I’ve made it a personal mission to try all of the yogurt and ice cream places that open Gainesville. There have been several open in the past year or so. Think I’ve tried all but one or two. Yogurtology opened sometime this summer.
Yogurtology is one of those trendy self-service yogurt places. Even though it is self-service the staff didn’t want to allow customers to get their own yogurt. They also push getting a bottom like cake for the yogurt. Since it is sold by the ounce that does add to the cost. Yes, I’m one of those who selects toppings based on weight.
The flavor selection was unique. Most of the flavors that day were based on candy or deserts. However the taste was below average. I had to try at least 5 flavors before I found one that was okay. I was really disappointed in the oatmeal cookie and taffy banana. The taffy banana was so lacking in taste and I had to look at the sign to figure out the flavor.
Food: Below average. Yogurt was lacking in flavor.
Selection: Good. They have some unique flavors.
Service: Average. The staff does need to learn what the word self-serve means.
Allergy Rating: Slightly below average. The staff had no real knowledge of what was in the yogurt.
We first went to Cafe C with a Groupon for Sunday Brunch. The food was great. They had live music and a funky cool environment. So when Cafe C was featured on Living Social we eagerly bought the deals. This time the deal was for lunch. Cafe C is open 11 am – 3 pm every day. So it is a lunch place. I was really looking forward to our next trip to Cafe C.
Unfortunately, our subsequent trips to Cafe C have been a huge disappointment. Disappointment may be an understatement of the experiences. On our 2nd trip I was a little early and had to wait on the Big Guy for about 5-10 minutes. I thought this would give me time to figure out what I wanted because of allergies. Well that was a mistake. Cafe C is one of those places where you order first. The counter people were not happy that I had the nerve to wait inside the air-conditioned building. Think they wanted me to wait out in the heat. Cafe C does not have an allergy friendly menu or even an ingredient list. The server told me she would tell me if there was anything I was allergic to in the food. I gave her my list and then proceeded to ask about items. Each time I asked the server kept staring straight ahead kind of like a zombie. It was as if I didn’t exist. Finally, I asked and she rudely stated no. OK so I guessed on something that appeared safe. Then I got lemonade. I noticed it was pink and wanted to know what flavor it was because I’m allergic to strawberries. I asked the zombie-chick but got no response. Then another person who was supposed to be some sort of management type walked by and I attempted to ask her. That was a major mistake. She proceeded to make fun of my allergies. I asked her if there was strawberry in the lemonade. She responded something like that.
Well, we went back a third time only because we made the unfortunate mistake of buying more than one deal. This time the Big Guy tried to help. He usually gets better service. I think it may be the size thing. This time the counter person tried to be helpful but she just had no clue. We were then referred to the rude chick from our previous trip. So her excuse for not knowing about the food was that it was made at the other location and no cooks were available. Also, they don’t know what is in anything. What made things worse was her attitude. She has a rather cold and self-important attitude. She did tell us that some of the salads used a soy based dressing. Once again every time we tried to find out what was in the food she would just ignore us, glare at us or give a non-conclusive answer.
Staff: What is worse than horrible. The staff is poorly trained in customer service and is often down-right rude. Apparently no one at this location has any knowledge of what is in a dish.
Allergy Rating:If you have any food allergies this is a place to AVOID. The staff is clueless about food allergies. They are intentionally deceptive when trying to determine if food is safe.
Overall: Not worth the hassle or risk.
ALLERGY WARNING: CAFE C IS UNSAFE FOR ANYONE WITH ALLERGIES. IT BORDERS ON BEING DANGEROUS FOR ALLERGIES.
Pazza Bistro may be one of my favorite places in Gainesville. It is a very simple concept: fresh food at a good price. I like that the sauces and many of the pastas are made in house. They serve pasta, pizza, flatbread and salads. Every entrée comes with either a salad or garlic bread. The large pasta is large enough to share. We like to order 2 entrées and share. Oh, the salad and garlic bread is also large enough to share, as well.
I like how the pizza is cooked over an open flame. It makes the crust extra crispy. Think I have had all of the pizzas and they are all good. Oh, I haven’t tried the inferno pizza.
The pizza is amazing but the pastas are may favorite. I really like the almost endless combinations of pastas. You get to select the pasta, sauce and any extras. Each week they offer a chef’s special. I recommend the Carbonaro or Bolognese sauce with either fettuccine or gnocchi.
I do have a couple of complaints about Pazza Bistro. They are on the other side of town. When we moved I couldn’t convince them to relocate to the other side of town. The garlic bread has way to much garlic.
Food: Outstanding — except the garlic bread
Selection: Excellent — A simple menu with unlimited combinations
Staff: Excellent — Friendly, professional,
Atmosphere: Excellent — Open kitchen; clean; cool place
This year I decided to try community sponsored agriculture (CSA). I like the idea of supporting the local economy. I have been shopping at the Alachua County Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings since we moved here.
After doing research I decided to try the CSA program through Graham Farms. Graham Farms is a family operation run by Marvin and Kathy Graham. I first became acquainted with Marvin and Kathy through the county farmers market.
One of the things I liked about the Graham’s operation is that they are pesticide free. One of the reasons I prefer to buy produce through the farmer’s market is that I can get to know the farmers and learn which ones are pesticide free.
Affordability and flexibility were the deciding factors in selecting Graham Farms CSA over other available options. Most of the programs I found required a buy-in of several hundred dollars and ran for limited period. In many CSA programs you buy a weekly share and get a pre-packaged selection of produce. Graham Farms has two CSA programs the Market CSA & the UF/Gator CSA.
The Market CSA (the one we joined) has a year round open enrollment. The minimum share purchase is $100 and is good for one year from date of purchase. As a bonus they give 10% bonus dollars towards your share.
Your share purchase is $100.00
10%bonus dollars $ 10.00
Total Share $110.00
The cool part is that they send out a weekly email and allow me to select what items I want for the week.
The UF/Gator CSA program runs November 2011-June 2012. They offer 3 different size shares. Also, they offer banking, which allows members to skip a week or take only a partial amount of your bag. The unused portion is banked and may be used anytime before the program end. Each week they send out an email list each week what is available. Members place orders via email each week based on the list. As bonus the program runs 34 weeks but they only charge for 32 weeks. Cost for the UF/Gator CSA:
$192.00 $6.00/week in farm products
$320.00 $10.00/week in farm products
$500.00 $16.00/week in farm products
If you are looking for a CSA program in the Gainesville, Florida area I would certainly recommend checking out the program through Graham Farms. Oh, be sure to tell them that Dee sent you there way.