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Oct 18, 2009 11:52 AM

Moving to Amelia Island for good, will go to Jacksonville for ingredients and dining

I want not just restaurant recs (but want those too) but want to know sources for all the things I will miss like good Italian sausage (any mom and pop Italian stores?), local producers of meat, dairy and vegetables (I know there will not be much in veg right now), good bread, bakeries, etc. The Fernandina Beach Publix is fine but what more is there if I am willing to drive?

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  1. First stop should be the French Pantry. It is a bakery in a warehouse district serving many great restaurants in the area. They have a small retail and dining area serving lunch. Menu changes daily. Get there early or expect a long line. FYI, you can call ahead to make special orders for pastries, cakes, bread etc. to take home. Well worth the drive.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Windsor

      As you can see, it took me a long time to get to my one recommendation but it was worth the drive and worth the wait, so belated thank you Windsor. I got there about 8:30 on a weekday morning which is too early as there is no bread out (they told me around 11 when the lunch crowd starts is the time to come even for bread). They found me a loaf of the French Bread anyway (fabulous and definitely worth the trip) and I got some old but still great sandwich bread and some leftover desserts just to try. All were good so I will go again. Any recs for Christmas goodies there?

      I may have to put this on a Jax board too but still looking for a good butcher and place besides Williams Sonoma for special baking ingredients (like chocolate nibs) and fresh seafood recs (to cook at home). It sounds like the fish camps are where to go for very fresh fish-other than Singletons, any recs somewhat closer to Amelia Island?

      1. re: tvmovielover

        Sorry you are not getting more recommendations, but at least for me, my Amelia experience is very limited.

        For a butcher shop, if you are willing to drive to JAX, Pinegrove Market and Deli has excellent dry-aged beef. They do not have a huge seletion, but what they do sell is excellent. They also have some of the best sandwiches in Jacksonville, and I would put them on par with French Pantry for sandwiches. (They are difficult to compare because the styles of the two are so different - Pinegrove has a middle eastern flair.)

        For vegetables, the farmers market on beaver street in downtown JAX is pretty good. If you are looking for more organic produce, the Riverside Art Market is open on Saturdays only. They usually have an excellent selection of organic produce, on top of being a fun time in general.

        Good luck!

        1. re: RHT in JAX

          The Fernandina Beach Farmer's Market has great local produce from west Nassau County organic farmers Cabbage Creek. Right now the greens and broccoli rabe are very good. Once a month Deep Roots meat and Thompson Pork come to the market. Free range, antibiotic free. Also very good stuff. 29 South is using many of these products. Winn Dixie has a limited selection of Ecce Panis bread. Some of the best bread around.

          1. re: marelyisdead

            Thanks, the FB Sat am market is the one place where I am already a regular. The meat is good as are the greens, etc. and there is also very good cheese about once a month and I got great pecans a few weeks ago. Now where do I go for fresh seafood in Nassau county or Jacksonville?

            1. re: tvmovielover

              I live in Yulee and go to the Hedges Meat Market (on 17 just north of Hart) for 99% of my meats and Atlantic Seafood Bait & Tackle (10 Ash St, Fernandina, FL 32034) for most of my seafood. Don't let the Bait & Tackle scare you. They had the biggest scallops and the best price in town.