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Restaurant lunch highlights:

Square 1 Burgers & Bar, CLOSED: June, 2017

Square 1 Burgers & Bar, CLOSED: June, 2017

MMbroccoliSometimes it's the little things that make a big difference in a great lunch. I chose to sit at the bar at the SW 34th St. Square 1 Burger palace because the light was better for taking lunch time images. Believe it or not, the GLOB Master was in the mood to talk. Lucky for me, but maybe not so much for Square 1 server, bar keep, UF psychology student, and very customer friendly Angela Chiarizio. After much discussion about whether eating fish or seafood, that is, pescatarian style, on Meatless Monday was a cop out, we decided staying true to meatless meant no flesh today. As an old friend said, "if it has a face, don't eat it." There is a boatload of meatless choices on the Square 1 menu, including soups, salads, a Vary Vegan Veggie Burger, a Portobello Burger, and a, ahem, Samurai Salmon burger.  More importantly, Square1 is more than happy to replace the Angus burger patty on any of their specialty burgers with a veggie patty or a portobello mushroom. The SOB-South of the Border burger, which has jack cheese, black bean and corn salsa, jalapenos, avocado and rritos with SQ1 Sooner Sauce, made my lunch time choice an easy decision. When I told Angie my mission these days is to avoid all white food things, she said that SQ1 can present any burger on a bed of lettuce instead in a bun, and that I would love it. Angie was correct GLOBers. I had a very good mushroom burger on lettuce. Once again there were so many delicious ingredients on my plate "I didn't need no stinkin' Angus burger patty," to satisfy my noon meal desires. The avocados were delicious, the bed of greens was delightful, the black bean and corn salsa was a very pleasant taste surprise. The portobello mushroom worked as a broad palate for all of these wonderfully combined tastes. The flavor surprise was the Square 1 Sooner Sauce:  a chipotle ranch sauce that is tart and mildly spicy and would be excellent on any of their burgers, potatoes, onion rings . . . maybe even off your napkin after scooping that drop up off your shirt. The side order of steamed broccoli was a fantastic burger complement. Cooked to a 'just tender' point the Brassica oleracea italic was the perfect partner to a perfect meal. If you go to Square 1 soon and sit at the bar, please tell Angie she made the GLOB Master's day last Friday!

- Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

 

SQUARE1topper

Appetizer, burgers create lunch stop winner

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

SQUAREsfTalk about putting all of your lunch ideas in one basket. Square 1 Burgers & Bar was selected as the friends of Gainesvile's Lunch Out Blog lunch meeting. That's correct -- 6 GLOBers were on a mission to find out what this popular Tampa Bay area lunch spot has to offer. The results of this Sunday lunch gathering were clear:

zzGLOBbulletInvestigate the Square 1 meatless opportunities available in particular on Monday but also any other day of the week.
zzGLOBbulletExplore what makes Square 1 hamburgers different from all the other burger options in Gainesville.
zzGLOBbulletInquire how this hamburger lunch stop is different from the other hamburger palaces in North Florida.

SQUARE1diningIt all started back in Norman, Oklahoma, in 1964 with a hamburger stand "Across the Street" from the University of Oklahoma.  After many years, restaurants, and witty hamburger names -- and a few interstates, that led to a burger restaurant in Tampa named "Square 1 Burgers" that has multiplied to eight Square 1s, including this new one in Gainesville and a new one in The Villages.

SQUARE!toastThe GLOB Master was impressed that we were about to enjoy a hamburger lunch with friends but I didn't have to stand in a line or wait for my order to show up wrapped in restaurant paper. This a real dining establishment and takes the art of eating protein on a bun seriously.

Thinking Meatless Monday, I was happy that four of the six GLOBers were self-confessed healthy eaters in the form of GLOB Advertising Manager Gary Miller and his wife Becky, who are practicing non-meat eaters, GLOB Content Editor Lynn Dirk, and GLOB friend, Michele Silver, who both lean  seriously to the meatless side of lunch. The meatless options can be perused at the Square 1 menu at the restaurant link below.  Also below the Urban GLOB Map is a slide show of the six lunch entrees we enjoyed at this Square 1 Preview.

SQUARE1onionRINGSAfter considerable debate over clever sounding appetizers like Frito Chile Pie, Sun Dried Tomato and Artichoke Hummus, and Fried Jalapenos, we agreed on the Homemade Double-Dipped Onion Rings. Desiree Wolfson, our Square 1 server, helped in our decision by informing us the O-rings were stacked high and could feed all six of us. She was correct on both counts about these very-crispy-but-without-a-trace-of-greasiness, made-on-the premises rings of appetizer joy. In fact after everyone shared this onion tree, there were several rings to take home, and Gary stepped up to the plate (so to speak).

DesireeBeignetKudos and much thanks to Desiree Wolfson, image right holding a bag of SQ! Zepps, our server in letting us know that on Wednesdays during happy hour this $9 appetizer is available for $3.

Another unique side item is the Fried Macaroni & Cheese. Oh man. These fried, cheesy little blocks of heart-stopping-bliss are really good, with small perfecly cooked macaroni and a crispy browned coating.

Square 1 has creating their own sandwiches down to a science. You can get an assortment of proteins --ground turkey, ground lamb, ground buffalo, salmon, pulled pork, and hot dogs and of meatless options -- veggie burger, portobello mushroom, or grilled cheese.  In fact, we were requested to order as wide a variety as possible so that everyone at the table could report to each other about the other options. Conversation at our table, hnowever, waned as we each discovered the tasty surprises of our lunch:

Michele Silver and Becky Miller commented on the unique flavor the artichoke hummus, sun-dried tomatoes, and avocado of the Square1 Veggie patty and agreed they would order their sandwiches again.

Gary Miller was pleasantly surprised with the volume of the two kinds of cheese, tomato, pickle and mayo sandwiched by toasted sourdough bread.

Andy Caldwell had never heard of eggs on hamburgers before and really liked the breakfast protein addition for lunch.

The Poblano Peno Chesseburger increased my heart rate, and the heat from the yummy Poblano pepper was just the right temperature to get the GLOB Master smiling.

SQUARE1beinentFYI Square 1 Burgers & Bar has a dessert tray. A dessert tray will get a restaurant an automatic gold star in my book. We opted for the SQ1 Zepps-- sweet ricotta beignets served with raspberry sauce and warm chocolate sauce. Amazingly good! They were six beignets in the bag and seven of us. A food fight ensued and I don't know who won the last Zepp, er, uh, beignet.

I'm going back to Square 1 Burgers & Bar. There are many tasty items on the menu that deserve further consideration.

The Pluses and Minuses of the Square 1 Burgers & Bar

Square 1 + indicators: A nice assortment of excellent lunch options. Onion rings are amazing. The griiled cheese sandwich is my next Square 1 adventure.

Square 1 – indicators: Square 1 is in what I like to call the Archer Road Triangle. Leave your name with someone. Dial 911 if you become concerned for your safety.

Be sure to offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about Square1 Burgers.  Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments.  - THANKS!

Last modified onTuesday, 27 June 2017 18:35

Additional Info

  • Phone Number: 352 376-5111
  • Address: 3105 SW 34th St.., Gaineville, FL
  • Urban GLOB Location: 34th Street
  • Latitude: 29.625105
  • Longitude: -82.37194
From:

3 comments

  • Bob Zulu
    Bob Zulu Tuesday, 27 June 2017 08:59 Comment Link

    Square One Burgers is closed. Gone. Anyone know what happened?

  • Jim Conner
    Jim Conner Monday, 22 August 2016 19:54 Comment Link

    As a two year vegetarian/preparation, I had assumed that Square 1 would have few options for me. Your review, however, has put them on my list to re-visit.

  • Patrick
    Patrick Friday, 15 August 2014 13:00 Comment Link

    SQUARE! looks good and a Bar. $12 for a hamburger ? Forget it

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