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Restaurant lunch highlights:

2017 National Pulled Pork Day

Pork plate, health coach are strange lunchmates

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

101217SONNYSarcherSFMy daughter Jana Sanford has a great sense of humor. I am fairly certain she gets it from the GLOB Master. She makes a clever remark at times about, "Going out and eating the lunch Two-Fer."

I just had an excellent GLOB Two-Fer lunch celebrating National Pulled Pork Day at Sonny's BBQ on Archer Rd. with Ayurvedic Health Coach Chaya Sharon-Heller. Chaya and I discussed the idea of Chaya writing a health column for Gainesville's Lunch Out Blog readers with a focus on personal well being, steps toward staying healthy, and how Eastern Indian philosophy and practices can easily be incorporated into your busy life and schedule.

Chaya wasn't sure how the Ayurvedic approach fit into our red meat, smoked approach to lunch.

"This is the first time I have ever been to a BBQ café for lunch Mike,' Chaya said with a look of adventure in her eyes. "I did look at the Sonny's menu online and I saw some things I thought sounded interesting,' Chaya added.

 

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I explained to my lunch partner that Sonny's was talking about a National Pulled Pork Day special with $1 Pulled Pork Sliders.

According to the Sonny's website the celebration continues through Oct. 15 with $1 off pork favorites their Redneck Egg Rolls™, Pulled Pork Sandwich, Pulled Pork Dinner and Sweet Carolina™ Sandwiches.

Kudos to Sonny's and last year's National Pulled Pork Day promotion. Sonny's broke the record for the world's largest serving of Pulled Pork last year. This year the BBQ chain is donating 2,000 pounds of pork to help local food banks, charities, and soup kitchens throughout the communities they serve.

"I'm going to save the red meat for you GLOB Master," Chaya said casting a glance toward the Sonny's Salad Bar. "I'm thinking the BBQ'ed chicken breast, and a trip to the salad bar will work for me. "

While Chaya was speaking I was imagining my plate of pulled pork and thinking about what sides my restricted carbohydrate body could enjoy.

Allie Blaue, our Sonny's Server, was delighted Chaya had investigated the menu beforehand and was very helpful in describing the good, and bad lunch options available for lunchouters with dietary restrictions.

"Now that I have that information out of the way you have to try the Redneck Egg Rolls," Allie Said with a bright look of anticipation.

 

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Our bubbly, knowledgeable partner in this lunch adventure convinced us and we ordered the egg rolls with pulled pork, homemade coleslaw and Pepper Jack cheese and side of Smokey Ranch dip.

101217SONNYppEGGRtwoChaya had a question about the MSG in the sauces and Allie quickly fixed that issue. "Why don't I also bring a couple other sauces I know are limited in their MSG," Allie happily insisted.

The egg rolls were very good with a multitude of pronounced flavors including a major portion of pulled pork. The rolls were fried to a very nice crunch and it was fun trying two of the three sauces on my rolls. With six egg rolls to share there were two left after Chaya and I enjoyed ourselves.

Now I am a Florida native and I grew up with Sonny's BBQ. I also have listened to Sonny's lovers talk incessantly about the Sonnys' BBQ Baked beans. Since I have -- unfortunately -- forsaken French fries, and other potato goodies I included an order of Beans along with an order of the cole slaw for my pork plate.

 

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The GLOB Master was astounded a the size of my lunch that would have easily fed two lunch outers. The beans were tasty, albeit I could taste a lot if sugar in the baked bean sauce. No worries as a friend would day, that didn't stop me from eating all the beans.

"Your cole slaw is really good," Chaya said taking another bite of my creamy side item.

Like the Epicurious.com commenting readers like to say I was thinking, "The cole slaw was really good with crisp chopped cabbage and flecks of carrot. When I make cole slaw I always include a little portion of horseradish sauce to the recipe . . ." The cole slaw was good, but not as good as the GLOB Master's.

My pulled pork was perfect. Tender, juicy and the other white meat was a convenient landing spot for both the mustard BBQ sauce, and the Sonny's Hot Sauce.

 

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Chaya enjoyed her BBQ-ed chicken breast. The GLOB's new Health Coach wished there had been some labeled identifiers for the all the salad bar items.

 

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I am excited about Ms. Heller joining the GLOB team to share an interesting perspective to the very important subject of good health practices and Eastern Ayurvedic thinking about our bodies.

"Talking about a Two-Fer Mike," Chaya said. "The GLOB Rx: Ayurvedic Health Coach columns are a wonderful idea," Chaya said. "I can't wait to include the GLOB Master as a shining example of how to take better control of your life."

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