I-95 chowhound tips for passing through Jax
One bbq stand, one sandwich shop.
BBQ - Jenkins' Quality BBQ 830 N PEARL ST JACKSONVILLE FL
- in town on Pearl Street between State and Union - get off on Union (can do going N or S) about 6 - 10 blocks into town - Pearl street is just before the lighthouse (you'll understand when you get there.) Look to your left for the authentic red plastic mansard roof. Sides are so-so at best, but the smoked pork is m-m-m. The sauce is a mild mustard based that is kind of hard to describe but addictive. Esp. recommend the pulled pork sandwich and the rib sandwich (that's ribs, white bread, sauce, butcher paper around the whole deal.) Drive right by that McD's on 8th St, if you please. Take State Street back to I-95 and go on your way a happy hound. This is a hound place. You're welcome.
Sandwich shop - Blue Boy - 6514 Norwood Ave. (Lem Turner exit north of downtown - go south on Norwood about 6-8 blocks - just past elementary school on the right.) A Jacksonville legend. Big sandwiches. Great sub rolls about regular length & double width, baked in house. If you think you'll have room for fries, chips or one of those big-ass cookies, you're kidding yourself. Recommendations - check out the menu - I would keep it simple with a cheeseburger sub on the first visit (or a round for non-hound normal folks) - the basic deal is the terrific bread and the 'getting real' urban ambience that is Blue Boy. Bet you park next to a police car in the ridiculously small lot. Did I mention that these puppies are big? Another hound place - my Cleveland buddy who used to live here starts every conversation with - "have you been to Blue Boy lately.." just go.
It's tips like this that make Chowhound so damn valuable.
Blue Boy is a classic chowhound find. First of all, it's literally a minute from the exit off I-95. Second, if you didn't know what was inside, you would drive right past it. Third, you can stuff your face with good food cooked to order for cheap.
Ambiance: zero. The dining room is for serious chowing.
After surveying the intimidating menu, I decided to go for one of the high-end subs, the "Barbeque Steak," for $6.25.
When my order was called, and I was handed the plastic basket containing my sub, my first thought was "uh-oh." It must have weighed three pounds.
Mezzrow's description was not exaggerated in the least. This thing was gigantic. The roll looks like a doublewide trailer. The sandwich was cut into quarters, with good reason: it was too big to merely cut into halves. A little too much BBQ sauce for my taste, but the superb bread made up for that.
I feel secure in saying that most people -- even chowhounds -- could not, would not, should not, eat this whole sandwich. But of course I did, which eliminated any possibility of trying a slab of bread pudding that looked to be the size and weight of a paving stone.
The price of subs here is mainly in the $4-6 range. Two people could split one, get a bigass cookie, and be very happy for peanuts.
How big was this sucker? I drove through Georgia, South Carolina, and half of North Carolina with no desire to stop for barbecue.
Thanks to mezzrow for the great tip!
re: Bob W.
Glad you liked it. I can't imagine anyone who knew of this place passing through and not stopping - it is just the essence of houndness... I think I'm gonna send Chappy Hardy an email - next time he's passing through, we need an official "bite count". Bet it sets a new record.