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Blue Gill Quality Foods

Caitlyn Finnegan Caitlyn Finnegan Caitlyn Finnegan

Located under the Shand's Hospital parking garage, Blue Gill Quality Foods offers a menu just as surprising as its location. Hospital employees use it as a quick escape from the hustle of the emergency room while saavy undergraduates flock to take in the Southern cuisine and special lunch deals. The atmosphere is entirely Floridian in its laidback simplicity and dishes are served on thrifted China plates, making for a new experience each time you dine in.

Start off with the Clam and Corn Fritters, Fried Green Tomatoes or Pimento Cheese and Pickle Chips - all great representations of the down-home style cooking this restuarant is aiming for. The colorful map of Florida on the wall is a nod to highway diners we visited as kids on roadtrips and the chalk menu board is constantly updated to keep up with what's in season. Keeping menu ingredients locally resourced is a main goal of head chef Burt Gill, whose other restaurants - Mildred's and the New Deal Cafe - have already set the bar for utilizing local resources found around town. Expect your vegetables to be from the downtown farmer's market and the brisket on your plate to be from the university's meat processing department. If Chef Gill can't find an ingredient he needs in town, he will look for a supplier as close to Gainesville as possible.

Main dishes vary from brisket and fresh vegetables, shrimp and grits, country ham and oxtail. The dessert menu is also stacked with great choices worth a stop-in on their own with Southern favorites like banana bread and fried pie.

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