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Bahama Breeze

The Pluses and Minuses of the Bahama Breeze:

Bahama Breeze (+) indicators:

Bahama Breeze (-) indicators: 

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

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Keke's Breakfast Cafe

Customer friendly staffer makes lunch special

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

KEKEsf250I'm not a big Butler Plaza fan. I need a good reason to dive into a shopping area that probably rivals in size a lot of the cities, and towns that comprise North Central Florida. The Traffic in the parking lots are closer to every man for himself bumper cars, than folks looking to park their automobile. Driving lanes be damned.

Everybody is in a hurry for one reason or another.

Interesting company, excellent conversation sends me to the land of SUVs, compacts, 4-wheel drives, trucks, mighty big cars, trucks, and Hybrids every time.

Once a month I venture to the BP Walmart for another prescription of insulin because it is extraordinarily cheaper at the Walmart Pharmacy. Adhering to the two-birds-one-stone idea I decided to walk across the paved parking lots to check out what has become a very popular breakfast house for lunch.

 

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Keke's has 30 restaurants canvassing Florida. The Florida chain was founded in 2006 by brothers Kevin and Keith Mahen, hence the name Keke's. According to the Keke's website there are seven more Keke's in the planning stages.

Apparently this is a franchise formula that is working. It also explains why students, and visiting out of towners, possess a strong comfort zone feeling for breakfast at this big box location all day, every day . All Keke's Café breakfast is served all day, every day Cafe and all the keke's locations are open daily 7:00am to 2:30pm.

The GLOB Master enjoys a good breakfast.

So I was ready to see what makes this Breakfast/lunch stop popular for the morning meal.

It was a late lunch for me which turned out fine because there were not that many customers in the restaurant. Keke's has an interesting 'booth seating only' concept where everyone can enjoy the privacy of high cubicle walls eliminating extraneous noise. That said it did leave me with a feeling of waiting in my library cubicle for my Keke's experience.

KEKESkylie200I was quickly greeted by the friendly Keke's Server, UF college student, and Bunnell citizen Kylie Jeesmer who joined me for some conversation. Kylie is finishing up SFC and is ready to transfer into UF's a College of business with plans for Marketing degree and was very helpful in answering my questions and deciding on lunch.

Keeping the franchise spirit in mind they have a giant menu of of choices including WAFFLES, PANCAKES, CREATE YOUR OWN COMBOS, FRENCH TOAST, STUFFED FRENCH TOAST, OMELETS. POACHED EGG MEALS, EGG FAVORITES, SIDEs, KID'S BREAKFAST, and BEVERAGES. And that is just for breakfast GLOBers.

I guess to some the Keke's Lunch menu would appear unremarkable with the usual PANINIS, SANDWICHES, BURGERS, WRAPS, SALADS, SUBSTITUTIONS & SIDES, KID'S LUNCH, and BEVERAGES.

I'm not counting how many choices that makes for a meal.

I do find it daunting, eye crossing that I must spend thirty minutes before lunch querying food data for a good lunch.

This is where a smart, expert on the menu server like Kylie becomes invaluable to my mid-day consumption.

 

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"If you like spicy the Southwest Turkey Club with turkey breast, tomato, pepper jack cheese, Texas petal sauce and bacon is one of my favorites, (10.48)." Kylie said.

Ms. Jessmer agreed that since this was my forts visit to the breakfast house I should include an over easy fried egg to my lunch to make this an official breakfast/lunch visit.

KEKESpetasauceIt was a good lunch highlight by interesting Keke's Texas Petal Sauce that included horseradish, paprika, salt, oregano, black, and cayenne pepper. The pepper Jack cheese was notable and added flavor. The roasted turkey plank had a modicum of flavor. However I wish they asked me whether I wanted the turkey with, or without grill marks. Do you think there are boxes of turkey planks in the fKeke's reezer that are marked "WITH, and Boxes marked "WITHOUT GRILL MARKS?"

The Pluses and Minuses of the Keke's Breakfast Cafe:

Keke's Breakfast Cafe (+) indicators:  Popular, wide ranging menu, friendly service, interesting menu suggestions. Eating a meal, sharing conversation with friends, trying out new menus, there are a lot of reason to enjoy lunch. A big GLOB thank you to Kylie Jessmer for making my Keke's lunch special.

Keke's Breakfast Cafe  (-) indicators:  Breakfast houses are becoming more popular all the time. Long lines, frantic experiences, waiting to order eggs? To me it seem like a good reasons to eat local . . .

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

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Electric Ramen

The Pluses and Minuses of Electric Ramen

Electric Ramen (+) indicators:

Electric Ramen  (-) indicators: 

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

Read more...

afternoon opens on NW 10th Ave.

October 9, 2017 – The afternoon restaurant has opened on NE 10th Ave. This lunch stop is serving a mid-day meal with a brunch attitude. Co-Owner Grace Gannon has just relocated back to Gainesville from Seattle and is excited about showing Gainesville how they do food on the NW coast. The fast casual approach to lunch with counter service, locally sourced products and several teas and coffees including black, green and herbal tea, and Panther drip coffee, and Tea-Project Hot teas selections from Seattle.  Afternoon Entrees are available with a meatless attitude including Whipped Feta Toast, and White Corn Grits. Meat proteins are available to add to your meal as extras. There another six entrees including several sandwiches and the Shakshouka -- tomato baked eggs, za'atar, and sourdough toast. The brunch/lunch stop is open every day except Wednesday from 9-4:00

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ShulasSTEAKhilton

Shula's American Steakhouse opens on SW 34th St.

Gainesville now has a steakhouse serving lunch seven days a week from 11:30-2:00 on SW 34th St in the University of Florida Hilton Conference Center, 1714 SW 34th St. Founded by Miami Dolphins football coaching legend Don in 1989, and today encompasses several restaurant brands with nearly 30 locations spanning nine states Shula's presents a complete lunch menu including appetizers, Lunch Salads and Knife and Fork sandwiches including the French Onion Burger with caramelized onions, double Gruyère cheese, garlic herb mayo and crushed croutons on a brioche style bun ($15). The complete steak menu is available at lunch. FOLLOW THIS LINK for a complete Shula's menu.

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BIGMILLSsf

Big Mill's Cheesesteak opens on NW 13th St.

September 25, 2017 – There is a new cheesesteak and hot dog stand at 2111 NW 13th St. Next to Adam's Rib Co. You have one week left for their September special of a Big Mill's Chicago Style Cheesesteak for $8.75. Big Mill's Cheesesteaks is all about carnivores, and meat proteins. With hot dogs, sausage subs, and cheesesteak subs, both steak or chicken. Chicago native Keith Miller has been selling his sandwiches on game days and he decided it was time to give Big Mill's 100 per cent of his attention. With a menu featuring cheesesteak sub sandwiches you can try the BM Cheesesteak in either angus sirloin beef, or chicken breast. The menu includes four kinds of sausage sandwiches including a combo steak and sausage sub. In addition to hot dogs Big Mills also serves a hamburger, meatball sub and three salads. Open Monday – Saturday at 11:00 FOLLOW THIS LINK for a complete Big Mill's Cheesesteaks menu

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082217DavesSF

August 22, 2017 – Dave's New York Deli has opened a second location, Dave's NY Deli Express at the corner of Tower Road and Archer road in the Park Lane Plaza next to Dominos Pizza.. The new deli serves the same NY Bagels, Opus Coffee, Pastrami, Corned Beef, hot and cold subs, sandwiches and more as the Dave's NY Deli in Tioga Town Center on Newberry Rd. Both restaurants are open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch, 7:30 to 3:00 M-F and 8:30-3:00 Saturday and Sunday.

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1pizzaPLUSsf

1 Pizza Plus opens on NW 23rd Ave

August 10, 2017 – 1 Pizza Plus has opened for business in the building that formerly housed Lisa's Corner Café on NW 23rd Ave. near Salvation Army. In addition to 16 different specialty pizzas, whole pies, and pizza by the slice, the menu includes The menu includes pastas, baked chicken wings, toasted and cold sub sandwiches, and six different made-to-order salads. 1PP is open Monday thru Saturday from 11 am - 8 pm. The Owner, Mike Case, who formerly owned I LOVE NY Pizza, has plans in the works to sell beer and to create a mozzarella bar at a later date.

 

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TSCsfMH600

Tropical Smoothie opens 2nd location

August 4, 2017 - The Tropical Smoothie Café at 4125 NW 16th Blvd. will open its doors today with a Grand Opening starting at 7:00 this morning. Free samples, giveaways and a free smoothies for a year will be available for the first 50 customers Friday morning. TSC owner Dhairya Chaudhari is opening his second Tropical Smoothie franchise with the first located South of Archer Rd. at 3345 SW 34th St. Primarily a dessert stop TSC serves a varied menu of wraps, sandwiches, flatbreads, bowls and salads. A savory smoothie is available in the Avocolada consisting of avocado, pineapple, spinach, kale, coconut & lime as well as the Watermelon Mojito. Open seven days at 7:00 in the morning serving a light breakfast menu. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

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AmerquanaSF

Wood fired pizza moves into Cairo Grill buidling

August 4, 2017 - Another artisan pizza shop has opened on NW 43rd St. in the old Cairo Grille restaurant building. Rising from the food truck ashes Ameraucana wood fired pizza ls now serving what they describe as "PRE-INDUSTRIAL STYLE WILD YEAST SOURDOUGH PIZZA" in their new restaurant at 2410 NW 43rd St. Currently Ameraucana serves appetizers they call Small Plates that includes salads, meatball, and Marinated Olives with Burnt Citrus & Rosemary. Three desserts are available and six pizzas starting at $10. The Fromage A Trois pizza caught the GLOB Master's eye with Fior Di Latte, Gorgonzola, Parmesan, thinly sliced red onions, Fresh oregano, olive oil. pancetta, and other additional toppings. Open Tuesday – Saturday beginning at 5:00, lunch hour plans will be discussed at a later date. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

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BbreezeSF

Bahama Breeze opens in Butler Plaza

BbreezeMEGHANJuly 26, 2017 – The Caribbean islands have opened for lunch in Butler Plaza world Mon'. Located at 3989 Plaza Blvd. This big box lunch stop -- with 43 plus locations in 13 states – opens the door to tropical island cuisine in SW Gainesville. Drinks with parasols, an every day lunch special, and a menu with 40 plus entrees including Appetizers. Snacks & Small Plates. Soups, Side Salads, Entree Salads, Steak & Beef, Pork, Seafood, Rice Bowls, Chicken, Burgers, Tacos, Sandwiches, Lunch Combos, Fresh Catches. Appetizers. Snacks & Small Plates. Soups, Side Salads, Entree Salads, Steak & Beef, Pork, Seafood, Rice Bowls, Chicken, Burgers, Tacos, Sandwiches, Lunch Combos, Fresh Catches, await your mealtime delight. A dessert menu with seven choices, and a kid's menu category featuring seven selections including hamburgers, Mac 'n Cheese, and chicken tenders are also available. Bahama Breeze has live music in the evenings, handcrafted island cocktails, happy hour drink specials Mon.- Fri, from 4 – 6:00. A late night happy hour continues the evening Sun. – Thurs. from 9:00 to closing with beer, wine, cocktails, and premium Tequilas. Now GLOBer. Is that big box enough for you? FOLLOW THIS LINK for more Bahama Breeze information I might I have missed.

 

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ElectricRsf

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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032117CuriaSF.jpg

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
Read more...

Piper Gi's

'Looking glass lunch,' wows GLOB Master

PGssfBy Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

I just ate the best Corned Beef Sandwich of my life.  I also enjoyed the most unique lunch experience I have had in some time.  It was as close to eating in someone's kitchen as you could get.

I was having flashbacks of driving through the old In-&-Out, a two-lane, burger drive thru on SW 2nd Avenue, to pick up a double cheeseburger all the way, a giant order of fries, and a large soda on my way to work at the Gainesville Sun when it was at the Sun Plaza location. Then I was slapped back into reality by Piper G's chef, owner, and brother, Jacob Reisch, filling the order window and confidently bragging about his new Piper Gi's hand-crafted soups and sandwiches that bring love back to food one sandwich at a time.

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"It may cost a little more, Mike," Jacob said as he leaned at the window, "but look what you're getting: Homemade side items. We brine and age all of our meats. We buy locally whenever we can, including bread from the Vine Bakery,' he added enthusiastically.

"Piper Gi's specializes in hand-crafted sandwiches, soups and salads. We feature house cured bacon, oven roasted meats, scratch-made aiolis, chips and side," he continued and then paused to catch his breath.

And so began a refreshingly different lunch experience for me where I felt I was immediately accepted into the Piper Gi's family.

I still wasn't sure about picnic tables in the drive thru or the grassy area east of the building.

 

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"It's perfect Gainesville," GLOB Content Editor, Lynn Dirk said. "Like Satchel's Pizza and Public and General, the outdoor eating space has originality and creativity.  Also, it's beautiful out here with the plants and the shade from the trees that will keep it cool in the summer,' Lynn said, waving her hand toward the a family with children gleefully playing at the next table.  "Plus, the women's bathroom is perfectly charming, with nicely framed, fun positive messages. My favorite is 'Be-YOU-tiful!'"

Mike!" Piper's owner Jacob yelled from the pick-up window. "Your lunch is ready." 

PGsSTYROLiker I was in  'Wonderland' gazing through the looking glass', I picked up the styrofoam containers holding our lunches.

"We understand the dissatisfaction of using the styrofoam and we are working on that.  Also we will be getting a beer and wine license," Jacob said.

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The Piper Gi's menu categories are Subs & Sandwiches, Soups and Salads, and sides. Among the many interesting sounding side items I plan to try on future visits are the Pepper Jack Queso and the potato salad, which is described as a weekly rotation of whatever tickles our fancies.

There is also a list of '13 Piper Gi's Add Ons' like housemade Drunken Mustard or Roasted Garlic Bone Marrow Aioli at a la carte pricing.

"Would that Bone Marrow Aioli make my sandwich cost $20," I asked half teasingly.

"What it will make is your sandwich incredible,'" Jacob added quickly.

I was excited to try the Corned Beef sandwich. It sounded delicious with stewed cabbage, Harvarti cheese, and Drunken Mustard on a ciabatta roll. I couldn't wait and included the daily special of potato salad with sirachha sauce.

 

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The soft, flavorful ciabbata roll was perfect, and the delicious ingredients made this aa sandwich for the lunch gods. The inhouse cured corned beef was stacked high over the cabbage, and the Harvarti cheese enveloped this prize package with a mellow richness. The Drunken Mustard gave it an outstanding bite, and I will include it on any sandwich I order in the future.

Lynn was feeing courageous and ordered The Thanksgiving.

PGsTURKEY

"Now is that cold cut turkey?" Lynn asked, not being a big processed food fan.

"No ma'am," Tommy Newman said, "We roast our own turkey breasts and slice them right here," He added.

This mountain of a sandwich has your thanksgiving feast covered with oven roasted turkey, a stuffing patty, and cheddar cheese sauced with turkey gravy and house-made cranberry chutney served on ciabatta bread.  Lynn noted that, like any truly delicious sandwhich, it was quite messy, partly because of the stuffing, but she thought it was great.

Lynn and I also shared an order of panko bread-crumb coated fried cheese curds and French fries that were delicious. The cheese curds were a crunchy and chewy at the same time.

There is a complete Piper G's menu at the bottom of this review.

This Piper Gi's family proudly talks about their father being a Philly cheesesteak-cooking chef in Philadelphia. "Dad would have liked this restaurant idea," Tommy said. "We're all working for him," he added proudly.

 

PGsKIDSz

The menu is correct when it says this family is bringing love back to Hoggetowne's sandwich world. This amazing lunch stop is already grooming third generation chefs in Piper Bailee Newman, left, and Giana Jade Riesch, both 3, who are the namesakes for Piper Gi's. Photo courtesy of Gainesville Downtown and Lena Crane/Reflections of Light Photography.

 

PGsFAMILY

I'm a big sports fan and one of the disappointing things about supporting a team is when the star or other favorite player leaves for other places. This brother-sister combination of Shanti (left) Tommy (center),and Jacob (rear) are bound for greatness.

The Pluses and Minuses of Piper G's:

Piper G's (+) indicators: Delicious homemade like lunch with pride and love. Large portions big enough to share. Unique side items worth discovering, enjoying. Uniquely beautiful lunch environment and really friendly staffers.

Piper G's  (-) indicators:  There are no $5 lunch specials at piper Gi's. Think about sharing your lunch AND your lunch bill. Umbrella might be handy on bad weather days.

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

Read more...

Divot's Cafe and Banquet

Unique entrees found in 'hideaway cafe'

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

DIVOTSsfYou know how sometimes those secret, hide-away lunch stops the whole world doesn't know about makes you smile, feeling smug inside GLOBers?

I recently had one of the best hamburgers I have had in some time and it was wrapped in a burrito shell with amazingly delicious flavored chipotle sauce, lettuce, tomato, pickles, ketchup and cheese in a pressed tortilla.

I'm thinking unless you lived in the nearby 'hood you have no idea about the cozy, friendly lunch spot with an amazing menus that includes – according to lunch pal Jon Roosenraad the Divot's Eagle Cheeseburger ($7.99) with bacon, lettuce, tomato, pickle slices and ketchup on a toasted bun-- one of the best hamburgers he has had in some time.

"There are good burgers all over Gainesville but this is one of the best Excellent beef that stayed juicy cooked to perfection at medium well (that's right – cook the damn thing). But what also made this one was the very thick and tasty hickory bacon. Would like to try that alone in a BLT," Roosenraad said between bites

 

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"The standard fries with the burger were hardly "standard" – seasoned to perfection and no need for ketchup. I think the only other fries in town that are similar are at Piesanos," Roosenraad added.

Keep in mind that quote is coming from a long time, thrifty, Michagander that is very careful with his pennies and his compliments.

 

DIVOTSdining

With a golf course theme the cafés menu categories on the menu are themed with clever sports idioms like putting greens, Hole-In-Ones, and Par for the grill. An extensive menu of 'Lunch or Later Hot Hole in Ones' that includes unique, tasty sounding Half Pound Fried Mushrooms, Half Pound Crispy Broccoli Cheddar Bites, the Triple Bogey which is Mushrooms, and Broccoli Bites.  And look at this GLObers! This menu contains Jalapeno Cream Cheese Poppers Bites and sauces. I love fried cheese poppers . . .

Eight entrees are included in the Buddy Favorites list including hot dogs, wraps, and a yummy sounding Country Fried Steak Plate ($6.99), consisting of 2 fried beef steak patties with mashed potatoes, both covered with country gravy.

You can close out this round of lunch entrees with 5 Hamburgers, and also five familiar sounding sandwiches.

It was looking like I was going to select a burger and forego the bun when I came across the Chipotle Cheeseburger Burrito. ($7.99) In a city with more burrito shops than should be allowed GLOBers, if I was meeting someone for lunch and they asked for the best burrito in town I would have no problem directing them to this 'across the interstate lunch stop.'

Jonny is correct the Hamburger in my Burrito was really flavorful and juicy. The two halves of my Mexican Sammie were big enough to share. The ingredients were fresh, and the chipotle sauce made the burrito really special with a tangy hint of heat and flavor.

 

Burrito!480

I'm thinking it was the chipotle sauce combining with the other flavors made this burrito one of my better tortilla wrapped lunch surprises.

The café was clean and well attended with several tables. As we were leaving the café appeared to be filling up with lunch time regulars.

You know GLOBers I an almost reluctant talk much more about Divot's Café and Banquet Oh, Alright, FORE ON THE WEST SIDE! This excellent, intimate, friendly café on West Gainesville's Meadowbrook Golf Course certainly deserves you consideration if you're an all beef, carnivore kind of lunch time person.

The Pluses and Minuses of Divot's Cafe and Banquet:

Divot's Cafe and Banquet (+) indicators: Great sandwiches, burgers, prize winning hamburger burrito.

Divot's Cafe and Banquet  (-) indicators:  This cafe is hidden away in NW Gainesville off the regular 'eating path'

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Relish, Archer Rd.

The Pluses and Minuses of Relish:

Relish (+) indicators:

Relish  (-) indicators: 

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Curia on the Drag

'Alternative lunch' takes on new meaning

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

CURIAlunchWhen plans were made to meet friends at CURIA on the DRAG on NW 6th St. for lunch, I was expecting something different, but I didn't think I would be a gastronomical stranger in an alternative lunch world.

The CURIA on the DRAG collection of shops, boutiques, and coffee - tea cafe is an interesting group of unique, alternative ideas centered under the concept of creating a community space for individuals to hang out and share thoughts and ideas.

Back to the alternative lunch world:  CURIA describes its lunch menu as plant based.

Now I've been to my share of health food bars, veggie cafes, all natural lunch stops, meatless diners, pubs, juice bars, and restaurants, but this was my first trip to a 100 per cent vegan, plant-based restaurant.

The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines VEGAN thus:

A strict vegetarian who consumes no food (as meat, eggs, or dairy products) that comes from animals; also : one who abstains from using animal products (as leather).

Needless to say I was curi-OUS what was for lunch at the CURI-a.

I like vegetables. They comprise a very important part of my new diet of trying very hard to avoid excessive carbohydrates, the ultimate nemesis, of my daily battle with Type 2 Diabetes

CURIAlynnJANE

I imagined a flurry of different colored question marks hovering over our table as Jane Osmond (image above left), Mark Olson, Lynn Dirk (image above right), and I scanned the CURIA menu looking for something delicious and familiar for lunch.

"I have always thought vegans failed Marketing 101 when they describe what they are eating," I said, searching for the "just like ground beef' or 'almost like chili but only better" descriptions. "To me it sounds like they are apologizing for a second class entrée that didn't quite make the standard," I added.  Jane, on the other hand, thought that foods should not be presented as substitutes but described as unique.

 

CURIAtacosalad

In the meantime, I spied "breaded fishless filets" on the CURIA menu in the description of Baja Tacos with Mac 'n Cheese.

The Baja tacos (image at top) sounded interesting and my thought was, if you combine all the ingredients in a corn meal wrap, you don't really know what you are eating anyway. The tacos were delicious. The crunch of their fishless fish was a nice complement to red cabbage slaw, greens, avocado, and chipotle-lime dressing. The double wrapped taco shells were a special toasted flavor treat that would easily make tacos my choice next time I have a CURIA lunch.

My lunch partners were pleased with their lunch choices:

zzGLOBbullet Mark selected the Villy sandwich and Mac 'n Cheese and enjoyed the melted cheese like flavor combined with sliced smoked seitan, roasted peppers and onions, and cheese sauce on a toasted hoagie roll. Lynn tasted the Mac 'n Cheese and thought the pasta was overdone, however.

JANESpanini

zzGLOBbullet Jane was pleased with her Jackfruit Quesdailla, a pressed sandwich of shredded BBQ jackfruit, pepper jack cheese, grilled jalapeno, cashew cream.

http://www.thejackfruitcompany.com/what-is-jackfruit/

 

CURIAsalad

zzGLOBbullet Lynn was happy with her Korean Noodle Salad with many familiar crudités including roasted mushrooms, sauteéd carrots, massaged kale, gochujang-tahini dressing. (Massaged kale?)

It was a fun lunch adventure and a special treat to see a table of completely different mid-day entrees available that we all enjoyed and enjoyed talking about.

 

CURIAdining

The clean, fresh looking dining area added much to the lunch time ambience, and if you are CURIOUS to try something uniquely different, ALMOST just like yesterday's mainstream lunch, then CURIA on the Drag is the place for you.

013017Bulla2The Pluses and Minuses of the Curia:

Curia (+) indicators: Unique addition of non mainstream ingredients creating interesting flavor profiles. Curia has a Cuban menu available celebrating the Bulla Cubana taking place through the end of March.

Curia  (-) indicators: The GLOB Master isn't ready for a daily, completely alternative, lunch palette.

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Longhorn Syeakhouse

The Pluses and Minuses of the Longhorn's Steakhouse

Longhorn's Steakhouse (+) indicators:

Longhorn's Steakhouse  (-) indicators: 

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Tropical Smoothie Cafe, NW 16th Blvd.

Breakfast sandwich works for GLOB Master

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

TSCsfMH600The new Tropical Smoothie on NW 23rd Blvd. near Leonardo's Pizza in the Pan serves breakfast all day, and the GLOB Master thinks the Southwest Omelet Wrap is at the top of the TS menu. How good is the Tropical Smoothie breakfast wrap, GLOBers? It is a breakfast sandwich that rivals my Bagel Bakery breakfast triumvirate, and it is half the price of a bagel, small muffin, and large soda.

I'm thinking I am going to like this fresh fruit, 7:00 am breakfast addition at the corner of NW 43rd St. and 16th Blvd.

 

TROPsmoCUSTOMER

There is an order counter and a few tables to lunch on. Kudos to the TS franchise designer for using very large images on the wall. I learned in the old newspaper days an average photograph will become very dramatic if you can make it large enough. It works at this restaurant.

The dining area is clean and the counter to place order is smart and trendy. A big thank you to the smoothie gods for figuring out how to reduce the noise of multiple blenders grinding, crunching, and smoothing practically anything in sight.

Right up there with very good entrees and smoothies are the Tropical Smoothie staffers manning this breakfast/lunch stop.

 

TROPsmoSTAFF

From left: Sheena Cooper, TS Manager Amber Johnson, and Ashley Long have the morning grind figured out. Now, granted, I am there on the way early side of 8 am. So recently when the tune MY SHARONNA blared out of the speaker extremely loudly, it was cool see Amber and her staff getting down and doing serious dancing–WOOO HOOO!

TROPsmoDOCKTropical Smoothie specializes in liquid lunches so GLOB Content Editor Lynn Dirk and I decided on two smoothies described as Supercharged Smoothies. The healthy smoothies that didn't appear as too sugary are the Avocolada, with avocado, pineapple, spinach, kale, coconut & lime juice ($4.99) and the Peanut Paradise Smoothie with peanut butter, banana, non-fat yogurt, and choice of protein ($4.99). Protein choices are whey, soy, or pea. Smoothies come in 24-ounce cups.

The smoothies were very good. Lynn suggested the peanut for me as I always need a little more protein in my bones and muscles. I added whey for additional protein and this was a very yummy drink. The banana flavor was pronounced but I could taste the peanut butter. This smoothie was very easy to drink, and I surprised Lynn when I quickly drank the entire smoothie. And Lynn drank hers just as fast as I drank mine, maybe even faster. The one thing she wondered is whether the smoothies included any fiber because after the foam dissipated, the smoothie did not appear to have any fiber and that is a very important part of the nutrition of fruits and veggies. Research needed!

There are 11 smoothies including the Paradise Point and Mango Magic ($3.99). Super Food Smoothies include the Pomegranate Plunge and the Caribbean C-Burst ($4.99). There are also four Indulgent Smoothies.

 

TROPsmoART

There is a complete Tropical Smoothie menu at the restaurant link below. The prices are very reasonable, including a Smoothie & a Half Special where you get any smoothie and your choice of half sandwich or half salad ($6.99). A better deal is to add a 24-oz smoothie to any lunch menu item: flatbread, sandwich, wrap, salad, or two tacos for an additional $3.00. For kids, there are 12-oz Smoothies.

I offered half of my Southwest Omelet wrap with eggs, grilled chicken, pepper jack, tomatoes, spinach and chipotle mayo in a toasted flour tortilla ($4.75) to Lynn and she said it was good but unremarkable.

 

TROPsmoSAMMIE

The surprise ingredient for the GLOB Master was the Chipotle Mayo. This luscious condiment melted down into my wrap seemingly touching every other sandwich ingredient. The price at $4.75 is also surprising.

The feeling of satisfaction from the smaller than usual – for the GLOB master -- breakfast prize satisfies my morning food cravings in a very good way. I'm going back to Tropical Smoothie. Maybe I could talk Amber into a Southwest Omelet Wrap BOGO deal if I show her what a good dancer I am . . .

The Pluses and Minuses of the Tropical Smoothie Cafe:

Tropical Smoothie Cafe (+) indicators: Good, cheap breakfast sandwiches. The Caribbean Jerk Bowl sound sinteresting.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe  (-) indicators: None noted.

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