I just got back from a vacation in Jacksonville for spring break. I had a lot of fun with friends, and ate a lot of great food with the same friends. The only thing better than enjoying amazing food is enjoying it with friends. Unless they try to eat food off of your plate the whole time, as my friends always will. With their help, I compiled this list of the top three restaurants in Jacksonville. Ones that we ate at, at least. Looks like I’ll have to try them all, just to make sure I didn’t miss any good ones.
I’ll talk about Si Senor Fresh Mex first, but that doesn’t mean it is the best. Each one of these restaurants is equally perfect in my opinion. After all, my friends live in Jacksonville. Why would they take me to a bad restaurant if they know all of the great ones? My mouth is watering right now, just because I’m thinking about those carne asada fries. There’s nothing more that I want right now. Except maybe a second order, so I can take some home as well. Assuming that they make it that far. Just make sure you don’t forget, because they aren’t listed on the menu.
It’s almost like a secret menu thing that In N Out (and supposedly McDonald’s) does. You’ll be eating close to Beachwood in Jacksonville. Si Senor Fresh Mex offers a large selection of different Latin dishes to order, like chimichangas and tacos. Things like that. My friends have told me that this is one of the cleaner restaurants found in Jacksonville, and I have seen that they were not lying. Cleanliness is paramount in the restaurant industry, as it can make or break a restaurant. Most restaurants that you go to are somewhat clean, so they can stay in business. However, it takes a great restaurant to go above and beyond the call of duty. In the sense of sanitation.
We actually at here twice during the course of my stay, and I had no complaints either time. The proportions are great, so if you aren’t super hungry then you could split a meal with friend. This brings me to the next point, though. You’d be better off ordering two meals and taking the leftovers home, because every dish here is very affordable. If this still isn’t enough to impress you, then keep on reading. The service at Si Senor Fresh Mex is also really good. At this point I doubt a lot of people are taking me very seriously, but I assure you that these are all legitimate claims.
One of the guys in my friend group works for restaurant hood cleaners in Jacksonville, so he has seen the broad spectrum of restaurants in Florida. Believe me when I say that not all restaurant kitchens are up to code. The sanitation in Si Senor Fresh Mex’s kitchen is especially important because a lot of Latin food is fried. My friend was telling me how bad he has seen some kitchens in need, but the owners were too stubborn to pay for his services.
It’s their loss, because a grease fire can swallow up a building in minutes. That’s what he says, at least. I just know that they offer more than cleaning. They also do commercial kitchen cleaning, so the rest of the kitchen can be 100% safe. He told me about the about page so I can learn more, but I still have yet to read it. There isn’t much else I can say about Si Senor Fresh Mex, but there are still plenty of great online reviews that address all my main points as well.
The French Pantry will satisfy all of your salad and sandwich needs, whether you’re living in Jacksonville or just visiting. It’s a good thing that The French Pantry is also a bakery, because pastries are one of my favorite things on earth. Apart from barbecued food, of course. Make sure to be near Bowden in Jacksonville, because this restaurant is super popular. Again, the food and service here are great.
My favorite item here is the shrimp artichoke, and it is safe to say that it is nothing short of excellent. One thing is for sure at The French Pantry, and it’s that the ingredients taste very fresh. It’s not just the fact that they didn’t come from a can, but that the produce is really fresh. Your server will always make sure that your glass is never empty, but they don’t pester you while you’re trying to eat or talk.
They just mind their own business and make sure you have everything you need. Overall The French Pantry is a very great restaurant, and it would be a great choice for someone who has not yet had the opportunity to visit Jacksonville. If you live here and you haven’t been, then that is your own fault. There are plenty of amazing online reviews that agree with me completely.
Last but not least, there’s Terra Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse. There isn’t a ton I can say that hasn’t already been say yet, and nobody likes repetition in an article. Terra Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse is also located in Southside Jacksonville, near the other great restaurants in the Florida city. I put this restaurant on the list because not a lot of people have ever really tried Brazilian food, but it is amazing. It could just be Terra Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse that is amazing, but I’ll never know until I try the cuisine somewhere else.
It’s hard for me to pick a favorite from here, because there were at least three different things that my friends and I shared. One thing I can definitely say this restaurant does to separate itself from the competition is aesthetic. Restaurants don’t necessarily have to be attractive on the inside to get people to eat there, but it certainly helps. It doesn’t take a lot of positive reviews to know whether or not a restaurant is good. You just have to try the food and see for yourself.