If you’ve been struggling to keep up with all the new restaurants in Hall County, you’re not alone. In an effort to make things a little easier for you, we’ve put together a list of new places you can try out in 2019, including a few that will be opening soon.
Authentic Mexican food is usually just a stone’s throw away in Hall County, and one of the newest places for you to try out is La Casa Del Taco, a restaurant using recipes from the cook’s mother.
Oscar Munoz and his son Oscar Jr. are dishing up the expected Mexican dishes like burritos, tacos and nachos. But there are also things like Alambre De La Casa, a plate of steak, chicken, shrimp, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes and cilantro covered with melted cheese and the Molcajetes De La Casa, a dish of steak, chicken, shrimp, chorizo, cactus, onions and avocados.
“We chose the name La Casa Del Taco because we want people to feel like it’s home,” Oscar Jr. said in a January interview with the Times. “We want them to feel relaxed, calm, and provide them with good food and a great experience overall.”
This Mexican-American fast food joint started the New Year off right by opening its doors to those wanting a taco or fries, a burger or burrito.
The restaurant offers a bright interior with lots of seating for guests and stays open late for those who need a midnight snack.
When: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., daily
This is where that New Year’s resolution was tossed out the window. Danny’s Donuts, which already has two other locations in Gainesville, opened its third location, this time in Oakwood — or Flowery Branch, depending how you look at it
The doughnut shop, which offers fresh doughnuts daily, took over the space in South Hall a while back and has been slowly been making progress — and it opened to a flood of people this winter. So many people showed up to the store’s first day of business that they had to stop serving breakfast and solely focus on doughnuts.
Speaking of the grand opening, Danny’s is still offering its grand opening special — two free doughnuts with every purchase of a dozen — for about another month.
When: 5 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily
After the short-lived Foothills Barbecue disappeared, The Inked Pig opened in its spot.
After a much-needed renovation — the new spot looks great — the restaurant started serving its barbacoa brisket with a chimichurri sauce and sweet tea smoked chicken.
Along with the pulled pork and selection of sauces and sides at the restaurant, The Inked Pig seems to be a hit with those who’ve visited so far.
The Inked Pig
Where: 893 Main St. SW, Gainesville
When: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.Thursday-Sunday
Another pizza joint is just what the area needed, and lucky for those on the north end of Thompson Bridge Road, Manhattan Chicago Pizzeria has opened, serving Chicago deep-dish and New York pizza.
For the New York-style pizza, owner and Brooklyn native David Schilling said the pizza is thin and foldable.
But when it comes to the Chicago style, things are much different. It’s baked in a round pan — similar to a cake pan — and starts with cheese, then meats and vegetables, more cheese then the sauce.
“I’m from Brooklyn, so it’s the flavors of my youth that you’re eating over here,” Schilling said in a February interview with the Times.
Manhattan Chicago Pizzeria
When: Varying hours daily, closed Monday
There’s a new place — well, kind of new — to get your fried chicken fix. Zaxby’s closed its Riverside Drive location to open a new location in Gainesville off Jesse Jewell Parkway across from Kroger.
The new location is larger and more modern, but offers the same tried-and-true menu at all other Zaxby’s locations.
“We’re hoping that we’ve provided a place that they can come in and relax,” T.J. McLeroy said. “Obviously it’s going to be a much better atmosphere than Riverside. We could only fit so many people in that store.”
When: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday and Sunday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Passersby have been watching this place be built out for the past few months and if all goes as planned, ChopBLOCK will open this spring, according to general manager Mike Mills.
In a December interview with the Times, Mills described the place as a premium casual sports restaurant.
It’s outfitted with 10 yards worth of turf at the entrance, which will be surrounded by high-top cocktail tables. There will be a long community table, bar, six booths and 14 sets of TVs from 65 to 130 inches on the first floor of the restaurant. To get to the second level, which will be used for private parties, guests can use the stairs or an elevator that’s being installed.
Mills wants to introduce menu items from sports stadiums across the country. That means you’ll soon be able to enjoy a Chicago dog, New York pastrami burger, San Francisco fried squid or New Orleans seafood nachos without having to travel to and shell out money for a game.
ChopBLOCK Food and Spirits
Where: 110 Main St., Gainesville
The question on everyone’s mind is when this place will open. It’s been teasing everyone who drives by for months, but promises to be worth the wait with a new scattered buffet format, with the tables and chairs less crowded to make for a more comfortable atmosphere.
The restaurant was set to open as soon as April 2018, but that date was moved to December 2018, then moved to mid-January.
The restaurant is still not open and hasn’t set an opening date but is hiring.
The newest player on the scene in Gainesville will take over the old Novella’s location on the downtown Gainesville square. All we know is there’s a location in Clemson, South Carolina, and Tacoma, Washington, and the restaurant has passed its initial kitchen inspection.
Based on the Clemson location’s menu, the restaurant will serve sushi burritos — a traditional sushi roll you’d find at any sushi restaurant, but at Zen, it’s burrito-sized. The restaurant will also serve ramen and sushi poké bowls.
The Clemson location has four stars on Yelp and the Tacoma location has 4.5 stars.