Tag Archives: dining

Famous Amos Restaurant

Famous AmosFamous Amos has been serving Jacksonville residents delicious southern-style country cooking for over 40 years.  Featuring breakfast all day, great lunch and dinner specials, and lots of fresh, locally-grown vegetables, it is a favorite in the Mandarin community.

My grilled tilapia with fresh veggies on a bed of rice was the best!  Here is a picture:

Famous Amos

If you go:  There are six restaurants and a full service catering department.  Most menu items are under $10.  Locations, hours, and a complete menu are available on their website at FamousAmos.bz.

Bayard Cafe

The Bayard CafeThe Bayard Cafe is a cheery addition to the historic community of Bayard. Located midway between Jacksonville and St. Augustine, Bayard was once a stopping-off point for tourists traveling along US 1 between the two cities.  In the 60s and 70s shoppers browsed for bargains at the Bayard  Antique Village or the Country Store.  Now, with the continued growth of Jacksonville to the South, Bayard seems very much a part of the city, though maintaining its rural charm.

Bayard Cafe interiorThe Bayard Cafe is open for breakfast and lunch daily.  There is a full breakfast menu, a bakery and a coffee bar. Lunch options include homemade soups, salads and sandwiches, as well as daily specials ranging from spaghetti, meat loaf, and fried chicken to Fish Friday. Perhaps, your biggest decision will be deciding what to order!

I thoroughly enjoyed the quiche supreme, which was also homemade and came with a salad.   There was a steady stream of fellow diners, even after the normal lunch rush.  Friendly service, homey atmosphere, great food, and very reasonable prices – I will be back, too!

The Bayard Cafe is located is located in the Shoppes of Bayard, 12525 Philips Highway (at US 1 and Old St.Augustine Rd). You can check out their website at BayardCafe.com and also find them on Facebook.


The Back 40 Urban Cafe

The Back 40 Urban Cafe in St. Augustine is a great place to enjoy lunch or dinner away from the tourist crowds.  You’ll have to look to find it, as the charming little house blends with other residential homes on the street.  Once inside, there are several different rooms in which to eat.

The menu has a Mexican touch and offers many vegetarian  options, as well as chicken pot pie and amazing tacos.  Happy Hour specials are from 3-6 everyday.  Bring friends and family! You’ll find this hidden gem  at 40 South Dixie Highway, St. Augustine, Florida 32082.

Awesome Lunch at The French Pantry

The French Pantry is located in a warehouse on Powers Avenue with no signage except for an awning at the entrance.  You could easily drive by without even noticing there is a place to eat.  But The French Pantry is no secret to its many raving fans.


Rated #1 of 1436 restaurants by Trip Advisor, the family owned restaurant offers French-inspired lunches. Specialties include bruschettas, paninis, salads, sandwiches on  homemade bread, and decadent desserts.  Each lunch includes bread and dipping oil. Everything is wonderful!

If you go: Expect a long line after 11:30, but it moves quickly.  There are 10-12 tables inside, and communal seating is part of the charm.

Anatolia Grill & Bar

Anatolia Grill and Bar in MandarinWhat to you do when you arrive at the office for an 11:00 appointment and find you’ve been stood up?  After busying myself with paperwork for about an hour, I decided to treat myself to lunch!

Anatolia Grill & Bar, located in Mandarin, has been on my list of places to visit, and I am so glad I  checked it out.  Great service, a relaxing atmosphere, authentic Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine,  a piano for evening music – Anatolia’s has a lot to offer.  For $9.99, I enjoyed a 3-course lunch, which comes with a variety of menu items to choose from.  The falafel plate was wonderful, as were the tabouleh and pita; and the kazandibi, a caramelized light milk pudding, was to die for!

Don’t miss this place!

I will definitely be back.

Anatolia’s is located in the Outback Plaza Shopping Center at 9825 San Jose Boulevard.  A complete menu and more information may be found on their website.

Istanbul Grille

Having had the pleasure of traveling in Turkey several years ago, I looked forward to lunch at the Istanbul Grille, now located at 9041 Southside Boulevard, southeast of the Avenues Mall.

The restaurant did not disappoint!  Features include a lunch buffet at $8.95, as well as a  complete menu.  Everything is made from fresh ingredients.  As a vegetarian wannabe,  I chose the falafel accompanied by a side of tabbouleh.  Both entree and salad were outstanding.  If I would learn to cook as well as they, I could easily exist on a diet of chick peas and parsley!

A delightful experience!  The Istanbul Grille and adjoining Hookah Lounge are opened for lunch and dinner and can be reached at (904) 403-2234.

Clara’s at the Cathedral

How would you like to enjoy a gourmet lunch buffet, with live music, while supporting a wonderful organization – all for $10!  Then come to Clara’s at St. Johns Cathedral on Fridays between 11:00 and 1:00.  If you don’t happen to work downtown,  it’s worth a special trip.

Clara’s is a training cafe operated by the Clara White Mission, as part of their goal to offer valuable job training to restore those in need to meaningful, dignified lives in the community. The menu changes each week, but what you will always find is an upscale buffet with several entrees, accompanying vegetables, soup, salad and desert bars, and beverages – including their signature Tropical tea.

What you will enjoy most is the friendly atmosphere, with smiling, helpful staff and students, and talented young musicians.  Perhaps you will hear a pianist, or maybe a strolling violinist or a jazz saxophonist.  (Jarell Harris, a recent UNF graduate is performing here).  These talented artists are donating their time and talent to help support the mission.

Clara’s is open most Fridays (but will be closed May 18th) at St. John’s Cathedral, 256 E. Church Street from 11:00 – 1:00.  More information and an updated menu for the week may be found on their website at ClaraWhiteMission.org.

Whitey’s Fish Camp

Sitting outside on a covered deck overlooking Doctors Inlet on a pleasant spring Saturday afternoon, while enjoying fried fish from a basket, I was reminded why I chose to live in sunny Florida.  And for authentic North Florida atmosphere, Whitey’s Fish Camp and Restaurant can’t be beat!

Whitey’s started as a bait shack in 1963 and gradually expanded into a full-service restaurant and bar.  The menu includes “traditional” seafood dinners, chicken, salads, sandwiches, wraps and more.  But the fresh river-caught catfish, All-U-Can-Eat for $16.95, are the stars.  There are daily menu and drink specials and fun activities, including Karaoke, a bass tournament, and live music on Sunday.  Dress is casual, and meals are modestly priced.

Come enjoy the real Florida!  Whitey’s is located at 2032 CR 220, Orange Park, Florida 32003.  More information and menus may be found on their website at http://whiteysfishcamp.com.