Wednesday, March 24, 2010

East End Eatery: The Jewel of Eighth Avenue

East End Eatery (1202 NE 8th Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32601, 352-378-9870)is one of several sure-fire go-to restaurants on the east side of Gainesville. I can depend on their offerings and have thoroughly enjoyed each meal that I have had there. EEE features creative cuisine focusing on fresh,local foods whenever available. The dishes are healthful and all have intriguing tastes.

The restaurant came about after the success of its parent endeavor, Elegant Events Catering. Favorite dishes from the catering business have been incorporated into the EEE's menu. Their statement of purpose says it well: "As a locally owned small business, we strive to bring the very best of our community to you in the form of healthy, delicious and affordable lunches and carry-out. We have embraced the need for sustainability by providing Eco-friendly materials [menu and to-go packaging]. By utilizing sustainable methods in our preparation, we are doing our part to help preserve what we have -- a beautiful East End of Gainesville."

We have eaten there a number of times now. Often the menu features specials such as quiches, salads, and usually a hot dish. Their meat loaf and a beef stroganoff were definitely A plus comfort food. EEE's Mashed potatoes are better than Mama makes (sorry to the mothers of Gainesville).

Today, for example, we dropped by EEE for a quick lunch. My wife ordered quiche with a side curried apple sweet potato soup that was fresh, pungent, and with multiple layers of bright, rich flavor. The serving sizes were ample and the soup came in a large cup, much larger than normal. The quiche could have used stronger flavor, maybe a sharper cheese.

I ordered the Moroccan Chicken Salad Wrap that was flavored with oranges, dates, and cardamom. I was totally delighted with the wrap and found the meal tasty and refreshing. The side of potato salad was freshly made in the restaurant and "popped" with flavor.

This is definitely a go-to restaurant, a Percy Harvin of the Gainesville restaurant scene (along with Ruby's, The Jones). If you have not tried the East End Eatery, head on over and you will be glad you did.


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