The Pizza Struggle is Real

Gainesville's Pizza War 9-23-15

It’s a real thing. The battle over Gainesville’s best pizza. This is the third best way to start a fight at a civilized party (after politics and religion).

Pizza preference is arbitrary. Every special little snowflake thinks their criteria and judgment is the most correct. So to be honest, this is just one special snowflake’s opinion. I’m not getting an in-depth review here. Just a suggestion list.

1) Best Deep Dish – Satchel’s
They make limited quantities, so call ahead to make sure they have it and will start baking it before you even get there. I recommend the garlic, basil, black olive combo of toppings. Satchel’s is cash only but they have an ATM in the building.

Satchel’s Pizza
1800 NE 23rd Ave
Gainesville, FL 32609
Phone: 352-335-7272
www.satchelspizza.com

2) Best Thin Pizza – Italian Gator
It’s a window between Gator City and Jimmy Johns in midtown. Parking options suck because of campus, and there’s limited choices in general. But just get the cheese pizza. It’s hands-down the best regular pizza in town. The crust / sauce / cheese balance is just right.

Italian Gator
1728 W. University Ave.
Gainesville, FL 32603
Phone: 352-367-4600
italiangator.com

3) Best Old Gainesville – Leonardo’s by the Pan
Leo’s hasn’t changed in as long as I can remember. The wooden shingles and faux-stained glass inside. The booths. The crossword on the wall. The sauce is chunky and mysterious. The garlic rolls are tasty, dense dough balls. The pizza is unmistakably handmade. They call it Chicago-style, but it’s old school Gainesville with a touch of hippie.

Leonardo’s Millhopper
4131 NW 16th blvd.
Gainesville, FL 32605
Phone: 352-376-2001
leonardosmillhopper.com

4) Best chain/franchise – Piesano’s
Not going to lie. I do get suckered into chains and franchises, and I’m not going to turn down decent pizza. I have to give props to Piesano’s because of the diversity of their selection and options.

Piesano’s Stone Fired Pizza
check their website for the three locations and contact info:
www.piesanostogo.com

5) Best Late Night Travesty – Five Star
Despite what I feel like the next day, there is nothing like being downtown when the bars are letting out, and catching one of the wandering Five Star guys for cash-for-hot-pizza. You have to sit in the doorway of a closed business and eat it right from the box with friends, burning the shit out of your mouth. If you hate this experience, you’re old and can stay home.

Five Star Downtown
210 SW 2nd Ave
Gainesville, FL 32601
Phone: 352-375-5600
http://www.gatorpizza.com

More you should know about:

Big Lou’s – I’ve had enough pizza here to say it’s hit or miss. When it’s good, it’s great. And when it’s bad, it’s not too bad. Plus it’s nice to sit on the patio downtown and people watch.

Big Lou’s NY Style Pizzeria
5 SE 2nd Ave
Gainesville, FL 32601
Phone: 352-335-7123
www.biglouspizzeria.com

Leonardo’s by the Slice – Part of the Leonard’s 706 & Bistro1245 family, Leo’s by the Slice is a cornerstone of Gainesville pizza, and an integral part of the college experience. Parking is atrocious, and the place is kind of grubby, but the pizza is good and quick. I’ve lived in town long enough to know people who worked there, and have some hesitation about the state of the kitchen. But that’s hearsay for now. I’ll still eat there for old time’s sake.

Leonardo’s by the Slice
1245 W University Ave
Gainesville, FL 32601
Phone: 352-375-2007
www.leonardosgainesville.com

A Perfect Pie – mad props for bringing options to Northeast G’ville. And this guy is from New York. He even has NY plates on his car. So as sketchy as this place might look when you pull up, take a chance to try a hidden NE gem. If you remember Lisa pizza in the mall back in the 90s, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Just a little less greasy.

A Perfect Pie
1818 NE Waldo Rd.
Gainesville, FL 32609
Phone: 352-745-7898
www.aperfectpie.com

Huge note: I have not food-trucked it so I can’t have an opinion about Humble Pie or Ameraucana Wood Fire. Yet.

A Perfect Pie

Half cheese, half garlic pizza
Half cheese, half garlic pizza
Half cheese, half garlic pizza

Update: A Perfect Pie has left the NE side of town and taken up space in the Oaks Mall. We haven’t been for pizza since (because really, the mall?!), so we can’t tell if they’ve changed much. Boo for loosing one more NE business.

The pizza snobbery in Gainesville is lovely and astounding. We have such a loyalty to our favorite places, and we actually feel proud of our pizza options.  And what makes a pizza good is totally arbitrary, unique to each individual. Yes, I’ll get into the best pizza places in town in a different post.

For the moment, let’s talk about a sketchy little option in the NE part of town.

Wait, I do get grumpy about Northeast Gainesville because it’s the older, poorer side. We have gross roads, few dining options, bad schools, and the atrocity called Wal-mart. It’s straight up working class. The people are blue collar. They’re hard working. They’re diverse. They stretch their dollars from paycheck to paycheck.  And they are largely overlooked. (Putting soap box away.)

Back to Waldo road, between Tacachale and Wal-mart, a few blocks south of UF’s Eastside Campus.  Kind of nestled among the barber shops and the bail bonds offices. And it’s sketchy as shit. No, seriously.

A Perfect Pie. When you drive in, note the cars with New York plates. The hand painted and economy printed signs. The often-renovated building painted with a solid coat of non-descript red and white. My sister and I used to call a place like this a front—a place that inexplicably exists for years, likely because it facilitates other types of business. Not that it’s true of this place. Really.

Short story, you want to try this pizza. It’s good pizza made by people that don’t just toss a pie from a freezer to an oven. My folks are from Philly and this is the kind of place we would go to on our Jersey beach trips. The menu encompasses the kind of stuff you imagine it would (wings, salads, pasta, subs, burgers, deep fried stuff). They even do big sheet pizzas for parties and groups.

The less-short story. The crust is basic. I kind of want it to be more hand tossed. But it’s thin and supports itself. The cheese is mostly real and nicely bubbly and stretchy when it’s hot. The two wins are the sauce and the balance. I’m picky about sauce, and it’s right between sweet and tangy. And balance—the right quantity of crust to sauce to cheese.

It’s big. It reheats well. It’s even good cold with coffee the next day. It’s not going to blow your flip flops off, but you’re going to have a happy belly. Plus it’s a great location on our side of town.

A Perfect Pie
1818 NE Waldo Rd.
Gainesville, FL 32609

Phone: 352-745-7898 / 352-745-7897 / 352-745-7896

www.aperfectpie.com
Jump to menu…
Email: info@aperfectpie.com

Swamp Head’s New Tasting Room

Swamp Head tasting room
Swamp Head tasting room
Swamp Head tasting room

Everyone is thrilled that Swamp Head built a new facility with a much, much larger tasting room. It was kind of brutal on a busy evening. The small tasting room and overflow to the warehouse space (no air conditioning) was easily over crowded and whiffy (sweat).

The new space is quite large, and has lots of tables and seating. But it faces west and catches the bright setting sun which can be a bit warm. And I’m not going to lie; it gets kind of loud from the echoes. The space is very open and bright and fresh. You can see where they have the room to develop a nice outdoor space overlooking a curated man-made pond. Or in the fullness of time, the patio can be enclosed and almost double the taproom floor space.

Behind the cool bar, there are the usual standard brews on tap, plus a rotating selections of the fancier beers. And a few guest taps offer other Florida breweries’ productions. Again, you can see that there is room for expansion for more taps. They can also wash and fill growlers, which will come in handy after July 1st when the government clicks over and allows the sale of ‘normal’ size growlers. There is also the cooler where you can select bottle and canned beer to take home.

Tuesday is brewery tour day, and the usual 5:30 and 6:30 times are expanded to a 7:30 tour. But still come early because they fill up fast. It’s only $5 and it includes a beer in a glass you can keep. It’s limited to 15 people each tour and it’s first come, first on the list.

Please, please look at the new address before hopping in the car to go to Swamp Head. We’ve had several grumpy friends arrive late or call of the evening because they ended up at the old location (not actually possible now) or drove around looking for the new place. It’s tucked up in the industrial complex off of SW 34th, just north of the big Post Office. It shares a cul-de-sac with the old Alley Katz.

Hours:
Tuesday-Friday 4:00-9:00PM
Saturday 1:00-9:00PM
*And check in to find out what’s on tap and special releases going on.

Swamp Head Brewery
3650 SW 42nd Ave
Gainesville, FL 32608

352-505-3035
Swamphead.com
Facebook.com/SwampHead

Formaggio’s Bistro & Wine Bar

Formaggio's cheese plate for two
Formaggio's cheese plate for two
Formaggio’s cheese plate for two

We were lingering after a wine tasting at Uppercrust (just yes!), and not ready to call and end to the afternoon. After a quick stop at the tabletop gaming store across the street (because we’re geeks), we went over to check out Formaggio’s on a whim. They are in Thornbrook Village directly next to Chopstix Bistro, and you get regaled with the random music on at Chopstix if you sit on the patio like we did.

Much to the staff’s credit, and maybe because we were the only ones there mid-afternoon, they helped us push three tables together and maneuver umbrellas. The patio was a bit sunny but we tend to be loud (and have interesting conversations) so outside is often best. Besides the copious amounts of sun, the music from Chopstix was weird. But it was a great day for some chilled white wine and munchie things.

Formaggio's selected itemsThe Man and I shared a salad and a cheese plate, and a bottle of Italian pinot grigio. They were kind enough to put the salad onto two smaller plates before serving. Besides some of the lettuce being significantly wilted on top, it was tasty and the right snacking size of real greens. The cheese plate for two was pretty and the strawberries were beautiful. I hugely object to orange cheese of any kind, but I suspect people expect it so they add it. (I’m sure I rant often about dumbing down food for nervous consumers who should just stick to the chain restaurants.) And of course the cheese arrived with a basket of good crackers in multiple styles, and sliced bread.

The amount of food balanced with the wine and it was a satisfying afternoon meal. Everyone else around the table seemed please with their meals and drink choices. Our friends the carnivores ordered an antipasto plate and were nomming it up happily. Probably not knock-your-socks-off amazing. Pleasantly predictable in a good way.

Part of our group had to leave but the rest of us caved and lingered over dessert. We had a piece of tiramisu which could have had more ladyfingers and less cream. And our friends shared a canolli which of course started the canolli debate because apparently there are people who don’t like the tasty dessert (what?!). So pro-tip: check out the dessert menu before you go.

Overall it was a pleasant afternoon and the service was excellent. Considering their location and expected customers, they live up to their client’s expectations. Because I’m spoiled, I expected a little more of a dangerous cheese and accouterments selection considering the price. I would totally go back and have another lazy afternoon of nibbles and wine. Maybe inside and out of the sun this time.

Formaggio’s Bistro & Wine Bar
2441 NW 43rd St Suite 12,
Gainesville Florida 32606

352-505-6202
Formaggiosbistro.com
Facebook.com/pages/Formaggios-Bistro-Wine/591997294224339

Up a River

4 Rivers Smokehouse
4 Rivers Smokehouse
4 Rivers Smokehouse

I’m not going to be grumpy about being a vegetarian dragged to a smokehouse. I knew what I was getting into, and I was going to have dinner with important friends. Not eat. So I sucked it up and met them at 4 Rivers on Archer Road.

Okay, a little grumpy. My only real option was a dinner plate meal where you choose 5 sides and a biscuit for one price. Almost all of their vegetable dishes had a meat ingredient. Usually pork. It was a stretch to find five: sweet potatoes, cole slaw, mac & cheese, baked grits, and bread pudding. Lots of starch. I splashed out and got a Cheerwine since I hadn’t ever had one before.

My grumpiness is that this place has a lot of carnivore friends super excited, and the restaurant itself is kind of elegant-country-industrial. But you walk in, grab a plastic tray (a la Taco Bell), get served your meat right on the paper liner (if that’s your thing), and your sides and drink all come in styrofoam cups except for the foil-wrapped items.

Okay… screech… Styrofoam? Yes, a huge pet peeve for all of the waste left for thousands of years. But wait. From what I hear in the industry circle is that it’s the new green Styrofoam that breaks down into powder in 2 years.

So, not as grumpy as I was initially. But seriously, for the location, price, awards, and general smoked-meat-hardons that this place boasts, it just seems so trashy to be served on disposable everything on plastic trays.

As for being a vegetarian in a strange land, I seriously hurt after this meal from all of the starch. The biscuit was dry. The sweet potato casserole was overly sweet. The cole slaw lacked seasonings but felt fresh-ish. The bread pudding was okay. I liked the mac & cheese because it felt like diner mac & cheese. And the baked grits was wrapped in foil and had a weird skin on top and a burnt layer at the bottom but tasted okay.

So basically they totally won at the thing I really hate with a lot of restaurants…they really shoot to please as many people as possible, and hold back seasoning so as not to scare anyone.

One redeeming quality was the separate dessert counter that would have been a lot of fun if I hadn’t just O.D.ed on starchy sides. I wanted some real flavor and I’m sure the sugary selections were better than the stuff in the styrofoam cups on my plastic tray.

But really, the restaurant industry is stuck with the reputation of using a super high volume of water. Yet solutions are few. Using proper dishes means washing them in a way that satisfies the health department. But using disposable serving materials means lots of trash and waste.

And jerks like me get grumpy about the cheap feeling of eating from Styrofoam and paper rather than ceramic dishes. Grump grump grump…

4 Rivers Smokehouse
3262 SW 35TH Blvd
Gainesville FL 32608

1-844-474-8377
4rsmokehouse.com

One Love Café

One Love Cafe, dinner
One Love Cafe
One Love Cafe

We decided to try One Love Café on a slightly stormy spring evening. There’s usually a group of us, which for test-driving is a bonus. It shows how staff and facility can handle a group, and we vegetarians can get the opinions of the carnivores.

Unfortunately for me, the inside space is small (it looks like a prefab industrial building was plopped down) and the large outside space had umbrellas that don’t combat spring showers particularly well. It was crowded inside and we all pushed through the counter line for our orders, and took our metal numbers outside to tables. The sprinkles turned to a not-quite-serious rain, and I was on an end so my butt and only my butt, got wet from the drips.

One Love Cafe, insideOur food arrived in shifts, which can be expected at a deli-style café where the wait staff don’t hold food so the entire table is served at once. I had to listen to The Man grouse about the sliders, and how the vegetarian versions had one fewer slider that the meat ones (the prices reflected that though), and how not all vegetarians were on a diet to lose weight.

I ordered the black bean burger, cole slaw, and mac & cheese. Plus a Swamp Head beer on tap. Around the table we had sliders, pasta dishes, sandwiches, and an assortment of drinks. And we ordered dessert afterward. The overall thoughts on the food was okay to ‘this is going to get better’. It seemed pretty spotty about some dishes being great and some being kind of boring. But ingredients were fresh and you could feel the intention was there.

The burger had flavor and was slightly messy because it was homemade instead of out of a box. The bread could have been slightly more than ‘meh’. And it would have been fun to have a more exciting sauce. The pineapple-cilantro cole slaw was a huge disappointment with almost no flavor, but it was fresh and crisp. The mac & cheese was pretty good and definitely made in house.

One Love Cafe, dinner
One Love Cafe, dinner

The staff seemed to be trying hard to keep up with the crowd, and then the rain, which flushed a lot of people into the tiny inside space. One fellow seemed to be charging around with purpose and determination (and an overly serious frown), but he was getting stuff done. And the owner herself made the trip into the rain to bring some of our food.

The venue is great with a big outdoor space that will probably be more useful for evening events or hanging out. There is a small stage and on that evening a guy was singing and playing a guitar. There is a fire pit and a variety of seating. And just beyond the cordoned off patio, there is a vast grassy area for kids and dogs (yes, dogs are welcome) to play.

I want to like One Love Café because I can see the potential here. I am rooting for them to succeed and pick up some more experience with food, expand the menu, and make the outdoor space more useful during the summer (I hear they are putting in a more permanent pavilion roof thing). The place has the feel of a well-loved business where the owners have much passion but lack some confidence or experience. There’s a lot of potential here.

So I’m going to sit back, and wait and see. I would eat there again.

They are located in the back of Magnolia Parke (don’t get me started about the extra letters on names, like shoppe). They are open for lunch on Wednesday, and lunch and dinner Thursday through Saturday, but seem like they are planning on expanding some hours/days. The menu seems to be adjusting from time to time. In fact, it’s on chalkboards inside the café, so I’m sure it’ll change a lot more.

One Love Café
4989 Northwest 40th Place
Gainesville, FL 32606

352-509-3131
OneLoveCafeinc.com
Facebook.com/onelovecafefl

Seeing Double with Gigi

Gigi's Cupcake, Chocolate Salted Caramel
Gigi’s Cupcake, Chocolate Salted Caramel

I’m not the person that goes to a cupcake shop. Because a) I might go bananas and eat myself into a sugar coma, and b) I imagine the cupcake store patrons wear a lot more makeup than I do and get mani/pedis done regularly.

But I was ambushed at work by a box of Gigi’s cupcakes. Caught unawares, I saw myself reaching for a chocolate salted caramel creation with an afro of whipped butter icing topped with a liberal bath of chocolate ganache. It was a blur after that. Once I figured out how to get that huge thing into my mouth (hehe that’s what she said).

Ten minutes later the sugar entered my blood and my eyeballs started to vibrate in my skull. There was a lingering taste of chocolate and salt and maybe some caramel. I was smelling the number mauve. I could see the walls breathing.

For a franchise, these things were pretty dang good. I’m not going to be judgy about baked goods if they’re actually fairly decent. That said, I’ve heard other people complain, so I guess you can give a recipe to a franchisee, but you can’t make them bakers.

I would eat the hell out of another one of these any day.

Gigi’s Cupcakes
Gainesville on Archer Road:
3524 SW Archer RD, Suite 130,
Gainesville, FL 32608
352.240.6122
Gigiscupcakesusa.com

[Girl21]

Hong Kong Deli-ghtful

Hong Kong Deli, Gainesville FL

Better late than never on this one, since we’ve been fans of Hong Kong Deli for a while now. And I promise you that if you find the place, you shouldn’t get nervous. It doesn’t look like a bright and shiny chain restaurant because it isn’t. It’s an old building painted a color I like to call “My Retinas are Screaming” yellow.

Let’s be honest. Whoever you are, however much of a food snob you have pushed yourself to being, you get a craving for Chinese take-out once in a while. I grew up completely devoid of Chinese take-out and I now know what that persistent hankering was all of those years.

So why settle for –let’s be honest—shitty food? Most of the Chinese places I’ve eaten at were highly suspect when it comes to food quality and source. I always imagine stuff coming out of 50 gallon drums and giant tubs, thrown into the hot buffet trays, and left to simmer for hours in chemical-enhanced gunk. Well, yum!

Several friends had ranted (maybe a little spit flying in their excitement) about Hong Kong Deli for a while before we took the hint and tried them out. This is an odd Chinese and American couple who run the show. This is one of those places that are funky as hell, a family business, and a source of odd stories. I’m not going to lie to you.

But please overlook the cosmetic issues and focus on the food. This is definitely one of those places where you place your order and they turn around and start cutting the veggies fresh. You can’t walk in and walk out with your order. It’s going to take them 20 minutes to actually cook your real food.

We usually order some variation of a veggie and tofu stir-fry, but if they have it, always always always get the fried green beans with tofu. We haven’t explored the entire menu yet (mostly because I am a giant baby when it comes to spicy things), but overall, the food is always delish. The usual white rice, and sauce packets are included. Spring rolls, dumplings, etc. are always tasty.

Our carnivore friends swear by the duck and the pork. I have actually seen someone check themselves for drool when talking about the duck. No comment.

I cannot put enough stars next to the statement that you should try out Hong Kong Deli. It’s in a funny location, and it’s a funky building (behind the Indian store on north 13th, near Adam’s Rib). Go there. Except Tuesdays. They’re closed Tuesdays.

Hong Kong Deli & Market
1236 NW 21 Ave,
Gainesville, FL 32609
(352) 505-0454

[Girl21]

Southern Charm Kitchen

Southern Charm Kitchen

Southern Charm Kitchen

We’ve been trying to get ourselves to Southern Charm since we heard about it months ago. How could you not want to try a place opened up by the folks that gave us Reggae Shack? And if you’ve never been to Reggae Shack, you can just slap yourself in your big, pasty white face.

Southern Charm Kitchen is out on the east side, where Hawthorne Road branches off of University. This may be crossing the tracks for a lot of you, but don’t act like it’s the ghetto. Spoiler alert: it’s worth the drive across town.

We popped in a little late (let’s face it, The Man and I always run about 15 minutes behind), and our dinner pals had scored a table and ordered wine. The wine turned out to be a Cremaschi Syrah from Chile, a label I loved since a nice bottle of carménère. Tasty without being knock-out sweet. It seemed an odd combination to have very elegant wine glasses rubbing elbows with mason jars of water on our table, both alongside the Tabasco and Sriracha.

Anyhow, the building was great and the interior was clean and trendy looking, so feel free to bring your cool friends. There’s not a lot of seating and I can see it can get crowded at times. A great bonus is that it’s not wall-to-wall white people and students. Here’s the real Gainesville, folks!

Anyhow, the food… where to start. SCK doesn’t have a website yet, but they are on Facebook and in their photos are a few pics of the menu, so you can get an idea of what’s there. Since we were at dinner, we got a few nibbles and then did entrée-plus-sides. They’ve got the menu clearly marked for vegetarian and/or vegan items.

I ordered the Country Fried Seitan with mac & cheese and cornbread. The Man opted for the Country Fried Tofu with pickled greens and the sweet-n-cajun fries. Our dinner pals went all out carnivore and seemed pleased with the sea of plates and food that arrived not too long later.

Southern Charm Kitchen

The Man was taken aback by the small portion of the tofu he received, but it was eclipsed by the ginormous size of my seitan. It took effort to tackle the seitan, even with the proper flatware we were provided. It was somehow fluffier than the traditional dense seitan, but the breaded crust added a challenge (and probably prevented The Man from stealing more off my plate than he did).

My mac & cheese felt very homemade, without even the slightest glimmer of orange cheese in most restaurant versions. The corn bread sat somewhat timidly next to the huge seitan steak. It was sweet and bready, almost like cake, rather than savory and mealy like I’m used to. But it was delish with the salty mac & cheese. Even though it was clssic southern style food, it never felt greasy or heavy.

Despite the small size of The Man’s tofu, he nommed it up (possibly a little more seasoning, please?). The sweet-n-cajun fries are basically a skinnier version of the dutty fries at Reggae Shack (which are awesome, topped with a sweet/spicy/salty sprinkle). And best for last, I am not normally crazy for greens, but these were fantastic. I did barter off some of my seitan for his greens, and then stole more off his plate while he was busy talking.

There’s all kinds of other things on the menu we want to try, so we’re definitely going back. The two servers we had were super nice and helpful. And on the way out, I drooled over the cake on display even though I was hugely full.

Even if it wasn’t delicious, I would still urge you to head out east and support local business. Skip the Archer Rd / Newberry Rd clusterfuck of chain restaurants. Push past the Main St boundary and try out something new on the other side of Gainesville. I get the feeling that Southern Charm hasn’t quite nailed down their menu (that’s not a bad thing), but they do have a strong sense of their food culture and the story they want to tell you with it.

After it was all said and done, and the wine was emptied, we paid less than $35, and our dinner pals paid about the same. Vegetarian note: they clearly state that all of their vegetarian food is cooked and served on designated dishes, so there’s no cross-over issues. (Considering the amount of ‘other’ material allowed on most processed food, I’m not sure that’s a comfort. And by ‘other’, I mean bugs, rodents, hair, dirt, and other traditionally non-food materials. But that’s another tangent.)

So, seriously, go there. Eat. I’m not kidding. You might actually enjoy yourself.

Buy local, spend local, support local. It’s your community. And your community is delicious!

Southern Charm Kitchen
1714 SE Hawthorne Rd
Gainesville, FL 32641
352.505.5553

On Facebook

Open:
Tues-Sat | 11:00AM-10:00PM

[Girl21]

Ummmm…. Yume Ume?

Yume Ume Review

[Edit: Yume Ume has been closed for a while and there doesn’t seem to be any news on opening again. Boo!]

Since The Man and I have been together, he’s been trying to get me to Rolls ‘n Bowls, but alas, they closed before that could happen. Frankly, they were too close to Falafel King, and I love me some Falafel King. So when friends posted online that Rolls ‘n Bowls was closed, I got a bit of guilt from The Man for always voting for FK over R’nB.

We’d been hearing the rumblings about the place that took the Rolls ‘n Bowls spot and kismet (also known as we were both recovering from the flu and didn’t want to cook) brought us to try take-out from Yume Ume. Totally. Worth. It.

So hands-down most fun was the wanton nori chips, which reminded me of the Dutty Fries at Reggae Shack because of the sweet / salty / spicy seasoning on them. Plus these have little threads of nori (yes, seaweed) for extra texture.

Yume Ume, Steamed BunsThe miso soup was acceptable, with wakame, mushrooms, and tofu. And the edamame was tasty but expected. He got a side of the ume guac to test drive it and loved it. (I’m not a fan of guac. Don’t ask.)

As for the main attraction, we had steamed buns with crispy tofu, red miso glaze, and savoy cabbage slaw. We also had the baked buns with pretty much the same innards but with garlic-tofu mayo instead of red miso glaze.

It wasn’t so much food that we achieved a full food coma, but it was enough that we definitely extended our lazy stay on the couch. And all of that for around $28.

From what we gather, this place was opened by the folks at Dragonfly Sushi & Sake, and it looks like they’re set to launch this as a franchise (mostly because there’s a big button for ‘Franchise’ on their website. Fortunately, despite the drive to pop out a bunch more of these, their efforts to locally and ethically source their ingredients set a good mood for the food.

The general idea is to work down the simple menu and pick what you want and how you want I, with the extra things to make a happy mouth. Their menu is actually marked for the items that are NOT gluten free. The steamed buns are those fun flat breads like small, bloated tortillas. The baked rolls have a nice crust that contrasts with the slightly squishy tofu.

Besides all of that, I want to revisit the wanton nori chips because I can eat the hell out of these, despite how terrible they likely are for my body. I mean, seriously, it’s just wanton wrappers, deep fried and doused in salt, sugar, and spice. Oh, and a festive confetti of sea weed. It jumps the food-theme tracks, but next time, I will eat a whole bag of these with crumbled gorgonzola.

2 X Steamed Buns
2 X Baked Buns
2 X Miso Soup
2 X Wanton Nori Chips
1 X Edamame
Bonus extras
Total: about $28

Yume Ume
3117 SW 34th St
Gainesville, FL 32608
352.271.1011
YumeUme.com

[Girl21]