  The sign was located right about where UF's UF Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Institute now stands.

Speaking of Leonardo's, Lynn wonders if this happens only in Gainesville: Certain locations that start off as restaurant establishments just cannot seem to find a restaurant that works. For example, the spot where Leonardo's by the Slice currently resides was, for many years, the death knell for any restaurant that tried to occupy that space, until finally Leonardo's made it work. Recently, the same thing was happening at the corner of SW 13th St and SW 16th Ave across from Steak N Shake, but Shands has purchased that property, so that's that.  Another spot was 203 SW 2nd Ave, but The Jones BSide will no doubt be a very long-term occupier of that location.

Last but not least, Lynn wishes that restaurants would include on their appetizer list a dish called "vegetable crudités" -- and it would be really fantastic if that came with bagna cauda so her eating out experience could start with a bagna, and not a whimper.  The recipe for bagna cauda (from Joy of Cooking) follows for your "eatification":

Place in a heavy pot: 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup olive oil, 8 smashed anchovy filets (or maybe anchovy paste would work just as well), 2 cloves of garlic pressed. Simmer about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add: 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Serve with a platter of young vegetables, cut to bite-size, peeled and seeded, if necessary, and thinly sliced if the vegetables are fibrous. Good vegetables to use are: carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, green peppers, zucchini, cauliflower, and broccoli.  

Melissa D. Kahan, Correspondent

EDITOR's NOTE: Melissa Kahan has left the GLOB's world wide offices. Relocating to Raleigh, North Carolina our Eating Adventurer is off to pursue new professional goals, and objectives while continuing her search for the ultimate, flakiest, buttermilk biscuit she has ever enjoyed. We are already missing Melissa, and we will keep her profile alive, and her great restaurant reviews available for your consideration.

- Mike Sanford, January 2, 2017

AAsmallknifefork0311

MKmug0117I have been raised to be a food lover since my mother fed me my first lamb chop at age 3. I have constantly been searching for the hottest food spots wherever I go: the more eclectic and intriguing the menu, the better. As I head into my fifth year in Gainesville, I search high and low for the buried treasures and cream-of-the-crop eating establishments to tantalize my taste buds. And I will try just about anything at least once. I plan on navigating my way through all of the local ingredient-using, recently-opened and well-cultivated restaurants, among others. And with that, I have dubbed myself the GLOB's resident Food Adventurer. You will probably know me by my brunch features, and other foodie, restaurant features.

I am a born-and-raised Floridian, despite how I seem to forget the intervals of blistering heat and torrential downpours that encapsulate the majority of the year in the "Sunshine State." I graduated from the University of Florida with a Journalism degree. I live, breathe and - now at the GLOB - eat all that writing entails, from the nitty-gritty groundwork and uncovering hidden gems to exposing the vast realm of online and traditional media with the written word. Although I have journalistic experience with various media outlets, from newspapers to magazines to online media, I have found my passion in marketing, as it encompasses all that I love in journalism with the creative and strategic planning and interactivity of marketing communications. I am also very familiar with managing multiple social media outlets, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and so on, as well as using InDesign and Photoshop.

Aside from all that is journalism, I have been a dancer since I was about 10 years old -- just for fun of course -- and I hope to get back into it since I have graduated. Fitness in general, from strength training to Zumba classes, has become my major vice, along with good food and good company. Also, despite my current distance from the beach, growing up in south Florida has made me a lover of lazy days by the water and boating on the open ocean.

Nicole Caldwell, Art & About Correspondent

051817UMMUnicoleNICOLEmugNicole Caldwell is a theater lover, an aspiring playwright, a recent graduate of University of Florida's Warrington College of Business, an administrative assistant in the UF Department of Psychology, and the mother of three amazing kids.

I have always been a big fan of the theatre, but only recently have I begun to immerse myself into the theater world. I love attending local theatre and experiencing all of the great talent Gainesville has to offer. I am excited about writing reviews and reporting on Gainesville's rapidly expanding arts scene for GLOB readers. Having trouble keeping track of all of these exciting events going on in Gainesville? Don't worry! I created a Theatre Calendar to help keep us all organized.

As an animal loving vegan with two rescued pit bulls, I love volunteering for local rescue group Plenty of Pit Bulls and managing the Meatless in Gainesville website. Meatless in Gainesville began in 2014, as just a simple listing of vegetarian-friendly restaurants and has grown into a resource guide on all things veg-related in Gainesville. A few of my favorite restaurants are Curia on the Drag, The Top, and Vegan2Go, but you really can't go wrong with all of the amazing locally-owned, locally-sourced restaurants in this great town.

Dr. Michelle Cardel, PhD, RD

NSfinalprofilePICDr. Michelle Cardel, PhD, RD (registered dietitian) is an Assistant Professor of Health Outcomes & Policy at the University of Florida. Her research is focused on understanding factors that contribute to the development of obesity and on developing effective prevention and treatment programs for obesity. Her specialties include nutrition, obesity, weight management, health disparities, and she has presented her work at both national and international conferences.

Dr. Cardel is a member of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, The Obesity Society, and The American Society for Nutrition (ASN), which recently awarded her the ASN Grand Prize for Young Minority Investigators. She has received a variety of other awards as well,including the President's Diversity Award at the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB), Charles Barkley Young Investigator Award, UAB's Outstanding Woman Award, The Obesity Society's Ethan Sims Young Investigator Award finalist, and a National Cancer Institute CURE Program Grant. She is passionate about interdisciplinary obesity research and is co-founder and chair-elect of the Bio-behavioral Research Section for The Obesity Society.

Beyond her research and clinical work, Dr. MC (as the GLOB Master likes to call her) is an adventurous foodie who will try anything twice and has enjoyed exploring all of Gainesville's culinary delights since her recent move in August 2015. Her favorite activities include spending time with her family and friends, hiking, traveling, reading, eating cheese and bacon, laughing until her belly aches, and essentially anything that involves being in or near the water.

You can read more about Dr. MC on her FaceBook page.