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Restaurant lunch highlights:

New Deal Cafe

New Deal Cafe

Burger heaven in center of Hogtownne

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

newdealsfSo here's the deal on the New Deal Cafe close to the corner of University Avenue and NW 34th Street.

The New Deal choice of four unique hamburgers has to be one of the best burger choices in a town of a lot of hamburger opportunities. Their burgers are made with locally raised and naturally aged beef, served with fries, but that is just for starter my burger loving friend.

The burgers are hand made resulting in unique, plump, juicy, blue ribbon beef bombs. The four hamburger selections are: The Classic, the Bison, The Blue Cheese and Bacon, the Bison Burger, and the Classic mini.

The New Deal has a daily burger special included on their menu board. The 10 ounce, aged beef, protein prize on the Daily Special Board is certainly worth you consideration.

How good are the hamburgers GLOBers? I had a business lunch there recently and with a full menu of entrees, PLUS the ability to order off of the Mildred's Big City Foods menu, All three burger lovers in our party ordered ND Burgers.



It was after serious contemplation, and lunch time anxiety, I selected the Classic Burger with Lettuce, tomato, onion and my choice of Swiss, fontina, mozzarella, American, and Bleu cheese on a ciabatta rpll, ($11.00). There is a complete New Deal restaurant menu at the bottom of this page.

My red meat protein was cooked perfectly. The burger toppings were fresh, crunchy, and added a delicious flavor accompaniment to my lunch. It's a shame they can't come up with two more burgers creations. Then I could eat lunch here every day.



Doing my best impersonation of a person with a complete disdain for French fries, I included the soup and salad sides with a modicum of reluctance . . .



My salad with a house vinaigrette dressing was a palate cleansing delight. The fresh greens, carrots and cucumbers were crunched magnificently. My inviting, comforting, cup of chowder reminded me of home as I looked around for oyster crackers to no avail.

Of course the lunch time discussion ended with whether we should order dessert from the Mildred's Dessert case. With a majority vote we saved the dessert for another lunch. A next trip to the New Deal will happen very quickly for the GLOB Master.




It was a lunch with the GLOB's Content Editor, whom I sometimes refer to as Captain Dirk. She suggested the New Deal Café, which worked for me as thoughts of hamburgers and fabulous desserts filled the empty space in my cranium. As the New Deal website says, it "features local award-winning burgers using UF beef as well as a rotating draft beer selection and a daily happy hour." The ND Cafe also serves pizzas and flat breads in addition to sandwiches and salads. You can also order from the adjacent Mildred's Big City Food menu, including from the most fabulous dessert case in Hogtown. We arrived at ND and I spied on the menu a yummy sounding ND meatless house-made black bean and beet veggie burger with goat cheese, tomato, onion, and arugula. This meatless burger was an excellent mix of flavors. I'm glad I ate the burger open face as the burger ingredients did not compact into a tight, thick patty. That didn't stop the flavors from being very pronounced and the texture appealing. I have pretty much decided goat cheese could make worn out running shoes palatable. The house balsamic vinaigrette dressing made the side salad a beautiful, tart taste amidst the heavier savory flavors of the 'burger.' The New Deal has a good list of meatless options including a Beet & Goat Cheese Salad, which Lynn ordered and loved. There is also a Sloppy Joe Tempeh and veggie pizzas. There is an ND menu at the restaurant web link at the bottom of this page. The table of customers next to us ordered some amazing looking desserts, which was as close to a full body sugar bomb I could stand, as Lynn dreamily said, "The Coconut Cake is unbelievable."

- GLOB Master



Ease of ordering wins out for this lunch

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

newdealsf"Link, or patty?"

"Grits, hash browns, or home fries?"

"How do you want your eggs?"

"Cheddar or American?"

"Toast, English muffin, or biscuit?"

"You want coffee or a soda?"

I am tired of feeling like Jack Nicholson when I order my food. I didn't want a lot of questions, I just wanted lunch. I was near the Westgate Plaza when I thought about a Meatless Monday lunch at either Mildred's Big City Foods or the New Deal Café. Approaching the two side-by-side lunch stops, a NDC server was standing outside her restaurant.

"Which one of these two places serves the best grilled cheese," I asked getting closer to my lunch experience by the minute.

"It doesn't matter," The server said cheerily. "We both serve each other's menu, You can order in line at Mildred's, or we will serve you at your table."

That gave the GLOB Master cause to pause thinking: MILDRED's: Awesome dessert cabinet; good sandwiches; prim, proper, and dignified. NEW DEAL CAFÉ: Casual, hamburgers, Mildred's desserts from the cabinet. I opted for the NDC, and let my server take my order.



It was after 1 pm, and the dining area was filled with a few customers enjoying the comfortable confines of a lunch environment that was very subdued because the lighting was like moonlight and it contrasted nicely with the abrasively bright glow from the mid-day orb shining through the NDC front window. The juxtaposition of the dark and light offered me some serenity that can be hard to find in the busy Urban GLOB lunch world.

I didn't see any grilled cheese on the menu(s). The New Deal Café makes an awesome hamburger . . . but this was a Meatless Monday lunch. I ended up choosing the Mildred's Tuna Melt on multigrain bread served open-faced with sliced tomato and mozzarella cheese. I was thinking a slice of avocado would 'dress' this somewhat unremarkable, perhaps boring sandwich. The Mildred's/New Deal restaurant two-fers doesn't put avocado slices on their sandwiches, but they do create an incredibly mouthwatering, flavorful avocado aoli.


The creamy green, yummy condiment livened up my entire lunch. The tartness of the lemon juice in the aoli gave new meaning to the very chunky, delicious tuna salad cloaked underneath melted mozzarella. OK, the bread could have made a bigger impression on this lunch if it had been toasted. But this was still a very good, healthy, plate of lunch yumminess.


My lunch came with a side of Mildred's Greek Salad consisting of fantastic marinated cucumbers, roasted red peppers, olives, and feta cheese on mixed greens with a balsamic vinaigrette. The marinated cucumbers were scrumptious. I could have eaten a plate of those. The crunchiness of the salad combined with the tart vinegar dressing was an extraordinary, 'alternate world' compliment to my lunch belly bomb of hearty protein, bread, and cheese.

All lunch items are fairly priced close to $9 range. The Mildred's menu link at the bottom of this page also lists several other veggie-friendly Meatless Monday lunch options.

I could eat this lunch every day. The tuna salad was really good. I'm making the avocado aoli at home and smearing onto everything I eat.

The Pluses and Minuses of the New Deal Cafe:

THE PLUS (+) indicators: Multiple Meatless Monday choices.  Very appealing, casual lunch spot for serious lunch time, personla, contemplation.

THE MINUS (-) indicators:  Service can be a little slow..

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




Going burger half-ies at the New Deal Cafe

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

My recent lunch at the New Deal Cafe close to the corner of University Avenue and 34th Street was not only a good idea but, when lunch was complete, the GLOB Master was feeling very smart.

newdealsfThe thought of a New Deal Cafe lunch brought images of medium rare hamburgers to mind. Fat, juicy chunks of beef smothered in a ton of toppings. French fries! This cafe makes a very good hamburger.

Actually it makes a lot of different very good hamburgers that would satisfy any lunch time protein need: The Classic Burger, Mini Burger, Bleu Cheese & Bacon Burger. Mushroom, Swiss & Grilled Onion Burger, the Four Cheese Burger and Artie's Tempeh Burger. Talk about offering the lunchouter an interesting lunchtime burger bonanza.

The prices on the hamburgers did cause my lunch partner and I to look twice at the price column.  All the burgers were $10 or $12. Historically speaking, there is no "new deal" on the New Deal menu.

Our server returned and informed us their hamburgers are 12 ounces, a larger portion of protein than a lot of places, and we would be happy with our lunch choice. He also mentioned we could share a hamburger entree for an additional $1.

I looked at my lunch partner, and he looked at me, and I said, "If you were female I wouldn't have a problem sharing that hamburger."

"I share meals all the time with my ex-wife," he said with what I can only describe as a look of bifurcated hope.

4CheeseBurger"OK," I said to the server.  "We want to share that Four Cheese Burger on your menu."

To my surprise the additional dollar and splitting lunch was a good idea.  The kitchen not only cut our hamburger in half, they prepared us two smaller hamburgers from the 12 ounces of prime-cut red meat.

Our server was correct:  We were happy with our lunch.  This was a good hamburger.  I could distinctly taste the swiss, Gruyere, cheddar, and American cheeses.  The burger was topped with finely chopped salsa that had good pepper heat laced in the tomato mixture. 

I noticed from the menu that the New Deal also serves a three-slider burger combination for lunch.  Our cut-in-half burger was served to us on slider size hamburger rolls, with a generous portion of 'shared' French fries.

This hamburger sharing was a good idea.  Plus what would have been a $30 plus lunch for two of us tunred into an $18 lunch.

So lunch with my pal was not only a very good lunch hour diversion, the GLOB Master walked away from the new half-ie lunch experience feeling very smart, not overstuffed.

The Pluses and Minuses of the New Deal cafe:

THE PLUS (+) indicators: Excellent 12 ounce hamburgers. You can order dessert from Mildred's Big City Foods restaurant next door.

THE MINUS (-) indicators:  Expect $10 plus lunch entrees.

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

Last modified onWednesday, 15 July 2020 09:08

Additional Info

  • Phone Number: 371-4418
  • Address: 3443 W University Ave., Gaineville, FL
  • Urban GLOB Location: University Avenue
  • Latitude: 29.651212
  • Longitude: -82.374416


  • Lynn D
    Lynn D Thursday, 16 May 2013 23:09 Comment Link

    As the GLOB Content Editor, I accept partial responsibility for not providing better advice on overtones in the Big Deal review that offended some GLBT people. Ironically, on May 9, David Sedaris was on The Daily Show and he discussed this very thing – men sharing food. Maybe because I had just recently listened to that piece, it “primed” me to overlook the overtones in the Big Deal feature. Maybe knowing the GLOB Master is a very tolerant person, it just went right by me. Maybe there is so much more openness about being GLBT -- or straight -- these days that everyone is opening up a little TOO much. I can’t help thinking that, in the overall scheme of things, this openness is actually a very good sign. It’s OK to talk about GLBT issues. If you are interested in a comedic variation on the theme, check out the David Sedaris piece at the Daily Show website -- BUT BE FOREWARNED: the end of the piece does get a little raunchy. If you don’t like raunchy, stop watching when David Sedaris says “then I met a whole other kind of guy who was just all about the dessert.” By the way, the fact that this issue came up twice within one week -- and David Sedaris is gay -- is quite a coincidence –- if you believe there is such a thing!

  • GLOB Master
    GLOB Master Thursday, 16 May 2013 14:14 Comment Link

    Editor's Note: The GLOB Master wants to apologize for an off the cuff, flip remark about the LGBT community that should have not been included in a previous version of this story.

    - Mike Sanford, GLOB Master

  • Laura
    Laura Thursday, 16 May 2013 12:33 Comment Link

    While I agree that New Deal is a great place to eat, if a little expensive, and appreciate the cost/burger cutting review and advice, the homophobic overtones of this article are in poor taste. This review would have been much better – and much less offensive – without them. I hope you'll consider an edit and an apology.

  • Kristin Rossetti
    Kristin Rossetti Wednesday, 04 May 2011 10:55 Comment Link

    Personally, I think this is the best burger in town. It is the highest compliment to admit that when I was in the hospital after giving birth to my daughter I asked for someone to bring me a New Deal burger. Hospital food is worse than inedible. But I won't write that scathing review here. Besides the delicious burger (made from local ground beef from UF, by the way), I have also enjoyed the most delicious fried fish I have eaten in Gainesville (haddock, and it was a special). My husband always gets the crispy fried catfish or tuna melt and loves them just as much as I love my burger. We have also ordered the "bucket" of fries- and it is a bucket- the most french fries for your money anywhere in town. (Well, except for El Indio on 34th...) As Mike noted, never leave without getting a dessert from Mildred's next door. With my postpartum burger I also had a slice of strawberry cake which I ate after a late night feeding. It was extra delicious. One of my favorite restaurants in town!

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