The following is excerpted from the Bold Bites feature in VOID’s Feb. 2021 issue. 

We asked Northeast Florida writers, creatives, foodies, and personalities to dish on the boldest bites they’ve taken of late. Here are some of the standout dishes.

Korean Biscuit ($6.99) with a side of Truffle Mac n’ Cheese ($9.99)
Silkie’s Chicken and Champagne Bar | Springfield
I love anything sandwiched in a biscuit, but the Korean Biscuit at Silkie’s is next-level delicious. The sweetness of the Korean-style fried chicken and the Gochujang Honey Sauce combined with the tangy kimchi watermelon rind is the perfect mix of sweet and sour. Add the plantain ginger biscuit, and it is an amazing mix of flavors. Truffle Mac n’ Cheese may seem like a random side to eat with a Korean-style sandwich, but chicken biscuits and mac n’ cheese have had a longtime comfort food love affair. So often you go to a restaurant and the mac n’ cheese is dry and crusty, but Silkie’s Truffle Mac n’ Cheese is so rich and creamy. Together, this duo is a thing of beauty. 
Nan Kavanaugh
Director of Communications MOCA Jacksonville

Photo | Agnes Lopez


Chicken Tinga Tacos ($4)
Taqueria Cinco | 5 Points
[First Coast Connect producer] Heather [Schatz] turned me on to Taqueria Cinco. These tacos were super savory, with the combo of the slow-cooked chicken and amazingly fresh ingredients. Plus the ambience on their patio out back adds to the overall experience. 
Melissa Ross
Radio Host, First Coast Connect on WJCT


Roast Beef Club ($5.85)
Sun Deli | Jax Beach
I order mine hot with swiss cheese. It tastes like a Saturday skate between two surf sessions.
Kendrick Kidd
Artist, Graphic Designer


Wild Georgia Shrimp and Grits GF ($18)
Black Sheep Restaurant | 5 Points
This dish tasted fantastic. But the strong textures–charred broccoli and shallot confit giving it a nice crunch–really set it apart. 
Dustin Harewood
Artist, Educator

 

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Dirty Fries ($10)
KraVegan Food Truck | @kraveganllc for location info 
What made the dish so delicious is the fact that every ingredient in the dirty fries complements every other ingredient so well. The smoked seitan and the cremè really hits the spot. It’s also completely vegan and you can’t tell the difference which makes it even better. In my opinion KraVegan is probably the best vegan spot here in Northeast Florida. 
Rania Woodard
Musician-singer-producer, LANNDS

Photo | Jesse Brantman


Trifecta ($12.50)
KraVegan Food Truck | @kraveganllc for location info 
The trifecta includes one of each of KraVegan’s signature tacos. But really everything is amazing here. The best thing I can ever say about a dish is that I did not add anything to it! I’m a sauce lover and I usually have multiple sauces with every meal. When I go to KraVegan I don’t add anything.
Curtis Dvorak 
Formerly Jaxon de Ville, host of First Coast Living


Burrito #1 ($9.50)
The Manatee Cafe | St. Augustine
Vegetarianism and veganism isn’t what it used to be. This niche corner of the food industry previously occupied by sandal-clad hippies constructing plant based meals from grains and legumes, has been crowded out by scientists dreaming up alt-meats in sterile, far-flung laboratories. These days you can pull your Prius through your local Burger King and pick up an animal-free Whopper whenever your heart desires. 

Not to say that the increased accessibility to vegetarian options is a bad thing. There are certainly advantages to the plant-based diet becoming ‘Mericanized. Besides, convenience needn’t be the domain of Fast Food.

Personally, when I have a hankering for a plant-based feast–without the fuss–I turn to St. Augustine’s The Manatee Cafe. Boasting a menu full of organically sourced dishes dreamed up by executive chef Cheryl Crosley, Manatee’s modestly named Burrito #1 is my go-to. It’s ingredients are as straightforward as its nomenclature: A mix of hummus, greens, vegetables, sweet potatoes, avocado, salsa, and creamy homemade yeast dressing; all fresh, all tucked into a crispy open-faced wheat tortilla. Simple, quality ingredients, prepared by a set of thoughtful hands, the Burrito #1 remains number one in my heart…er… stomach. 
Darby Moore
Void Contributor


Profiterole Cake ($3.99/slice, custom cake prices vary)
Café Veneto | Arlington 
The most delicious and spectacular thing I have eaten recently has to be a custom cake made by Café Veneto for my daughter’s 16th birthday. Unable to have a party or celebrate with friends, we still wanted to make her Sweet 16 extra special, and we had been told about Café Veneto – a little European style café that also does to-die-for cakes and baked goods. We were keen to support a small local business and, with only 48-hour notice, the one-woman baker extraordinaire who runs the restaurant created the most amazing cake! My daughter’s favorite dessert is profiteroles, and so she created a gorgeous vanilla layer cake, with one layer enclosing profiteroles; chocolate drip decoration and a whole bundle of profiteroles on top. It was magical – both to look at and to eat! The cake was not overly sweet – completely indulgent, totally original, and gloriously decadent. And my daughter LOVED IT!  We loved it so much that we have since gone back as a family for lunch. We ate outside and are definitely becoming regulars. Paninis, lattes and pastries – all homemade and using the freshest ingredients. 
Caitlín Doherty
Director of MOCA Jacksonville

More BEST THINGS I’VE EVER EATEN (Recently)
Part II
Part III
Gai Tawd Hat Yai Fried Chicken from Pattaya Thai
Fried Fish Bites from Safe Harbor

This feature was excerpted from the Bold Bites section in VOID’s Feb. 2021 issue.