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Electric Ramen Opens on NE 23rd Avenue

ElectriRamenLOGOMay 1, 2017: Is Gainesville big enough for two soup shops GLOBers? Electric Ramen on NW 23rd Avenue -- in the former The Jones location at 401 NE 23rd Ave thinks so with their lunch time soup & noodle cafe now open Monday - Saturday 11-3 pm. Still in the formative stages, Electric Ramen is offering a limited menu:
Shoyu Ramen with Pork, $7.99
shoyu (soy sauce) based broth, dashi (fish broth), pork, soft egg, scallions
Vegetarian Ramen, 7.99
miso based broth, tofu, soft egg, scallions
Steamed Bun with Pork or Tofu, $3.25
   pork or tofu, hoisin sauce, pickled cucumber, scallions

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Keke's Breakfast Cafe opens in Butler Plaza

KekesSFApril 24, 2017: Keke's Breakfast Café in Butler Plaza, at 4062 Plaza Blvd. With 26 locations, this franchisee generator is open and serving lunch and breakfast every day from 7- 2:20. Keke's menu lists 10 paninis, 5 burgers, and 9 wraps including an Italian Chicken Panini: Chicken breast, pesto sauce, roasted red pepper and provolone cheese (8.99), a Turkey Burger: One-third pound turkey burger on toasted ciabatta bread with your choice of toppings (7.99), and a Portabella wrap: Grilled Portabella, pesto sauce, roasted red pepper, provolone and romaine (8.49). The Keke's lunch menu also includes 8 salads including the Tuna Salad and Fresh Fruit: Tuna Salad, strawberry, banana, blueberry, grape & orange slices on romaine (9.99). Keke's is open every day and you can FOLLOW THIS LiNK for breakfast and lunch menus that have more entrees than you than you can shake a strip of crisp, crunchy bacon at.

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wearhouse

Warehouse Restaurant & lounge reopens for lunch

April 3, 2017: Downtown's Warehouse Restaurant & Lounge is one once again open for lunch. Located in the new, and growing Power District South of downtown Gainesville. This multi cuisine restaurant now serves lunch, dinner and drinks from a menu of salads, seafood, pork, and poultry with daily specials.

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zzGLOBbullet HEROsfIT'S HERO'S NOT HOGAN'S! Since the GLOB's outset seven years ago the GLOB Master has enjoyed saying, "there are 243 places to eat lunch in Gainesville." That statement makes it a tough task of keeping track of all the openings, and closing that happen each and every month. And that's not even talking about name changes, and lunch stops that sneak up, open for business without any kind of public notice.

The GLOB worldwide offices received a nice comment from Heros 'Great Sandwiches' owner Aaron Newbold about our failure to mention the Hogan's heroes sub shop on SW 34th St. changed owners over a year ago and is now HEROS 'Great Sandwiches':

"The owner of Hogan's a year ago April 18 sold me 34th location and I renamed Heros and have tried to become my own entity while also showing where I was inspired from by keeping a lot of the things that makes Hogan's so great. " - READ MORE.

Thanks for the wakeup call Aaron. I love your sandwiches, and tomato crowns!

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SOULfoodSD

Downtown adds three new restaurants

Just like that three new restaurants have opened in 2017 and they are all available, downtown lunch stops:

zzGLOBbullet Celebrity's Soul Seafood, 201 SE 2nd Ave #101, Downtown. Located behind next to Mark's Prime Steakhouse, this neck bones-and-rice lunch stop also serves chicken wings, and fried chicken. A veritable smorgasbord of traditional Southern food, this is the third restaurant opening for owners Fredrick and Taja Jacobs. The first was opened in California and the 3rd is ... in Ft White of all places!

zzGLOBbullet China Garden, Gainesville Shopping Center, 1216 N. Main St. Just south of the Main Street Publix, Café Gardens owner Fiona Liangfoiny is serving a complete Chinese menu with $5.49 lunch specials served with fried rice from 10:30 am to 3 pm. The menu also includes a $7.49 Dinner Special, House Combination Specials, and a diet menu, all dishes available for take-out or in-house dining.

zzGLOBbullet Flaming Subs, Gainesville Shopping Center, 1122.N. Main StNot a lot has changed in this poplar lunch time sub shop except ownership and the new name. Open from 10 am to 4 pm, Flaming Subs serves the same menu of salads and hot and cold sub sandwiches as Larry's Giant Subs.

 

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December 16, 2017 - Three new restaurants have recently opened including a sandwich shop, a vegan restaurant, and a golf course café:

zzGLOBbullet With outdoor seating and a drive-through pickup window, Piper Gi's will be open starting with lunch from 11 am -3 pm and other times. Piper at 204 SW 2nd Ave.  According to owner Tommy Newman the former Wholly BBQ location next to the High Dive will be run with his wife, Shanti Aura Riesch-Newman, and brother-in-law, Jacob Riesch, with combined experience as chefs for several notable Gainesville restaurants including Manuel's Vintage Room, Emiliano's Cafe, and Napalanto's. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

zzGLOBbullet Curia On the Drag, 2029 NW 6th Street, has opened a vegan café to complement their coffee shop and wine bar. Serving lunch, dinner, drinks, and coffee, Curia presents a complete vegan menu. Including mac 'n cheese, jackfruit, fish-less tacos, and many more plant-based entrees. The three-building location also touts domestic and imported beer, sparkling wines, happy hour, board games, and entertainment. FOLLOW THIS LINK for a complete Curia menu

zzGLOBbulletDivot's Café & Banquet has opened in the Meadow Brook Golf Club on 3200 NW 98th and NW 39th Ave. Lisa's Corner Café owner and manager, Lisa Freeze, has jumped across town to accommodate lunch outers and golf enthusiasts with a $7 Cheeseburger and French fry specials and a varied menu of sandwiches, salads, wraps, and hot entrees

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LonghornSF

Butler Plaza opens new lunch stops

Tuesday, December 6, 2016 – The Longhorn Steakhouse returns after several years to Gainesville at 2933 Clark Butler Blvd with more steaks than you shake a prime cut at. Featuring 100% grade A beef in over 30 different combinations, entrees with chicken and salmon, and salads and burgers. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

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Culver's, a restaurant that features "butterburgers" and frozen custard for dessert has opened in Butler Plaza at 912 NW 56 Terr. In 1984, George and Ruth Culver had the idea for a restaurant no one could resist: a combination of his "love for his mom's homemade hamburgers with his favorite childhood treat." Four flavors of frozen custard are offered each day with over 30 mix-ins and toppings. In addition to dessert, the menu also includes fried Wisconsin cheese curds, salads, chicken and fish sandwiches, and dinner entres and kids' meals. Culver's is open from 10 am to 11 pm Sunday through Thursday and 10 am to midnight Friday and Saturday. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

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Jersey Mike's Subs touting 'east coast style' sub sandwiches Jersey Mike's  has opened a second location in Gainesville at at 2803 SW 42nd Street in Butler Plaza. Franchise owners Angelo and Kimberly Crowell own two Jersey Mike's in Tallahassee. Jersey Mike's is open from 10 am to 9 pm 7 days a week. This nationwide franchise has over 750 locations, the first having been established on the New Jersey shore in 1956. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

 

ainesville's oldest restaurant closes Saturday after 82 years.
Related Links:

Louis' Lunch at Southeast Fifth Avenue and Second Street, which is also open today, serves the last of its hamburgers and shakes from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Owner Tom Pennisi, 75, cited slow business and his age for his decision to close the diner and sell the property.
His father, Louis Pennisi, opened the business in 1928.
 


Hey Jules I want to start running the feature below every day. 
I would like to include CHOW NOW with a new location but I would need your location by 8:30 in the morning . . .?
Today’s Lunch Plans
Tuesday, October 27, 2010

The GLOB’s Lunch Plans:  Sandwich Inn, Northeast, 110 NE 16th Ave.

CHOW NOW Food Truck Plans: Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, Northeast, Hawthorne Rd.
GLOB Lunch Spot Update
Downtown:
Newly Opened:
Urban Flatbread, Warehouse
Closed: Louis Lunch, Tori's Big Burger

Midtown:
Newly Opened
: Anthony's Pizza & Subs, O!O Garden Grill (Tentative)
Closed for lunch: Farah's on the Avenue

Archer Rd.:
Newly Opened:
Ghengis Grill, Michael's

34th St.:
Newly Opened:
Bagle Land (tentative)
Closed: J. Doobies Wraps
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Twisted Peacock

The Peacock quickly generates 'restaurant buzz'

By Melissa Kahan, GLOB Correspondent

TpeacockSFI have to admit: When I heard that the owners of Gainesville's Reggae Shack and Southern Charm Kitchen restaurants were looking to open another restaurant, my ears perked up quickly. Holding Southern Charm Kitche nin a dear place in my heart, cracking my top 5 favorite restaurants in Gainesville, I had high expectations for any sibling restaurant. The Indian fusion restaurant that had been in the works for some time, now dubbed the Twisted Peacock, finally opened its doors.

Despite lacking any advertisement or promotion of the newly-opened, niche restaurant, the youngest restaurant sibling was already creating some buzz. Other than a few Instagram photos tagged at the Twisted Peacock, a menu was nowhere in sight either. I was diving — or I guess, dining—in blind. At least I had seven other blind, yet willing, participants to accompany me on the restaurant's first Saturday open. In fact, everyone at the table was pretty unfamiliar with Indian cuisine. I believe some Googling was involved.

While eight glasses of water were promptly brought to the table upon our arrival, our server became somewhat sparse throughout the duration of our meal. I'm not sure if the restaurant wasn't anticipating a solid 40 percent of the dining area full of hungry patrons and they were slightly short-staffed, or if the opening week just came with a few challenges, but our slightly scatter-brained server was a good indication of the slower service. The meal, from the first glass of water to the last check returned, took about 2.5 hours, which is a bit lengthy for a restaurant visit, especially considering we did not delay ordering.

 

TPotsB

That brings us to the food. I was pleased with the menu, probably because of the association I made to it and that of Southern Charm's menu. It was laid out very similarly, but it certainly had very different menu items. Curry was not a main theme of the menu, which surprised me some, but the other menu items, including Tandoori, Tikka Masala, and Vindaloo all were representative of popular Indian cuisine. However, this was Indian fusion, which I tried to keep in mind.

 

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The first menu section, Street Food, had a handful of appetizer-sized dishes. Samosa was the one item on that list that I was familiar with, so of course a couple orders of those hit the table first (and by first, I meant a solid 30 minutes after ordering). I had heard the naan bread wasn't made in-house, so I avoided that, although I hope that changes. Nonetheless, the samosas, $5.95, which I described to the uninformed as being akin to empanadas, were adequately-sized and very full of vegetables and potatoes. I appreciated that, as many flaky pastry-type items are too airy inside.

There was a decent mix of entrees present on the table about an hour after initial ordering, which seemed a little too long considering the restaurant did not meet even half-full capacity. Nonetheless, everyone dove into the decent-sized portions of proteins over a silver dish full of a couple of cups of basmati rice per person.

 

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Three hungry members of our party ordered the Pig Vindaloo, $11.95. Originally a Portuguese dish, "carne de vinhad'alhos," it is now typically served in India with lamb, which apparently was the protein in front of us despite "pig" in the name. The sauce was not as spicy as the server suggested it might be — a somewhat disappointing discovery — but it was flavorful nonetheless. Another person at the table got the Duck Korma, $17.95, and she certainly received her money's worth of duck with a few thighs, a breast, and drumsticks filling the silver bowl. It was cooked well, but the curry gravy lining the bottom of the bowl certainly made it shine.

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Two friends ordered the Tandoori Chicken, $10.95, with a sizeable number of pieces stuffed in their respective bowls. However, both agreed it was the least satisfactory entrée at the table, commenting on its "blandness." The green-colored sauce brushed over a few pieces didn't lend much to the red chili powder marinade the menu claimed it to be cooked in.

 

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One of my two favorite entrees of the night was my friend's surprising order (he typically sticks to what he knows) of the goat dish, comically named the "Rogan Josh," $11.95. The goat was submerged in a deep red-orange sauce of Indian spices, and the meat fell apart so tenderly with the swipe of a fork. My dish, the Chicken Tikka Masala, $11.95, was my second favorite. The waitress considered it one of the more popular dishes at the restaurant, and I have experience eating it at an Indian restaurant in London, so I was familiar with the flavors.

The masala gravy should have been doubled in quantity: The strong spice-filled sauce was soaked up by the tender white meat chicken, which I wished didn't run out as soon cause it was so tasty, despite it being a dinner-size portion. It was clear that the sauces of the night were what helped make or break the experience. The one thing I also had hoped was an option to include cooked veggies in the dish, as those would have been a great addition to round out my tikka masala.

TPbuns2

Of course there is always a second stomach for dessert. The GulabJamun, $5.95, peaked multiple interests, so three servings of that came next. Each hot bowl of two, larger than donut hole-sized Indian donuts floated over a "rosewater and cardamom-scented syrup." After one bite, one person thought the donut was doughy and undercooked, but it actually appeared to just not have a cake-type filling as an American donut hold would. The outside was so crispy and evenly-cooked that I thought it played well into the somewhat doughy insides, and I loved it. The syrup really stole the show, sugary and rich with some noticeable punches of flavor from the cardamom and rosewater.

PeacockARTAfter getting through the menu, I noticed the little description of why the Twisted Peacock got its name, and I learned the musical symbolism behind the animal. That certainly explained the décor: Two large walls toward the back were covered with Indian music posters; the very back wall was splattered with Indian musical instruments, such as the Sarod and Sitar, which resemble a thinner guitar/violin/banjo combination. Indian musicals were playing on the overhead TVs; two children at an adjacent table were enamored by the screens all night. It certainly had a cozy feel, although seemed a bit above just a casual jeans and tee experience.

No one ordered a vegetarian entrée, and I think if I came back I would try one of those and another "Street Food" item to expand my Indian taste palette. I do not have an extensive knowledge of Indian cuisine, only having had it a handful of times and never having been to India. I do not claim myself to be an expert of the cuisine, but I do know what works well. With that being said, it is not a dining spot I will be rushing back to, as it was overall somewhat subpar considering the collective dining experience of myself and the other seven at the table. However, I could have drank the syrup those donuts were in, so I will say it left some memorable moments with me.

The Pluses and Minuses of the Twisted Peacock

Twisted Peacock + indicators: Unique food entrees, good quality food items, good value for price, open for lunch and dinner

Twisted Peacock - indicators:  Not quite cohesive service, long waits for food (don't go if in a rush)

Be the first to offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about the Twisted Peacock. Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments. - THANKS!

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Road Trip: Cilantro Tacos, Newberry

West Coast Mex food love brought East

By Melissa Kahan, GLOB Correspondent

Nothing against Mexican food, but it's never been my go-to meal for dining out. Taco salads are in my rotation every so often, but I guess I haven't been to a restaurant that truly inspired a must-return reaction. Usually, I'm in it for the margaritas. Perhaps that is why it took me so long to venture over to Cilantro Tacos; well, that and the fact that it is in Newberry, about 30 minutes from 34th Street in Gainesville. Once Cilantro Tacos had a food truck that started circulating at local brewery events, food truck rallies, and even occasionally at Midnight Cookies, the family-owned, 3-year-old Mexican restaurant has been on my radar.

 

020516CilantroA trip out to Newberry for some outdoor laser tag — yes, the kind of laser tag that has you running around shooting opponents in the woods — brought my group right around the corner from Cilantro Tacos. We were all new to the very simplydecorated establishment, a dozen tables scattered around the dining area with a bar in the back for ordering beer and checking out.

 

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The eight of us took up a few of those tables, while only two other parties were dining around us. After our server, Sam, promptly helped us set up the tables, she asked if we wanted to start with anything and got a flurry of "guacamole," "queso," and "salsa" requests thrown her way. She was a trooper. The tortilla chips, which seem very fresh, certainly possessed the crisp, seasoned mark of homemade freshness. The tomatillo salsa verde and roasted chile red sauce each had a unique, very pronounced, flavor, and the guacamole was creamy and zesty. However, I think I speak for a few members of the group when I say the pico de gallo was the star, each bite of the very chunky, cilantro-topped condiment as flavorful as the last.

 

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On to the main event: If I was going to Cilantro Tacos, I surely was going to order the one thing the proprietor's felt a need to highlight above the rest – tacos. If the restaurant doesn't excel at what it is "known" for, that is a strong indication of quality. I already had my order in mind, but I was extremely pleased to hear that each taco in my order of three, $6.99, could hold a different meat. Carnitas is a go-to for me, and the barbacoa and the soft corn tortillas were highly recommended by the server.

The real adventure would be the lengua taco, which, for those unfamiliar, is beef tongue. Don't shy away from the sound of it: My previous experiences with the Mexican delicacy is that, if prepared correctly, it is pretty tender and should certainly have good flavor. It was my favorite taco of the trio, the chunks of meat just as savory and tender as I remembered. The carnitas and barbacoa were both good, too, but the carnitas was a close second to the lengua, the flavors of the marinade-soaked pulled pork indicative of hours simmering in a spice-laden sauce and pulled tender.

020516TacosVERTICALI opted to get my taco "all-the-way", which included cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion. and cilantro toppings, instead of the authentic style with just the basic onion, cilantro and lime, which I will be ordering next time for sure. I may or may not have snuck that pico de gallo in a few bites, too.

I had a bite of the al pastor pork, and it was a bit sweeter than expected (apparently due to marinating with pineapples and some other spices), and a bite of the fish, which was probably my least favorite protein, as I didn't feel the heavy seasoning was as cohesive with the white fish.

The burrito truly was a two-hander, as reaffirmed on the menu online, and the steak in it was well prepared, not dry or tough at all. I love nachos, and the beef ones I tried were well loaded, but the combination of the queso cheese, sour cream, and refried beans quickly made the chips soggy. The amount of lettuce, tomatoes and handful of cilantro perched atop the hill of protein topping was just right, though.

The fajitas seemed a good size, my friend remarking how flavorful the carnitas were, also, and how it was just the right portion size, even if eaten as a bowl without tortillas. Another friend even said the refried beans were very good "for refried beans," commenting that they did not get a thicker, glob consistency when cooled down as many lower quality types do.

 

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The Southern California family brought generations of cooking with them to Newberry. Priding themselves on cooking fresh meat that hasn't been previously frozen, it is a tried-and-true family operation. Our server, Sam, was not only very attentive, but was extremely fun and friendly throughout our visit, chatting about everything from our interests to her background. Before we left, she introduced me to the chef who she fondly called "Mama," and who was just as charming as Sam.

 

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Mama first mentioned how, although she had been in Newberry cooking at Cilantro Tacos for 3 years, she had been cooking with Grandma for over 10 years. She said that's where she got a lot of her recipes and tricks of the trade. She emphasized most how Grandma made sure Mama knew how to prepare meat, and that it is not just as simple as salting and grilling. "The meat takes time, it needs to be marinated."

I asked Mama about the delicious marinade she spoke so highly of, and she told me it was family secrets. Despite that, I had to also ask about the addicting pico de gallo, and she said there is much more to it than just lime juice and salt. When pressed further, she revealed spices were the key, mentioning cloves as a component. Interesting, no?
The time and cooking skills certainly showed in each dish, and I will be back to try another menu item, probably the fajitas, and chat with these extremely passionate, fun (and food)-loving people.

One friend at the table asked about how shrimp would fare in a quesadilla, and I am intrigued enough to return and find out once and for all. And to potentially buy out their stock of pico.

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Weekend Events, January 22, 2016

FRIDAY

012215HippCinema6:30 pm: Boy & the World - Opening Night, Hipp Cinema, various days, times. Oscar Nominee for Best Animated Feature Film. When his father leaves for the city, Cuca's cozy rural life is shattered and he embarks on a quest to reunite his family. The young boy's journey unfolds like a tapestry, the animation taking on greater complexity as his small world expands. Entering civilization, industrial landscapes are inhabited by animal-machines with barrios of decoupage streets and shop windows,

 

012216Band

7:30 pm: Orchestra Fireworks, Gainesville Orchestra, SFC Fine Arts Hall. GO rings in the New Year with a sound blast spectacular of beloved masterpieces.

8 pm: Cat (Black) Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - Opening Night, Actors' Warehouse, 608 N Main St. Directed by Shamrock McShane & Carol Velasques Richardson. Following in the footsteps of Broadway's successful production with James Earl Jones and Phylicia Rashad, this all-black production of Tennessee Williams' classic focuses on a family celebrating the 65th birthday of Big Daddy. The knowledge that Big Daddy is dying, slowly makes the rounds.

SATURDAY

012216Pets

11 am: Alachua County Animal Services Open House, 2400 NE 52rd Ave. FREE MICROCHIPPING while supplies last, door prizes, and food. Find out about volunteer opportunities. Learn more about local community cat programs and low cost spay/neuter services for your pet and more. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

 

012216Farm

11 am: Creepy, Crawly Critters- Music and Rhythm, Dudley Farm Historic State Park, 18730 W Newberry Rd. A fun morning for children 4 to 5 years of age. Learn about teaching rhythm and movements with nature-based songs. Meet at the Visitor Center at 10:50 am and bring a blanket to sit on. This educational program is limited to 20 participants, and parents must accompany the child. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

 

012216ACLIB

2:30 pm: Victoria Christian Murray, Alachua County Library Headquarters Branch, Downtown. Murray will speak about her latest novel, Stand Your Ground (2015). Murray has written over 20 adult novels, including JOY, Grown Folks Business, The Ex Files, and The Deal, and has received numerous awards including the Golden Pen Award for Best Inspirational Fiction and the Phyllis Wheatley Trailblazer Award for being a pioneer in African American fiction. Since 2007, Murray has won six African American Literary Awards for best novel, best Christian fiction, and Author of the Year - Female. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information

 

012216ParksA

3-5 pm: Rally to Save Our Parks, Protect Paynes Prairie, First Magnitude Brewery, 1220 SE Veitch St. Music by Whitey Markle and the Swamprooters followed by special guest speakers Jim Stevenson, former chief naturalist of Florida's State Parks; Leslie Pool, award-winning writer and historian; and Pat Harden, coordinator of the Protect Payne's Prairie Coalition. After the speakers, participants will march north on Main Street to University Ave for a rally in support of Paynes Prairie and other state parks. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

7 pm: Superfun! Protocol Group Exhibition, 2033 NW 6th St. UF School of Art and Art History Group exhibition featuring works of students and alumni along with local artists: Christian Casas, Chelsea Collison, Bridget Fairbank, Juan Griego, Kane Hambrick, Jaclyn Lambert, Keely Lubin, Daniela Ortiz, Q, Cris Robles, Sanders Soloman, Zac Thompson, Casey Wooster and Steven Zill. Superfun! is a "pop-up" gallery and event space located in the old Doug's Dairy Twirl building at the corner of NW 6th St and 21st Lane.

 

012216SongwritersA

7 pm: Song Writers Spotlight, Bardon Community Cultural Center, 1315 S. Main St. Rachel Grubb, Stephen Langer, Kimberly LeCouteur and Rebecca Vincent perform in the new performance and display space of The Doris.

SATURDAY – MONDAY

012216Trumpet

9 am: 2016 International Brass Festival of the Trumpet, University of Florida School of Music. The 3-day event will feature internationally recognized guest artists Jens Lindemann, Roger Blackburn, Luis Araya, Joe Jamerson, the Potsdam Brass Quintet, and the Gainesville Brass Quintet. Free and open to the public. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

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Art & About: 'Hometown Knights'

Hot dog politicos are a picnic in this satire

By Sullivan Alfred-Sanford, GLOB Guest Reviewer

In its latest production of Hometown Knights, The Acrosstown Repertory Theatr introduces us to the city of Fainburg, obsessed with sports, politics, and hotdogs, not necessarily in that order. Regardless of which side of the political aisle you sit on, comparisons to 2016 sitting senators and governors are impossible to deny. In Hometown Knights, the characters take many wrong turns and try to cover them up with hotdog puns and condiment banter. The result is both well-seasoned and delicious.

As the nation is currently em-"broiled" in an election cycle, the Hometown Knights audience can easily identify with the characters and issues that Director Chuck Lipsig, and Jessica Arnold has introduced. Social issues are replaced with politically-biased hot dog ordinances and election reforms that ensure incumbent victory. Dead candidates are prequalified for a mayoral run and a legitimate candidate is rendered politically impotent. Empty promises are applauded, while reform is shamed. The production, however, diverges from 2016 poltical campaigns by remaining engaging and entertaining.

The leads, Nicky (played by Meagan Reagle) and Frankie (played by D'Andre Carter), are political consultants to a small town mayor. Mayor Perry Halfgallon (played by Dean Carvalho) has been mayor for 30 years and has left a wake of political foes in less than good condition. Through fear mongering, Mayor Halfgallon has remained unchallenged for nearly 15 years of his 30-year tenure. The Mayor's voice has two volumes, loud and much louder. He is self-absorbed, arrogant, and mostly oblivious. Nicky and Frankie are the true brains of the operation, and that isn't saying much. Nicky matches being temperamental tit for tat with Frankie's debilitating naiveté. In their pursuit of "justice" which is simply due credit for their work on behalf of the town, mixed in with just a bit of old school revenge, Nicky and Frankie will stop at nothing. The power couple are true imagineers in the line of television actor Don Knotts and TV wrestler Randy Macho Man Savage as they set up a perfect game of political chess. They host a roll call of potential pawns for their shenanigans and settle on retired athlete and local hero Tom Jones (played by Adam Lishawa). He is innocent, moral, upright, and inexperienced--the perfect patsy. Tom Jones' greatest asset is his fame, and both his sports record and political inexperience are lambasted throughout the contentious campaign and debate circuit.

As in all that is politically scandalous, the town and its future is of minor concern to either of the Hometown Knights as they battle for the Mayor's Office. The Knights prepare for an epic battle and it is winner takes all. Will the homerun hero overtake the hotdog king or will Tom Jones be counted out at the plate? During the showdown, the establishment is pitted against a political outsider and only Nicky and Frankie can sort out the message from the civic rubble. Don't expect any fact checking from either side. The truth will not gain the acknowledgement or accolades that Nicky and Frankie seek so it is avoided at all cost. By the end, the audience cannot determine whether the Hometown Knights are Mayor Perry Halfgallon and Tom Jones or Nicky and Frankie. However, it is clear that the town remains unprotected as a gateway for the political ambition.

Political satire runs throughout this production, and political ridiculousness, running amuck, connects the audience to the town of Fainburg by pairing people and politicians through the lowest common denominators of self-interest and the pursuit of ultimate power. Of course the legitimization of high profile politics requires a group of gullible "sheeple" to be believable. Lipsig provides the gullibility component in the form of a chorus. The chorus (played by Saylor McKinley, Victor Moser, Mandy Fugate, and Chuck Lipsig) plays multiple roles and makes the audience want to sing along.

Thanks to the set design by Jessica Arnold and Adam Lishawa many times during the play the chorus sits with the audience, expanding the town and recreating the realism of a true political juggernaut. In fact, the political system becomes the sixth character in the production.

Major news networks could not hold a candle to the active coverage of this campaign and I shudder to imagine their vain attempt.

Oscar Wilde once said "There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it." Hometown Knights barbecues that premise and presents it well done. Just how far will people go for their personal ambitions? Hometown Knights proves that the standard varies with your level of rationality and sanity. Fortunately, both are in short supply, and the audience is grateful for that omission.

This world premier production of Hometown Knights continues with weekend performances through January 31, 2016 and should not be missed. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more Hometown Knights production information.

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Lunch stop openings close out 2016

December 16, 2017 - Three new restaurants have recently opened including a sandwich shop, a vegan restaurant, and a golf course café:

zzGLOBbullet With outdoor seating and a drive-through pickup window, Piper Gi's will be open starting with lunch from 11 am -3 pm and other times. Piper at 204 SW 2nd Ave.  According to owner Tommy Newman the former Wholly BBQ location next to the High Dive will be run with his wife, Shanti Aura Riesch-Newman, and brother-in-law, Jacob Riesch, with combined experience as chefs for several notable Gainesville restaurants including Manuel's Vintage Room, Emiliano's Cafe, and Napalanto's. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

zzGLOBbullet Curia On the Drag, 2029 NW 6th Street, has opened a vegan café to complement their coffee shop and wine bar. Serving lunch, dinner, drinks, and coffee, Curia presents a complete vegan menu. Including mac 'n cheese, jackfruit, fish-less tacos, and many more plant-based entrees. The three-building location also touts domestic and imported beer, sparkling wines, happy hour, board games, and entertainment. FOLLOW THIS LINK for a complete Curia menu

zzGLOBbulletDivot's Café & Banquet has opened in the Meadow Brook Golf Club on 3200 NW 98th and NW 39th Ave. Lisa's Corner Café owner and manager, Lisa Freeze, has jumped across town to accommodate lunch outers and golf enthusiasts with a $7 Cheeseburger and French fry specials and a varied menu of sandwiches, salads, wraps, and hot entrees

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LonghornSF

Butler Plaza opens new lunch stops

Tuesday, December 6, 2016 – The Longhorn Steakhouse returns after several years to Gainesville at 2933 Clark Butler Blvd with more steaks than you shake a prime cut at. Featuring 100% grade A beef in over 30 different combinations, entrees with chicken and salmon, and salads and burgers. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

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Culver's, a restaurant that features "butterburgers" and frozen custard for dessert has opened in Butler Plaza at 912 NW 56 Terr. In 1984, George and Ruth Culver had the idea for a restaurant no one could resist: a combination of his "love for his mom's homemade hamburgers with his favorite childhood treat." Four flavors of frozen custard are offered each day with over 30 mix-ins and toppings. In addition to dessert, the menu also includes fried Wisconsin cheese curds, salads, chicken and fish sandwiches, and dinner entres and kids' meals. Culver's is open from 10 am to 11 pm Sunday through Thursday and 10 am to midnight Friday and Saturday. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

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Jersey Mike's Subs touting 'east coast style' sub sandwiches Jersey Mike's  has opened a second location in Gainesville at at 2803 SW 42nd Street in Butler Plaza. Franchise owners Angelo and Kimberly Crowell own two Jersey Mike's in Tallahassee. Jersey Mike's is open from 10 am to 9 pm 7 days a week. This nationwide franchise has over 750 locations, the first having been established on the New Jersey shore in 1956. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

 

TamalWINDOWtopper

New lunch stops open for business

MONDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2016: From fresh tamales to breakfast all day new lunch stops are popping up all over Gainesville:

zzGLOBbullet TAMALhorseATamale shop opens downtown: "When the Tamale Horse is on the sidewalk, there are fresh, hot tamales waiting inside," Tamal Head Cook and Owner Rachel Iannelli, said proudly scratching Tamale's white mane. Two blocks north of the new Depot Park complex, in the heart of Gainesville's South Main arts district, daily Tamal offers unique and healthy meat, vegetarian, and vegan tamales at reasonable prices. Owners, Cecil Iannelli and Rachel Nicholas, who are also long-time Gainesvillians and food lovers, use locally sourced meat, produce, and eggs whenever possible, and the aquas frescas are sweetened only with turbinado sugar. After three decades in the restaurant business and working on her doctorate degree, a tamale shop wasn't always Rachel's first career consideration, but now, she says, "As far as I know, we are the first tamale shop in Gainesville, and we are excited sharing our passion for handmade tamales." FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

 

KRAZYGtopperzzGLOBbullet Krazy G'opens in Midtown: Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner and open from 7 AM – 2 AM (yes, 2 AM in the morning!) every day, Krazy G's will be serving organic gourmet burgers from grass-fed beef, locally brewed beer, and biscuits and other breakfast food. This fast casual spot will host a smoker for burgers, brisket, pork shoulder, house-made bacon, and bologna. For long-time Hog Towners, the breakfast menu includes the return of the Asher Special from Skeeter's Breakfast House -- a popular Gainesville restaurant from the late 1970s to 1995 -- that includes Skeeter potatoes, melted cheese, a choice of eggs, choice of sausage or bacon, and a biscuit. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information

zzGLOBbullet Fresh Corner opens in Stadium Club Bldg: Specializing in breakfast all day, the Fresh Corner is open and ready to serve you breakfast "In hand. " With a menu that includes bagels, toast, crispy waffles, and fresh bowls, there are many breakfast entrée variations such as the Captain's Way Bagel consisting of smoked salmon, sliced bananas, honey, and sunflower seeds. There are three kinds of bowls all featuring a base of coconut chia seed pudding, Greek yogurt, and fresh fruit. Smoked Chicken & Waffles has already become a Fresh Corner favorite. Open Daily 8 am -5 pm, the Fresh Corner offers gluten-free and vegan options along with avocado toast and mini-bagels.

 

BigIslandFoodTruck

zzGLOBbullet Big Island Bowls opens in Root & Pecker facility: To paraphrase the Trailer Park Troubadours, "It ain't a restaurant until the wheels come off." A Big Island food truck has planted itself on the Root & Pecker grounds at 5432 NW 8th Ave. With tentative plans to be open from 9 am-6 pm daily, lunch every day at the Big Island Bowls features smoothies and fruit and acai bowls. All of their bowls are free of additives, preservatives, artificial ingredients, and dairy. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information

 

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patticakesSF

September 12, 2016 - Patticakes on the Bo Diddley Plaza downtown has opened on the NE corner of the Plaza with a limited menu this week. Open from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, the lunch menu includes salads, sandwiches, wraps, and paninis. Patticakes will have a full espresso menu with lattes and cappuccinos plus tea, smoothies, and milk shakes. Breakfast items include muffins, scones, pastries, quiche, bagels, and yogurt. Next week Patticakes will be open Monday through Saturday until 9 p.m. and later when there are concerts on the Plaza and will be open on Sundays during festivals. Seating includes a limjited number of lunch counter seats, a patio, and the Bo Diddley Plaza.

Also now open for lunch:

zzGLOBbullet Felipe's Mexican Taqueria has opened in midtown on the corner of W. University Ave and NW 12th St. With the standard tacos, burritos, and quesadilla, Felipe's also offers Tinga Chicken Breast, Al Pastor, Chorizo, and Grilled Vegetables. With several restaurants in Louisiana, this is Felipe's second venture into Florida, the other being in Naples. Felipe's offers three ways top place you lunch order: a fast casual lunch line, by cell phone from your table, or from a server at the bar or in the bar area. FOLLOW THIS LINK for a complete Felipe's menu.

zzGLOBbullet The Costa Vida Fresh Mexican Grille has opened at 3581 SW Archer Rd. "Costa Vida is a laid-back counter-serve Mexican restaurant with Baja-style tacos and burritos plus gluten-free options. Fresh food created with using real ingredients." Offering the standard Tex-Mex lunch fare, Costa Vida lists some interesting specialties such as Fajita Burritos, Mango Chicken Salad, and Sweet Shrimp Salad or Tacos. FOLLOW THJIS LINK for a complete Costa Vida menu.

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Chipotle Mexican Grille opens third location

CHIPOTLEsfASeptember 6, 2016: Chipotle Mexican Grille has opened a third Gainesville location on the corner of NW 13th St. and NW 23rd Ave. Chipotle touts 'Food with Integrity" such as "Vegetables grown in healthy soil, and pork from pigs allowed to freely root and roam outdoors or in deeply bedded barns" and claim that "with every burrito we roll or bowl we fill, we're working to cultivate a better world." Chipotle serves burritos with meats, sofritas, rice, beans, fajita veggies, several salsa options, quacamole, sour cream, cheese, and/or romaine lettuce. FOLLOW THIS LINK for Chipotle reviews.

 

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VpizzaSF

V Pizza opens in Vello's Building downtown

August 29, 2016: V Pizza/Sidecar Bar have opened in the space vacated by Vello's in downtown Gainesville.  Serving an Italian menu of specialty pizzas, create your own pizzas, calzones, and strombolis, the fast casual restaurant (order at the counter) has a "Lunch Special Pricing" at $9.95 for a beverage, cheese pizza plus 1 topping or 10.95 with any house pizza. For gluten free pizza, add $3. Other Lunch Special options for $9.95: A calzone plus 1 topping; a panini, or chicken wings. Touting authenticity, the Jacksonville creators of V Pizza feature imported and dry-aged Italian meats, San Marzano tomatoes, '00 flour', water buffalo mozzarella (mozzarella di bufala), pizzas that aren't perfectly round, and burn marks on the crust. These are the elements V Pizza creators believe that validate their authentic Napoletana pizza. According to the About Food website Neapolitan pizza originated in Naples, Italy, and is made from simple basic dough, raw tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, and olive oil--no fancy toppings here. According to the Jacksonville Sidecar website,  "Sidecar honors the original definition of the cocktail – a combination of spirits, sugar, water, and bitters [and] spirit-forward drinks are accompanied by rotating draft beers, over 50 bottled beers, two cocktails on tap, whiskey on tap, and a great list of old and new world wine varietals." FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information and a complete Z Pizza menu.

 

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Humble Pie opens store front, changes name

081816HUMBLEwoodfireLOGOAugust 21, 2016:  After much planning, and making arrangements the Humble Pie food truck has opened a 'brick and mortar' lunch stop at 405 SW 4th Ave. next to their Humble Wood Fire kitchen. The new lunch stop will have a daily $10 lunch special for an 8" pizza and the Humble Wood Fire salad of the day. The Humble staff will post the daily special on their social media connections.After being named in a lawsuit for using the Humble Pie name by a Manhattan, New York law firm representing a Humble Pie pizza chain in Arizona, the HWF pizza boys have decided to change their name to Humble Wood Fire. According to their FaceBook page: "Our new name embodies the heart of what we have always been about. Humble Wood Fire also enables us to move beyond being known solely for our wood fired pies." FOLLOW THIS LINKfor more information, and a Humble Wood Fire menu.

 

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WINGSteriyakiSF

Wings & Teriyaki opens in NE, Flaming Crab on Newberry Rd.

May 10, 2016: Listing a complete menu of hibachi/teriyaki entrees including chicken, beef, shrimp, steak and tofu, the Wings & Teriyaki lunch stop on NE 23rd Ave. also specializes in chicken wings in 25 different flavors. Need more lunch GLOBer? Wings & Teriyaki also serves gyros, Philly steaks sandwiches, hamburgers, and salads. You can also get fried shrimp with white or fried rice and a drink for $9.99. There are two chicken wing combos on the menu and 12 combos served with steamed veggies and white or fried rice. Wings & Teriyaki is Open seven days a week.

FLAMINGcrabLOGOThe Flaming Crab has opened on Newberry Rd. near Tower Rd. in the old Yummy House location. Taking seafood boils to a new level, the Flaming Crab touts Cajun style crab boils with a twist -- your fresh catch is boiled in a Cajun-style-blend of spices, then tossed with a choice of signature seasonings, and served in a bag to preserve the flavors. Menu items range from $27 to $65: The Flaming Crab has a Po Boy Sandwich Special at $7.99 and a 2-lb fresh crawfish special for $18.99.

 

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KAPLEbiscuitSF

Maple St. Biscuit opens in Butler Plaza

April 15, 2016: The Maple Street Biscuit Company opened yesterday in Butler Plaza in the Target Shopping area. Touting consistent southern comfort food with a modern twist.  The MSBC serves an assortment of sandwiches including the Chicken Club, the Iron Goeat, and the Sticky Maple ll served on Flaky Biscuits. Side orders include oatmeal, Hashups, (home fries with chopped smoked ham, red and green peppers, grilled onions, mushrooms, and melted cheese & Gravy), and Sweet Potato Fries with maple mustard dipping sauce. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

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Three restaurants open April 4, 2016

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zzGLOBbullet GOVINDA'S BAKERY & CAFÉ: The big, green building on NW 13th St. has a bright new coat of beige pain and is now selling breakfast delights and lunch. Soups with free refills and veggie sandwiches served on ciabatta rolls are the main components of the veggie menu. According to GOVINDA's website, "We are a vegetarian bakery and café . . . We specialize in healthy, wholesome, yummy food prepared with love and care! Our mission here at Govinda's is to encourage an atmosphere of peace, serenity, and harmony in our community and in ourselves."

zzGLOBbullet WINE & CHEESE GALLERY: This long time downtown favorite has been resurrected with new lunch ideas and a fast causal approach to lunch. With a menu that includes lads, sandwiches, and soups the Wine and Cheese has included cheese boards totheir menu.

zzGLOBbullet YUMMYHOUSUEsf2016YUMMY HOUSE: After a short hiatus, Yummy House has reopened in the old Crispers location on 34th St. A dimly-lit atmosphere houses multiple tables adorning white tablecloths, a long bar area, and sharp, clean decor. Yummy House's extensive menu is still available on the inside with added, east parking now available at this SW 24th location.

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Grill Fresh opens behind the Swamp

GRILLfreshSFMarch 21, 2016: Grill Fresh opens for lunch today in the old Café Gardens location behind the Swamp in mid-town. With a mix 'n match of bowl entrees with a base foundation ranging from sweet potato noodles for salad to warm veggie spiced rice and fresh herb roasted potatoes. After the base ingredient, the choices are toppings of veggies, protein, and sauce. Bowls can be ordered in three categories: GREEN BOWL that includes 2 greens, 2 veggies and 1 protein, the FOUR BOWL that consists of 2 base ingredients, 1 veggie, and 1 protein, to the SIX BOWL that includes 2 base ingredients, 2 veggies, and 2 proteins. Breakfast is available every morning with breakfast bowls of 1 base ingredient, 1 egg or tofu, 2 proteins, and 1 cheese.

- Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

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Harvest Thyme burgers, SweetBerries buy local specials

March 14, 2016: The NW 39th Ave. Harvest Thyme Café is now serving hamburgers and brunch. You can choose from two $8.25 burgers, both with grass fed, local beef: The Cheeseburger – with lettuce, tomato, and cheddar, Swiss, provolone, or American cheese, OR the Carolina Classic with chili, coleslaw, mustard, and onions. Two additional of the following toppings included in price: raw onion, pickles, coleslaw, bacon, grilled peppers, grilled onions, and jalapenos; each additional topping at $0.50 (Be sure to add one of the HT brownies to your lunch for dessert, they are really yummy.  - GLOB Master.).)

031416HarvestHarvest Thyme Café at this location is also serving Brunch until 2 pm with Omelettes and Skillets, both types with eggs and Michael's home style potatoes along with your choice of meat and/or cheese and two of the following ingredients: spinach, tomato, onion, jalapeno, black olives, mushrooms, scallions, green peppers. Other brunch items include waffles, gluten free waffles, pancakes, French toast, and plates, which consist of two eggs served your way with Michael's homestyle potatoes, toast, and bacon, sausage or ham. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

zzGLOBbullet Sweetberries Eatery and Frozen Custard has come up with a smart Friday-Saturday-Sunday Special with an emphasis on buying local.  The Osmond sisters will be attending the Wednesday Unions St. Downtown Farmers Market each week with the purpose of seeking out a local farmer or food artisan's locally grown or locally made product to feature in their upcoming Weekend Special. "We decided after featuring White Apron's Fig Preserves on our Chicken, Brie and Fig Preserve sandwich, image at the top of this news, last weekend this would be a good way to showcase the abundance of produce and artisanal food items available in our area," Co-Owner Jane Osmond said. "If at all possible, we'll also have their products for sale in our store during the Special in which their product if featured"

KUDOS to SweetBerries! That is such a good idea the Daily GLOB will start featuring Sweetberrie’s Weekend End specials Friday mornings and including a link to the participating local farmer and producer.

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SandwihcDepotSF

Sandwich Depot moves into Adam's Rib Co. building

March 7, 2016: The Sandwich Depot has opened shop in the old Adam's Rib Co. building on NW 13th. St. adjacent to the new Adam's Rib Co. Open for lunch and dinner with the same menu Monday – Saturday the Sandwich Depot boasts over 15 different sandwiches featuring wraps, hamburgers, tacos, a veggie burger and various salads including a chicken Caesar salad and a Cobb salad. Sandwich depot was established in 2013 as a food truck. Family-owned-and-operated menu items are original, inspired creations by chef and owner Travis Mylott. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information

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Twisted Peacock opens on SW 13th St.

TpeacockSFJanuary 9, 2016: The Twisted Peacock has opened on SW 13th St. for lunch and dinner and serves Indian cuisine "in a contemporary fashion rooted in Indian cooking. " The full Indian menu includes entrees like Palak Chole (creamed spinach and chick peas), Nandu Varuval (South Indian fried, spicy, soft shell crab), and Chicken Tikki Masala. There are also sandwiches, salads, vegetarian entrees such as Malai Kofta ("dumplings made with cashews and tossed in a rich, creamy gravy"), and both meat and seafood entrees. Appetizers, which are called Street Food, consist of five options, and three kinds of Indian bread are available. The Twisted Peacock opens at 11 am seven days a week.

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LISAstoreFront

Lisa's Corner opens on NW 23rd Ave

February 2, 2016: Lisa's Corner Café has opened on the corner of NW 23rd Ave at 125 NW 23rd Ave. Suite 9 in the former location of La Fortuna. With a new homey décor, options include a hot lunch buffet and a soup and salad bar. The menu includes sandwiches, wraps, Hot Baskets, chicken wings, fried fish, and daily Hot Bar Specials. Lisa's Corner Café is open 7 days a week at 8 am for breakfast, including a breakfast bar until 11:30 am.

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Buffalo Wild Wings opens in Oaks Mall

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BWWwingsJanuary 13, 2016: With Chicken Wings, Beer, and sports the Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar in front of the Oaks Mall you can count on this second, and third joint lunch palace being a busy. Chicken wings. and boneless wings are available in 17 flavors including Bourbon Honey Mustard,Thai Curry, And a Reformulated Blazin' wing. There is a Veggie boat, potato wedges, and Cheddar Cheese Curds available for the veggie lunch outer. Add seven kinds of salads including a prime rib salad, seven different wraps, street tacos, five kinds of hamburgers, two kinds of chicken sandwiches, a pulled pork sandwich, and a Southwest Philly sandwich it becomes apparent why BFW emphasises a "Fast Break Lunch" approach.  The FBL menu allows customers to create a customizable lunch order and eat in 30 to 40 minutes. The Fast Break Lunch is available Monday - Friday, 11- 2:00 pm. NOTE TO BOB SANFORD: BWW has chicken tenders in both a naked, and crispy variety

ainesville's oldest restaurant closes Saturday after 82 years.
Related Links:

Louis' Lunch at Southeast Fifth Avenue and Second Street, which is also open today, serves the last of its hamburgers and shakes from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Owner Tom Pennisi, 75, cited slow business and his age for his decision to close the diner and sell the property.
His father, Louis Pennisi, opened the business in 1928.
 


Hey Jules I want to start running the feature below every day. 
I would like to include CHOW NOW with a new location but I would need your location by 8:30 in the morning . . .?
Today’s Lunch Plans
Tuesday, October 27, 2010

The GLOB’s Lunch Plans:  Sandwich Inn, Northeast, 110 NE 16th Ave.

CHOW NOW Food Truck Plans: Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, Northeast, Hawthorne Rd.
GLOB Lunch Spot Update
Downtown:
Newly Opened:
Urban Flatbread, Warehouse
Closed: Louis Lunch, Tori's Big Burger

Midtown:
Newly Opened
: Anthony's Pizza & Subs, O!O Garden Grill (Tentative)
Closed for lunch: Farah's on the Avenue

Archer Rd.:
Newly Opened:
Ghengis Grill, Michael's

34th St.:
Newly Opened:
Bagle Land (tentative)
Closed: J. Doobies Wraps
Read more...

Art & About: Collected Stories

Egos, perceptions make for strange relationships

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

There are a lot of issues that could happen to cause the failure of a long term relationship Grasshopper. There are very few honest reasons.

WElCOME TO MY WORLD: Today when perception is talked about I still remember the observation from the New York Times Human resource staffer when they surveyed personnel at the then NYT owned Gainesville Sun newspaper. An employee In my department told the HR officer for a manager it was surprising I didn't know how to operate any of the equipment, or perform any of the tasks in my area.

"That's not true," I said. "I work hands on with the department staff every day."

"It doesn't matter," the HR officer said with a blank look, shrugging her shoulders. "This employee's perception, her reality, is you don't do those things Mike."

 

The Hippodrome Theater's production of Pulitzer prize winner Donald Marguiles play Collected Stories isn't about teenage love shared like in the movie 'GREASE". Having personally been involved in several man, woman loving relationships where it was apparent the wheels were coming off, the fabric of union unraveling, it seems to me love, friendship, commitment will often take a backseat to selfish personal, ambitions, egotistical needs in spite of how relevant they are to the other individual.

011416aHippWINDOWThe sometime puzzling relationships among, lovers, best friends, parents and children pale compared to oftentimes long term, conflicted relationship of a mentor and their prodigy.

The paradox of the play is a mentor, a sage, a wise teacher progressing in maturity, perceives she is in a decline of importance.  The mentor watches her protégé come of age, excelling, assuming many of the roles the mentor once enjoyed.  Feelings become exaggerated, emotions is bared to the bone for the audience in this thought provoking exercise about life, maturity, and what aging is really all about.

With the small in house office of Ruth Steiner – played by Sara Morsey, right, in image below – as the backdrop for these two female writers to meet, befriend, discuss, and compare story ideas over a six year period sets the stage for personal growth that eerily allows the characters to ultimately assume each other's identity in this union of friends, colleagues, life partners.

 

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Fresh out of college and ready to take on the literary world Lisa Morrison -- played by Juliana Davis, left in amgae above – could not believe her luck in acquiring an internship with the literary world's writing superstar Ruth Steiner, and her writing idol.

The relationship begins with Juliana's understandable idolatry, envy and wanting to please her. Ruth Steiner the wise, and seasoned teacher enjoyed the antics of this youthful 'grasshopper' that was living on her every piece of advice.

Kudos to the Hipp's technical staff especially Costume Designer Jessica Nilacala Kreitzer who very smartly moved the audience through this time period of internal change starting with the appropriate clothing Lisa Morrison, a youthful scribe dressed in casual jeans and shorts, to becoming a mature woman, (mentor?), dressed in professional attire.

 

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The Transformation of Sara Morsey's character from an accomplished writing professional to an aging woman unsure of her role in life was visually remarkable.

One of the personal treats for my Hipp Theater experience is how Sound Designer Amanda Yanes incorporates timely music to the story. You could clearly see the age discrepancy of the two demonstrated when Ruth enters the office and immediately turns down the younger protégé's music.

 

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In an almost supernatural affect I was witnessing a very real changing of roles, shifting of identities in the final scene of this two act play. It was only the next morning when I awoke realizing the characters – Ruth, and Lisa, -- were basing all there conflicts, professional angst on their own personal perceptions, or misperceptions?.  Perceptions their colleague would surely discount as inaccurate.

When I think about play wrights, and their intent, when they create screenplays, stories like Collected Stories I think of Lauren Caldwell's statement to me last year: "It's not about what the writer, director had in mind for the meaning of the play. The art of the theater is for the viewer to gain a personal awareness, enlightenment from the story, performance."

 

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Thanks Warhol! The obvious, misunderstanding these two characters were basing their mutual life on in the end opened my eyes to many of my personal, sometimes fractured misperceptions.

The Hippodrome Theater's production of Collected Stories continues with performances scheduled on various days, and times through January 31.  FOLLOW THIS LINK for more Collected Stories information.

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Weekend Events, Dec. 11, 2015

FRIDAY

8:00 am: Poinsettia Show and Sale, UF Environmental Horticulture Club, Fifield Hall, 2550 Hull Road. The largest university poinsettia sale in the United States at the University of Florida by students. Over 155 varieties are available for sale to the public, many of which are not yet available for retail. Free parking is provided and is designated by parking signs. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

 

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5:30: Finders Keepers, Opening Night, Hipp Cinema, various days, times. Shannon Whisnant purchased a grill at an auction. Inside the grill was an amputated leg. What follows is a story centered on the enterprising Whisnant and John Wood, the man whose leg wound up in the grill due to an odd chain of events. Nominated for "Grand Jury Prize Documentary" at Sundance Film Festival

6:00: Holiday Night, The Square at Tioga Town Center. Food and beverage vendors, craft vendors, performances by local bands and Christmas music brought to you by a live DJ. With fun for the whole family. Santa will be available in his house from 6pm – 8pm, for guests to take pictures.

 

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6:00: Haile Homestead Candlelight Visit, Historic Haile Homestead at Kanapaha Plantation. see the old Homestead, decked out for the holidays and aglow with candlelight and soft lights. Docents in costume top off the stunning beauty of the 1856 plantation home and its Talking Walls! Live music and refreshments. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

7:00: Gram Fest 2015, Gram Parsons Tribute, at Akira Wood in Historic Baird Hardware Center, 619 S Main St. Free show featuring David Cook, Shambles, Hard Luck Society, Mick Marino Band, Wild Blue Yonder and the Humble Pie food truck.

 

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8:00: The Odd Couple, Actor's warehouse, Various days, times, 608 N.Main St. This classic comedy opens as a group of the guys assembled for cards in the apartment of divorced Oscar Madison. And if the mess is any indication, it's no wonder that his wife left him. Late to arrive is Felix Unger who has just been separated from his wife. Fastidious, depressed and none too tense, Felix seems suicidal, but as the action unfolds Oscar becomes the one with murder on his mind

FRIDAY 7:30 & SUNDAY 7:00

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The Gainesville Master Chorale and Orchestra, Westminster Presbyterian Church. Tuneful one-act opera brings the meaning of Christmas to us all. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

SATURDAY

10:00: Dudley Kids DayFestive Holiday Ornaments, Dudley Farm Historic State Park, 18730 W Newberry Rd. What type of ornaments were used in the Victorian era? Join us on the farm. Children and adults alike can join in the fun! There are hands-on demonstrations, crafts, old-fashioned games and even some education. Learn about history and a farming way of life.

SUNDAY

3:00: Holiday Flute Concert, The Gainesville Flute Ensemble, Covenant Presbyterian Church, 1001 NW 98th St. The Florida Flute Club of Gainesville shares the joy of the holiday season with this free concert. The Flute Club has developed a tradition of offering several public concerts including this Christmas season. In 2003, the performing group of the Florida Flute Club at Gainesville adopted the name Gainesville Flute Ensemble and continued the tradition of offering fine flute choir music to our community.

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4:00: Holiday Traditions: A Musical Celebration, Stop Children's Cancer, Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 3201 Hull Road. Featuring area youth choral and orchestra groups under the direction of Professor Gary Langford, Professor of Music Emeritus at the University of Florida and Conductor of the Alachua County Youth Orchestra. Performing groups will be P.K. Yonge Vocal Ensemble, Eastside High School Chamber Singers, Alachua County Youth Orchestra, The Gainesville Youth Chorus and Concertina Choir, and Buchholz High School Advanced Choral Ensemble. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

 

121115ACYO7:30: ACYO Winter Concert, Alachua County Youth Orchestra, Center for the Performing Arts, 3201 Hull Road. Free Concert by the Alachua County Youth Orchestra.  For the past 40 years providing free concerts for the residents of Alachua and the surrounding Counties. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

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The Sweet Tea

Cafe is a breath of culinary fresh air

By Melissa Kahan, GLOB Correspondent

STstorefrontIt is so refreshing to have the light of the day caress your cheek through a neighboring window while colorful décor, simple furniture and cutlery create a non-cluttered, inviting dining setting.

Among many big-box, chain establishments, that simplicity is lost or shrouded by artificial lighting and tables squished together in an effort to maximize dining capacity and in the pages and pages of large portioned-meals. The Sweet Tea literally allowed me to take in a breath of fresh air. It may be slightly east of Main St. past downtown Gainesville on University Avenue, but the instantaneous feeling of separation from chaos that accompanies the arrival makes the Sweet Tea at Sweetwater Branch Inn reason enough to venture over, 'to the other side of Main St.'

Upon arrival at the inn, I was slightly confused in finding an adequate parking area, let alone exactly where the restaurant was itself, as I had never been prior. Pro tip: Parking in the back forces you to walk through the grounds of the sweetest picturesque inn around, with its outdoor gazebos and various quaint cottages scattered across the lawn. The restaurant, although it had a sign on the front lawn, was located in the Historicly preserved McKenzie House,

 

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so I was slightly deterred. However, once inside, streams of light flood in from the windows and to the left you are greeted with a living room-size dining space with multiple sizes of wooden dining tables and decor. Colorful decorations hung all around adjacent tables, which due to the small space was a tad too close together for a too-private conversation. Nonetheless, I felt like I was about to join a tea party in the old South.

 

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I met with GLOB Publisher Mike at lunch time on a Monday, as The Sweet Tea is only open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The narrow, two-sided menu had just enough variation to give multiple healthier, as well as more indulgent, choices, while keeping its southern flair in an attempt to keep the theme of the atmosphere. I felt it would be almost an insult not to order some sweet tea, but the special that day was a berry hibiscus tea, and I was not one to pass that up. However, much like Southern Charm Kitchen's hibiscus tea, it was a tad too sweet and syrupy on its own, so a half hibiscus, half unsweetened tea combo made for the perfect summertime treat.

Mike and I already know the drill: Order two entrees to share; maximizing every meal experience is what we are all about! As this was lunch, the delicious-sounding heavier entrees, namely the 'Oops! I Dropped the Chicken Pot Pie' and the 'Cracker Crumb Fried Chicken,' didn't sound quite as viable unless a post food coma could be managed. Apparently, the 'Sweet Tea's Fried Shrimp' is only available on Thursdays and Fridays, but is worth the trek, as this take on butterflied fried prawn is a unique rendition on a southern favorite, shrimp and grits.

Immediately, my eyes fell on the Grilled Watermelon Salad, image at the top of this reviw, which Nicole, our customer friendly server, mentioned was big enough to share in the small size, $7. A few rectangular-shaped blocks of watermelon with the charred look, although somewhat unremarkable, provided a fresh yet slightly smoky contrast to sweet vinaigrette over a bed of greens. The candied pecans and goat cheese were welcome additions, although I wish there was a more generous helping of each. The pickled onions and cucumbers were a nice, flavor-packed touch. The most unique aspect of the salad was using cubes of cornbread as a crouton of sorts. Unfortunately, it was so crumbly I barely got to each one piece before it fell apart. Note: I do hold cornbread to high standards, but this was lacking. It was a nice salad, but didn't blow me away as the description suggested it might.

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At a Southern establishment, something fried also had to make its way to the table. This underdog of a meal choice ended up being this lunch hour's true winner: the Southern Catfish Po'Boy, $10. I will preface this by mentioning that I am very aware that this was not a true po'boy, which is all in the bread. A crustier French bread is the norm for this New Orleans-based staple, but The Sweet Tea's rendition used two thick slabs of Texas toast to hold in the fillings. In this case, I am so glad they did: The buttery, crunchy bread was almost addicting in combination with the slaw coated in Cajun pecan mayo and the fresh crisp of the pickles. The candied jalapenos made enough of a presence to pack a slight punch, but I was most impressed with how well it all meshed with the fried catfish. I am just as glad that Mike and I split this meal, as one half was a ton of bread...sweet, delicious bread. The side of mac and cheese, $2, came highly recommended, too, so a little teacup side of very cheesy bowtie mac and cheese with a spicy kick was an ideal companion to this heartier dish.

 

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I steered Mike away from the desserts of the day due to being full to the brim, but I have to say that chocolate fudge pie and peach tart sound extremely mouth-watering, especially with a dollop of Bourbon whipped topping. They are so seasonal that they are not included on the menu, so be sure to ask before ordering your meal so you know if you should save room!  There is a complete The Sweet Tea menu at the restaurant link brlow this review.

 

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Not only will the relaxing, homey environment away from Gainesville's typical manic hustle and bustle at lunch time entice a return trip to The Sweet Tea, but I have got to try the warm — yes, warm — strawberry salad with candied pecans and a hot bacon vinaigrette. Also, I am too curious as to whether the fried chicken there can rival my Gainesville favorite at Southern Charm Kitchen.

The best comment of the lunch was when Mike proclaimed, after commenting on the frilly, doily-esque place mats, "Now you see why I wouldn't invite a table of my guy buddies to join me here."

 

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The pluses and minuses of The Sweet Tea:

The Sweet Tea (+) indicators: Friendly, informed service; Sweet space; Comforting environment; Nice menu variety; Southern flair with a twist; Outside the crazy congested areas of town; Good value for portion size and quality

The Sweet Tea (-) indicators: One server so not ideal for large groups; Limited hours open only during the week

Be the first to offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about The Sweet Tea. Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments. - THANKS!

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Dough Religion. CLOSED, March. 2017

Fast fired pizza works in busy lunch stop

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

DRstorefrontIf you haven't heard about Dough Religion on University Ave in front of the Burrito Brothers Taco Co., and behind the ooZoo bar it should be your next lunch time pizza lunch stop. In the first place, if you are on a timed lunch break, this mid-town lunch stop cooks your pizza in 3 minutes. The fast fired pizza ingredients are fresh and local when available. The option of choosing your pizza sauce from red, spicy red, white, or green choices make for an interesting personal pizza pie. That's correct, GLOBers, pie. You're not getting your Italian lunch by the slice at the Dough Religion. Lunch will be a nine-inch pizza with "traditional pizza dough using an artisan baking process to create a crispy, airy crust."

 

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Dough Religion offers Signature Pizzas or Dream Pizzas, the latter being a create-your-own pizza with unlimited toppings for $7.95. The have-it-your-way, fast-causal process also includes salad where you indicate what you want on 4 different types of salad greens. There isa complete menu at the restaurant link below this review.

The Dough Religion owners thought enough of the building's heritage to preserve one of the outer walls from the building that preceded theirs, which housed a religious establishment, thus the 'divine' name for the restaurant that combines pizza dough and religious faith.

 

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I walked into ooZoo/ Dough Religion from the University Ave entrance for lunch on a weekend and was greeted with happy ooZoo patrons celebrating brunch in a bar friendly manner. As I made my way through the bar I was pleased that I left the cacophony of the bar behind me on entering a very bright, and large Dough Religion (DR) dining room. I was greeted for my late lunch with a small line and an opportunity to peruse the signs and information on DR's walls.

I have mentioned in the past I prefer to have my noon day meal readay to eat, avoiding the fast casual idea of selecting, choosing, requesting what i want for lunch.  Perhaps it was because on a Sunday lunch visit the lunch line wasn't very long and I felt no need to be quick about my choices.

 

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The Dough Religion lunch line was a typical process now comminly seen for ordering lunch these days. The signage behind the first stop where you order your pizza clearly indentifies your ingredient choices and selections.

 

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Dough Religions staffers Desiree, Left image above, and Alexis, right, were very helpful and made the ordering process a fun, customer friendly experience.

I was with the GLOB's Content Editor, Lynn Dirk, and we split a personal pan pizza and a small salad that left me thinking the size and ingredients were in the ball park with other pizza lunch stops in the way of portions and pricing.

 

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It was fun preparing our pizza for Meatless Monday with a half of pie consisting of spicy red sauce, red onions, broccoli, and artichokes. A surprising ingredient that didn't make our pizza was chopped eggplant.

 

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This was a good pizza, and Lynn mentioned she liked the yeast dough that 'puffed' up the flavorful brown crust. The spicy red sauce brought a lively heat to the pie. It was very good and by the end of the pizza I was still experiencing heat like accent marks in my mouth. I like flavor, taste, and sensation. The crunchy broccoli and the onions complemented the artichokes in a very nice way. The mozzarella cheese did a fantastic job melding all these delicious flavors together. A+ on this half of our nine inch pizza.

The other four-and-one-half- inches of our pizza has become the GLOB Master staple of pepperoni and artichokes. This was an excellent lunch pizza. In fact the spicy red sauce made this half of our lunch an A+ experience as well. The pieces of artichoke were large enough to taste, and the pepperoni texture and flavor made for a seasoned explosion in each bite.

 

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It was fun choosing our salad ingredients from the choices in the Dough Religion lunch line. The fresh arugula and spinach made a nice palate for our tomatoes, green peppers, broccoli, and some tasty crouton mixed with a very tart and tangy house vinaigrette.

Dough Religion is a very good lunch stop that left the GLOB Master thinking. "That spicy red sauce is a winner on a very interesting 9-inch lunch."

The Pluses and Minuses of Dough Religion:

Dough Religion + indicators : Different approach to a good and satisfying, quick lunch. Perfect place to share a sensible and delicious Italian mid-day meal.

Dough Religion - indicators: Parking during the week could be an issue. for the adventurous the RTS #5 bus stop is one block away.

Be the first to offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about Dough Religion. Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments. - THANKS!

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