A recent trip took my classmates and I to Gainesville, Florida. Not being familiar with the restaurant scene in this Sunshine State city, we first checked Google Maps to see what options we might have near our hotel. I narrowed down some dining options and read reviews written by previous diners. This can often be a tricky situation, as many people seem to base their feedback on whether or not they are having a good or bad day. But when you come across an establishment with some good reviews for a spiel that has nothing to do with food or service, then you can feel a bit confident that the restaurant is probably a good one.
So after reading some positive reviews, I clicked on the Mr. Han’s Restaurant and Nightclub website to check out the menu.
The homepage of this Gainesville, Florida Chinese restaurant boasts having won numerous awards from local publications and local diners. They also have some famous sponsors, including George Burns, Robin Williams, Rodney Dangerfield, Bob Hope, and Billy Crystal. We later find out that Mister Han’s is very close to a comedy club.
The menu looked good. The prices were reasonable. The promise of exotic drinks and cocktails was intriguing. The location was within walking distance. We decided to give it a try.
The atmosphere when we entered Mister Han was nice. The dining room was open, but the light level was dark enough to give the space a more intimate feel. There was a good size crowd for a Sunday night, but even with a crowded room, the volume level was low enough that we could speak at normal conversational levels.
The service was fast, responsive, and attentive throughout the evening. In fact, our waiter, who was also an owner, spent time with us after we finished eating and chatted about China and the trips he leads to Beijing, China and beyond. It was a nice way to end a meal.
The cocktail list was quite extensive and you could choose from three different levels of concentration for your drinks. I went with one of the strongest cocktails, the “Suffering Bastard” I think it was called, and after two I was glad we only had to cross the street to get back to our hotel.
The food did not disappoint. Each of us tried a different entree and each of us left full and happy. While I can’t remember what my fellow travelers chose from the menu. I will never forget my food. If you try Mister Han’s Chinese restaurant and enjoy steak, I highly recommend trying “Prime Steak, Chinese Style”.
Here is the description of the menu. “Prime New York sirloin, cooked to order and served with a delicious dark soy sauce. Some say this dish is perfect, others say it is a religious experience, but most customers simply say: steak “No Chinese restaurant has ever had something like this. Give it a try and see what we mean. “
I wouldn’t say it was a religious experience, but I would say I’ve never had such a great steak dinner at any Chinese restaurant. The beef cubes were so tender they melted in my mouth like butter. The sauce was a perfect match. It does not overwhelm or disappoint the steak.
The total experience that night at Mister Han’s Restaurant and Nightclub in Gainesville Florida was very rewarding. The atmosphere was cozy. The food was delicious. The service was perfect. The discussion and historical education about China, its people and its history was a wonderful bonus.
The next time you’re on a golf vacation, family getaway, business trip, or any other reason, you’re in Gainesville, Florida; be sure to take the time to enjoy a meal at Mister Han’s.