Uncle D's Garlic Crabs, Shrimp & More

Owner Daren Bivens is now sharing his garlic sauce recipe with the community


Daren Bivens is the owner of Uncle D's Garlic Crabs, Shrimp and More located in a bright red food truck on Hawthorne Road near the intersection of SE 24th Street.

Matt Stamey/Special to the Guardian
Published: Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 3:58 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 3:58 p.m.

Daren Bivens is now delighting the taste buds of others in the community after delighting the taste buds of his family and friends for many years.

Bivens, owner of Uncle D's Garlic Crabs, Shrimp & More at 2047 SE Hawthorne Road on the property that formerly housed The Dog House, said his wife, Jackie Bivens, and other family members have raved for years about the flavor of his garlic sauce, a recipe he created.

"My wife and my brother-in-law were my testers, and for many years they have been tasting and testing my crabs and other foods I cook because I am always cooking at home," said Bivens, 53, who retired in July 2012 after working 25 years for the state of Florida.

Bivens said after hearing for years about his cooking skills, especially his garlic sauce, and listening to his pastors (Pastors BJ and Teresa Osoba at Redeeming Faith & Anointing Church) preach about stepping out on faith, he decided to invest $30,000 in a customized mobile food trailer.

The state-of-the-art glossy candy apple red trailer was made by Texas Trailers located on Highway U.S. 441 near NW 53rd Avenue in Gainesville. The trailer is complete with a 22-cubit-foot freezer, a 22-cubit-foot refrigerator, a regular home deep freezer, a flat-top grill, two deep fryers, a four-burner stove and a hand and three compartment sinks.

"I also have air conditioning and heat in here," Bivens said.

The menu at Uncle D's, which opened in May, consists of garlic crabs and shrimp, fried fish and shrimp, and sides of corn, link sausages, sweet potato and regular fries, boiled eggs, extra butter and potatoes.

"In my opinion, I think I have the best garlic crabs in the whole state of Florida," Bivens said.

Bivens said he named the business Uncle D's because his nephew, 16-year-old Aljawan Burnett, has been calling him Uncle D for a long time.

"I used to have him with me a lot as he was growing up, and he just started calling me Uncle D, so I thought that would be a good name for the business," Bivens said.

Bivens, who graduated from Gainesville High School in 1979, said he has a great passion for cooking and comes from a cooking family.

"I just take a lot of pride in what I do and I have a serious passion for what I'm doing," Bivens said. "Business has been real good so far and we have a lot of repeat customers. Plus, a lot of people who live around here have been telling us that they are glad we are here, so that tells me I am doing something right."

Bivens gets help at the business by his brother-in-law, Keith Wimberly, who works with him as a volunteer employee.

"I'm just here to help him because I believe in what he is doing," said Wimberly, 49.

Two customers, Ellis James and Tiffany Henry, who were visiting the business on a recent Friday confirmed that Bivens is doing something right.

Henry, 34, said she moved to southeast Gainesville four months ago from Tallahassee and will not be buying garlic crabs from anywhere else after discovering Uncle D's.

"I came here a couple of weeks ago and got the garlic shrimp and crabs with potatoes and corn, and it was so good," Henry said. "It was plenty of food, and I shared it with three other people at work. I came back today, and I'm getting the spicy rice, which I would definitely recommend, and the shrimp. I will be definitely coming here every weekend."

Waiting on his two orders of garlic shrimp with potatoes and spicy rice, Ellis, 72, said he patronizes Uncle D's every weekend.

"The food is very good," said Ellis, a southeast Gainesville resident.

Bivens said the "& More" in the name of the business refers to the spicy rice and other items not on the menu that he will serve on occasion.

"I have a few other items I'm going to be serving from time to time," Bivens said.

Hours of operation are from noon to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

For more information, call 352-256-1528. However, the business does not take call-in orders.

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