Prior to my NYC transplant, I lived in Jacksonville for seven years. You're right--there isn't much to hope for in Jax. The most you'll find is mediocre veg sushi at any of the [excessive, yet likely underestimated number] of sushi joints or a smattering of limp veggies thrown on a publix sub.
Don't bother trying to find food here. Just park your asparagus downtown so you can survive on tofu burritos and tacos at the Burrito Gallery. Since you're already homesteading downtown, you'll be near Riverside (the only place you ever really need to go in Jacksonville unless you want to see the guy who is missing his hands and jaws miraculously drinking coffee at the Mayport Waffle House, who freakishly and awesomely resembles Popeye), where you'll enjoy easy access to the insanely delicious sandwiches at the Grassroots market, as well as killer eats at the Hovan (the lentil soup is spectacular).
Other miscellaneous digs & tidbits:
-- Get the veggie burger (or anything vegan that you can find) at Harpoon Louie's in Riverside...killer spot, great beer prices
-- Grassroots gets their prepared foods from Turtle Island at Jax Beach, right in that tiny strip mall at the dead end of Atlantic Blvd
-- Native Sun beats the prepared food at Whole Foods tenfold in price, variation, quality, quantity, and flavor (two location, Baymeadows at 9A and Hendricks before it's Hendricks...San Marco?)
-- Thai food at Pataya Thai is grossly overrated, avoid
-- Casbah in Riverside was great 6 years ago, and has been on a steady decline in quality and service for a while, but the food is still acceptable. The place is only tolerable if you go during non-peak times
-- Although it appears sketchy, La Napolera is forking awesome
-- For a raw treat, make the drive to St Augustine and go to Present Moment Cafe
-- If you drink, do not miss cocktail hour at Orsay (french restaurant in Riverside so snazzy that the chef will probably create an amazing vegan dish if you ask--it's THAT kind of place), they have killer drinks and the prices or good
-- Screw Jacksonville, there's nothing to eat there anyway, just move to Orlando so you can eat at Loving Hut and Dandelion til you explode
-- Graham at 8th Day Tattoo=AMAZING
If I can remember anything else I'll post it. If you want to go to any place I've mentioned, please check to see if it still exists because I left Jacksonville over a year ago. Don't blame me if some of this information is obsolete.
Oh, and don't forget to ride the monorail to nowhere. If you ever come to Brooklyn, bring me some tacos from the Burrito Gallery, please. And finally, if you run into my ex (likely playing drums for some random band or making noise at Shanty Town), please tell him that his brand-new wife looks an awful lot like George Costanza crossed with Sasquatch.
danielle [noun]: she who says and posts stupid shiitake on the internet (see also ain't no bitchassness)
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