You’ve waited long enough. Part III is here!
To refresh: For our February Bold Bites issue, we asked Northeast Florida writers, creatives, foodies, and personalities to dish on the best thing they’ve ever eaten (recently). Find sampler platters Part II here and Part I here. Without further ado. Let’s dig in.
California Dog (reg. $3.59, jumbo $4.60)
Hot Dog Hut | Jax Beach
Hot Dog Hut takes me back to the old Jax Beach that I grew up in. Friendly regulars and family environment. Dogs and sausages with myriad toppings, along with sweet potato fries that are the perfect accompaniment. An awesome blend of good food and great atmosphere.
Void Skate Columnist
Vegan sushi menu (Prices Vary)
Sushiko Japanese Restaurant | Avondale
This year’s favorite is the same as last year’s. Sushiko in Avondale’s entire vegan menu is a dream come true and as someone who has traveled the world, it’s a real treasure unique to Jacksonville.
Owner & Operator, Tiger Records
Kao Soi ($14)
Hungry Owl Food Truck | @thehungryowljax for weekly schedule
Sometimes we suffer from a case of believing what we want to. For me, a stubborn and highly gluten intolerant wishful thinker, I looked at “Egg Noodles” and was satisfied without another thought into the process of Hungry Owl Food Truck’s take on Kao Soi, a super popular and decadent dish from northern Thailand. Truth be told, they had me at “SPAM,” which is a guilty pleasure of mine (they also offer veggies, tofu, chicken, shrimp, or beef as protein options). I should clarify that the egg noodles do in fact contain wheat–which I discovered in the worst way. This dish launched me into excruciating pain for 48 hours, but was worth every bite. I still think about the smooth blend of the curry, the chili oils, the delicious forbidden texture of the egg noodles, and yes, the SPAM in all its dubiousness. and if I had a time machine, I wouldn’t have done it any differently.
Glenn Van Dyke
Connecticut Roll ($16.50)
Cousins Maine Lobster | Neptune Beach
My friends in Lobster Country are deeply defensive and tenaciously territorial about their native product, so apologies in advance, but the lobster roll from Cousins Maine Lobster was easily the best thing I ate last year. I received the gospel from former <Folio Weekly> editor, Georgio Valentino; he took me to Aardwolf, where Cousins was having a pop-up, and it was love at first bite. The product is flown in fresh from Maine, nestled onto a warm buttered roll like a drowsy drunk on their best friend’s futon, with the bare minimum of accessorizing. I take mine Connecticut Style, warm with drawn butter and lemon juice; Maine Style comes cold with mayo. The first location opened after a name-making “Shark Tank” session in 2012. They’ve since built a mini-empire that includes food trucks and brick-and-mortar restaurants in 36 different cities, including our Neptune Beach branch, opened in 2018, with three more coming in 2021. They’re also doing pop-up events all over Northeast Florida, every weekend. There are very few things that will get me up early on a Saturday, but this is one of them.
La Cena Italian Ristorante | Murray Hill
The specter of the pandemic loomed large when we dined with friends at La Cena Ristorante on March 11. Knowing that this would be our last meal out before the impending lockdowns, we indulged in escargot sautéed in butter and garlic, the best house made pasta this side of the Atlantic, which we washed down with classic Italian wine and capped off with a decadent chocolate dessert and espresso. It was a meal none of us will ever forget—I even kept the receipt as a keepsake.
Gai Tawd Hat Yai Fried Chicken from Pattaya Thai
Fried Fish Bites from Safe Harbor
Sampler Platter Part 1
Sampler Platter Part 2