Weekend on Florida's First Coast

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Curbside Grill
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RE: Weekend on Florida's First Coast 2008/10/15 07:49:42 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Greymo

Seems like Ben and I have agreed to disagree. St. Augustine has great places to eat...............thankfully, there are no chains near the historic district. We often drive there just to eat at one of their restaurants.

Of course, we have not tried them all but these are our favorites and I think that St Augustine should be recognized for their good dining.

Barnacle Bills'

Creekside Dinery - N. Fla Low Country Cookin'

Le Pavillon of Saint Augustine


95 Cordova Restaurant at The Casa Monica Hotel

Raintree Seafood & Steakhouse

Salt Water Cowboys Restaurant

Columbia Restaurant

And of course there is O Steen's for wonderful shrimp and the wonderful chowder

Love the report and have to add OC Whites.
Things really do go bump in the nite.
#61
oscar5933
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RE: Weekend on Florida's First Coast 2008/10/15 13:45:49 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Curbside Grill

quote:
Originally posted by Greymo

Seems like Ben and I have agreed to disagree. St. Augustine has great places to eat...............thankfully, there are no chains near the historic district. We often drive there just to eat at one of their restaurants.

Of course, we have not tried them all but these are our favorites and I think that St Augustine should be recognized for their good dining.

Barnacle Bills'

Creekside Dinery - N. Fla Low Country Cookin'

Le Pavillon of Saint Augustine


95 Cordova Restaurant at The Casa Monica Hotel

Raintree Seafood & Steakhouse

Salt Water Cowboys Restaurant

Columbia Restaurant

And of course there is O Steen's for wonderful shrimp and the wonderful chowder

Love the report and have to add OC Whites.
Things really do go bump in the nite.

Is OC Whites a seafood restaurant? I've been to St. Augustine many times, but can't quite seem to place it. I went to the I believe it is called A1A Ale works, but it was terrible. The fresh brewed rootbeer was kind of neat, but nothing special about the food. Anybody know of where to get a good burger in St. Augustine?
#62
Rusty246
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RE: Weekend on Florida's First Coast 2008/10/15 14:02:13 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by oscar5933

quote:
Originally posted by Curbside Grill

quote:
Originally posted by Greymo

Seems like Ben and I have agreed to disagree. St. Augustine has great places to eat...............thankfully, there are no chains near the historic district. We often drive there just to eat at one of their restaurants.

Of course, we have not tried them all but these are our favorites and I think that St Augustine should be recognized for their good dining.

Barnacle Bills'

Creekside Dinery - N. Fla Low Country Cookin'

Le Pavillon of Saint Augustine


95 Cordova Restaurant at The Casa Monica Hotel

Raintree Seafood & Steakhouse

Salt Water Cowboys Restaurant

Columbia Restaurant

And of course there is O Steen's for wonderful shrimp and the wonderful chowder

Love the report and have to add OC Whites.
Things really do go bump in the nite.

Is OC Whites a seafood restaurant? I've been to St. Augustine many times, but can't quite seem to place it. I went to the I believe it is called A1A Ale works, but it was terrible. The fresh brewed rootbeer was kind of neat, but nothing special about the food. Anybody know of where to get a good burger in St. Augustine?

"The World Famous Oasis Restaurant and Deck", breakfast is good too.
#63
Curbside Grill
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RE: Weekend on Florida's First Coast 2008/10/15 17:01:15 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by oscar5933

quote:
Originally posted by Curbside Grill

quote:
Originally posted by Greymo

Seems like Ben and I have agreed to disagree. St. Augustine has great places to eat...............thankfully, there are no chains near the historic district. We often drive there just to eat at one of their restaurants.

Of course, we have not tried them all but these are our favorites and I think that St Augustine should be recognized for their good dining.

Barnacle Bills'

Creekside Dinery - N. Fla Low Country Cookin'

Le Pavillon of Saint Augustine


95 Cordova Restaurant at The Casa Monica Hotel

Raintree Seafood & Steakhouse

Salt Water Cowboys Restaurant

Columbia Restaurant

And of course there is O Steen's for wonderful shrimp and the wonderful chowder

Love the report and have to add OC Whites.
Things really do go bump in the nite.

Is OC Whites a seafood restaurant? I've been to St. Augustine many times, but can't quite seem to place it. I went to the I believe it is called A1A Ale works, but it was terrible. The fresh brewed rootbeer was kind of neat, but nothing special about the food. Anybody know of where to get a good burger in St. Augustine?

Been there many times. Good food. And things do go bump in the nite.
http://www.ocwhites.com/
suppose to be haunted, can say have witnessed strange things there on more than one occasion
#64
bigd
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RE: Weekend on Florida's First Coast 2008/10/15 17:58:28 (permalink)
Stay away from the 'First Coast." The worst food in FL. Having lived in S. Fl then Jacksonville for 12 yrs,I never have had such bad food. Singleton's is horrible and they closed down their small retail market a couple of yrs ago because of lack of sanitary conditions.There is not one place that even knows how to prepare BBQ. The upside was I learned how to cook cause the food was so bad. They don't even prepare southern food corectly.St Augustine is overpriced and the only few decent restaurants are expensive and not Roadfood stops. If you like bad chains, you will love Northern FL. Truly a food wasteland!!
#65
crew84row
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RE: Weekend on Florida's First Coast 2008/10/16 19:59:37 (permalink)
BB:

Here's my shot of me trying to get my mouth around Singleton's sheepshead sandwich.Note the Colon Cleaner bottle.

#66
Greymo
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RE: Weekend on Florida's First Coast 2008/10/16 20:36:06 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by bigd

Stay away from the 'First Coast." The worst food in FL. Having lived in S. Fl then Jacksonville for 12 yrs,I never have had such bad food. Singleton's is horrible and they closed down their small retail market a couple of yrs ago because of lack of sanitary conditions.There is not one place that even knows how to prepare BBQ. The upside was I learned how to cook cause the food was so bad. They don't even prepare southern food corectly.St Augustine is overpriced and the only few decent restaurants are expensive and not Roadfood stops. If you like bad chains, you will love Northern FL. Truly a food wasteland!!


ROTFLMAO
#67
buffetbuster
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RE: Weekend on Florida's First Coast 2008/10/17 09:27:23 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by bigd

St Augustine is overpriced and the only few decent restaurants are expensive and not Roadfood stops.
Sorry you don't like the food in the area. Did you eat at O'Steen's? I think it is a wonderful restaurant and certainly qualifies as Roadfood.

crew84row-
Beautiful photo! And in a true Roadfood pose, to boot!
#68
leethebard
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RE: Weekend on Florida's First Coast 2008/10/17 16:17:23 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by buffetbuster

quote:
Originally posted by bigd

St Augustine is overpriced and the only few decent restaurants are expensive and not Roadfood stops.
Sorry you don't like the food in the area. Did you eat at O'Steen's? I think it is a wonderful restaurant and certainly qualifies as Roadfood.

crew84row-
Beautiful photo! And in a true Roadfood pose, to boot!



We loved St. Augustine and loved the various places we ate at...great stop...didn't see too many chains!
#69
joerogo
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RE: Weekend on Florida's First Coast 2008/10/17 16:35:52 (permalink)
crew84row, Now that's a great photo. Colon Cleaner, is that one of those new miricle drugs.
#70
buffetbuster
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RE: Weekend on Florida's First Coast 2008/10/17 18:20:43 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by MetroplexJim

BTW: Mrs. Metro will soon be whipping up a home-made version of that Sour Orange Pie!
Please let us know how her pie turns out. I'm anxious to hear.
#71
Baah Ben
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RE: Weekend on Florida's First Coast 2008/10/17 18:31:30 (permalink)
Sour oranges are much in taste like a lemon.
#72
bosco lover
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RE: Weekend on Florida's First Coast 2008/10/17 22:23:35 (permalink)
bigd-you posted almost the exact same comment on another thread on the same day. what's your issue with florida?
#73
mar52
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RE: Weekend on Florida's First Coast 2008/10/17 22:26:33 (permalink)
Colon Cleaner? St. Augustine is the only place in the US where theDatil Peppr grows.

Datil Do It!

#74
mncorn
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RE: Weekend on Florida's First Coast 2008/10/18 00:34:04 (permalink)
Great trip, the pancake house where you cook at the table would be fun. I'll try that this spring.
#75
buffetbuster
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RE: Weekend on Florida's First Coast 2012/02/13 11:52:13 (permalink)
I recently made my first trip back to the north Florida coast since I did this trip report back in 2008.  Because this trip was so similar, I thought it was best to just tack it on here.
 
Landing in Jacksonville just before midnight on the Friday, it was too late to hit any restaurants.  So I drove to my hotel just a mile or so from the airport and spent the night.
 
The next morning, I got up early and made the 1 1/2 drive to Angel's Diner in Palatka.  Actually, it shouldn't have taken so long, but there were some misadventures along the way.  Now, I consider myself a reasonably intelligent person, but I had a heck of time figuring out my car rental.  Before leaving the airport, I always make sure the mirrors are lined up and know where the turn signals and windshield wipers are.  But getting in the car in the morning, it took me a while to figure out how the air conditioning turned on or the radio on an acceptable station.  Needless to say, I rent a lot of cars and never have much difficulty.  But this Ford Edge made everything overly complicated.  To make matters worse, while driving along I-95 through the city, I looked down and my flashers were on!  It took a few minutes, but I found a place to pull over and had to get the manual out to figure out how to turn them off.  This trip was not off to a great start!
 
As soon as you cross the bridge into the town of Palatka, Angel's Diner

is right there on the left.  The inside is small and cozy,

with tables lining one side and a J shaped counter on the other.  Being by myself, I chose the counter. 
 
Nothing on the specials board caught my eye, so I looked at the menu.  Interestingly, they have frog legs, chicken gizzards and chicken livers

on their dinner menu.  I went with a small order of biscuits & gravy,


bacon and a short stack of pancakes.  In the review for Angel's, the Sterns don't rave about the food and it is easy to see why.  The biscuits did not taste homemade and the gravy had little flavor.  While the bacon was fine, the pancakes were the type that just soaked up a lot of syrup.  Never a good sign.  The one thing I ordered that was very enjoyable was a beverage called a pusalow,

which is chocolate milk, with vanilla syrup mixed in, over top crushed ice.  Delicious!
 
Even though the food was ordinary, I'm still glad to have stopped in.  The atmosphere here at Angel's, which is Florida's oldest diner, was relaxing and a nice way to start the day.  Maybe the food is better at lunch time.
 
From Palatka, it was a relatively short drive over to St. Augustine.  Fortunately, I found a parking spot right in front of Hot Shot Bakery, which was my next destination.  Located next to the Lightner Museum and across the street from Flagler College, it is ideally situated in downtown St. Augustine.
The woman who waited on me at Hot Shot Bakery was very nice and I do believe that she was the owner.  One of the things they are most famous for is the chocolate covered datil pepper. 

If you eat one, you get your photo up on the Wall of Flame,


plus you get a bumper sticker.
 
She asked if I was going to eat it there, but when I told her it was to go, she still gave me a bumper sticker.  If I had it to do over again, I would have eaten it there, so I could have gotten my photo on the wall.  You will just have to trust me, I did eat it later in the day, back in my hotel room.  Although the pepper was indeed hot,

the chocolate made it rather easy to eat. 
 
Also to go, I got a red velvet cupcake,

which I found to be overly sweet and something called a raspberry trifle. 

This was similar to a spongcake with raspberry sauce over top, but what I really liked about it was the chocolate covered spoon.  This I really enjoyed.
 
After walking over beautiful St. Augustine for a while (here is a photo of inside Flagler College's main hall),  

I was ready for lunch.
 
More to come.....   
post edited by buffetbuster - 2012/02/13 13:15:31
#76
ScreamingChicken
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RE: Weekend on Florida's First Coast 2012/02/13 13:13:22 (permalink)
buffetbuster

 

 
I can't tell if he's just shielding his eyes (lots of reflective surfaces in there) or if he's holding a small camera.  Perhaps he's part of the Roadjukebox subculture?
#77
buffetbuster
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RE: Weekend on Florida's First Coast 2012/02/13 13:38:48 (permalink)
Brad-
He got up from his seat to check out the jukebox, just as I got up from seat (at the end of the counter) to take an inside photo.  So, I had to take the photo around him.  Who knows, maybe he did have a hidden spy camera in his glasses! 
#78
buffetbuster
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RE: Weekend on Florida's First Coast 2012/02/13 14:41:35 (permalink)
One of the problems with visiting St. Augustine's is that I love O'Steen's so much, that I have ignored such other Roadfood restaurants as Saltwater Cowboys and Barnacle Bill's.  This time I was determined for it to be different.  Yet, when lunch time came, I found myself pulling into O'Steen's

parking lot.   
 
O'Steen's was already written about earlier in this thread, so I am just going to hit the highlights.  When I arrived at 10:40, 20 minutes before they open, there was already a line along the bench. 

Man, this place is popular!  When the doors opened, I grabbed the first seat at the counter.  The waitress immediately came over and I placed my order, so my food was the first out of the kitchen.  I love when that happens!
 
The meal started with a cup of the Minorcan clam chowder. 

This chowder contains potato, corn, tomato and lots of chopped clams.  I did consider using some of the datil pepper sauce

in it, but is was perfectly spiced already.  This is a truly excellent soup!
 
Of course, I got an order of the famous fried shrimp. 

But since I had other restaurants to hit, it was the small size, which comes with nine shrimp.  Beautifully butterflied, lightly coated and tasting as fresh as possible, these are still my favorite fried shrimp anywhere.  The waitress, who was a real pro, recommended I amp up the pink dipping sauce with the datil pepper sauce and she was right.  I ran out of sauce way before I ran out of shrimp.  The really good green beans were heavily seasoned, but the squash casserole was bland and uninteresting.  The sweet tea was still too weak.
 
On the way out of O'Steen's, there was still a long line waiting for a precious table.

 
There was some sites in town I still wanting to see, so I headed back into town and walked around for a few hours.  Which gave me plenty of time to build up an appetite for lunch #2!
 
More to come.....
post edited by buffetbuster - 2012/02/13 14:43:25
#79
buffetbuster
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RE: Weekend on Florida's First Coast 2012/02/14 14:06:05 (permalink)
Next lunch was at Schooner's Seafood House

This place is out of the downtown area on busy Ponce de Leon Blvd.  Schooner's has more of a family restaurant feel.  Since I was by myself, I sat at the short bar area. 

 
My meal at O'Steen's was so good, I decided to duplicate it here.  The Minorcan clam chowder

didn't seem to have as many clams and was a touch hotter, but this is a version well worth stopping in for a visit.  I tried to get the small order of fried shrimp, which would be five pieces.  But the waitress pointed out that if i get the eight piece shrimp, it comes with free beverage, so that would actually be cheaper.  No idea why they do it this way, but who wouldn't three extra shrimp?
 
The food came out quickly, which is no surprise since almost everyone around was also eating the fried shrimp.  As you can see,


these shrimp look identical to the ones I ate earlier in the day.  And as much as I love O'Steen's, I really couldn't tell a difference between them.  These were some excellent shrimp.
 
Once again, my waitress suggested I use the datil pepper sauce to liven up the pink dipping sauce, but I was way ahead of her.  She then brought over some datil pepper vinegar

and told me to put it on my greens.  Some more excellent advice, because the pepper vinegar really brought out the flavor in these greens.  The other side was cole slaw, which was so overly sweet, I only took two forkfulls before giving up.
 
After not getting much sleep the night before, I checked into my hotel in downtown Jacksonville and took a nice long nap before dinner.
 
More to come.....
#80
leethebard
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RE: Weekend on Florida's First Coast 2012/02/14 16:02:43 (permalink)
I love St. Augustine and the area around it...and am loving this post.
#81
Large Man
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RE: Weekend on Florida's First Coast 2012/02/14 21:38:22 (permalink)
I love Schooner's.  It is often overlooked in St Augustine.  Great sweet tea there.  The shrimp are really good.
 
#82
mar52
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RE: Weekend on Florida's First Coast 2012/02/15 00:17:04 (permalink)
I'm very impressed by the light coating on those fried shrimp AND the chowders.
 
Tell me about the chocolate covered Datil, please.  Was the chili raw?  Pickled?  Were they seeded and then dipped?  I find them interesting.
#83
survivalcavefood
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RE: Weekend on Florida's First Coast 2012/02/16 04:22:10 (permalink)
Thanks for sharing these great information...
#84
bosco lover
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RE: Weekend on Florida's First Coast 2012/02/16 14:37:31 (permalink)
I'll agree that Angel's diner isn't the greatest food ever, but it does have atmosphere. Never had the breakfast, but the burgers are pretty good and i really like the onion rings which have a very light batter.
 
Glad you were still happy with O'Steen's-it's the number one place all of our Ohio friends and relatives want to go when they visit
 
 
#85
buffetbuster
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RE: Weekend on Florida's First Coast 2012/03/08 19:05:47 (permalink)
My hotel was the Hyatt Regency, right on the waterfront in downtown Jacksonville.  Directly across the street was a rather large yacht,

that truthfully, I thought was some kind of restaurant.  Instead, the young valet told me that it was a personal boat for new Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan.
 
After the nap, I was quite ready for dinner.  My destination was a place that has appeared in the Roadfood books for a long time, Whitey's Fish Camp.  This would be my first visit here.  With a name like a fish camp, I was expecting some rustic backwoods rundown cottage, surrounded by picnic tables.  Arriving, I was shocked to see just how big the was and how crowded

the parking lot was.  Whitey's even has their own hair salon!  Knowing this was a Stern's review, I decided to keep an open mind, but this wasn't at all what I was expecting. 
 
Once inside, they asked if I wanted to eat inside (immediate seating) or outside (30 minute wait).  Now normally, I hate eating outside.  Sun, rain, wind, bugs, I would much rather eating indoors.  But, with a place like this, right next to the water, I thought it would be worth the wait.  And instead of 30 minutes, I was shown to a picnic table in a screened in area in no more than ten minutes.  Here

is the view of the water from my seat and you can see where customers eating at Whitey's can tie up their boat. 
 
The inside

looks vaguely like what you would think a fish camp would look like and no doubt that the outside seating here has much better Roadfood atmosphere.  I also appreciated that your table is outfitted

with everything you could need for your dinner, with squeegee bottles of cocktail and tartar sauce, plus ketchup and most importantly, a roll of paper towels.
 
The menu offers lots of different seafood options, but they are best known for the all-you-can-eat catfish dinner. 

Catfish isn't my favorite food in the world, but I was impressed that they have wild caught and not farm raised catfish.  Foregoing the all-you-can-eat, I went with a two entree combo, with the catfish as one and blackened shrimp as the other.  When the food is delivered, it all comes on one big plate,


with an empty container on top, to be used for shells, scales and bones. 
 
As one of the sides, I went with the red beans and rice,

which is listed, strangely enough as a soup, since it came highly recommended by Bruce Bilmes and Sue Boyle in their review.  The beans were certainly canned and there was no broth to this soup, but the combination of firm beans and smoked sausage was terrific and this may have been my favorite item at Whitey's.  The macaroni cheese side was ordinary and I ate it just out of habit.  The blackened shrimp, which came in an approximate 1/2 lb. portion size and were strongly suggested by my waitress Cole, were excellent.  Highly seasoned and very fresh tasting, I was glad I listened to her.  Even better was the catfish, which I received two fairly large lengths, which comes in a tasty cornmeal coating.  And even an inexperienced catfish eater like myself have no difficulty removing the firm fish from the bones.  I could have eaten a lot more of this catfish.
 
When I asked if the desserts were homemade and the answer was yes, there was no doubt that some key lime pie became necessary. 

Not the best version ever, but it was properly tart and sweet, with a pleasant graham cracker crust.  
 
Whitey's Fish Camp was a much better experience thatn I thought it would be when I first arrived and I'm glad I gave it a chance.  And this place is obviously a local favorite, because it stayed busy during the entire time I was here.
 
From there, it was straight back to the hotel for the night. 
 
 
#86
Sundancer7
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RE: Weekend on Florida's First Coast 2012/03/08 19:54:27 (permalink)
BB:  Great write and Whitely's seems like the place for me. Good luck to you and WJ for the food and travel awsards for this year.  You are off and running and WJ is right with you..
 
Come to see me in Knoxville.
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
#87
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RE: Weekend on Florida's First Coast 2012/03/08 21:27:33 (permalink)
Whitey's is one of those roadfood places where I have had great meals, but also have had some less than stellar.  They all were the same order, all you can eat catfish.  Some have been the best I've had, but a few times they were over cooked so much that one order was all I could stand.  I go back because the food the majority of the time it is good.  It depends on the kitchen crew working. 
#88
buffetbuster
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RE: Weekend on Florida's First Coast 2012/03/20 15:39:30 (permalink)
Trying to get some of these half finished trip reports finished up.....
 
TheTravelinMan was nice enough to drive up late Saturday night and join me in Jacksonville.  On Sunday morning, we headed to Barbara Jean's for breakfast.  This is a small chain located along the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia and northern Florida.  This particular Barbara Jean's sits right on the Intracoastal Waterway in Ponte Vedre.  Since the weather was rather cool, I agreed to sit outside, which would be two meals in a row for me.  Unheard of!  But, there was no way to pass up this

pleasant view.
 
TTM ordered the seafood omelet,

which contained a healthy amount of shrimp, crab, onions and tomatoes.  The home fries that came with both of our meals were large chunks of spud, well seasoned with a crispy outside.  If I remember, TTM really liked his food.  My entree was the crab cake benedict. 

This is a 5 oz. crab cake sitting on a biscuit, topped by an egg and hollandaise sauce.  The biscuit was a little harder than I would have preferred and the dish could have used more hollandaise than was provided, but I still was happy with my order.  This was mostly due to the excellent crabcake, which had very little filler.  Actually, I took the benedict apart and used the biscuit as a conduit for the very good homemade strawberry preserves

that came with the meal.  Having never seen pot roast hash on a menu before, I couldn't resist ordering it here as a side. 

Undoubtedly homemade, it did have potatoes, onions and green peppers, but was mostly very tender beef.
 
After the leisurely breakfast, it was time to do some sightseeing.  TTM recommended the Jacksonville Zoo, so off we went.  I don't know why I wasn't expecting much, but it was a really nice zoo.  A few photos:



 
The most impressive exhibit was the giraffes.  They must have had at least a dozen giraffes in a large yard and had the viewing area where patrons (mostly kids) could feed the giraffes. 


This was probably the closest I have ever been to these impressive animals.
 
After a couple hours at the zoo, we had time for one last meal before my flight.  Located right in the middle of downtown and reviewed here on Roadfood is Jenkins Quality Barbecue

The inside is rather small and you place your order through a small opening in what looked like bullet proof glass.  Here is the small menu. 

And since it was Super Bowl Sunday, business was brisk and they were already out of several items we tried to order.
 
My pork bbq sandwich

wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but was still quite good.  The sesame seed bun threw me off a bit.  The meat was nice and lean and you could taste the smoke flavor.  You get the choice between sweet or hot bbq sauce and we went with the sweet.  I was not expecting to see a yellow mustard sauce, which was thin and went well with the pork.
 
TTM ordered a large slab of ribs for us to share. 

And this was indeed a very large slab of ribs, covered with more of that good mustard sauce and four slices of white bread.  The first thing I did was grab one of the bread slices and start soaking up some of the extra sauce.  To try to eat these ribs would have been very messy and knowing that I had a flight to catch, I grabbed one rib off of the end and chewed on that.  TTM did eat a couple of the ribs there, but most of it got wrapped for him to take home and eat while watching the Super Bowl.
 
We said our goodbyes and I headed to the airport.  I got to my car in Pittsburgh just in time to hear the final Giants drive to win the Super Bowl. 
post edited by buffetbuster - 2012/03/20 15:44:11
#89
The Travelin Man
Filet Mignon
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RE: Weekend on Florida's First Coast 2012/03/20 16:09:49 (permalink)
I don't think I have even uploaded the photos from this trip from my camera yet. I think I got some good shots of the zebras, too.
#90
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