Photo Post 14: The Rex in Jacksonville FL

In August of last year, we spent a day in Chattanooga and made a stop by Sir Goony’s for me to run around with the camera shooting the various mini-golf obstacles. One of these obstacles was a big orange tyrannosaur. The Goony Golf chain was a 1960s-era ripoff of Florida’s Goofy Golf. Roadside Architecture has documented all these surviving places fairly well – about a million times better than we can ever do – and while I was looking around her site for ideas for toddler-friendly things to do and see in Jacksonville, I was pleased to see that a lone Goony tyrannosaur was still standing guard at a shopping center. (You want dinosaurs in Florida? She’s got two pages of them!) Continue reading “Photo Post 14: The Rex in Jacksonville FL”


The Sheik, Jacksonville FL

In the 1960s, as fast food really began to take off, every business owner was looking for an angle. In Jacksonville, a fellow named Tarzan Akel came up with a winking little way to get attention. Several of the area’s delis had been building sandwiches in pita bread for a few years, looking to win the attention of the city’s large Arabic population, and he decided to go full-bore into middle eastern imagery. In 1965, he opened the first of what would be a six-store chain called The Sheik, specializing in a pita sandwich filled with ham, salami, bologna, cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion, along with a special sauce. It’s called a camel rider. Continue reading “The Sheik, Jacksonville FL”

Kickbacks Gastropub, Jacksonville FL

Anybody looking to our blog for coverage of beer is bound to be disappointed. Barbecue we’re pretty good about, and Buford Highway we’re getting better with, but since only one of us drinks, and only occasionally at that, we are scattershot journalists at best. But this visit to Kickbacks wasn’t about getting better coverage for our blog, it was because I wanted to marvel at their selection and try something new for myself. I crossed my fingers that I might leave with a new favorite, hoping that Kickbacks’ reputation might show off something new and neat. Continue reading “Kickbacks Gastropub, Jacksonville FL”

Metro Diner, Jacksonville FL

We had originally planned to visit a breakfast joint called the Metro Diner in December 2011. I found it via Flavortown USA, a fan site for TV’s Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, and saw that it is one of five Jacksonville-area restaurants to have made it to their show. We don’t get to Jacksonville very often, but it’s always nice to step away from Saint Simons for a few hours and go visit our old friend Chris. Anyway, much of that last trip had to be scrubbed, including breakfast, but this time I was determined that we’d leave the island on time and make our way to the San Marco neighborhood in the early hours and maybe even beat the breakfast rush. Continue reading “Metro Diner, Jacksonville FL”

Brewer’s Pizza, Orange Park FL

Readers with quite long memories might recall that Brewer’s Pizza was the place that our friend Chris wanted us to eat when we were in Jacksonville one year ago, but we ran afoul of their hours and wouldn’t have time during our brief visit. Brewer’s is actually located about an arm’s length outside the Jacksonville / Duval city and county limits, in suburban Clay on the southwest side of the metro area. Clay County has stricter policies about the times that a restaurant may serve alcohol on Sundays, and, consequently, Brewer’s doesn’t bother opening up until 2 pm, missing out on the possible revenue of the early NFL games. Now that I’ve been here, and seen the reasonably-sized crowd watching football and spending money, I remain baffled as to why they chose to open in Clay. Continue reading “Brewer’s Pizza, Orange Park FL”

Angie’s Subs, Jacksonville Beach FL

When the opportunity came to revisit Jacksonville and spend a little time with our friend Chris, I didn’t have to look very hard to find a place to get a little lunch first. Angie’s Subs seems to be incredibly popular and is ranked fairly high – it is the # 3 restaurant in Urbanspoon Jacksonville at the time of writing – and since we’re only realistically able to pop down to northeast Florida maybe once a year at this time, I’d like to take these rare opportunities to say that I’ve been to one of the area’s most loved places. Continue reading “Angie’s Subs, Jacksonville Beach FL”

Orange Tree Hot Dogs, Jacksonville FL

Marie and I have mentioned several times here in the blog that we’re interested in small fast food chains that only serve a city or two, just in one little region of a state. Well, fair’s fair, it’s mainly me that’s interested and I’m just lucky to have such a supportive wife who indulges my curiosity. I know about many of these sorts of places and I’m always looking out for more. I was really surprised in November when I stopped by one of my favorite travel sites for restaurant ideas, Chopped Onion, and learn that Jacksonville has its own chain of hot dog shops. Chopped Onion’s report on this chain, Orange Tree, made it essential for me to swing by when Marie and I went down to visit Chris a week or so back. Continue reading “Orange Tree Hot Dogs, Jacksonville FL”