web analytics
Your Independent Alternative!

Eating My Way Around Jacksonville

I enjoy eating. Never have I met a plate of food that went untouched. I am a milkshake connoisseur, and can tell you the best combo or value meal to grab at most major fast food chains.

When I arrived in Jacksonville, one of my largest concerns was the lack of Cook-Out Restaurants (a North Carolina fast food chain) and to taste test the difference between Red Lobster, and actual seafood restaurants.

Thus, I embarked on a journey through the food of Jacksonville. So far, I have found many local eateries I believe you should frequent, have you not already done so.

Following a reader’s suggestion, I headed to Chowder Ted’s. But, it was closed, and did not open until 1 p.m. that day. I continued onward down Heckscher Drive and arrived at a place on the water—Sandollar Restaurant and Marina.

It was a beautiful so my sister and I sat on the deck. Our waiter took our order and then told us about the manatees swimming right off the deck dock.

I looked over the menu and selected a cup of the crab bisque as an appetizer and a plate of grilled grouper and shrimp. It came with a side of kole slaw and green beans, along with two hushpuppies. A sweet tea completed this perfect meal on a perfect afternoon, at a restaurant I highly recommend.

In Boone, N.C., I have two options for Mexican fare. Two family owned restaurants that offer similar menus and have created a battle between students deciding which is tastier.

Jacksonville produces another gem in the mine of Mexican eateries with TacoLu on Beach Blvd. The line was out the door when I arrived. The fun atmosphere catered to any crowd.

The one page menu consisted of many options with some choices very new to me, including a ‘Cheeseburger Taco.’ I ordered two Baja Fish Tacos. Delicious, and a little spicy and very well priced. I left satisfied and prepared to make another trip there.

Further down Beach Blvd., a seemingly hole-in-the-wall joint known as Angie’s Subs. I walked in and the atmosphere catches you by surprise. Everywhere you look, you see something new on the wall; pictures that make you do a double take and signs that make you laugh.

I ordered the Sweet Teddy T-a roast beef, turkey, bacon, provolone cheese and Peruvian sauce. The seven inches of hot sub melts in your mouth and is a delicious stop for lunch or dinner. Also, the sweet tea is some of the best I have had in a while.

My last stop for this, the first of my recommended Jacksonville dives includes another waterfront eatery, Barbara Jean’s. Technically located in Ponte Vedra Beach, the restaurant is home to some amazing seafood and southern cuisine. Barbara Jean’s is a small chain restaurant with six locations in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

After being seated, you are served a variety of fresh baked bread-my favorite being the pumpkin bread. I ordered a bowl of she-crab soup which I gobbled down and then the chicken fried chicken ( I am from North Carolina, after all), and, of course some sweet tea.

The she-crab soup was enough to fill me up, so I took the chicken fried chicken home with me to enjoy the next day, and it was just as tasty then as it looked the night before.

These were all scrumptious places to visit and get welcomed to the Jacksonville area. While I will be visiting these places again, I hope to try other places-so let me know if you have any suggestions!

I look forward to broadening my taste buds and restaurant repertoire. And, so far it seems, Jacksonville is the place to do just that.

2 Responses »

  1. You have to go back to Chowder Teds. You will not be dissapointed. By far the best fish chowder you will ever have. Friendly atmosphere and staff. Friday and Sat specials are awsome. Ted closes at 7 or 8 so get there in time to enjoy the food. At lunch time it gets crowded. I look forward to seeing your review.

  2. Lily's Restaurant (Previously Shelby's) at Atlantic Beach has a small menu, but exciting Friday and Saturday nights. At 7:00 pm, a band will take the stage in a very intimate outdoor setting. It has the feel of a small night club. It may be warm but the band (usually soft country or jazz) is hot. Families are welcome.

    Try Lulu's restaurant on Rosco Road. It is similar to Barbara Jeans but has a unique menu. Its cheese grits are tops.