We are officially in Gainesville countdown mode. The reality still hasn't fully sunk in yet, but only a month and a half from now, we will be starting our long drive up to Chicago, our new home, and looking back at Gainesville fondly in our rear view mirror. The past three years in a lot of ways have flown by.
In recent weeks, we've had the chance to try one new local restaurant the first time, and revisit some places that we've enjoyed before. As always, drop me a line with your local favorites and comments.
Paramount Grill: We checked out Paramount yesterday for lunch after my dissertation defense. We enjoyed a prime table in the front window (this sounds good, but then the restaurant was mostly empty; downtown Gainesville during the week? Sloww). My crab cakes were enjoyable, Traci liked her burger, service was pleasant, and a nice feel to the place. Good food, but didn't knock my socks off. Mildred's-like in that way. To be fair, I expect you need to do dinner for the full experience. Glad we tried it.
Blue Water Bay: A week or two ago we made the relaxing drive over to Melrose to re-visit Blue Water Bay. Of course, I ordered the gourmet buffett (available on Friday and Saturday evenings), which is a mix of seafood (big fresh boiled shrimp, raw oysters, fried shrimp) salads, pork, beef dishes - you name it - a really nice variety. Traci enjoyed a good steak (we both agreed that the baked potato was boring. This was our third visit, and we sat in the room off the bar, which has a distinct old-Florida rustic feel to it. Maybe we've just been lucky on each of our visits, but for me, Blue Water Bay may be my overall favorite restaurant in the area (it doesn't hurt of course that we inadvertently sat down at the bar next to the owner/head chef on our previous visit and hit it off). Try the killer sour orange pie for dessert.
We continue to visit the old reliables, Blue Highway and Satchel's for pizza, La Tienda for authentic Mexican, Newberry Backyard Bar B Q for what else, New Deal Cafe for good casual dining (on a related note, we had dinner at The Top again recently and came away pleased; we have to be in the right mood for the funkiness/scene, but a good meal), Mexico Lindo for Tex-Mex, the Reggae Shack for Jamaican (I wish we had found this place sooner!), and Louis' Lunch for a decent burger and big helping of nostalgia. And I certainly can't forget Sweet Dreams (the local creative geniuses of ice cream-dom). I almost forgot about Indian Cuisine for good Indian (Traci would not be happy!)
So if you only had a month left in Gainesville, what are the three restaurants you would visit one last time?