Owner, Venture Realty of Florida, LLC

Came to Greater Gainesville in 1987

What about Greater Gainesville stood out when comparing it to your other options?

I moved here with my grandparents from Key Largo during 10th grade. They chose to move here after visiting my uncle, a paleontologist working at UF’s Natural History Museum. Gainesville seemed huge to me: multiple movie theaters, multiple high schools, the university, and more than one road in/out. For my grandparents it was a return to an active social life filled with interesting, diverse people.

What is your favorite local food?

My birthday lunch every year is Reggae Shack’s Oxtail and the Callaloo. The simple, rich flavor of the oxtail combined with the rice and peas, and the texture of the cabbage makes it a perfect plate. I live for spinach so the Callaloo (seasoned spinach with onions, carrots, tomatoes, and deliciousness) is an absolute must, as is a to-go container. Match it all with a cold Red Stripe and life is good.

Describe your ideal day in Greater Gainesville.

An ideal day would begin by walking at either San Felasco’s Creek Sink Trail or La Chua Trail (starting at the Boulware Springs access), depending upon the temperature and time of the year – mosquitos and alligator activity levels factor into the decision. After that, we’d head over to the original 43rd Street Deli location for breakfast – maybe have the black bean cakes with fried eggs on top, cinnamon roll French toast (if it’s on special), or one of their scrambles. Then on to attend a Gator Basketball win at Exactech Arena (my favorite Gator thing to do). We’d finish it up with dinner and wine at Northwest Grille. This restaurant on NW 39th Avenue has terrific food for every taste (seafood, steaks, pastas, & burgers), excellent service, and is fairly near my house so a triple threat in the #win category.

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