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Feb 19, 2010 05:19 AM

Best Sandwich in Jacksonville (?)

I wanted to get people's thoughts on the topic. My votes go to:
- Pinegrove Market and Deli
- French Pantry

French Pantry has been mentioned numerous times on the board, and deservedly so. My only hang-ups are:
(1) the wait (if you're not there at 11am on the dot, you better have some patience); and
(2) insufficient seating (there have been one or two times when I get my food and there's nowhere to sit - most of the time it works out though).
That said, those two hang-ups are completely outweighed by the quality of the food. Everything I've eaten there has been absolutely stellar.

Pinegrove definitely deserves to sit right along French Pantry in my opinion. The burger and cuban are both arguably the best in town. (The cuban is made with pulled roasted pork instead of sliced pork, and it makes all the difference.) Also, they have three or four "specialty" sandwiches which are not on the regular menu, but are on a laminated yellow piece of paper where you order. Make sure you check these out. To top it off, Pinegrove is also a butcher shop and sells dry-aged steaks which are incredible. I've had great reviews everytime I've bought steaks from there.

So, what other spots should be on the list?

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  1. ooh, I wanna know, I have to go to jax once a month for business and there isn't too much great food up there.

    4 Replies
    1. re: askdrtodd

      Where do you stay/do business while in JAX? As I'm sure you know - it's a very large geographical area - and the places I might suggest if you were 10 minutes away might not be worth a 40 minute drive each way. Some places might work for lunch instead of dinner - and vice versa - depending on where you are working/staying. I have a lot of trouble - in terms of attention span - following threads on Chowhound (wish I could get replies in my email so I could follow them better). Please feel free to email me at for some suggestions/ideas (I live in the area).

      BTW - I'm going to Tallahassee next week (azalea season) - and - after looking at the recent Tallahassee threads - I think you have made your point that you don't care for the dining scene there - no need to say it more than once or twice! I've been traveling to Tallahassee since the 70's (I'm a retired lawyer) - and I remember when the Silver Slipper was a really big deal. But - needless to say - Tallahassee has never been a "foodie destination" - even in terms of "undiscovered gems". Robyn

      1. re: pvgirl

        Haha well put Robyn. When I'm in Tally I eat at Cypress, Shari, Sakura, Cafe Cabernet (not sure if this is still any good) and Sage (also not sure if this is still good, I miss Mon Pere et Moi)

        Tally's lack of food culture is a self-compounding problem, the only servers that are worth their salt are transplants from bigger cities, and they typically don't stay around long enough to improve the service at any of the restaurants. I like Sakura, the Jo (chef) knows what he's doing, but the college student serving me omakase and sake calling me "brah" really doesn't add to the experience.

        Anyway I could rant about how much I hated growing up in Tally until they bury me. In Jax I usually stay up near 95 & 295/9A, that's where our office up there is. We have project sites out at the beach though, so I'm out there every month or so, and also I have friends that live near 10 and 295 on the west side of town. I usually eat at Kickbacks or Bistro AIX because they're accessible, what else am I missing out on?
        Thx for the input Robyn!!!

        1. re: askdrtodd

          All I can think of that's close to your office is the zoo! Do note that it's a pretty nice zoo - and worth a couple of hours if you can find the time when it's open. Have you gone over to Amelia Island/Fernandina Beach for dinner? Pleasant drive (easier once we get into daylight savings time). There are 2 restaurants at the Ritz Carlton - one casual - one fancy. Both are pretty good - pleasant setting. Also lots of other restaurants in the general area (I get to any particular one of those so infrequently that I can't give specific recommendations except for the RC). Downtown Fernandina Beach is "cute" and worth at least a 20 minute walk (smile).

          bb's is a couple of blocks from Bistro Aix (probably not quite as good overall as Bistro Aix - but it's a change of pace and the desserts are terrific). The people who own bb's also own a place in Avondale (Biscotti's - slightly more bistro menu - same great desserts).

          We live out at the beaches - so we tend to hit the same places repeatedly when we travel to other areas of town (especially since we're usually going out to lunch - not dinner - and a lot of places aren't open for lunch).

          Out here at the beaches - our favorite lunch spot is our golf club - TPC at Sawgrass. The clubhouse is a knockout. The kitchen puts out a really nice lunch buffet 5 days a week (also has a regular lunch menu - great happy hour deals - casual and formal dinner menus - a Sunday brunch - as well as special events). It is open to the public and is a good place for a business lunch or after-work break . Dress is casual - but not grubby (you mentioned project sites - I assume construction sites - and although golf shorts and shirt or similar are fine - jeans and construction boots wouldn't cut it). Here's the link to the dining info:

          Give a holler if you get out here - and we will give you the 10 cent tour. Robyn

          1. re: pvgirl

            Cool I appreciate it, I usually wear a polo & khakis to the construction sites, I'm an engineer :)

            I am really fond of the bistro sort of spots with eclectic beer/wine lists. Kickbacks is appealing because the food has always been tasty and at a good price point, and the beer selection is killer there. Bistro AIX is fun and has a good menu, with decent wine. I am looking forward to trying the french pantry.

            Also Robyn if you're ever going to be in the Orlando or Tampa area let me know, I'll send you to some places you'll love!!

    2. Ow. I've got to hit Pinegrove for a sammich, now. I've tried the steaks, and they are as you say they are - it's even in the 'hood.

      That said, I must again step up for my guys at Blue Boy. Two locations, Northside at Norwood Ave., just off I-95 North - get off at the Norwood/Lem Turner exit and head south about a 1/4 mi. - look for a non-descript Blue building and a sign on the right (not a big one, either.) Also on Ft. Caroline Rd. in Arlington, north of JU. Outstanding in-house bread, huge portions, and anything you want between two pieces of bread - served by a crew with decades of experience.

      1. Gotta put the homemade pastrami and rye at Metro Diner on the list: meaty, smoky, fatty, peppery. It is very good.

        Metro Diner
        3302 Hendricks Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32207

        1 Reply
        1. re: marelyisdead

          Hmm...I must give the pastrami on rye a go.

          For the two times I've been to Metro Diner, I was just blinded by their special shrimp and grits and Yo Hala on the Square.

          Metro Diner
          3302 Hendricks Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32207

        2. no Blue Boy? For shame!

          fully loaded steak and egg. It may not be fancy, but it is a damn good sandwich on fresh bread.

          1. I second the Pinegrove Market and Deli, this place actually has no peers in Jacksonville. Too bad its on the other side of the universe.

            Check their website for legit photos of the best Cuban this side of Miami, great pastrami and burgers, even a pretty good steak in a sack which is a rarity around here.