Quick Bites: Flipping for Flipside Café

Sandwiched between PetSmart and Barnes & Noble on SR 200 is a new restaurant, On The Flipside Café. Once the home of Semolina and The Mediterranean Bistro, this family-owned eatery is doing quite well and just may outlast its two predecessors.

At the restaurant’s helm are “Memaw” Griffin and her daughter, Cheryl Griffin, who have some 47 years of combined experience in the Marion County School Food Service. Cheryl’s son, Corey, who has over eight years of experience with a successful local restaurant, is in the kitchen. His brother, Brandon, who worked for Publix for eight years, takes care of ordering and customer satisfaction.

My first visit was for breakfast. I usually order whatever the chef suggests, and on this particular morning, I was served the pancake breakfast with eggs and potatoes. Memaw boasts of a secret pancake ingredient that I dare you to figure out. It was so tasty that maple syrup was not needed. I also sampled the Poached Benedict, two eggs over Canadian bacon on an English muffin and covered in a creamy hollandaise sauce. I was only supposed to sample from the offerings, but it was so good that I ate the whole thing.

“Customers are surprised by the crunchiness of our vegetables in our omelettes,” Brandon remarks. “We chop fresh produce and don’t use canned or bagged.” When asked if they will sauté the veggies on request, Brandon says, “Absolutely. All they have to do is ask.”

That evening, the suggestions for dinner were the Chicken Pasta Carbonara, a delicious combination of an alfredo sauce, bow pasta, and tender chicken; the Pork Tenderloin Marsala, so tender you could cut it with a fork; and the Penne Alla Vodka salad with lots of fresh veggies. For dessert, my guest and I shared the Flaming Bananas Foster Cheesecake that included an incredible bourbon sauce.

“It’s the best breakfast money can buy in Ocala,” says customer Harry Barlow,
who frequents the restaurant two to four times a week. “The service and hospitality is four stars.”

The restaurant is open six days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and closed on Mondays. Call (352) 291-9207 or visit ontheflipsidecafeocala.com to view restaurant pictures and the menu.

Nibbles: Ken DePasquale, the founder and former CEO of Carmichael’s Restaurant & Catering Company, has recently sold all interest in the business.

“For over 20 years, Karen, my wife, and I have worked very hard spoiling our many personal friends and the most incredible customers in the world,” he confided in a press release. “I would like to thank the local business and residential communities for their unbelievable patronage over these past
two decades.”

Carmichael’s is located on NE 25th Avenue in the building known as Hightowers. It has been completely remodeled and still features the banquet room.

Scrambles Café, located on Maricamp Road by The Church of the Springs, just celebrated its eighth year, and owners Allison and Steve Nile invite you to come down and enjoy breakfast or lunch. See Cynthia McFarland’s feature article at ocalastyle.com about this renowned restaurant that is popular with out-of-towners and locals alike.

Mc Allister’s Deli; Tropical Smoothie Café; a new Italian restaurant in Oak Run; Pi on Broadway; Raising Steaks; China Star; Grace Sushi, a French restaurant in downtown Ocala; Kajun Kuntry Po-Boys New Orleans Cuisine; Zachary’s Bakery; and Cantina Laredo—these are just a few of the newest openings I will cover in future issues of Ocala Style.

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