Jacksonville, Florida — The Southern Grill
I was in Jacksonville, FL late last week for a conference, based at the Crown Plaza. We had two hours free for lunch on Friday, so I walked over to the Maritime Museum, which is small, but has numerous ship models, photos, and memorabilia. The staff (all volunteer) is very nice. I understand they’ll be moving from the current location to Jacksonville Landing shortly. http://www.jaxmaritimemuseum.org http://www.jaxmaritimemuseum.org/
After my visit to the museum, I still had time for a quick lunch. I happened upon The Southern Grill, at 800 Flagler Avenue. It’s an unpretentious place — you place your order at the counter, fetch your own beverage, and a waitress brings your food to your table.
They had some interesting-sounding specials that day, including “Bourbon Chicken” and fried catfish, but I was a little under the weather, so I decided to opt for a vegetable plate, chosen from about a dozen offerings. I picked green beans, collards, carrots and mac and cheese. Everything was, I’m told, vegetarian (not vegan), so there was no ham or bacon in the greens. But all the vegetables were fresh and tasty, if a little underseasoned. The mac and cheese was OK, but nothing special.
It was very reasonably priced, I thought ($5.95). I gather the place gets very crowded at lunchtime, but I must have missed the rush (I got there about 1 p.m.), as there was no wait at all to order, and several empty tables.
The regular menu includes sandwiches, burgers, country-fried steak, meatloaf, salads, and “Middle Eastern Delights” like grape leaves, falafel, kibbeh and tabouli salad. They also serve breakfast until 10:30 a.m. — omelets, pancakes, bacon and sausage, biscuits and gravy, grits, etc.
It wasn’t the most fantastic roadfood experience I’ve ever had, but it was certainly a very creditable choice, and much more reasonable than the surrounding restaurants or those chain places across the river at Jacksonville Landing.
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