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RHT in JAX's Profile

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Best Sandwich in Jacksonville (?)

Sounds awesome. Thanks for the heads-up.

Jun 20, 2011
RHT in JAX in Florida

Best Sandwich in Jacksonville (?)

JT - Does Angie's have cheeseburgers on their normal menu? I don't recall ever seeing it?

Jun 19, 2011
RHT in JAX in Florida

Best BBQ in Jacksonville???`

No decent BBQ?

While I agree Jenkins is incredibly overrated and has MAJOR quality control issues, Mojos is excellent BBQ, and they do it the right way there.

My family has competed in BBQ competitions since before I could walk (and won many), and my father loves going to Mojos everytime he visits. Outside of some of the NC legends, Mojos has some of the best pulled pork ever. Occasionally, I've gotten dry ribs there, but that happens occasionally to even the best of cooks. In general, their ribs are spot-on.

Jun 17, 2011
RHT in JAX in Florida

Best Sandwich in Jacksonville (?)

Good call on Angie's. I just moved to the beach, and the peruvian is really good.

Jun 10, 2011
RHT in JAX in Florida

Jacksonville restaurants

Within walking distance, I would recommend La Cena (dinner only), Chew, and Burrito Gallery. La Cena is upscale Italian (with excellent fresh pastas). Chew is sort-of fine dining, new American cuisine; and Burrito Gallery is a burrito place - but its good and reasonable.

If you can drive, Orsay (Avondale neighborhood) is one of my favorite restaurant in town right now. Excellent food with french influences and great atmosphere. It's less than ten minutes from the Hyatt. Taverna (San Marco neighborhood) is also a very good kind of upscale place with mediteranean influences.

Burrito Gallery
21 E Adams St, Jacksonville, FL 32202

Feb 27, 2011
RHT in JAX in Florida

Good place to find chicken and waffles in Jacksonville?

I agree with Marcus. The Metro has a legit plate of chicken and waffles. I am not a waffle aficionado, so any type of waffle would have worked for me. However, when put on the spot, I usually go with fried chicken as my favorite food. The fried chicken at the Metro is really, really good - crispy skin with a nice flavor (and spice) to the meat. (For me, the fried chicken at the Metro blows away Beach Road (which is overrated).)

Strawberry butter, syrup, and hot sauce is also an incredible combination.

Aug 17, 2010
RHT in JAX in Florida

Pastrami on Rye @ Metro Diner in Jax/San Marco

I had the pastrami on rye last week (based on a chowhound recommendation), and it was excellent - great smoky flavor, excellent texture, and just enough fat to keep the meat moist without being greasy.

Aug 17, 2010
RHT in JAX in Florida

One Night in Jacksonville (with car)- Where should we eat??

If you are at the airport, downtown Jax is probably your closest alternative. For great atmosphere and food, I'll agree with Littleman that Restaurant Orsay is probably the top recommendation. It is in the Avondale neighborhood, which is very close to downtown.

Taverna (in the San Marco neighborhood) is also an excellent option.

If you are in the mood for Italian, La Cena is excellent and serves a variety of homemade pastas. The atmosphere can be a little lacking at times (if its not busy), but the food is outstanding.

Aug 17, 2010
RHT in JAX in Florida

One Night in Jacksonville (with car)- Where should we eat??

What part of town are you going to be staying in? Jax is pretty spread out.

Aug 15, 2010
RHT in JAX in Florida

Please Pass the Mass-Produced, Salty, Delicious Ketchup

Platypus - You are not the only one. Cooksillustrated recently did a ketchup taste test, and Hunts was the clear winner (with Heinz finishing in the middle of the pack). As a previously loyal Heinz devotee, I was surprised by the result. However, when I bought a bottle of Hunts and compared it to the Heinz I still had in the fridge, I definitely preferred the Hunts.

Jul 15, 2010
RHT in JAX in Features

Uptown Market & Deli (Jacksonville) - Strange Experience

I recently went to Uptown Market & Deli in the Springfield neighborhood for lunch. I have been there a few times before, and my experiences have been generally favorable. I ordered the corned beef sandwich for lunch. I am almost positive (somewhere around 75-85% certainty) that the meat on the sandwich I received was ham (maybe serrano ham(?)). First, when the waitress put the sandwich down, it just did not look like beef. Then, when I tasted the meat, it tasted exactly like cured ham. The other two people at my table also tasted and examined the meat, and everyone agreed it was not corned beef. It neither tasted nor looked like beef. I called the waitress over and told her I did not think it was beef, but ham. She brought it to the kitchen, returned, and told me that it was in fact corned beef. She then asked me if I wanted something different (which I did).

So, my question is whether anyone else has tried the corned beef at Uptown. If so, do they just have the most unique, ham-tasting corned beef ever? Or, did someone just screw-up and put ham on the sandwich (and then they tried to hide it maybe)? I'm not sure what to think, other than it was very strange?

Jul 06, 2010
RHT in JAX in Florida

Pulled Pork at Jerome Brown's BBQ - Jacksonville (Springfield)

Today, I tried the pulled pork sandwich at Jerome Brown's BBQ in Springfield, and I was pleasantly surprised. When I got my sandwich, I was a little hesitant because the meat was already sauced. I generally do not like when places do this. It immediately made me think of AJ's on Park Street (which serves a terrible BBQ sauce sandwich which for some reason they call a pulled pork sandwich). But, the sandwich at JB's was excellent. It had a great balance of meat and sauce. The pork was smoky, but not overpowering, and it was really well seasoned. The hot BBQ sauce was also a very good spicy mustard-based sauce If you like pulled pork, I definitely recommend it.

For me, it does not beat the gold standard for pulled pork set by Mojo's, but I'll definitely hit up JB's when I'm looking for a change of pace.

I'm also looking forward to trying the ribs and wings at JB's. I saw one guy's plate of ribs, and it looked really good.

Jerome Bbq & Wings
1855 N Main St, Jacksonville, FL 32206

Jun 04, 2010
RHT in JAX in Florida

Jacksonville Recommendations

Within walking distance, I would recommend La Cena (dinner only), Chew, and Burrito Gallery. La Cena is upscale Italian (with excellent fresh pastas). Chew is sort-of fine dining, new American cuisine; and Burrito Gallery is a burrito place - but its good and reasonable.

If you're taking a cab, Orsay (dinner only) is my favorite restaurant in town right now. Excellent food with french influences and great atmosphere. For lunch, French pantry is the best in town. But, you probably need to budget 2 hours with travel time - also, it would probably be tricky catching a cab back. Pinegrove Market is probably 1-A in terms of lunch - great sandwiches. If they don't have it displayed, ask for the yellow menu with the specialty sandwiches - there are some great ones on there.

As you venture south and to the beaches, there are tons of other options, but the above are all fairly close.

Of the ones you heard about, I would nix Derby House (very average), River City (average and WAY overpriced), and the Brick (pretty good, but there are definitely better options). Casbah is a very good and fun middle eastern restaurant with belly dancing on the weekends. You can get a lot for the money there as well. Biscottis is a very good upscale new-american restaurant. However, if I were you, I would take a water taxi from the Hyatt side of the river to the south bank to Biscotti's sister restaurant, BB's. The food is very similar to Biscottis (I like it a little better), but the main benefit is you get to travel by water.

Good luck!

Burrito Gallery
21 E Adams St, Jacksonville, FL 32202

Casbah Cafe
, Jacksonville, FL 32099

Jun 01, 2010
RHT in JAX in Florida

Food gifts from Seattle

I'm visiting Seattle for a few days, and want to bring some food gifts back to some family members in Florida. The first thing that comes to mind is smoked salmon, but other ideas would be greatly appreciated. I'll be at Pikes Market tomorrow, so any recommendations in that area would be great. If anyone has any quinticential (sp?) Seattle non-food gift recommendations, that would be great as well. Thanks for any help!

Mar 14, 2010
RHT in JAX in Greater Seattle

Are ox tails just not for me?

Let me preface this by saying there is generally no food I do not like if it is prepared well. I have tried ox tails at two local (Jacksonville FL) carribean / Jamaican restaurants, and I just have not been that impressed. At one restaurant, the flavor was a little boring, but at the second, it was a very delicious and spicy. That said, at each place, it seems like a chore to get the meat off the bone, as there is still a lot of fatty connective tissue. In my mind, it seems like this stuff should break down if cooked a little longer. However, since it was an issue at both restaruants, I wonder if this is the way it should be cooked. In other words, is "fall off the bone" overcooked for ox tails? I'm just wondering if I should keep giving this dish a try or just go back to the jerk chicken.

Mar 08, 2010
RHT in JAX in General Topics

Best Sandwich in Jacksonville (?)

I wanted to get people's thoughts on the topic. My votes go to:
- Pinegrove Market and Deli
- French Pantry

French Pantry has been mentioned numerous times on the board, and deservedly so. My only hang-ups are:
(1) the wait (if you're not there at 11am on the dot, you better have some patience); and
(2) insufficient seating (there have been one or two times when I get my food and there's nowhere to sit - most of the time it works out though).
That said, those two hang-ups are completely outweighed by the quality of the food. Everything I've eaten there has been absolutely stellar.

Pinegrove definitely deserves to sit right along French Pantry in my opinion. The burger and cuban are both arguably the best in town. (The cuban is made with pulled roasted pork instead of sliced pork, and it makes all the difference.) Also, they have three or four "specialty" sandwiches which are not on the regular menu, but are on a laminated yellow piece of paper where you order. Make sure you check these out. To top it off, Pinegrove is also a butcher shop and sells dry-aged steaks which are incredible. I've had great reviews everytime I've bought steaks from there.

So, what other spots should be on the list?

Feb 19, 2010
RHT in JAX in Florida

Jacksonville - High Tide Burrito Co.

I'm with you on supporting and applauding local and independent spots. I would venture that most who take the time to post on this board are of the same ilk.

That said, although Hightide seems to have great intentions (quality ingredients, buying local, homemade tortillas), in my opinion, they have some execution issues which need to be remedied. I have since spoken to others, and unfortunately, "bland" seems to be a common denominator for descriptions of Hightide. However, based on the responses, it seems to have some loyal devotees. So, perhaps it is a consistency issue.

I hope that, like you said, Hightide is indeed evolving in the right direction. In the meantime, I will retain Burrito Gallery as my go-to burrito joint, and perhaps give Hightide another shot in the future.

Feb 12, 2010
RHT in JAX in Florida

Jacksonville - High Tide Burrito Co.

I visited High Tide Burrito Co. today for the third time, and wanted to see if I am off-base in my impression of the place. So far, I have tried variations of tacos, burritos, and salads with the marinated chicken, al pastor, and carnitas. In short, everything I have tried, other than the tortilla chips (which are damn good), tastes really bland to me. I just don't get it. Everything looks fresh, and the meats look well seasoned (except for the carnitas, I should have known by looking that it would be average). But, quite simply, all I can think is "meh." Also, the salsa looks fresh and like it should be good, but then it just isn't.

Especially with Burrito Gallery less than 5 minutes away, High Tide has pretty much run out of strikes with me.

Has anyone had a good experience here?

Jan 28, 2010
RHT in JAX in Florida

looking for pho in jax!!!

Saigon Time on Cassat also has really good pho. (I'm definitely not a pho aficionado, but it tastes good to me.)

Saigon Time Cuisine
622 Cassat Ave Ste 1, Jacksonville, FL 32205

Jan 16, 2010
RHT in JAX in Florida

Any REAL tacos in Jax??

In some respects, I really like Pepe's; in others, not so much. Of all the Mexican restaurants in town, Pepe's is probably one of the most authentic. However, its authenticity comes with a price. For example, if you order the al pastor or carnitas, you are likely to get some really large chunks of fat and grizzle. They don't do a particularly good job of separating that stuff from the meat. That said, if you stick with safe options such as chicken or steak, you usually get a decent product. However, I walked back to their butcher counter once, and based on the smell of the place, I would never order any meat from there. So, I'm not really sure why I eat it at the restaurant. Never thought about it until now.

I have had some very good dishes at Pepe's. I have also had some not so good dishes. I really want to like them more than I do simply becasue they prepare authentic Mexican cuisine. I just wish they were a little better with the execution.

Pepe's Hacienda
3615 Dupont Ave # 900, Jacksonville, FL

Jan 14, 2010
RHT in JAX in Florida

Moving to Amelia Island for good, will go to Jacksonville for ingredients and dining

Sorry you are not getting more recommendations, but at least for me, my Amelia experience is very limited.

For a butcher shop, if you are willing to drive to JAX, Pinegrove Market and Deli has excellent dry-aged beef. They do not have a huge seletion, but what they do sell is excellent. They also have some of the best sandwiches in Jacksonville, and I would put them on par with French Pantry for sandwiches. (They are difficult to compare because the styles of the two are so different - Pinegrove has a middle eastern flair.)

For vegetables, the farmers market on beaver street in downtown JAX is pretty good. If you are looking for more organic produce, the Riverside Art Market is open on Saturdays only. They usually have an excellent selection of organic produce, on top of being a fun time in general.

Good luck!

Dec 15, 2009
RHT in JAX in Florida

Jacksonville around New Year's

Right outside of downtown (and in addition to marleyisdead's recommendations, which are all quite good), I would recommend Matthews (in San Marco) and Orsay (in Avondale). Both are less than 10 minutes from downtown.

Matthews is probably Jacksonville's best reviewed restaurant. Its an excellent option if you are looking for fine dining.

Orsay is owned by the same owner as Chew (which marleyisdead recommended). Both restaurants are excellent. Orsay has a semi-relaxed atmosphere, and the cuisine is sort of French bistro style (not a perfect description, but the closest I can get). If you like shellfish, it also has an excellent raw bar. There is also a creative drink list. For the money and quality, Orsay is probably my best recommendation.

Restaurant Orsay
3630 Park Street, Jacksonville, FL 32204

Matthew's Restaurant
2107 Hendricks Ave., Jacksonville, FL 32207

Dec 14, 2009
RHT in JAX in Florida

Coming to Jacksonville for the Gator Bowl

There are quite a few fish camps in Jacksonville. The closest one to you is probably Clark's Fish Camp. They have an interesting atmosphere, and the food is always solid. If you do a search for "fish camp" and "jacksonville," I believe there's a recent thread in which people rate their favorite jacksonville fish camps.

My favorite casual seafood place in JAX is in Mayport at the Safe Harbor Seafood Market. I forget the name of the restaurant there, but if you just look up safe harbor, you'll find it. The seafood market there is also excellent. They get a lot of traffic, so everthing is always fresh. At least to my knowledge, it's the best in Jax. It is a little bit of hike from where you are staying, but in my opinion, worth the trip (for both the restaurant and market). If you want a closer seafood market, the Seafood Gourmet on San Jose Blvd. is also very good and relatively close to you (10 minutes).

Good luck.

Dec 12, 2009
RHT in JAX in Florida

International (Ethnic) Food in Jacksonville

Mootsarell - thanks for the options. I have not tried a few of those places and will give 'em a shot.

I know you did not touch sushi, and a few years ago, I would have agreed that not one of the sushi places in JAX stands out. However, Sumo Sushi in Riverside is, in my opinion, far and away the best sushi restaurant in town and worthy of mention.

Sumo Sushi
2726 Park St, Jacksonville, FL 32205

Nov 11, 2009
RHT in JAX in Florida

Just moved to JAX... need to eat! =0)

"BBQ - you can't find good BBQ in Jax unless somebody is making it in their backyard. Honestly anyone who thinks the local chains are good hasn't been someplace that has REAL Q. (Kansas City or Texas)"

Honestly, anyone who thinks the only REAL Q comes out of Kansas City or Texas needs to expand his or her horizons a bit. Memphis, NC and SC (et. al.) all have unique styles of BBQ that are incredible when done right. Also, the NC and SC styles have migrated down to GA and FL, and you can find some excellent places in both states. Here in JAX, Mojo's (three locations, I think) does an excellent NC Style Q, along with dabbling in some other regional variations as well. There are a lot of other places in town that also do a really good job. That said, Sonny's and Woody's, two of the larger chains, are, in my opinion, purveyors of cooked meat, not BBQ.

Mar 25, 2009
RHT in JAX in Florida

Jacksonville Breakfast

I am hoping someone can offer some good breakfast recommendations in JAX. I live in San Marco, but I'm willing to go pretty much anywhere in town. Here are my thoughts on some places around downtown:

(1) Metro Diner - Very good breakfast. Huevos Rancheros are excellent, and they always have a lot of good specials.

(2) Cool Moose - Again, very good breakfast. I really like their breakfast sandwiches, especially on the croissants. The grits are also very good. Overall, atmosphere included, its probably my favorite place in town for breakfast.

(3) The Fox - Good breakfast, but it has never blown me away. Actually, I like the lunch items a lot more than breakfast.

Thanks for any ideas some of you may have.

Mar 21, 2009
RHT in JAX in Florida

I am headed to Jacksonville for the Gator Bowl on New Years Day. Where should I eat when I am in town??

Jacksonville is big, spread out city; so I'll give you some highlights that are fairly close to downtown. If you aren't staying near downtown, let me know where, and I'll try to give you some recommendations for that area.

(1) For good southern (mostly NC style) BBQ, Mojo's BBQ is excellent. They have great pulled pork (some of the best I've ever tried).

(2) For southern-style soul food, Potter's House Soul Food Bistro is really good (excellent fried chicken).

(3) For chicken wings, there is a small bar in the Riverside area called Kickbacks. They offered grilled wings (my preference), lots of great flavors, and the wings are good sized. In my opinion, they are definitely the best wings in town.

(4) For something more upscale, BBs in San Marco serves excellent Bistro-style cuisine.

There's plenty of other options in town, so if you have something in mind, let me know.

When you're in town, I hope you enjoy it. However, as a Clemson fan, I hope you don't enjoy it too much! ;)

Dec 06, 2008
RHT in JAX in Florida

Italian in Jacksonville?

In my opinion, the best place for pasta in Jacksonville is La Cena. It is located on Laura St. downtown, so it is also very close to where you will be staying. They have a variety of freshly made pastas, and the last time my wife and I went, we loved everything. It is a little bit pricey, but the portions are gigantic, so its hard to say you did not get your moneys worth.

I understand Dwight's Bistro in Jacksonville Beach also has very good Italian, but that is a pretty good hike, especially with La Cena right nearby. (I have never been there, but its at the top of my list for places to visit.)

With regard to Bistro Aix, I have mixed emotions. I love the atmosphere, appetizers and pizzas. However, every time I get an entree, I am always disappointed. When I express this opinion to others, they seem to agree with this as well. I really have no idea why they cannot get the entrees right when they do such a good job with other stuff. The last time I was there, I ignored my better instincts to just get a pizza, and I ordered the duck. It was rubbery, flavorless and definitely my worst experience with duck. But, they do other things well, so I'd still recommend it.

Enjoy your trip to Jax!

Oct 08, 2008
RHT in JAX in Florida

best sushi in jacksonville??

My original post was on September 29, 2008. The June 4 date was from the post above mine.

Oct 05, 2008
RHT in JAX in Florida

best sushi in jacksonville??

As I mentioned above, Sumo Sushi in Riverside is the best sushi I have tried in Jacksonville (and in my opinion, it is significantly better than the other sushi restaurants I have tried in town).

I do not recall the names of the rolls I tried. However, I went with a large group of friends (8 of us total), and we tried quite an assortment. To its credit, the rolls included some creative ingredients, but the execution was really poor. The ratio of rice to other ingredients was probably 2/3 to 1/3, and each bite was incredibly gummy. It's actually difficult to comment on the quality of the other ingredients, because there was so much rice.

Perhaps the sushi chef who was working when we visited was a different one than you experienced. However, the same guy was working the sushi bar on the three occasions I have visited. (I live right nearby.) Also, although I really disliked the sushi, the traditional thai dishes were very good. (I've tried the Phad kee maow and panang curry.)

Oct 05, 2008
RHT in JAX in Florida