Crazy Egg, located inside of a mocha and brown brick building on Edgewood Avenue on the west side of Jacksonville, serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. The extensive menu consists of a large variety of sandwiches, like a cheesesteak, a ham steak melt and a reuben. There are also soups, salads and an entire EGG menu. It is clear with offerings like eggs and grilled meatloaf, eggs and hash, eggs benedict and a wide selection of omelets that, here, eggs are the featured food. Crazy Egg sports a true diner ambience, with lime and yellow walls and oak tables surrounded by waffle-pattern oak chairs. Open for dinner only Wednesday through Friday, Crazy Egg serves up an egg-centric menu of mostly breakfast and brunch items.
India House?s owner and chef, Laxman Sharma, celebrates the culinary traditions of North and South India as well as Nepal by re-creating myriad sauces flavored with each region's exotic herbs, spices, and dried fruits. These sauces serve as the marinade for tandoori-cooked chicken and lamb, and simmer in pots with lentils and housemade cheese. Even the breads that accompany entrees are infused with pops of flavor, from green chilies and cilantro to dried mint. India House supersizes orders to fill the lunch-time buffet, and for catered gatherings that celebrate birthdays and straight As on a report card from grade school or clown college.
Raised in South India and trained in kitchens across Europe, chef Anish Gopinath embraces local flavors at Fusion. Low Country favorites such as she-crab soup can be paired with southern standards of oysters rockefeller or grits jazzed up with shrimp. Chef Anish also puts his own spin on American steak-house fare, with dates and saffron complementing lamb and guava and jalapeño glazes adding new tastes to cuts of beef. Perhaps it's these new medleys of flavors, along with a commitment to serve local and sustainable cuisine, that won him the Hilton Head Island Iron Chef Challenge in 2013.
With an arsenal of seasonings and an artist’s touch, Flavors' chefs refute the common conception that all Indian food is spicy. Though many of their chicken, lamb, and seafood specialties hold the bite of fresh chilies and blended spices, a wide variety carry the more delicate flavors of rich cream, tangy tomato sauce, and mild curry. All their dishes have one thing in common, though: they all follow the outline of centuries-old recipes from across India while taking on contemporary flair and innovations.
Beyond the kitchen lies an elegant dining room, where knowledgeable servers refill glasses of fine wine and explain unfamiliar dishes to curious customers—detailing preparation techniques, listing ingredients, and demonstrating how to pronounce their names in Klingon. Come lunchtime, the lengthy buffet fills with freshly made platters of Indian dishes, enabling guests to sample a wide variety of tandoori meats, curries, and traditional dishes. Before taking their leave, diners linger over the last sips of mango lassi at linen-clothed tabletops and cushy green booths, surrounded by the vibrant artwork of local artist Neelima Gole.
The raspberry-colored walls, stained-glass lamps, and mosaic-tiled floors of Layla’s of San Marco transport guests to a Middle Eastern oasis filled with the succulent scent of lamb roasting in spicy sauces. Servers present a lunch buffet as fully stocked as a cornucopia on moving day, featuring fare such as falafel sandwiches, shawarma wraps, and buffalo wings to accommodate a variety of dietary restrictions.
Dinner entrees—such as charbroiled lamb kebabs, shrimp mediterrania, and seasoned tilapia in a garlic wine sauce—arrive on steaming-hot platters with sides of rice and a small salad. A lineup of hookahs puffs out aromatic smoke in a variety of individual or blended flavors, which can be filtered through a choice of water, soda, juice, merlot, or vodka. As bartenders mix drinks at the fully stocked exposed bar, Middle Eastern music guides a house belly dancer through the ranks of mingling patrons to fully immerse guests in a Mediterranean ambiance.
Big Pete’s Pizzeria is a brick behemoth in the heart of downtown Jacksonville, offering up New York-style pies in a homey pizza parlor reminiscent of a classic Brooklyn joint. The red walls, vinyl floors and a TV give the pizzeria a decidedly casual vibe. The large ordering counter houses self-serve soft drinks and teas, while simple black chairs and tables fill the space. The menu is a mix of traditional pizzas and specialty pies like the Taco Pizza, Eggplant Parmesan Pizza and Buffalo Chicken Pizza. Diners can also nosh on a host of subs and sandwiches, from pan-fried meatballs to Italian sausage. Pasta dishes, wraps and wings round out Big Pete’s Pizzeria’s selection, where the service is quick and friendly.