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southern food in Jacksonville?

  • g

I'm visiting Jacksonville from NY and would love to find some great southern food (i.e. chicken fried steak, vegetables, etc.) in a non-chain setting. Does this exist there? Any recommendations? I have a special desire for fried okra. Thanks!

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  1. Beach Road Chicken - we've been eating there since the '70's. Mmm, now you've got me thinking about their fried chicken and creamed peas.
    You also might want to try Whitey's Fish Camp.

    3 Replies
    1. re: cynder

      Thanks! I actually tried both those places on an earlier trip. Beach Road Chicken is a real treasure, and I will definitely go back there. Whitey's was a bit more hype than substance, I thought. (But still fun.) I was wondering about the type of dinner restaurant you find in old southern cities--meat plus 3 vegetables kind of thing. Unreconstructed and not a chain. Are there places like that in Jacksonville?

      1. re: gnosh

        Famous Amos, nothing fancy but typical meat and three, multiple locations. I think it is just what you are looking for.

        1. re: karenfinan

          Thanks! Are there any places like that that people know of that are not chains?

    2. Used to be Homestead on Beach Boulevard just east of the intercoastal. I haven't been there in ages - know they updated the menu for a while then maybe went back to basics. Loads of construction issues over the last year had it closing then not closing. Seems they pulled through.
      Also The Rite Spot on 3rd Street in Neptune Beach. Chicken fried steak, biscuits and corn bread on the table - great shakes!

      1 Reply
      1. re: meginAB

        The last time I went to The Homestead (maybe 2 years ago?) it was awful. Wouldn't go back. I tried Rite Spot once - and it was mediocre. Not as good as Golden Corral.

      2. no okra, but GOOD HOMECOOKED FOOD!!!
        Potters House Soul Food Bistro
        (904) 394-0861
        5310 Lenox Ave
        Jacksonville, FL 32205
        menu http://www.urbanspoon.com/u/menu/4813...
        desserts http://www.urbanspoon.com/u/menu/4813...

        1. I'll contribute an "amen" to the Soul Food Bistro, but what you want to do is go to Arden's for lunch. Just off of US 17 S. (Roosevelt Blvd.) at San Juan Ave. Cross the tracks, and Arden's is back a couple of blocks on the left. There are usually a couple of JEA trucks parked nearby, cause that's where the boys like to go for lunch. I don't know how they get anything done after eating at Arden's.

          This is the best home cooking avaiable in Jacksonnville. Arden has a menu as well as a buffet - but after you look the buffet over, you'll likely say something like "this'll do...". Open for lunch only from 11:00 AM Mon -Fri - go early - it gets busy. Real busy. Her okra and tomatoes are just like my Grannie's. Three or four meat items and all the southern style veg you can eat. You'll find field peas, squash, cabbage, greens, limas, mac and cheese, chicken and rice, biscuits, cornbread, desserts and on and on and on...

          Highly recommended, completely non-chain, and ferociously local. More like a place you'd expect to find in a small town.

          Arden's Kafe & Katering
          1650 Hamilton St, Jacksonville, FL

          1. Editing my post - San Juan = St. Johns, and a couple of blocks on the right, not the left.

            My bad.

            Really though, try Arden's - you'll never forget this place.

            1. I haven't been there recently but have had some good meals of the meat + three variety at PK's Kitchen on Mayport Rd in Atlantic Beach. And they do have fried okra!

              3 Replies
              1. re: cynder

                Oh yea - your are right. But I think it is called KJ's Kitchen. Serious southern food - the kind you can only eat every once in a while as a splurge!

                1. re: meginAB

                  you are right too - it is KJ's Kitchen.
                  I'm guessing you are in Atlantic Beach. What are your favorite cheap eats in the area?

                  1. re: cynder

                    We don't eat out much anymore - guess lots of people are saying that. But I am a trained chef that closed an AB food market almost 2 years ago and my husband is a GREAT cook so we mostly stay in and entertain. (Plus we can send the kids off to play while we finish wine and conversation!)
                    But when given the chance we hit Fish Market, Taco Lu, Sliders - especially on Thursdays for oysters, maybe Sun Dog but it has been ages. I guess I mentioned Rite Spot earlier but I haven't been there in a long time either.
                    Cheaper eats though - new Flying Fish Burrito Company - I think is the name - across from the AB Al's is pretty good - not cheap by any means but you want to pay for fresh fish. Colonel Mustard - another once in a while place for a greasy burger.
                    Didn't know that question was so hard - or that we were stuck in such a rut!

              2. First thing to know about Jacksonville is it's really big. Some of the places mentioned here are over 20 miles from my house - and not worth the drive. Although I know you requested non-chains - my favorites are lunch at Piccadilly Cafeteria (often has fried okra) and Golden Corral (almost always has fried okra). Of the 2 - Piccadilly is kind of dying - and somewhat sad (except on Sunday after church). Golden Corral is going great guns.

                4 Replies
                1. re: pvgirl

                  Golden Coral and Piccadilly are straight out of the package dining experiences. This is not real cooking - this is commissary made and shipped food. They buy their pot roast roasted, their okra breaded and their sauces pre-made. Soups get poured straight out of a bag. I just don't thing this is what gnosh is looking for....

                  1. re: meginAB

                    The Piccadilly up near Regency makes some of its manager's specials (like the smothered turkey legs) in house. Can't vouch for everything it serves. The big problem with a lot of small "mom and pop" places is the food doesn't turn over often enough (you're not going to get your fried chicken cooked to order at lunch - so who knows how long it's been sitting around?). Whereas at a place like Golden Corral - the chicken is coming out of the fryer every 15 minutes (and disappears in less than 10). The meat and three has pretty much been a dying institution for a long time - and - after many attempts to find good ones - I am about ready to pronounce it officially dead.

                      1. re: meginAB

                        Thanks for all of this. We'll be down there in a couple of weeks, and I will surely report back (unless I keel over from too much okra and lima beans...)