“My father was a newspaperman, and I have been around ‘the business’ my entire life,” Sanford said. After attending college at the University of Florida College of Journalism and studying public relations, management opportunities with the New York Times Affiliated Newspaper Group pulled him back into the newspaper business.
Later in life Mike’s career trajectory was radically altered by an automobile accident resulting in severe head trauma. “ThIs event truly was, and continues to be, a life changing experience for me,” Sanford said.
Sanford cites the multi-task communication responsibilities of his first post-accident position as Director of Communications for a regional state agency as key to what he describes as his new personality: “I am now the guy that won't shut up,” Mike says. "Being a spokesperson fit me very well."
"I'm a good listener, I want to know what's going on, and nothing moves conversation forward like a great lunch!"
Lynn Dirk, Content Editor
The Gainesvile Lunch But Blog's Content Editor and Staff Writer is a medical writer/editor who LOVES soup and word play of all sorts--except Scrabble. In fact you can find her list of all the ways Bananagrams (yea!) is SO much better than Scrabble (boo!) at a story on Bananagrams at NPR.org (9th comment down!).
She has lived in Gainesville since 1969 minus 2 years. In fact, as a UF student, she lived at 121 NW 15th Terrace, where, instead of luxury apartments, there were barracks that in the student ghetto in the pic , and can trace the development along 34th St. from the time there were cow pastures on both sides of the road to when there was a very large yellow billboard with big red letters proclaiming "Cheese n' Crust Superstar" (oh, Leonardo's, how you have enriched the history of Gainesville!). The sign was located right about where UF's UF Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Institute now stands.
Speaking of Leonardo's, Lynn wonders if this happens only in Gainesville: Certain locations that start off as restaurant establishments just cannot seem to find a restaurant that works. For example, the spot where Leonardo's by the Slice currently resides was, for many years, the death knell for any restaurant that tried to occupy that space, until finally Leonardo's made it work. Recently, the same thing was happening at the corner of SW 13th St and SW 16th Ave across from Steak N Shake, but Shands has purchased that property, so that's that. Another spot was 203 SW 2nd Ave, but The Jones BSide will no doubt be a very long-term occupier of that location.
Last but not least, Lynn wishes that restaurants would include on their appetizer list a dish called "vegetable crudités" -- and it would be really fantastic if that came with bagna cauda so her eating out experience could start with a bagna, and not a whimper. The recipe for bagna cauda (from Joy of Cooking) follows for your "eatification":
Place in a heavy pot: 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup olive oil, 8 smashed anchovy filets (or maybe anchovy paste would work just as well), 2 cloves of garlic pressed. Simmer about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add: 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Serve with a platter of young vegetables, cut to bite-size, peeled and seeded, if necessary, and thinly sliced if the vegetables are fibrous. Good vegetables to use are: carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, green peppers, zucchini, cauliflower, and broccoli.
Kendall Crews. Horse Driven
Horses are Kendalls Crews' passion. She is truly driven by her love for horses. That's why her Gainesville Lunch Out BlogHorse Drive column is a perfect place to share her equine experiences. Her love for horses results in Kendall spending many hours a week at the farm, and in with her horse friends. When she is not at the barn with them she thinks about them, draws them and writes about them. Kendall feels it is her responsibility to share the horse experience with everyone. She volunteers at The Retirement Home For Horses a few times a month and takes her friends to do the same with her when they can go. Kendall has a love for traveling when she is not riding horses. She has had the opportunity to travel extensively at such young age. Some of Kendalls favorite places to visit are Las Vegas and Puerto Rico. "I love to see new places and experience different cultures. Flying in planes is fun, and I cant wait to go somewhere new."
David Lluberes, Correspondent
David Lluberes joined the Gainesville's Lunch Out Blog this summer as a GLOB Correspondent and is preparing to graduate from the University of Florida with in Linguistics. David plans io pursue a Masters Degree in Health Administration at UF next year.
David's passion for food, exploring hidden restaurants, and travel make him a perfect foodie and excellent GLOB Correspondent. "Whether it's a five star resort or a hostel, I'm always down for an adventure. One day it would be fun to be Tallahassee's Lunch Out Blog Editor," David said dreamily.
"On weekends I enjoy playing soccer with friends and actively play intramural sports at UF. My dream is to attend the 2014 World Cup in Brazil." David added enthusiastically.
Born in Orlando, David moved to Tallahassee early in life and he still calls Florida's capital his home. When asked about upcoming adventure plans, he replied: "Although I'm currently working in the Deans Office at the UF College of Dentistry, I hope to teach English abroad next summer."
Lisa Renshaw: Web Guru
Lisa Renshaw is owner of Blu Dove Designs, a small graphic design and web development company located in NW Gainesville. When Mike approached her for her help on this project it sounded like a "tasty" idea!
"How cool would it be to be able to go to one place and search for a place to eat for lunch - by location or by type of food?! Way cool! In fact, I remember only a couple of weeks before Mike came to me calling my husband asking him what Italian places there were to eat lunch at on a particular side of town. He could only think of one and yet we knew there were plenty of other lunch spots....wouldn't it be nice if..."
So you take idea guy - Mike Sanford - plus web developer team - Blu Dove Designs and you get Gainesville's Lunch Out Blog.
I'm proud to have worked on this project with Mike. It has been a learning experience for all of us and has come a long way since the initial idea. I'm looking forward to authoring some restaurant stories as well as helping the site continue to grow in functionality and in readership.
I love eating lunch out when I can to catch up with friends or to meet a client to talk over an idea. Now I have a site that I can use to find the perfect spot!
Cheers to you Mike for a great idea! Thank you for involving us in your project!
Tonya Upton, Communications Director
Berlin Germany born, Daytrippin' driven Tonya Marie Upton left her corporate logistics career after fifteen years to pursue her inner passion of writing and traveling. "Fifteen years in the daily grind of the corporate world was enough for me. I experienced a moment in my life that screamed to me, it's now or never."
The Daytripper now realizes she has always been a free spirit. "Corporate restrictions bound me, and disconnected me from my true calling," Tonya said. After deciding to follow her passion the transition was difficult at first because she had become programmed to identify herself with her career status.
It didn't take long for Tonya to reconnect with herself, and her inner dreams. "Moving to a new area is always an adventure, and the Gainesville Lunch Out Blog has provided me with many clues to discovering my new town," T.M. Upton said.
"I am very happy to have the opportunity to share my Day Tripper discoveries with GLOB readers. I think sometimes it's easy, when we live somewhere long enough, to pass by interesting places without stopping, and noticing unique landmarks and vistas."
"I hope my Day Tripping features will help GLOBers rediscover the interesting and fun benchmarks of our world."
Val Leitner, LOCAL Digest Columnist
Gainesville Lunch Out Blog LOCAL Digest Columnist Val Leitner is President of Blue Oven Kitchens Inc., a not-for-profit kitchen incubator serving North Central Florida. BOK's mission is to foster a whole-system approach to the sustainable growth of the North Central Florida food system. Val has Masters Degree in English from the Univ. of Florida and enjoys incorporating sustainability into her life as much as possible.
Kate Valdovinos, Gainesville Greens Columnist
Kate Valdovinos joined the Gainesville Lunch Out Blog as the Gainesville Greens salad columnist in January of 2013 as the GLOB's salad "expert," though her expertise is based more on her love for salad perfection than on salad esoterica. As an omnivore, Kate had difficulty finding salads at restaurants that catered to meat eaters, so she began jotting down info about good salads at every restaurant she went to. This soon became a quest for the perfect salad - whether it had meat on it or not - and spawned her website, Kate's Gainesville Salads Blog.com. Kate believes that a good salad is well-thought out, with all the ingredients coming together to complement each other.
"Aside from fresh ingredients, the most important part of a salad is the dressing," Kate says. "It brings all the other ingredients together and can really make or break a salad. Gainesville has some great restaurants. Some of my favorite lunch stops for salads are the Paramount Grill downtown and Tempo Bistro-to-Go. The menus at those restaurants were made by true fans of salad and/or the chefs are exceptionally good cooks," the Gainesville Greens columnist added.
Kate received a degree in Journalism from UW-Milwaukee. In her free time, Kate tries to relax as much as possible and enjoy the Florida sunshine. Growing up in Oregon, Wisconsin, Kate appreciates every sunny day, especially during winter. She enjoys spending time with friends, playing guitar and singing, reading, visiting her dad in Tampa, and hanging out at her favorite websites -- www.neatorama.com and www.knowyourmeme.com. Now she also enjoys trying new salads at Gainesville restaurants and sharing her visit online.
"I love to share good (and bad) experiences on my blog, but one of the best things that my salad blog has done for me is prevent me from eating the same salad a million times," Kate said. "It's really opened me up to a world of local and fresh ingredients and helped me explore Gainesville. I know the GLOB will take that even further because I'll be highlighting seasonal veggies, farmers markets, healthy eating, and interesting ingredients. I'm excited about relaying all of my green findings to new friends and readers of the GLOB."