We pulled into Ivoire Delice after hearing about a new restaurant that specializes in West African cuisine! The exterior was very colorful and interesting, with pictures of different menu items, so look for this since they don’t yet have a sign up.
We ordered the Jollof and chicken (fried) and grilled chicken with “dirty style” onions. All three dishes looked very similar in portion, so I recommend just getting the jollof and chicken since it is a few dollar cheaper. Since they forgot the dirty onions this time, they promised to throw it in for free next time. The owner was very friendly and nice! She kindly explained the different items on the menu for us.
The chicken was grilled perfectly and the jollof, which is a West African rice dish, was super flavorful and topped with a delicious savory sauce. You can also get the sauce spicy, which I definitely need to try. Since they only have plastic utensils that aren’t as sturdy, it was a bit hard to cut into the chicken, but despite the difficulty it was one of the most tasty chicken dishes I have had for sure! It was served with a side of cooked cabbage and fried plantains, which were sweet and delicious.
They have a large indoor dining area with beautiful murals and leather chairs. It did take ~40 mins for the food to come out so I recommend ordering ahead if you are in a rush! There is no outdoor dining or delivery service yet.
I was so excited to see a restaurant specializing in West African food in Gainesville and will definitely be back to try more dishes!
Flavorful is serving up fresh, delicious Afro Fusion cuisine made with healthy and natural ingredients!
Awa and Aisse, the owners, were so sweet and friendly. They are both mothers and entrepreneurs originally from West Africa. Their mission is to form and strengthen bonds through offering Afro fusion cuisine and other products such as cooking classes and kitchen accessories. I like how Flavorful promotes community growth and health through sourcing their produce from local shops and focus on using natural, non-GMO ingredients.
Flavorful is primarily a catering business and does not have a brick and mortar yet, but they are offering pre-order pick up orders on most Saturdays! You can follow and DM @flavorful_llc or call them to place orders and they were quick to respond. Pick ups were at Working Food Community Center.
The fatayas ($12 for 5) reminded me of fried dumplings or samosas with a thick, crispy shell and filling inside consisting of ground beef, spices, and pepper. There was also a veggie version. The dipping sauce had lots of chopped onions and was salty, savory, and complimented the fatayas well. They also informed me that there is a spicy version of the sauce, which I am excited to try next time. The portion might be a bit small for the price, but considering this was a dish I could not find anywhere else, it seemed worth a try!
The puff puff ($4 for 5) were little round fried doughnut balls with a chewy inside! The powdered sugar was also served on the side, which was nice so you could control the amount of sweetness you want. These were the perfect dessert to finish the meal.
I’m excited to see how Awa and Aisse are diversifying the Gainesville food community through providing delicious Afro fusion cuisine!
Happy Lunar New Year! I hope all of you are having a brave and bold new year, as it is the year of the tiger! Of course no celebration is complete without delicious food! Thankfully this year I was able to enjoy plenty of delicious food from a local food truck here in Gainesville.
Zen Asian Street Eats is a new food truck that joined Midpoint Eatery!
Created by Taste Vietnamese restaurant, this food truck has Vietnamese specialties like pho, and banh mi, as well as other Asian street foods like bao buns, spring rolls, ramen, and teriyaki. They also offer vegan and vegetarian options of almost every dish!
I tried the Pork Belly Buns, which were packed with flavor from the grilled pork belly, pickled veggies, cilantro, scallions, and sweet sauce. The buns were a bit hard texture wise but otherwise very good.
The Pork Belly Banh Mi was really good! The bread was toasted perfectly and had lots of pork belly, pickled veggies, homemade yum sauce, and lots of cilantro.
I also tried their special, which was the Char Siu Pork Rice Bowl, which was easily my favorite dish. The char siu, which is a Cantonese style barbecued pork, tasted savory and slightly smoky, with a chewy texture. The meat is less fatty than pork belly and the broccoli, carrots, and onions complemented the meat really well. I really hope they offer this dish more because I would love to have it again!
They have a separate station for napkins, utensils, and small packets of Sriracha sauce, which was a huge plus for spicy lovers!
The workers were all very sweet and friendly, and made the dining experience so smooth.
Midpoint eatery also has plenty of outdoor dining options, which is perfect for this milder weather. Check out Zen Asian Street Eats for your next Asian food craving!
While they do have a small parking area on the side, there were only a few spots which could make it tough to park on busy nights since it is located on University Avenue, which is a lively street. They did have a few designated parking spots for order pickup! Orders are prepared quick so it would be a great option for a meal on the go as well!
The indoor dining area was spacious and clean. They do not have outdoor dining.
The chicken shawarma platter came with seasoned chicken and pita bread on top of salad and rice. Although I wished the hot sauce could have been spicier (I’m too used to the red sauce from halal guys )
I really liked the creamy sauce and orange sauce with diced veggies that they gave on the side!
The portions were worth the price and you may even have food leftover for later!
The wraps come with fries and a drink, which is a great deal! The falafel was crunchy and flavorful, and the wrap was nicely toasted on the outside as well
I also got the garlic Buffalo wings and was pleasantly surprised by how crispy and delicious they were! They were still steaming and drenched in mild Buffalo sauce.
The worker at the counter was super friendly and eager to answer any questions.
Overall, this would be a great place to pick up food on-the-go or visit if you are close to the University of Florida campus!
Address: 808 W University Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601
My brother was visiting from out of town, so I looked for a place that had delicious tacos and came across El Dorado!
They have a colorful exterior with yellow walls, colorful murals and banners.
Their booths and tables had beautiful artwork on it, and I liked how they had separate booths, which allowed for more privacy and space. They have a large interior and long tables, which are perfect for larger groups as well.
We started with the free chips and salsa! The chips were crunchy and not too salty, which I appreciated! The salsa was refreshing and very good.
I got three tacos for $8.55 plus some extra charges. The chorizo (+.48c) and the Al Pastor (+.48c) were so flavorful with a nice spice to it and grilled onions. The fish taco (+$1.00) was so tender with a big chunk of grilled white fish. The tacos were topped with chopped red onions, cilantro, and lime. The corn tortillas held up well, which made it easier to eat!
The Huevos Rancheros ($11.24) were also really tasty, with a giant portion of eggs and grilled veggies on top, and beans and rice on the side. The flavors went well together, and the Mexican rice was so good!
Service was pretty quick and although our waiter disappeared for a little while towards the end, we were satisfied with the meal because the food was so good!
Gainesville has so many great restaurants for tacos, but El Dorado definitely ranks as one of the top choices for me! I wanted to try their Birria tacos, but we were informed that they only have them on weekends so I will definitely be back to try those!
Check out El Dorado for your next Tex Mex craving!
I got to purchase and try some dishes from Seoul Pocha during their soft launch and was blown away by how delicious everything was!
Seoul Pocha is serving up many kinds of Korean dishes, from popular street foods like Soondae (Korean sausage) and fish cake soup, to dishes you don’t normally find in restaurants in the U.S. such as mulhoe, or spicy raw fish soup.
Pocha is short for pojang macha, tents that sell food on the streets of South Korea. These tents are quite popular especially at night, when people share drinks with friends after a long day of work. I miss these casual eateries, so I was really excited to see Seoul Pocha bringing Korean food and drink culture to Gainesville. I could see Seoul Pocha being a fun hang out spot for college students and older adults who are looking to enjoy delicious food and drinks!
They are located on SW 13th Street, in the building where Twisted Peacock used to be. You will see a bright yellow sign with their hours. They have plenty of parking and a spacious interior. They have lots of indoor seating but no outdoor seating.
We were greeted at the door with festive K-pop and several friendly servers. The interior was sleek with red accents and warm yellow lights.
I like how the booths were separated, creating more privacy and social distance, and there are separate rooms for larger groups as well.
Our server kindly explained the dishes they had for that day and answered any questions we had.
The Okonomiyaki, ($16) which is a Japanese style seafood pancake, was filled with lots of assorted seafood including squid and shrimp, and coated in batter. It was topped with a mix of creamy and savory sauce, scallions, and katsuobushi (or bonito flakes), which I always find mesmerizing to look at! The texture of the seafood created a chewiness, which went well with a slight crunch of the batter and crispy flakes on top. Since the pancake is pretty big, this dish would be great to share as an appetizer.
The Jjol Sam Myeon, ($22) which is a combination of Jjol Myeon (spicy Korean noodles) and samgyupsal, pork belly slices, was delicious! It was plated beautifully, with separate three piles of noodles, sliced cabbage, lettuce, bean sprouts, and perilla leaves in the middle, and thin slices of pork belly on the side. They initially forgot the boiled egg on top, but brought it out to us a few minutes later! I really liked how the pork belly was not too fatty, and the meaty flavor complemented the spicy sauce really well. The sauce tasted like a combination of gochujang (Korean pepper paste), vinegar, and sugar. The spice does build up so make sure to ask for less sauce if you want it less spicy!
Our server offered to mix up our noodles with the veggie and meat, which really heightened the flavors and textures of the dish!
I was very excited to try the Mulhoe, or cold seafood soup, ($20) since I always make sure to have this dish whenever I go to Korea. You can usually find it in the coastal areas in the South (I usually have it in Pohang!). The portion of this dish was massive, with lots of fresh fish and shrimp piled on top of thinly sliced cucumbers, carrots, radish, and scallions. I’m used to having it with noodles in the soup as well, but this version is healthier, so I can’t complain! The soup also had ice cubes to keep it cold. The soup is so refreshing, vinegary, slightly sweet, and spicy! It would be perfect to cool you down on a warm day.
They did not have alcohol yet for the soft opening, but you can purchase alcohol to pair with the food as well, since these food items would go very well with beer, rice wine, or soju!
For those looking to party it up, Seoul Pocha also has two karaoke rooms! Their smaller room is priced at $30 per hour, and the larger room is $40 per hour. Both rooms were equipped with seating and disco ball lights to set the mood. It would be perfect for a night out with friends!
They are open til 12 or 1 AM on most nights, which is great for a college town with surprisingly few restaurants that are open past 10pm.
Be sure to check out Seoul Pocha for their grand opening on Tuesday!
Pink Flamingo Diner has everything from that classic diner vibe to mini golf!
Once you arrive, you will see their mural with their logo, and the diner. They have extensive seating outdoors, with heaters for the colder nights, as well as booths indoors.
We started with the mini golf, which consists of an 18-hole course. The pricing was fair at $7.99 for adults, $5.99 for kids 0-12 years old, and $6.99 for seniors 62+. Once you pay at the desk, you are given a golf club, a ball, and a score sheet.
I liked how each hole was named after a spring in Florida, and had a sign that gave you information about each spring! There was some variety to the course, as it had some slopes and tunnels that you had to go through, but they could make it a bit more dynamic, since there were only two holes with tunnels. A windmill or other obstacles would have been fun. I still had a lot of fun and enjoyed playing mini golf for the first time!
We decided to eat indoors since the weather was getting chilly at night. I enjoyed the neon lights and the iconic jukebox. Unfortunately it does not work, but it was a cool accent piece that really set the scene.
Their food items ranged from waffles to burgers and more. On weekend mornings they serve brunch items like pancakes and eggs, and feature live music on Friday and Saturday nights 7-10pm!
The Fish Platter with wild-caught cod ($17) came with three big chunks of fish that were fried perfectly- crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. It went well with tartar sauce, and I also enjoyed their Florida Cracker Trading Co. Green Swamp Jalapeno hot sauce so much! I got a side of mashed potatoes, which were a bit lumpy and just okay. The coleslaw was good and added a nice crunch to the meal.
There are also Vegan choices like the Organic Tempeh Reuben Sandwich ($13.50), which came with cheese, lots of tempeh, and a side. It comes with house fried kettle chips, or you can upgrade to French fries or sweet potato fries. The Sweet potato fries were on the softer side, but still very good.
The Country Fried Steak ($17) has an interesting texture as it is beaten and battered, then fried. The steak is topped with gravy and sweet corn on the side.
We were at a diner so of course I had to get a milkshake! I got the oreo milkshake ($7.95), which was sweet and tasty, with chunks of oreo. The straw that they provide is too small, which made it really tough to sip, so I ended up eating it with a spoon!
They also have orange vanilla floats and dairy free drinks like Golden Milk and Chaga Maca Mocha!
I found the prices to be a tad steep, but I also acknowledge that we were paying for the atmosphere and vibes. Overall, I had fun and enjoyed the classic diner feel, which is hard to find in Gainesville. If you are craving that old school diner vibe, then your craving is sure to be satisfied.
The service was pretty quick and the friendly owner came by to ask if we enjoyed our mini golf experience as well.
Located in High Springs, it was a bit of a drive, but it’s worth it if you are looking to enjoy some food and mini golf!
Feeling hungry? Rancho Luna food truck is serving up Cuban-American fusion food, with sandwiches, burgers, and bowls that are sure to fill you up!
Their menu ranges from burgers to sandwiches to mac and rice bowls. They also have Cuban desserts and snacks like guava pastries, empanadas, and tres leches cakes!
The food truck is owned by a very friendly couple, and you can spot their iconic red 1985 Ford truck on Sundays at 4th Ave Food Park, every other Wednesday at the VA Hospital, and Thursday nights in front of North Florida Hospital!
After you order your food, they will text you once your order is ready, which was convenient so you don’t have to stand around waiting.
Service was quick as the order was ready in about 10 minutes.
The weather was brisk, but thankfully it was still warm enough to eat outside in the sunshine!
The Cuban Cowboy sandwich ($12.50) was giant! It consisted of cuban bread stuffed with lots of sliced sirloin steak, grilled onions, and was covered in melted cheese and skinny matchstick fries. It also came with waffle fries, so it is a lot of food for the price!
The sandwich was tasty and it got a bit heavy with the creamy sauce and all the cheese, so I was grateful that they had small packets of Cholula hot sauce to give it a kick!
The waffle fries were seasoned well.
My friend had the Luna Bowl, $10 which is one of their vegan options. The rice bowl came with beans, tostones, grilled veggies, and plant based protein, which tasted a bit like tofu but chewier. If you like a tangy flavor, they put some sauce on their so it is flavorful and filling! The tostones, which are fried plantains, added the perfect crunch to the meal.
The Guava Pastry ($2) was tasty with a decent amount of filling, but it was more on the crunchy side than soft side. I still enjoyed the flakiness but it would have been perfect if heated a bit!
Overall, I’m excited to have another option for Cuban fusion food and will be back to try their Cuban sandwich!
I was lucky to have some locals take me to One Love Café when I first visited Gainesville back in 2016, and I immediately fell in love because of their friendly vibes! They had live music playing, which set the perfect atmosphere for outdoor dining in the beautiful sunny weather. I have been coming back every since then to enjoy outdoor dining and live music!
As for food, they have an extensive menu of tacos, burgers, pasta, and more. What sets this café apart is the love they put into their food! Their ingredients are sourced from local farms and bakeries, and you can tell the difference in quality. They also slice and roast all their whole meats and their sauces, pickles, and dressings are homemade. Just be sure to go there early on the weekends, because they frequently run out of ingredients due to high demand!
They also have an extensive selection of drinks, with wine, beer, and cocktails, and Happy Hour deals from 3pm-5pm!
After you order food and drinks inside, they give you a number to place on your table so they bring your food to you. The servers were very friendly and efficient, but since you don’t have designated waiter, it can be hard if you need to flag someone down. Also after you eat, you need to bring your dishes and trash to a station near the entrance.
I tried the Taco Trio ($13) with steak, BBQ pork, and shrimp tacos. The ingredients were all very fresh, and I was afraid the tacos would be bland without hot sauce or salsa, but they actually were bland not at all.
All the tacos came drizzled with their own sauces. The steak was cooked well, the shrimp was tender, and the BBQ pork was super flavorful with the pickled onions on top. The only thing I would have preferred was for the tortilla to be toasted a bit.
As for the side, you can choose between chips, baked beans, cole slaw, or a signature side for an additional $2.50. I ended up choosing a signature side of mac and cheese, because that’s one of my favorites. Their mac and cheese is super creamy with seasoning and cheese on top. I highly recommend it, if you are a mac and cheese fan.
My friend had the BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich ($11), which is filled with the roasted pulled pork, homemade sauce, pineapple-cilantro coleslaw, and pickled onions. She chose the baked beans and the sandwich also came with a pickle! Their pulled pork is amazing, and they frequently run out of it, so it is a solid choice.
They have live music every Thurs-Sunday nights, and it is definitely worth checking out. I was lucky to hear the Gainesville Jazz Collective play their set and they were phenomenal! You can find their weekly live music schedule on their facebook page!
One Love has lots of outdoor seating, a firepit, tiki bar, and 3 acres of land for you, your family, human friends, and animal friends to enjoy! It is definitely one of my go-to cafes in Gainesville on a sunny day. They do not have indoor seating, but they have a roof in their outdoor seating area. If you are looking to get work done on a computer, just know that they do not have open wifi access.
Enza’s Italian Restaurant is perfect for any celebration, or if you are looking to enjoy some quality Italian food! Just during my dinner I witnessed seven birthday celebrations and one engagement celebration!
The restaurant itself is a bit tucked away in a large plaza, but you should see a sign with the name in red. There were some tables outdoors, and lots of seating indoors. You can dine in or get take out.
They only open for dinner, with nightly live music. Right when I walked in, I was greeted by smooth jazz piano music by a very talented musician. The bar, named My Husband’s Bar, has happy hour Tues-Thurs from 4pm-7pm.
The restaurant is locally owned and operated by chefs Enza and Mike, who make delicious and authentic Italian cuisine just the way it was prepared in Enza’s native Sicily.
You can even book a cooking demo with them, if you are interested in learning more about how they prepare their food!
Their menu is extensive with lots of choices in pasta, chicken, seafood, and veal.
We started out with some bread, which was warm and soft on the inside, and coated with butter. It also came with a garlic oil dip, which made the bread even more flavorful.
Each dinner dish comes with a house salad or soup, and I chose the Minestrone soup. The soup was hearty and delicious, with lots of lentils, veggies, and pasta inside. The perfect way to warm your stomach before the main dish!
The Seafood Combo ($28) came with plenty of mussels, scallops, shrimp, and clams over linguini pasta. As for sauce, you can choose between a spicy or mild marinara or scampi sauce. Of course, being a lover of spicy food, I chose the spicy marinara.
The sauce itself was not that spicy, but it did add up over time. The quality of the seafood was extremely fresh, and it came with a lot of seafood! The clams had a tiny bit of a gritty crunch, but overall, everything was cooked very well. The pasta noodles were tender and not too soggy, while they still soaked up the sauce thoroughly. The dish also came with a banana pepper, which gave it a refreshing touch to what could be a hefty meal!
I also tried a bit of my friend’s Gnocchi ($17) with pesto sauce, and it was absolutely delicious. It definitely ranked as one of the top gnocchi dishes I have had! Very creamy and chewy. I would definitely recommend this dish!
I was lucky enough to be there to celebrate a friend’s brother’s engagement, and our waiter gifted the happy couple a tiramisu dish to share. Our waiter was also very friendly and professional.
Whether you are celebrating a big occasion or just looking to eat some quality Italian food, Enza’s is a great option!
Address: 10601 San Jose Blvd #109, Jacksonville, FL 32257
Ohana means family, and family means sharing food together!
The name of this restaurant was also fitting for this occasion, as I was able to enjoy some Korean food with my brother while visiting him in College Station!
I ordered take-out and the food was ready in about 20 minutes. The Korean lady who owns the store had a briskness about her, but she still made sure to double check all the items in my order, which I appreciated.
The restaurant is located in Park Place Plaza, and while there was plenty of indoor seating, no outdoor seating was available.
I heard great things about their Korean style Chinese cuisine, so I ordered Jjajangmyeon (Black Bean Noodle) $12.99, Jjambbong (Seafood Spicy Noodle) $14.99, and Sautéed Blood Sausage $15.99.
The Jjambbong was definitely my favorite of the items. It came with plenty of mussels, shrimp, veggies (I found the broccoli to be an interesting touch but eh, can’t complain because I need to eat more greens!). The broth definitely had a kick to it, which I enjoyed, and the noodles soaked up the flavor very well. I would say this was pretty authentic.
The Jjajangmyeon was also very tasty, with lots of onions and pork in the black bean sauce. It came topped with half of a boiled egg. The black bean sauce was on the sweeter side, but it was still quite delicious.
I was excited for the Sautéed Blood Sausage because this is not a dish you can find commonly at a lot of smaller Korean restaurants in the U.S. It had a lot of veggies in it, as well as sweet potato noodles and rice cake filled with cheese!
While the sauce was spicy and good, the texture of the blood sausage seemed less chewy than I would have liked. This is most likely because they use a frozen blood sausage instead of fresh one, but it is understandable because blood sausage is not easy to make, let alone find in the U.S. Given all of that, I enjoyed this dish a lot and the portion was large as well, even though I got the smaller size. This dish also came with a side of rice.
All of the dishes came with banchan, or side dishes, consisting of pickled radish, kimchi, potatoes in soy sauce, pickled onions and cucumber. All of the side dishes were tasty and the portion was also large, so I had left overs to eat with my next meal.
Overall, I enjoyed the meal and my craving for Korean food was satisfied! Just a tip that they also close from 2-5pm between lunch and dinner.
Address: 2501 Texas Ave, College Station, TX 77840
After a long day spent driving and visiting the Nature and Science museum in Dallas, we were ready to eat! Lucky for us, Spring Creek Barbeque was open and available for dinnertime.
Right when you walk in, you will see a conveyer belt-like system where you pick your drink (ranging from sodas to beer), and then head over to choose your meats.
You can choose a BBQ dinner, which comes with your choice of meat and either two home-style sides, or one premium side. Sadly they were out of the pulled pork by the time we got there.
Their home-style sides range from coleslaw, mac and cheese, corn, and beans, and their premium sides range from baked potato, fries, okra, and salad.
They also had a self-serve station so you could pile on all the red onions, pickles, peppers, and shredded cheese to your heart’s content!
The Baby Back Ribs ($18.65) were coated with plenty of BBQ sauce, which went well with the mac and cheese and coleslaw that I chose, but overall there was nothing too special about the ribs.
The Brisket ($17.95), however, was extremely tender. You can choose between marble cut, lean cut, or a mix. I recommend choosing marble cut if you want tender meat that will melt in your mouth! It was also very saucy. Meanwhile, the corn was pretty flavorless and just seemed like it was boiled in water. The potato salad was a better option.
You also get a roll, made in house, with your meal, and I found the roll to be surprisingly delicious. It was very airy and chewy! I saw that they were busy baking more rolls constantly at the station in the back, where you can order desserts like peach cobbler and ice cream.
They had plenty of indoor seating, but no outdoor seating.
While Spring Creek was not my absolute favorite place for BBQ, it is still a solid option located near Dallas Fort Worth airport! It was nice not having to wait in a long line, and they are open until 9pm, which is nice because some BBQ places close by dinnertime.