Lubi’s Hot Subs, Jacksonville FL

“This goes against the grain,” I said. “Coming all the way to Jacksonville and not picking up any new content for our blog.” We were in town for Christmas to meet my mother halfway between our base of operations on Saint Simons Island and her place in Apopka. We dropped Marie’s sister’s boyfriend at the airport and then made our way to Jacksonville Beach for our four year-old to play and rampage at South Beach Park and Sunshine Playground. Nearby, we’d have lunch with Mom and her husband at TacoLu, which I figured, correctly, that her husband would really enjoy. Continue reading “Lubi’s Hot Subs, Jacksonville FL”

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Beach Road Chicken Dinners, Jacksonville FL

After spending the Saturday of our trip exploring Orlando, we left Sunday morning to spend a few hours with each of Marie’s parents on Saint Simons Island. The road there takes us through Jacksonville, and I was looking forward to trying a place that we’d been thinking about sampling for quite some time. Beach Road Chicken Dinners originally opened in 1939, and we arrived just as the place started to fill up with both the after-church crowd and the Jaguars tailgating crowd. Since it’s one of the oldest existing restaurants in town, they’ve got a set, old-fashioned way of doing things. It’s not quite family-style dining, as everybody orders their own proteins, but they do offer up unlimited sides. Continue reading “Beach Road Chicken Dinners, Jacksonville FL”

The Rocket, Jacksonville AL

In our experience, quite a few old “drive-ins” all around the southeast offer barbecue on their menus, but almost every one of them emphasizes burgers and milkshakes, and possibly a little nostalgia in their architecture, more than they emphasize smoked pork. Then there’s The Rocket, which doesn’t look or feel like any drive-in that we’ve run into, and which is much more like a proper barbecue shack than anything else. It’s also phenomenally popular. It’s a tiny little building completely packed with people, and I was afraid we’d have to eat in the car until a table opened up at the last minute. Continue reading “The Rocket, Jacksonville AL”

Whiteway Delicatessen, Jacksonville FL

When we visited Jacksonville in December 2013, I had hoped to stop by Whiteway Delicatessen for lunch. It’s one of the city’s oldest restaurants, and said to be one of the best places in town to sample one of Jacksonville’s iconic rider sandwiches. Unfortunately, we had to come on a Saturday, when they’re closed, so we made do with a rider from the small chain The Sheik instead. It was a pleasant little oddity, but pretty far from being worth a really long drive. Continue reading “Whiteway Delicatessen, Jacksonville FL”

Callahan Barbecue, Callahan FL

Florida does not have a reputation for barbecue, that’s pretty clear. My hypothesis is that, more than any other southeastern state, it’s where people move or retire with their hometown’s recipes and try to bring those to life. So you’ll get individual restaurants with very distinct and individual flavors, but never a general sense that in this-or-that region, you can generally expect this kind of sauce or that kind of side dish. I can give you general ideas of what you may find in northwest Alabama or the South Carolina piedmont, but in Florida, it’s every restaurant for itself. Continue reading “Callahan Barbecue, Callahan FL”

Hamburger Mary’s, Jacksonville FL

Overshadowing this visit to see our friend Chris in Jacksonville was this unfortunate little incident at his house. See, we thought we had worn out the toddler in the morning. He ate well, got to visit a dinosaur, and spent an hour at a super-fort playground. Then we drove around the city’s southern beltway for the Orange Park neighborhood. He slowly started nodding off. We got to Chris’s place, climbed up the stairs and looked forward to putting him down for a nap, and— Continue reading “Hamburger Mary’s, Jacksonville FL”

TacoLu, Jacksonville Beach FL

A year back, after our last visit to Jacksonville, I was looking at Urbanspoon to make sure that the links to our most recent blog updates for that city looked okay, and somebody had recently posted some photos of the mural on the outside of TacoLu. I took one look and said we’d visit on our next trip to Florida. How could we pass this up? Continue reading “TacoLu, Jacksonville Beach FL”