The Hangar Bay Cafe and Gallery
Jacksonville, FL 32233 Well Jacksonville has been busy opening new restaurants while I took the month of June off and how exciting it is. I recently made it to the Hanger Bay Café and Gallery a new gem on Mayport Road. The window reads Fried Chicken and Ramen but it is so much more. Owned and operated by Navy veteran Chris Straw, there is a decidedly military vibe, with some great art work gracing the walls, even the name is a play on the space air craft are held when not flying. The spot is small, order at the counter and as the food is ready it is brought to the table. Paper plates and plastic utensils are the rule of the day. The menu basic comfort food for all, fried chicken, sandwiches, some surprising sides, and the Japanese Ramen, Tonkotsu, pork bone broth, Shoyu,soy broth and Curry Miso broth plus a new Hell Fire Raman option. We were there for the ramen this time, as well as a few sides. We places our orders and took a seat in the small dining room. First up my friends Curry Ramen arrived, the ramen served with pork, scallions, a half seasoned boiled egg, Naruto,( that little pink and white swirly item) bamboo shoots, and nori. The Curry ramen has a miso broth base which was smooth, and silky in the mouth with a hint of saltiness. This was one of the best examples of Ramen I have tasted around town. Full of noodles and other goodies, it’s a Ramen lover’s dream and at 9.00$ a very generous portion. Next to arrive, homemade fried biscuits, my friend sampled these on a previous visit and I instead we (me) try them. The moment I bit into the sweet warm dough, I knew she would be my friend forever. Light and airy unlike other biscuits I have sampled I was in love. The four large biscuits were only 2.50$ The deep fried Mac and Cheese arrived along with my Hell Fire Ramen this is not for the weak of heart. Also known as Tan Tan this traditional noodle dish with spicy, red chili oil soup, ground pork, preserved vegetables and green onions, hot, spicy and definitely delicious. Chris the owner gave me a disclaimer when I ordered the dish. I was will to take my chances. Good choice for me. Rich broth, full of pork and noodles, hot and spicy in most satisfying way only spicy food lovers would understand. This large offering of Ramen was also 9.00$ As for the Mac and Cheese, nothing like I have ever experienced two golden brown wedges of the sweetest, creamiest macaroni shells ever tasted. I am still in awe of how the outside could be so crisp and golden and the inside so very creamy and moist. Once you try this there will be no going back. The cost 5.00$ is a steal for the size of the portions. During the course of our meal Chris stopped into the dining room often speaking with the patrons, checking that everyone was happy with the food adding just a touch of light conversation, which lent a nice personal touch. Service is good the servers friendly. It almost feels like a family. Overall I loved it, skeptical at first, I mean fried chicken and ramen? Who knew? So in my humble opinion, get the besties together, and make a trip to Mayport and see for yourself. I am always in favor of supporting local business and ask my readers to do the same. It help builds the community, and your neighbors.