1303 N Main St
Jacksonville, FL 32206
I am somewhat confused about my experiences at Uptown Kitchen and Bar. My friend and I were here in August of 2014 when they first opened. I have to share it was a less than enjoyable experience. Several of the items we ordered were not available, and as I recall a Shrimp and Grit dish was perhaps one of the most disappointing dish I have had in a while, one dish the meat was perfect and this sides cold or lukewarm, another a puree vegetable dish was more paste like than puree. Always willing to give any restaurant another try I went back in January of this year and had a much different experience, on this visit I opted for the NY Ruben with slaw substituted for sauerkraut with fries plus a glass of wine. The fries were plentiful and crisp, not a hint of oil. It was accompanied by a small cup of requested Russian dressing, but ample enough for my needs. Since I had the dog, he enjoyed a Veggie Burger and gobbled it right down. This proved to be a most satisfying and filling experience for both of us.
Lets fast forward to June and breakfast this week. Before I go on my rant let me share all the things I really enjoy about this spot. A wonderful atmosphere, clean and upscale urban interior, and of course the outside seating, full bar and a menu that changes on a regular basis. Great for people watching and just relaxing in the early morning over a coffee or Bloody Mary. Staff is always great and willing to go the extra to make the customer experience a plus. That is where it ends for me.
Menu board of the day
So breakfast, one would think it would be an easy meal to pull off, perhaps not. We started with the Biscuits and Gravy. I laugh about “white” food, which in my world is anything that lack appeal and covered in a paste like white sauce, gravy or what ever it’s called. This describes this dish to a tee. Biscuits so dry that even the “gravy” could not revive them. The gravy itself was totally lacking in flavor and just unappealing to look at.
My companion opted for the Sweet Pete’s Caramel Pancakes. and the salted caramel sauce on the side. This was a good move on her part. This sauce was so cloyingly sweet and thick she felt it uneatable. The pancakes themselves were of a healthy portion, golden brown, light and airy. Once new sauce was delivered she declared this dish great. It was really attractive and appealing to the eye.
Again a sucker for Pork Belly I had to try the BBQ braised pork belly, Smoked Gouda grits, poached egg, I asked for scrambled . This was served with one of the dry biscuits. The pork belly, was tasty as it was when I first had it here, but again the same issue, the meat was just on the border of being cold. Since it was nestled atop the grits it thought it would be warm but not so. Grits like the “gravy” just bland, there was not enough salt on the table to fix them. There was a hint of smoked gouda but I was still disappointed. It looked much better than it actually was.
So I have no thoughts on the inconsistencies I have experienced, on my visits. I can’t see me going back, which is sad because I do like everything about the place but the food.
I encourage every one to have their own experience and if you do so let me know what your thoughts are. It may just take me back for one more time.