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Keke's Breakfast Cafe

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

Keke's Breakfast Cafe (+) indicators:

Keke's Breakfast Cafe  (-) indicators: 

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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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...

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.

Be the first to offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about Tropical Smoothie 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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Fresh Corner

The Pluses and Minuses of the Fresh Corner:

Fresh Corner (+) indicators:

Fresh Corner (-) indicators: 

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

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Maple Street Biscuit Company

Southern food with a fresh spin

By: Melissa Kahan, GLOB Correspondent

KAPLEbiscuitSFI know I am a broken record touching once more on my love for brunch and everything it embodies:  a relaxing, late breakfast, preferably with bubbly booze and good company, is the perfect cap to the weekend.

More specific than my love of brunch is my love of quality biscuits. Those warm, fluffy breakfast accompaniments, often used as a bed for any type of jam, sauce, or breakfast item you can think of, are a staple of my brunch fare. I will order biscuits from whereever I go. Imagine my overwhelming delight when I learned a restaurant specializing in biscuit-based dishes was coming to Gainesville. In fact, it was a restaurant I have previously dined at in Jacksonville, where it originated.

A name like 'Maple Street Biscuit Company' holds a lot of weight in my book. Apparently, I am not alone: According to Director/Managing Partner of the restaurant chain, Troy Gibson, in four years the biscuit-lovers' paradise has only spent $250 in advertising for eight locations. That's it.

"We just haven't had to," Troy said. "People know about us."

 

MSBcounterA

A couple tables mirrored each other outside the front door: The majority of tables were filled with families, students and the like, with a few hungry patrons occupying the high-top stools lining much of the interior.

MSBfriendAThe first thing you come to is the line of potential customers at the counter check-out line. I was almost glad that a handful of people were anxiously waiting to order before me, as the biscuit-themed menu was much more extensive than I had remembered with 17 options, not including sides or beverages. On seeing the description of the Sticky Maple, a biscuit sandwich of fried chicken, bacon, and Bissell Family Farm maple syrup, I had flashbacks to the day over a year ago in Jacksonville when I practically inhaled every bite of the delicious meal. But I wanted to try something new, of course.

My new coworker, Katherine, dared to join me for a food adventure. She had never heard of Maple Street. She strolled in and was quick to choose the Five and Dime. I also had my eye on it, so what does any good food adventurer do? Make sure her dining companion is OK with ordering multiple items to share to get the most of the experience.

So in addition to the Five and Dime, we ordered, on Troy's recommendation, the Squawking Goat, which is a combination of the Loaded Goat and the Squawk on the Street. Of course, I had to order the loaded hashups and sweet potato fries as sides. The total came to around $26.  I also can't resist ordering sweet potato fries whenever tehy are on the menu.

MSBdeftonesAfter taking our order, the lady at the counter asked, "What's your favorite band?" Less than 10 minutes went by before cries of "Deftones, Deftones!" rang throughout the rustic-style space, which was Katherine's favorite band and how they called us over to grab our meals. There is a complete menu at the restaurant link below.

 MSBchickenBISKET

Let's start with the Five and Dime: According to Troy, it is the most popular item, and I can see why:  a waterfall of sausage gravy "with a little kick" oozing over a fried egg, pecan wood-smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, and one of the best breakfast fried chicken breasts I've consumed. It was a mouthful with the flaky biscuits attempting to hold it together, but the flavor combination was extremely satisfying. It was a modern take on a quintessential breakfast dish condensed into an overflowing taste explosion.

MSBevrythng

Although a bit less explosive, the Squawking Goat was delicious in its own way (image at top). That signature, homemade biscuit enveloped another perfectly-crisped, plump fried chicken breast and the creamiest fried goat cheese medallion. It is such a powerful cheese, and it made a statement doused with a generous helping of the house-made pepper jelly, which gave the ideal sweetness to contrast with the rich, salty cheese and chicken. Even on its own, the biscuit was pretty good. Maybe not the absolute best I've ever had, but it was not soggy. Nothing is worse than a soggy biscuit.

 

MSBfries

The sweet potato fries were some of the best I have ever had, which is attributed to not only the massive size of each fry but quality you could taste. These had never seen a freezer. I could eat them every day, and I have tried more sweet potato fries than I could ever count. This was Katherine's first sweet potato fry experience, and she was just as blown away as I was. It seemed we agreed on most everything.

MSBpotatoesHAM

I remember having the Hashups previously, and this time around they were pretty good. Chunks of smoked ham, red and green peppers, mushrooms, grilled onions and home fries all rested under a smattering of melted cheese for a great breakfast side dish. There is even an option to order them either with sausage gravy on top OR to replace the ham with BBQ pork(!) and top with a fried egg. I wish I could eat all of the above every day.

 

MSBplate

Troy was very generous and brought over a sample of the Smokey Mountain Mac-N-Cheese, which provided a unique twist to this Southern favorite: The five-cheese gooey pasta was topped with Cheez-It crumbs. Honestly, I thought the mac was good on its own, but I did appreciate the textural contrast. Troy insisted that every new patron receive a free Iced Cinnamon Pecan Biscuit, which tasted more like a less-intense, denser version of a cinnamon roll. The sugary treat was elevated that much higher with Maple Street's homemade B2 sauce of blueberry and blackberry flavors.

MSBbiscuit

If that wasn't enough, near the end of our dining experience, with our bellies full and palettes satiated, Troy brought over a supposed mess-up order of the Garden Bird. We had to try a bite, especially after Troy noted that the collards were not only made in house, but were the best he had ever had. While he may be biased, they were some good collards. The hot sauce really gave the biscuit sandwich of fried chicken, egg and collards a welcome kick.

Troy gave me a bit more insight into what Maple Street prides itself on, namely aiming to embody the concept of good Southern food with a smile.

MSBlunch

Scott Moore and Gus Evans started the company as mentioned in Jacksonville on November 8, 2012, as an outlet for people to be a part of a community, most notably seen in its community-style, large table seating and in gestures such as incorporating a patron's favorite band into the ordering process. The quality ingredients, clean store, and "Southern comfort food with a modern twist" are the values the chain is built on.  I do believe the company is invested in its patrons and provides quality, consistent Southern food with a fresh spin.

In addition to ordering the Bluegrass Grits cut with cream cheese as a side, my next new item will be the Chicken Club after Troy talked it up.

"The homemade ranch we use, I could eat it off my foot it's that good."

The Pluses and Minuses of the Maple Street Biscuit Company

Maple Street Biscuit Company + indicators: Friendly service, timely food, varied menu, vegetarian options, quality ingredients, built on good values so good for the community, very popular, good bang for buck, open solid hours from Mon-Thurs 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Maple Street Biscuit Company - indicators: Butler Plaza isn't always the easiest to navigate, will certainly get busy during peak hours

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

 

 

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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...

16th Ave. Diner

You're going to love Chef JP's lunch

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

16thAveDinerAI was out purchasing a Gainesville Sun paper, when I decied it was time to give the 16th Ave Diner a try. The ghosts of Karol and Bill, the former owners of this lunch stop on NE 16th Ave, could very well be floating around in another dimension inside the diner, but make no mistake GLOBers, 16th Ave. Diner Chef JP is now in charge of this lunch counter.

Chef JP is an Xtra-large individual with a tell-it-like-it-is, matter-of-fact attitude, and he takes extreme pride in the NE 16th Ave. Diner Daily Specials surprisingly called, "Chef JP's Daily Specials -- $8.99."

With true diner authenticity these mid-day gems never change, so you might want to make a copy of these five luncth time prizes:

DINERcounter

MONDAY - Meatloaf
TUESDAY - Chopped Steak
WEDNESDAY - Open-Faced Roast Beef Sandwich
THURSDAY - Country Fried Steak and Gravy
FRIDAY - Fried Cod, Fries, Hush Puppies, Coleslaw ($9.99)

The Daily Specials are served from 11-2 with two sides and a biscuit or cornbread. There are 8 side orders to choose from for your JPDS: Coleslaw, corn, fried okra, green beans, lima beans, potato salad, and mashed potatoes and gravy.

Since it was Country Fried Steak and Gravy day I was thinking a side of lima beans would be a perfect complement to the crunchy steak crust and creamy gravy.

 

DINERbeans

"Are the lima beans really good?" I asked JP, who was towering over the lunch counter looking a lot like Mr. Clean with his shiny bald dome.

The Chef leaned over closer to me with a fierce look of consternation, and with the sound of utter conviction in his voice, he said, "They're the best you've ever had."

That was good enough for me. I like this Chef JP. The 16th Ave. Diner was bustling with serious homecooked- lunchtime lovers appreciating hearty, stick to your ribs lunch entrees, and i was feeling right at home enjoying my paper and hearing JP orchestrate breakfast among this clan of hungry eaters.

I was grooving to the fact that the oldies station on the sound system was playing Elvis singing Blue Hawaii right after John Lennon's Instant Karma tune. I was enjoying a very good piece of crispy fried steak with some most excellent brown gravy when JP saunters over to make sure I was a happy customer.

"So whaddya think of the limas?" he asked.

"They are really good," I said. "I love the pinch of sweeteness the baby limas possess, and the tender texture along wihth the fresh, green crunch shows me you obviously know your lima beans Chef."

The 16th Ave. Diner is a good, fast, quick 'n tasty lunch for lunchouters in a hurry. I'm going back to the 16th Ave. Diner. That Wednesday Open-Faced Roast Beef Sandwich Special is screaming out my name. The 16th Ave. Diner also serves breakfast starting at 7:00

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CH-CH-CHANGES:  A few days later, I stopped at the 16th Ave. Diner for breakfast hoping to get a better image of JP for this feature and I couldn't resist the Uot-Mex 3 Egg Omlette on their breakfast menu.  The cholesterol delight included onions, ham, cheese, jalapeno peppers and a very spiccy salsa topping.  My breakfast plate was beautiful, suitable for framing.  16TH Ave. Diner waitress Chelsea checked to see if I was a happy customer when I asked if JP had the day off.  "JP doesn't work here any more. He's moved on to other things," she said indifferently. And so it goes Grasshoppers, in the fluid world of the restaurant/food service industry the only thing that remains the same is constant changes.

The Pluses and Minuses of the 16th Ave. Diner:

16th Ave. Diner + indicators:  Serious home cooked goodness, never changing lunch specials.

16th Ave. Diner -  indicators:  Perhaps a few knicks knacks, images for the walls, and/or a giant photo of former 16th Ave. Diner Chef PJ could add to the curret limited ambience.

Offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about the 16th Ave. Diner. Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments. - THANKS!

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Metro Diner

MD surprise: Breakfast Pizza, Pumpkin Waffle

By Melissa Kahan, GLOB Correspondent

MetroDinerLOGODiner restaurants have certain stereotypical characteristics that I have found to be true: large, hearty portions, bustling servers, and busy booths, but the atmosphere has to be the defining feature, and I have been in diners from Orlando, FL, to New York City. Gainesville's Metro Diner is no exception--many booths and standalone tables with a casual, comfy décor.

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With 17 Florida locations, Metro Diner, a Jacksonville-based regional chain that started in a 1938 building transformed in 1990, has made quite the name for itself. In addition to being a family-owned restaurant started by Chef Mark Davoli and family with 80 years in the food industry, Metro Diner is famous for its appearance on Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives on Food Network. Fieri dubbed the meatloaf one from which "diners need to take a lesson." I was mainly excited about the all day breakfast menu, which adds another spot to my brunch rotation that is close to home.

At 7 am on a Thursday morning, Metro Diner was almost vacant. I have scooped up a breakfast sandwich or two at that time at other places, and I can say that going to breakfast early is the way to ensure immediate service. The John Sr. breakfast sammie was large and in charge, two runny eggs coating Swiss cheese, bacon, and tomato. It may be sizeable, but don't wait too long to devour it, as the 8-grain toast quickly got soggy.

 

SpecialBOARD

Conversely at 9:30 am on a Saturday morning, empty tables were harder to come by; thus, for the brunch crowd, a.k.a. my usual compadres at the usual time--after 11 am, there will likely be wait. At 9:30 am on Saturday, however, a 20-minute wait was not too painful, and it gave my dining companion, Greg, and I a chance to peruse the menu for efficient ordering. The daily rotating-specials chalkboard proudly displayed on the back wall and on the web added three very tempting options to the already abundant menu of delicious breakfast goodies. This would be a complicated decision.

 

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After two very sad cups of coffee were ordered--why most breakfast places don't serve local coffee is beyond me, Greg, who is health-conscious, decided to try Metro Diner's Huevos Rancheros, $11.49: Scrambled eggs cooked well and topped with salsa and green onion slivers laid over a huge colorful plateful of black beans and chorizo under melted cheese and jalapenos. The "fried tortilla shells" were like a cross between crunchy pita chip and tortilla chip, essentially the best of both addicting worlds. Greg ordered sour cream on the side, which the server had to be reminded about. Despite his cleaned plate, Greg felt it was average for this dish he typically orders at breakfast. The couple of bites I had were very flavorful, the thick chunks of chorizo and jalapeno slices packing an enjoyable punch for a dish I am not usually inclined to order myself.

I was sold on the Breakfast Pizza, $10.99 image at the top of this review, the moment I laid eyes on the two words placed together. It's as if the brunch heavens opened and placed two of the best food items together in succession for one harmonious, epic brunch option. It had a little of everything I would want to order... in pizza form, down to the "crust" being made from biscuit dough. That aspect almost made me do a happy dance it was so good. Piled on this delicious biscuit bed, was a thick layer of mozzarella cheese blanketing flavorful chunks of bacon, ham, AND, if that weren't enough meat, some Italian sausage. I opted out of the onions, but the peppers and jalapenos provided a texture that tossed my taste buds around. I also love eggs Benedict, so the layer of Hollandaise sauce was a welcome addition, which, alongside two runny eggs, made for a sop-off-the-plate eating experience. The biscuit, under all those ingredients, did not get soggy. That is impressive.

 

dessert

I almost chose the Southern Benedict daily special, since it is a favorite of biscuits and gravy in addition to eggs and hollandaise, but I could not pass up the Biscuit Pizza. I also wanted to order a sweeter entrée for contrast: The Pumpkin-Stuffed Waffle. I think I speak for Greg when I say it was worth the food coma that followed: Each fourth of the waffle was used to make a sweet breakfast sandwich of sorts, complete with a marshmallow drizzle and cinnamon butter.

True to name, the sandwich filling was none other than copious amounts of pumpkin-flavored fluff. It was almost a combination of fluffy icing, cream cheese, and some kind of aerating agent. Whatever that pumpkin-flavored confection was, it played into the crisp, light waffle perfectly. I almost thought the cinnamon butter would be overkill, but then I tasted it, and it was too good not to use despite all the other flavors going on.

 

metrodinerHORIZ

The breakfast menu includes everything from omelets and steak and eggs to Benedicts and breakfast sandwiches to a variety of French toast and pancake options. The Yo Hala on the Square French Toast is highlighted on the menu for a reason: It is stuffed with bananas, brown sugar, cream cheese, and Hazelnut sauce (!) and smothered with fruit compote. I am very intrigued by the Monte Cristo, a sandwich I have yet to experience, and by the Spicy Honey Chicken Biscuit, mainly because I heard Metro's fried chicken is very tasty and because it includes a biscuit. Oh, I can't forget about the grits.

The Diner has an extensive lunch/dinner menu as well, considering it is open from 6:30 am until 8 pm Sunday through Thursday and 6:30 am to 8:30 pm Friday and Saturday. Judging by Guy Fieri's review of the meatloaf, I'd say that is a priority item, but the wide array of sandwiches and burgers provides something for everyone. The Charleston Shrimp and Grits looks like a solid rendition of the classic Southern dish. There is a complete Metro Diner menu at the web link below this review.

The restaurant was busy, and servers forgot things in the hustle and bustle, but overall the Metro Diner did exactly what it should: Provide a hearty, yummy meal to satiate the taste buds and fill the belly. Health-conscious Greg was less a fan because of the lack of healthier options, but you go to diners for the hearty, comfort-food, and Metro delivered.

The Pluses and Minuses of the Metro Diner:

The Metro Diner + indicators: Good value to portion size, large servings, varied menu, cozy diner atmosphere, friendly service, plaza parking leaves options.

The Metro Diner - indicators: Long wait time on weekends

Offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about the Metro Diner. 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: Palatka, Magnolia Cafe

MC perfect 'tweener stop' for beach trip

By Alison, GLOB guest Correspondent

EDITOR'S NOTE: Alison returns from GLOB's dusty archives ready to report on her favorite breakfast/brunch/lunchstop in Palatka, Florida.

I'm sure people will think it cannot be done in Palatka, but there is an awesome restaurant on St. Johns Avenue downtown, a block or two south of Hwy 19.

 

121114MAGdowntownVisitFlorida.com speaks highly of Palatka: "Nestled within a bend of the St. Johns River ... Palatka is a historic Northeast Florida city that proudly showcases its past. You can experience Old Florida charm in Palatka while you celebrate Florida's heritage at the Florida Azalea Festival, St. Johns River Catfish Festival, Blue Crab Festival or Bostwick Blueberry Festival."  It continues:  "Also camping, canoeing, kayaking the area's eight blueway trails, playing golf, touring historic homes and churches built in the 1800s, hiking or bicycling, and visiting birding sites listed in the Great Florida Birding Trail. Also, don't miss the Palatka Mural Tour, featuring more than 30 artistic renderings that depict the historical, cultural and natural riches of Palatka and Putnam County."

I live on the St. Johns River a few miles north of Palataka, and what I like about this old Florida town is the small town friendliness, a great Publix, plus quick access to St. Augustine.

121114MAGsfMagnolia Café is open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday 7 am - 3 pm and Sunday 8 am - 2 pm. It has been open over a year, and I have never had a bad meal there. The service can be a little sketchy, but the staff are beginning to know us there and take good care of us.

A large open room, which is decorated with some local paintings and such, can get very noisy due to bad acoustics. The kitchen is open to view from the dining room. Everything looks clean and in place. This place fills up very quickly at peak breakfast and lunch times, but even later in the day guests are still arriving.  Many of the lunch guests are business professionals from downtown Plataka.

The Magnolia Café kitchen is very fast, albeit with a few minor mix ups here and there. Having worked in the restuarant business, I understand how these things happen with the growing business this lunch stop experiences.

MagnoliaDINING

I am sold on the Pressed Chicken Datil Sandwich, image at top of this feature, with caramelized onions, or any eating experience. What I like about this sandwich is it has plenty of Datil pepper sauce and cheese. The PCDA is served hot, and this lunch is always on the mark.

Although the PCDS is my go to sandwich almost every visit, there is also a great BLT. It is available with egg salad added to it, which makes for an interesting sandwich adventure.

 

121114MAGburger

The MC also has a fabulous Fiesta Burger that certainly deserves your lunch time consideration. This burger, which features a grass-fed beef patty, cheddar cheese, and house salsa of black bean, corn and cilantro, is served between grilled soft-shell tortillas!

Lunch time sides items include potato salad, pasta salad, or chips. There is no deep fryer in the house for French fries and such but I don't miss them. The Magnolia Café potato salad, with a little salt, always works fine with my pressed sammie. FOLLOW THIS LINK for a complete Magnolia cafe lunch menu.

Iced tea is freshly made, not the cloudy, day-old brew you will find served in so many places.

Magnolia Café Breakfast menu offers a Magnolia Café BLT with egg, several omelet choices, pancakes, and French toast.

 

121114MAGgrits

Now let's talk about grits. In my opinion Magnolia Café serves the best grits I have ever had in my life. They have a very coarse texture and are served in a large bowl. I must have them every time I visit this lunch stop gem of a cafe.

The restaurants that charge $2.99 for a mini bowl of grits really burn me. Peach Valley and Flying Biscuit do you hear this? It is a .25 cent item.

I usually finish up my breakfast with one pancake. Real butter, of course. And, OK, Log Cabin syrup. Not the real maple syrup but who serves that anymore anyways?

All right, I admit I sometimes bring my own maple syrup.   Really.

This place is a must stop for Gainesvillians for breakfast or lunch, in between the adventure trips to and from the beach.

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Road Trip: Reddick, MJ's Country Cafe & Buffet

Southern style cookin', Deep South love

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

102113MJsfI need to start with the GLOB Master's signature line, "I'm coming back" to MJ's Country Cafe and Buffet in Reddick just south of McIntosh. There is an Eating Professional's objective staring me down, challenging every heart healthy promise I have ever made.

I am talking about MJ's Favorite Cowboy Burger (image at top).  This protein explosion consists of a half–pound of hamburger sandwiched between TWO grilled cheese sandwiches, bacon, lettuce, and tomato. This lunch time belly bomb is served with your choice of French fries, onion rings, sweet potato fries, or fried okra.

102113MJsignIf my daddy were alive I would take him to Reddick to treat him to this hamburger. If any GLOBers have eaten this big-boy burger and lived to talk about, please identify yourself!  What do YOU think about the MJ Favority Cowboy Burger stomach stuffer?

MJ's is the perfect weekend diversion get-away-- a short drive 'back to a slower time in old Florida." This 30- minute destination south of the Urban GLOB "out on highway #441 where the cars sound like waves crashing down on the beach" is the ideal foodie get-away.

The GLOB Master is talking serious, home style, southern cooking with stick-to-your-ribs meat loaf, fried chicken, pot roast, baked chicken, fried okra, okra and tomatoes, greens, mac 'n cheese, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn bread, biscuits, white bread . . .  have I made you hungry yet?

Click here for the complete MJ's Menu.

102113MJbuffetROSIEThe GLOB Historian, Jon Roosenraad, was my lunch partner on this trip and we decided he would order from the menu and I would experience the N. Florida Famous MJ lunch buffet since Rosey typically shows more restraint in his lunch time caloric intake than the GLOB Master.  Rosey didn't even LOOK at the MJ's Favorite Cowboy Burger! Instead he ordered the Sandy's Southern Sandwich, which was a piece of very nice looking fried chicken exploding out of all sides of the S S S Roll. The fried green tomato was equally beautiful, fried to a crispy brown delight, The professor liked his sandwich, even though it was just a little more Southern fried heaven than this Michigan born transplant normally consumes.

When our very friendly server brought our lunches to the table, I asked if they got a lot of orders for the MJ's Favorite Cowboy Burger.

"Not really," she said and added, "Most of the lunch crowd are serious, hard working folk, coming in for MJ's Lunch Buffet."

Boy was she correct. By noon, the tables were full of lunch outers waiting their turn at the chow line. I think of my ex-wife here because, if she had seen the six sheriff's office employees sitting across the aisle from Dr. Jon and me, she would have wanted to know why they were all bigger than me.

102113MJbuffetPLATESince I am an eating professional, I thought it was incumbent upon me to 'fit in' so I made me a good looking plate of meat loaf, green beans, corn bread stuffing, and coleslaw -- a plate that had me smiling like a lunch time Cheshire cat.

I swear all the eyes in the diner were on me to see if I was going to get the obligatory second plate of lunch.

"So I did.'

102113MJbuffetPLATE2To be honest, I felt bad about not giving Mike and Jana's fresh fried chicken and fried pork loin serious consideration. I know I heard the lima beans and Mac & Cheese , and a very fresh-looking and tasty chopped broccoli salad in a pleading voice say, "Eat me Mikee!"

The entire lunch was exactly what this Southern boy needed in the way of deep south culinary affirmation.

I chanced upon MJ's when I met the owners Mike and Jana one afternoon in Harry's Seafood Bar and Grille.  Much to my surpise I realized that Mike Sanford, me, and Jana Sanford-Heller, my daughter weren't the only Mike and Jana's in this part of the world.

MJ's Country Cafe and Buffet is southern food and attitude personified. Gosh, GLOBers, it says so on the MJ's Country Cafe & Buffet website: "MJ's is just an extension of our home. We want our guests to feel at home here. We want to know you, visit with you, and send you away with a full belly."

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