Jacksonville, FL 32207 I met Chef Rodrick “Pete” Smith several weeks ago while attending a food event. I learned that after a long and successful career in the “food business” he recently returned home to Jacksonville and opened his own restaurant last July, the Jax Diner located on the Southside of town. Billed as an authentic diner, I had to agree once I visited, it is about as authentic as can be.
It’s clear to see it’s all about the food, no frills just good wholesome food made fresh daily using locally sourced products when available. Offering breakfast and lunch Jax Diner does a brisk take out business and can pack the counter and tables during the lunch hour. There is a daily special board or menu options, a choice of 50 plus burgers, as well as salads and sandwiches, this spot is the perfect choice if your time is limited, or you can just sit and enjoy the banter that goes on between the regulars and Chef Pete.
The breakfast menu offers just what you expect from a diner, pancakes, omelets, and more, sides such as, grits, hash browns and home fries fill the plate.
I was there for the lunch serving classic diner food, like the ever popular BLT, tuna melt, hot dogs, daily specials and the fresh made burgers that adorn the menu. Choices such as your basic Jax Burger, comes with a side of slaw, potato salad, or fries, the Super Cheezyburger served between two gooey grilled cheese sandwiches, is a sure fire hit for those of you with manly appetites, and even better the Big Dog Burger a gut busting double cheeseburger, 14 oz. of beef and cheese topped with a 5 oz. bacon dog. If you can finish this your picture will adorn the “wall of fame”
For my lunch choice the Spicy Burger with cheese, onion and a side of the Spicy fries. I asked what the spice was thinking it may have been just a blackened burger, but no a secret sauce of ghost peppers cooked down making a beautiful spread, that was well represented on the underside of the bun. I like when I order spicy and it is actually delivered. This burger totally filled my need for a heat rush.
For dessert there was nice array of cookies in the case right next to me. Chocolate chip, white chocolate macadamia nut chip and a red velvet cookie that had my name on it, my wishes were not going to be granted that day, someone snatched it right before my eyes.
This was a great lunch, and I totally enjoyed seeing Chef Pete again. I want to return and try the Shrimp and Grits as well as the Low Country Boil, I recommend getting the crew together and make it a Saturday breakfast stop, so you can take time to sit and enjoy the experience, or if your close to the restaurant make it a lunch run, you won’t be disappointed.