Hope everyone is having a nice summer so far. I've received several reader suggestions over the past few weeks of Gainesville area restaurants to check out. Please keep these ideas coming. On with two quick reviews and then some thoughts on an article in the latest issue of Gainesville magazine.
Great Outdoors Restaurant: At the suggestion of a reader, we headed up the road to downtown High Springs to check out Great Outdoors Restaurant a few Friday evenings ago. The place was packed when we arrived, and being my normal impatient self, we decided to eat up at the bar on the outside patio (the outside fireplace is a nice touch). The waitstaff was clearly shorthanded and service was forgettable. On the plus side, we enjoyed our selection of appetizers (sugar cane steak sticks, black and tan rings and fire cracker wings) and choice of beer (the restaurant's own Tail-Gator pilsner). The wings were large and meaty and the steak skewers were juicy and tender. The menu seemed priced to the high side (easy to spend twenty-thirty bucks a head), but then the place was packed so what do I know. A mix of appetizers and beer worked for us. The night of our visit the entertainment had been canceled due to the threat of rain, but it looks like live music generally runs Thursday through Sunday.
The Green Mango: After several months of passing by the Green Mango and hearing about it from several people, we decided to give this little take-out only, vegetarian only Indian restaurant a try. I wanted to like the place, but unfortunately the food was very average and the prices higher than we expected. I ordered the palak paneer curry and Traci tried the aloo mattar curry. We both agreed that the best part of our meals were the samosas. Less rice and more of the curry would have been appreciated. If you decide to give Green Mango a try definitely call in your order to help lessen the wait. For my taste and money, I prefer Indian Cuisine. For the same price that we spent on a take-out meal at Green Mango, we could have enjoyed the nicely prepared lunch buffet at Indian Cuisine.
Best Local Burger in Town: The latest issue of Gainesville magazine has a feature about the perfect burger (The article doesn't seem to be online yet or I would link to it). Recipes for burgers are provided by several local restaurants - New Deal Cafe, Bev's Burger's and Buddha Belly - all of which we've dined at at least once. The burger at New Deal Cafe is definitely a winner. For a fast-food style burger, Bev's is also a good choice, as is Mac's Drive Thru. I can't say I think of burgers when I go to Buddha Belly- the curry and fried rice are the mainstays. If you're into nostalgia, Louis' Lunch is worth checking out (a warning that you'll likely either really like or dislike their burgers. I find them enjoyably unique). Copper Monkey also does a good burger. So what's your favorite Gainesville-area burger?