Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Jacksonville, FL


Rachel Perlow
 Share

Recommended Posts

Thanks Rachel, and Man/Myth, and any future posters.

I am the friend Rachel posted about. A New Yorker living in exile in Jacksonville Florida (they call it Jax, which makes me think of cheese curls).

I am seeking validation that northeast Florida is not a culinary wasteland.

I haven't been to Jacksonville Landing yet, but my hubby went there a few times when he first started working here and was staying in a downtown hotel. He refuses to go back ever since seeing a large rat scamper across the floor of the sushi joint where he was dining. The only other sushi place I've tried here warned us the sashimi would be raw and served ranch dressing on the salad (help!).

We have found a few bright spots, including a surprisingly good Indian restaurant on Baymeadows (India's Restaurant) which even got a big thumbs up from an Indian colleague of my hubby's who is accustomed to home cooking. I'd say it compares favorably with some of the better places I've been in Queens (Jackson Heights/Jacksonville, perhaps a connection) and New Jersey. I liked the chicken tikka saag and bengan baratha (eggplant with peas and potatoes) although I found the regular naan a little flavorless and the garlic naan a little too garlicky (and I do like garlic). They'll make the dishes as spicy as you like (we said spicy, but perhaps should have said very spicy...guess they're accustomed to more timid palates). It's one of few places I've tried here so far that I look forward to returning to. Maybe for the $5.95 lunch buffet.

We've also liked BiBi's in San Marco (and similarly Biscotti's in Avondale...same owners). I'm particularly fond of Bibi's Indian Spiced Duck and their Grilled Salmon or Rock Shrimp Salads. Tasty calimari too. And yummy desserts.

Now that I'm settling in, I'll post in the future when we try new and interesting places.

And of course, I look forward to other suggestions. I'm a New Yorker, desperate for a good bagel or slice of pizza. My next quest is for good Chinese food. I'm planning on heading to Mandarin...which I've discovered is Jacksonville's Jewish neighborhood. Seems logical that a place called Mandarin would have at least one decent Chinese restaurant.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My In-Laws live in Jacksonville, and I travel there to visit them a few times a year. Here are a few suggestions:

Bistro Aix

1440 San Marco Blvd

(904) 398-1949

Bistro Aix is a contemporary bistro with a Provencal bent. Prices are moderate to pricey by Jacksonville standards, but it offers excellent and creatively prepared food and the setting is as sleek and sophisticated as you would expect to find in a downtown restaurant in NYC.

Taste of Thai

4317 University Blvd South

(904) 737-9009

This Thai restaurant is located in a sleepy strip mall and the décor looks like any other Thai restaurant. But the food is really terrific. I especially like the crispy Thai whole fish (they offer both chile/basil and ginger preparations). My wife always gets their coconut curry chicken. The proprietors, a Thai family, are wonderful and warm people who will learn your name and remember it if you eat there more than once.

L'Orient Chez Guy

1540 Atlantic Blvd

(904) 348-2440

The chef at this new restaurant, Guy Leroy, used to work with Wolfgang Puck. The cuisine is basically French/Asian, with a bit more emphasis on the Asian components. The setting is modern and cozy. Prices are on the high end for Jacksonville but the food is very good.

Truffles Coffee House & Bakery

11362 San Jose Blvd

(904) 260-5192

This bakery is really outstanding and is a great place to go for dessert after dinner. I dream about their chocolate raspberry truffle cake.

The San Marco area is indeed a nice area to explore, and a number of the restaurants there are decent places for a casual meal. There is a nice new wine bar there called "the Grotto" that is worth checking out.

The Landing is populated mainly by chain restaurants, but the Hooters branch there serves up a nice Grilled Cheese.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MartyL, thanks for the recommendations. My hubby's been to Bistro Aix (when he was just travelling here on business, before we moved in) and said it was quite good, so we've been meaning to go there. I've also heard good things about L'Orient Chez Guy and want to try it. I love Thai and good desserts so we will definately check out the places you mentioned.

I am realizing that high prices by Jax standards are pretty moderate compared with what we're used to. Some meals we've had (particularly at BBQ places) have been so cheap I've wondered how these places make any money. But I guess the overhead's much less than in NYC.

Rachel, thanks for starting the thread. I've been posting up a storm all afternoon. I'm afraid you may have unleashed a monster.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I lived in Jacksonville for many years, until about 3 years ago and still go back to visit.

You should definitely try Matthew's. The chef/owner Matthew Medure came from the Ritz Carlton Amelia Island...where he got rave reviews and Mobil awards. His other restaurant is in Ponte Vedra Beach (where I lived...a resort town, home of the PGA TOUR and adjacent to Jacksonville)...called Medure's....one of the best restaurants I have dined in this year...and I dine a lot.

You should check out Cafe Cortesse and Casa Monica in St. Augustine (the nation's oldest city and home to the Fountain of Youth).

There are also some good restaurants in Fernandina Beach (also adjacent to Jax)..Beech Street Grill and the Grill at the Ritz Carlton.

Also a good spot for lunch if you are downtown is BiBi's...

Chez Guy is also tasty as is Bistro Aix.

I would suggest you skip the Landing unless you want to have a chain type meal and possibly be mugged...the only reason to go there is to look at the river and have a cold beer.

Hope that helps...and I really really would try to go to Medure's in PVB!!

Edit to add...don't you just love those pertinent facts about the area :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to Jacksonville!

Don't be to hard on us, we are trying to grow and bring a little culture and tasty cuisine to the area. But Rome was not built......

The area has come a long way in the last five years, just Thank God your here now and not when Krystals came to town for the first time!

All of the aboved mentioned are wonderful restaurants, The Casbah on St. Johns Ave is supposed to be pretty good although I have never eaten there. Marker 32 on Beach Blvd. , Sakura Japanese on San Jose, Sterlings in Avondale(heard about the great desserts) there are a few more I cannot think of right now, but will post later with them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Hope you enjoy Jax ......... lived there as a child and 48 miles north for almost 40 years ...... the places ya'll are mentioned are too high brow for me but if you are willing to eat with the common folk Jax has many great places like Jackie's on Main St by the Trout River Bridge for Seafood or any of the Ceader River's scatterd all over Town again for seafood but Cedar River also serves a mean steak.

Bono's are all over town and have great BBQ but the one on Beach Blvd accross from Greenlawn Cemetary is the original and the best, Fred Cotton's on Main Street across from Andrew Jackson High School has Killer Ribs and a good sandwitch.

There is a little Italian place at 5Points < Have seen the former mayor /governer eat there many times over the years> that is cheap and good, their pizzas are wonderful except for the cardboard crust but the toppings are so plentiful you forget that the crust sux and the salads are wonderful. Oh there is an Oriental place just down from it ... avoid it like the plague!!!!

Universty Blvd between Beach and Phillips has an oriental place called China One that has a killer buffet and the best Hot and Sour Soup you ever tasted.

There is another place on the same road about 3 blocks down on the right going towards Phillips can't recall the name but good food higher prices and alot more fancy. Just down from that by Bowden Rd is Yings Takee outee which believe it or not has some great food especially their Seseame Chicken.

For Pizza Joseph's on Main street about half way between Jackie's and Cottons is the bomb .... great hand tossed thick cheezy pizzas

For just good ol home style no frills cooking the Old South Restraunt at StNicholas Plaza is the place to go, it is on Beach just after Alantic seperates from Beach as you head to the beach from Down town.

Someone mentioned Fernendina ... The Down Under is the place and it is under the Intercoastal bridgeor Jenwrights in Yule on US 17 at the light where A1A and 17 cross. For steaks or seafood the 1892 <I think it is> Steak house downtown or the Crab Trap also downtown.

Now for the adventurious Pelican Point in Darien Ga just north of Brunswick has an all you can eat Bufett with everything you can imagine on it including Lobster ...... worth the drive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh about forgot .... Stricklands Landing by the Mayport Ferry is fancy and a bit pricey but the seafood is awlsome!!!!

The Pig BBQ's scattered all over town have some good food especially late nights after the bars close and they serve generous helpings of everthing.

The Landing does have Hooters ..... that is about it ... HEHEHEHEHEHE

Sidratha

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Landing does have Hooters ..... that is about it ... HEHEHEHEHEHE

Nah, the one in Ponte Vedra is better. :cool:

I was stationed at Mayport for most of my (short) naval career, but one of my favorite seafood places was Singleton's Seafood restaurant. Savannah style seafood place, very fresh food, and pretty decent prices. Be sure to check out the model fishing boats. No idea how it is now, but it was great back about 10 years ago. Let me know if it's still holding up. :smile:

BTW, back then the best Chinese food was at Epcot Center. Being that I'm a son of a Chinese restaurant owner, you can take my word for that. :biggrin:

Be polite with dragons, for thou art crunchy and goeth down well with ketchup....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 10 months later...

Just found this thread - and I'll add to it from time to time.

We went to Mezzaluna last night - in Neptune Beach. Same old place. New owner/chef. Tony Pels - who used to be the head chef at the Augustine Grille at the Marriott in Sawgrass. He spent a few years in California - and now he's back. Chef Pels was one of the top chefs in the Jacksonville area before he left - and he's one of the top chefs in the Jacksonville area now that he's back. One of the few chefs in Jacksonville to have been honored by an invitation to cook at the James Beard House (we had some of the dishes he prepared at the James Beard house when he was at the Augustine Grille).

Dinner was kind of mind blowing for Jacksonville. Like seared foie gras with a fig compote. Served on a fashionably square plate with all the proper plate painting. Tasty piping hot Italian wedding soup (I have a terrible cold - and it felt great going down). Beautiful seared scallops served on greens laced with bits of pancetta. Dessert - fresh strawberries and whipped cream in super flakey puff pastry with a delicate zabaglione sauce was terriifc. On the other hand - you can have a pizza or a simple pasta too. So you don't have to spend a fortune. Or you can "mix and match". And you don't have to get all dressed up either.

About the only thing I didn't like is that Mezzaluna still looks like Mezzaluna (one of those old woody looking Italian places - like from little Italy in New York). That look just doesn't work for me. There is a small patio outside - and Chef Pels says he'll be expanding it - adding music on the weekends - etc. Anyway - Chef Pels has only been in residence for a few months - and I'm sure he's spent more time since he's been back dealing with hurricane shutters than decorating. I hope he makes lots of money - enough so he can hire Larry Wilson (popular and very good interior designer here) or someone similar to brighten up the place. So the space shines as much as the food. I'll take good food over good design any day - but I'd rather have both.

Anyway - try it out. Preferably on a week night (like most places in Jacksonville - business is good during the weekends - but - to keep restaurants going - we have to support them during the week). Robyn

P.S. For those of you who've read other messages in this thread - L'Orient Chez Guy closed a while back. The chef was supposed to open a new place in Ponte Vedra - but hasn't. We go to Medure's a fair amount. It has gotten a lot better the last six months or so. We also go to bb's and Bistro Aix (less frequently because they're not as close) - and they are both still excellent. These are just brief comments - not meant to be all-encompassing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Northeast Florida can't be all that bad. After all, it is the original home to Chuck Williams of Williams-Sonoma. It has been too many years since i was there for me to post. But keep in mind that the Ritz at Amelia Island is consistently one of the highest rated properties in that chain. I would try their food for sure.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have worked in restaurants and dinned in jax for 14 years, so I guess I'll throw my 2 cents in.

BBQ: Sony's, Jenkens (d-town by FCCJ), Jorgie's (just don't get take-out), The Pig (on Normandy), or hire me to BBQ for ya, lol.

Mexican: La Napolera (hands down). I prefer the one in San Marco.

Pizza: (In town) Pizza Palace, (Beaches) Al's.

Deli/sandwiches: European Street. They have a huge impot beer selection w/ packege store. Oh, and Publix has great subs.

Sushi: Yoshi's on Baymedows. My fav. anyway.

Chinnesse: Good (experlitive) luck.

Places I have worked and may have not liked the managment, but the food was real good: Biscottie's for the brushetta and Bistro Aix for deserts.

Hoitie Toitie: Mathews, Giovani's, Dwights (Pennman RD. at the beach. Find it, it is worth it).

Seafood: 1st Grill, Golden grouper in Fernandina, Chart House, Harpoon Louie's, and even Jene's (chain).

Shameless plug cause I work there: Try the crab cakes, smoked salmon, grouper, and chocolate chip creme brulle at River City Brewing Co.

I am sure I'll remember more.

R.I.P.

Johnny Ramone

1948-2004

www.RAMONES.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Northeast Florida can't be all that bad.  After all, it is the original home to Chuck Williams of Williams-Sonoma.  It has been too many years since i was there for me to post.  But keep in mind that the Ritz at Amelia Island is consistently one of the highest rated properties in that chain.  I would try their food for sure.

We usually go to the Ritz Carlton on Amelia Island for lunch (too far for dinner). Last time we went - I had the chef's bento box of the day - and it was excellent. Wasn't a big seller though - chef told us most people there don't know what a bento box is. Robyn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have worked in restaurants and dinned in jax for 14 years, so I guess I'll throw my 2 cents in.

BBQ: Sony's, Jenkens (d-town by FCCJ), Jorgie's (just don't get take-out), The Pig (on Normandy), or hire me to BBQ for ya, lol.

Mexican: La Napolera (hands down). I prefer the one in San Marco.

Pizza: (In town) Pizza Palace, (Beaches) Al's.

Deli/sandwiches: European Street. They have a huge impot beer selection w/ packege store. Oh, and Publix has great subs.

Sushi: Yoshi's on Baymedows. My fav. anyway.

Chinnesse: Good (experlitive) luck.

Places I have worked and may have not liked the managment, but the food was real good: Biscottie's for the brushetta and Bistro Aix for deserts.

Hoitie Toitie: Mathews, Giovani's, Dwights (Pennman RD. at the beach. Find it, it is worth it).

Seafood: 1st Grill, Golden grouper in Fernandina, Chart House, Harpoon Louie's, and even Jene's (chain).

Shameless plug cause I work there: Try the crab cakes, smoked salmon, grouper, and chocolate chip creme brulle at River City Brewing Co.

I am sure I'll remember more.

And I'll add - I don't eat Tex-Mex - but a new La Napolera opened in the strip center at Beach and San Pablo. Haven't tried it. It's next door to the Chinese buffet (China King) which is the only place I've found in Jacksonville that serves edible Chinese food (not great - but it's better than nothing).

The Gene's in Ponte Vedra closed last month.

I've mentioned in another thread that we really like River City (Southbank). I'll mention it again :smile: . I'll also say that it was picked for the Playboy Superbowl Party (if that's not praise - what is :wink: ). Excellent microbrewery - good place to eat. For those who want to try other microbrewery/restaurants - there's the trinity of Ragtime (in Atlantic Beach) - Seven Bridges (in Tinseltown) - and A1A aleworks (in St. Augustine). All owned by the same people. Good --> excellent brews. Good food (although the food isn't the same at the 3 restaurants). No need to prefer any of these places over another - because they're all in very different geopraphical areas. We choose one over another just on the basis of where we happen to be on a given day.

The best BBQ we've found near us is Downsouth - a tiny place in the strip shopping center just north of Harris Teeter in Ponte Vedra.

We love Bistro Aix - and have enjoyed Biscotti's in the past. Where we're in "town" these days - we're usually with my father-in-law. He's in a wheelchair - and Biscotti's is definitely wheelchair unfriendly. So we usually stick with Bistro Aix or bb's.

Matthew's and Medure's (high end) are owned by the same people. Pick one or the other depending on where you are (near downtown or on the beaches).

For those of you who are planning vacations/business trips to this area - note that the greater Jacksonville area is huge - and that your choice of where to dine may depend on where you're staying - and how much you want to drive. That's it for now. Robyn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shopping for food? The only problem is that Jax is HUGE so there are many small neighborhoods with good markets. It all really depends on where you are.

In Mandarin, try the Fresh Market for nice breads and cheeses. Native Sun carries organic produce. The Asia Supermarket just down the road has produce deliveries on Thursdays and gets in great stuff including greens, burdock root, taro, etc.

For Korean and Mexican groceries (I know, it's a weird combo, but you'll learn about Jacksonville soon enough :biggrin: ) (I can say that since I grew up in Orange Park.... :raz:) try World Food on Art Museum Drive at Beach. This is a GREAT market and people are really helpful here if you find something interesting and want to know how to cook it.

Everyone has hit the higher end places, so I'll go for the lower price lunch and dinner places.

For Italian from Italian immigrants, try Sarnelli's or Santorini's in Orange Park. I agree with La Nopalera for Mexican. Thai Garden in OP by I295 is good and has a decent wine list for here.

I've recently moved back home after years away at university and grad school in bigger markets including New Orleans. All I can say is that you CAN get good food here, you just need to hunt sometimes.

I'll add more as I think of it - I just saw this post.

-Linda

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shopping for food, try:

Blue Buddha Exotic Foods Inc. (904) 389-6019

2706 Park St. in Riverside

They have impoted cheese, mushrooms of all sorts, fresh herbs of all kinds, and if they don't have it they may be able to order it. Sorry shameless plug... I used to work there.

R.I.P.

Johnny Ramone

1948-2004

www.RAMONES.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 7 months later...

Blue Buddha has great chesse, tho it is spendy. Wine Warehouse (three locations) prob. has the best prices in town, and a very good selection of wine. We are hella lucky to have Publix for groceries. About how many groc. stores can you say that you can actually eat and enjoy their bakery bread? Pastiche is supposed to be wonderful. Many people like Crush (tho I have heard they can be tyrants to workers and some customers, so I'm not going there soon. Ditto Bistro Aix). The farmer's market on Beaver St. downtown is supposed to be good.

Try JaxEats.com for true integrity in local restaurant reviews.

The landing is a tourist trap. Don't eat at the Italian place there. Don't eat at Giovanni's on the Beaches. As I come to know the city more (been here since Sept.) I will post again (fair warning!). :huh:

Frau Farbissma: "It's a television commercial! With this cartoon leprechaun! And all of these children are trying to chase him...Hey leprechaun! Leprechaun! We want to get your lucky charms! Haha! Oh, and there's all these little tiny bits of marshmallow just stuck right in the cereal so that when the kids eat them, they think, 'Oh this is candy! I'm having fun!'"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 years later...
Who would have thunk it?  We now have a restaurant that serves dim sum at lunch with cart service.  It's Bamboo Creek in Tinseltown (where the old Japanese buffet place used to be - a little north of the theater complex).  I don't think Hong Kong has anything to worry about - but it is a whole lot better than I thought any Chinese restaurant in Jacksonville would ever be.  Robyn

Funny you should mention that particular restaurant as my boss eagerly pointed out its arrival it to me the other day as a way of saying "See, Jacksonville is not such a backwater!" My company is relocating my job there and I will be moving from the NY-Phila area in the Fall. I'm not happy about it but that has more to do with my ailing parents than anything else.

When I visited in December, I was overwhelmed by lack of non-corporate dining options and underwhelmed by the quality of the BBQ, which was on a par with what I could find in Philadelphia (which is not saying much :smile: )

I've reconciled with the fact that I won't find a lot of the things I love down in JAX. But, surely there must be other meals I'll enjoy. What do I have to look forward to?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

New York - Philadelphia area? Where is that :smile: ? I grew up in south Jersey (Camden County) outside of Philadelphia and worked in center city Philadelphia a long time ago. My husband grew up in north Jersey (Bergen County) outside of NYC. They're not exactly around the corner from one another.

Where will you be living (the greater JAX area is huge geographically - we live out at the Beaches - and - for example - we don't get to some good restaurants closer to town except when we do things like attend concerts). Overall - there are some decent places to eat - but you will find that - in general - JAX is a good place to save money (on lots of things) so you can splurge in places like London. If you tell me where you'll be living - I can probably give you a "short list" of places to try.

On the bright side - the area is - and you might not expect it - a great place in terms of both medical and senior facilities. I think maybe the best in Florida - perhaps the whole southeast (we moved my FIL from North Carolina to here where he spent the last 2 1/2 years of his life in the best skilled nursing facility in Florida). If your parents are ailing - I would be glad to discuss that with you by PM or email (since it's beyond the scope of the forum). I would also be glad to get together with you and give you the quick $10 get-to-know-your-way-around town tour.

BTW - if you like BBQ - this is a great place to learn to DIY. There are a lot of local enthusiasts. Who knows - you might even wind up with a kick-ass smoker :smile:. Robyn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We spend a lot of time in and around of both cities. We are from NYC originally (and that is where my parents are now) but we live in lower Bucks County in PA. I work near Princeton. We've become quite spoiled because we are really within shooting distance of both cities. We gravitate more towards Philadelphia these days because it is so much closer but we still get to NYC quite a lot.

Although we haven't signed a lease yet, it looks as if we will be living in Southside. We will be renting to start and Southside seems to have an abundance of nice rental properties. But we have no qualms about driving an hour or more for a good meal. I've since seen some of your other posts about JAX and St. Augustine and now know about some nice places like Opus 39 that we will be trying once we get settled in. But I'm interested in learning about places that are more indigenous to the area. I'm guessing that would be shrimp shacks, BBQ joints and the like.

We do an awful lot of our own cooking and baking, so it would be really helpful to know about where to shop. Are there any good butchers, bakeries, and specialty food stores? Also, which supermarkets do you like? We like to buy organic when we can although we don't get crazy about it. I found a place that I liked called Native Sun when I was down there last and a friend also recommended a chain called Fresh Market. I know you're also getting a Whole Foods soon, too (we call them "Whole Paycheck" :smile:). I see there's also what looks like a big Farmer's Market off of I-10. I know not to expect Reading Terminal Market but, beyond that, I don't know what to expect. And even though I can easily order spices from them in the mail, it's nice knowing there is a local Penzey's nearby.

You are very kind to offer to share your eldercare experience with me and I may take you up on your offer at some point in the future. Right now, the best thing for me to do is to leave them in their home, which is where they want to be and where my brother can keep an eye on them. Still, it will be very hard to leave them behind even though I'll be flying up frequently to see them.

Finally, the DIY BBQ thing is very appealing to me. Let's hope the JAX fire code is a little more friendly towards food smokers than the NJ-PA codes are! :wink:

I will PM you prior to our next visit. I would love to get together over coffee and hear about your experience down there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please get in touch before your next visit. My husband and I will be glad to spend an afternoon giving you the $10 tour (we're getting into the "it's too hot to go outside in the afternoon season" - so I have lots of time). Which you should do before you decide where to live. We have many different neighborhoods - each with distinct advantages and disadvantages - and they come in all flavors. For example - Southside is centrally located but kind of bland. My 90 year father lives in an independent senior living facility there (atypical for the area - most of the people who live there are a lot younger). I wanted him there so he didn't have to spend too much time driving places. My husband and I live in Ponte Vedra Beach because our driving abilities are much better than my father's. Riverside is considered a "sophisticated" area. In Middleburg - you'll need a full sized American truck with a rifle rack. Etc. Note that our real estate market here - like the market in most of Florida - is pretty lousy. You can get some pretty good deals on condo and house rentals. If you plan to do outdoor cooking - you might check on restrictions where you're thinking of renting (they have to do both with the height and construction of buildings if I recall correctly). Traffic is a consideration (it isn't as awful as south Florida but certain drives during commuting hours are pretty bad). Where will you be working? Schools are an important issue too if you have kids. Etc.

I personally think that most of the local "flavor" dining places are mediocre to just plain bad. They date back to a time when almost everyone in Jacksonville was a lot less sophisticated about food. One of my favorites for old fashioned southern food (allthough it's a chain) was Piccadilly cafeteria. It may be going down the drain due to decreasing consumer income (it is a lower income type of place) and rising food costs. Golden Corral (another chain) is still pretty good for what it is. Note that both places offer tons of southern veggies (which I love) - and I like to have lunch at them every once in a while. My favorite BBQ places are a couple of vendors that show up regularly every year at places like the Jacksonville Fair - and the Gainesville Arts festival (the guys who have huge portable smokers attached to their trucks). Great smoked turkey legs.

With regard to shrimp - we have excellent local shrimp (Mayport shrimp) - and they are readily available in season fresh at reasonable cost at what will undoubtedly be your "everyday" grocery store here (Publix - best in Florida). If you like to cook - you can easily spend a year or two going through the Bubba Gump list of things you can cook with shrimp! Costco also has a lot of good stuff. We have a great "big box" wine/liquor store - Total Wine.

Whole Foods is supposed to open sometime in 2008 in Mandarin (which is about 25 miles from my house on the beaches). It won't be a place where I will shop regularly (too far away). I don't each much meat - but I've found Fresh Market to be the best for what little I buy (I think there are 3 of them in the metro area now - one around the corner from me). Our favorite local bakery is old-fashioned Italian (Cinotti's) - but if you wind up living 20 miles from where we live - there will be others closer to you. I have never shopped at the Farmer's Market off I-10 (it's more than 30 miles from my house). I've been in Native Sun - but not too often (I'm not big into organic food). I used to buy my pine nuts there (for my homemade pesto). But they are so much cheaper in bulk at Costco - that's where I buy them now. As for specialty food stores - there are lots of them - Chinese/Japanese/East Asian - Indian - Mexican/Central & South American). Scattered all around town. (Speaking of ethnic - we also have a pretty decent Indian restaurant now - Red Chilies).

Although I would probably give the dining scene a C- or so - I have to give the food shopping scene a solid B+. And the few things I want that I can't buy here - I order on line. Robyn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been to Piccadilly elsewhere in Florida (Naples, I think) and really enjoyed it. I love cafeterias and meat + three's, in general. Piccadilly is actually the company that took over Morrison's assets when Morrison's went out of business years ago. I've been to Golden Corral too (I think in Alabama). It didn't leave much of an impression on me but if I'd hated it, I would have remembered that :smile:

I don't cook shrimp too often but that could easily change. I make a mean Thai red curry sauce so I think that could pair with the local shrimp really well. You are also not the first person to recommend Publix, so I look forward to checking that out. Fresh Market is new to me but it looks very promising. Full service butcher department, which is a big plus for me. I was checking out their web site and it turns out there is one about an hour from where I live now. If I'm feeling "spendy" (gasoline, of course), I might just drive up there and have a look around. And I just let my Costco membership go because we weren't getting our money out of it (two of us in a small apartment -- just how much toilet paper can you stockpile? :smile:). But I'm sure they would take my money again if I changed my mind.

Can you tell me more about the specialty food stores? Are you able to get ingredients that you would find in the average Fine Cooking recipe (is there such a thing)? How about fresh cheese? Artisan bread? I know, I know -- I'm a spoiled New Yorker.

I think I've actually been to Red Chili's, too! Is it on Baymeadows? One of my colleagues took me there for the lunch buffet. Loved it! I will be very happy going there for my Indian fixes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...