Hole in the wall restaurants of Jacksonville, Part 12


Whoah, it's been too long! The last several months I've been in this odd back-and-forth of buying grocery store fried chicken and spending long, involved hours cooking at home. 

I'm not complaining. 

I like fried chicken. More than that, I love to be in the kitchen.  Barefoot, sweaty and cooking in a hot and hardly ventilated kitchen; where my wife is pacing nearby and wondering aloud when she'll finally get to eat because "you know, I didn't really eat lunch today" is where I am third most happy. 

Over the last few months, I've nailed down oven slow-baked ribs. My sausage gravy is sometimes amazing...and sometimes a low-viscosity bread like substance. As for biscuits, I still don't get it (or anything baking related) and I don't appreciate the snobby bakers in my life who..."it's like one of the easiest things to make." 

Is there a middle finger emoticon? 

As for the bolognese sauce, it comes with so much anxiety. It's all about time, and I can't wait it out. I panic and end up adding 1000 unnecessary ingredients when all it needed was an extra hour of simmering to meld the flavors. My key lessons for bolognese, use less pureed liver, add way more fish sauce and don't tell anyone that you've added those two ingredients. 

Enough about me, this isn't about my brown-linoleum floored kitchen. This is about the decent to incredible restaurant fare that can be found in Jacksonville if you look just off the driven paths. 

First up...


Full Circle Eatery

8101 Philips Hwy
Jacksonville, FL 32256
Phone number (904) 503-3829

The former owners of the Secret Garden Cafe have come back to their roots by launching a new restaurant concept, Full Circle Eatery. Its located inside Avonlea Antiques Mall on Philips and Baymeadows. 

Secret Garden was originally located inside Avonlea's former location on Beach Blvd. Fifteen years later they're back in partnership with the  mall, which explains the name "Full Circle Eatery."

Just about everything is made on site. If the Cuban is on the menu, they're roasting pork in the back. A classic turkey sandwich? Then there's an oven full of turkeys. Desserts, they may not be milling flour, but everything else is happening in the kitchen.

Despite being a relatively straightforward American-esque kinda place to eat, Full Circle made the best Cuban I've ever had.  I'm pretty sure I've had one or two Cubans in Miami, well, one may have come from a 7-eleven. So, that one doesn't count.  

Full Circle's Cuban bread was perfectly crispy and painted with a precise amount of mustard and thicker cut pickle slices, the traditional accompaniments to the roasted pork, ham and Swiss pressed sandwich.  

Next Page: Jacksonville Hole in the Wall Restaurants, Part 12