OAK brings gourmet comfort food to Gainesville

Original American Kitchen is a newer restaurant on the Gainesville scene, and it has rapidly become a local favorite. With its unique atmosphere, fresh take on southern comfort food, and 16 self-service craft beer and whiskey taps, OAK has something for everyone.

Lindsey Lutz, a server at OAK, said that what makes it unique is that its a very different atmosphere and setting than most other Gainesville Restaurants, which attracts people to it. She labels OAK as trendy southern.

“The setting itself has lots of wood, wrought iron, and sunflowers, mixed with an upscale, NYC-inspired ambience leaves a really cool place to both hang out and drink or grab a good meal,” Lutz said.

Lutz said the style of cooking can be classified as southern fusion.

“OAK makes typical southern food and then makes it trendy,” Lutz said.

She said the menu consists of typical southern dishes like shrimp and grits or gumbo, but with a more modern spin. Customers end up with dishes like fried green tomatoes and fried provolone sliders, Lutz said.

Her favorite thing on the menu is the stuffed onion ring.

“You can never go wrong with it,” Lutz said.

Lutz said that in addition to food, OAK also has a self-serve tap wall with a variety of local and American craft beers. It’s all priced per ounce, so its great customers who want to sample different beers and find what they really like.

Lutz loves working for such a unique place in Gainesville. She has worked for the 101 Management group, which owns OAK, for the past three years.

Grilled cheese and tomato soup // Photo by Ashleigh Braun

Grilled cheese and tomato soup // Photo by Ashleigh Braun

and said everyone is like a family.

“The best part is you get to meet some really awesome people because whenever famous figures come in town they usually want to go somewhere cool, so I’ve been able to meet and hang out with professional athletes, tons of owners of different liquor brands, and so many more,” Lutz said.

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