Author Topic: Discovering the Essence of Old Mandarin  (Read 13031 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Discovering the Essence of Old Mandarin
« on: December 14, 2015, 03:00:04 AM »

Noone

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Re: Discovering the Essence of Old Mandarin
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2015, 05:15:18 AM »
Thanks for the tour.

gomias

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Re: Discovering the Essence of Old Mandarin
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2015, 10:30:34 AM »
Great article. A lot of history all over Mandarin. My husband and I were the ones who donated the sawmill. We found it while building our home.

David

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Re: Discovering the Essence of Old Mandarin
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2015, 10:36:43 AM »
I've been at the southern tip of Old Mandarin for a little over a year now. We moved out here from my beloved Urban Core area with the argument of better schools.  I hated it at first, for most of the reasons other MetroJax'ers would. Stripmalls, chain stores, but I couldn't quite apply the "lack of character" slam to this part of town. There's some pretty nice, old and grand houses especially along the river. It's not so bad having a large variety of shops, grocery stores  and restaurants nearby either. Even if they're chains.

The traffic can be a pain though. We were originally closer to 295 off San Jose but bought a house down by Mandarin Park, it's added a good 10-15 minutes onto my commute time. The backroads are a very relaxing alternative.  Commutes into downtown can vary, anywhere from 25 minutes to near an hour on some days. But you have 3 routes, 295 to 95, straight up San Jose and the Buckman over to 17 into town. The last route's a great alternative when 95 is jammed up. Gets you downtown in around 30 minutes.

My only other gripes was the lack of nightlife in the area, but Mandarin isn't a place for Young Urban Professionals, once I had a kid the nightlife importance dropped down a few notches.

And even though San Jose is a strip mall mess they do manage to make it look less atrocious with the oak trees that line some of them.  There's some charm to the area for sure, but I do miss having everything nearby like you do in San Marco/Riverside. 

Walter Jones Historic park is definitely my favorite in the area. Nice for bike riding and walking around with the kid. Good views of the St. Johns as well.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2015, 01:35:30 PM by David »

coredumped

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Re: Discovering the Essence of Old Mandarin
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2015, 11:00:00 AM »
Mandarin is a great part of town full of an interesting history. A drive or bike round around Mandarin road is really awesome.

David, I'm curious about the chain restaurants you mention - I think Mandarin has some great local restaurants around Saucy Tacos, Santionis, Picassos, julington fish camp and clarks fish camp are among the more popular ones, but some of the best places to eat around!

The area does lack something "cool" for young professionals though, you're right there. Sadly, no breweries, but no neck bears or fedoras either :)
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mtraininjax

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Re: Discovering the Essence of Old Mandarin
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2015, 11:00:51 AM »
Mandarin is definitely for suburbanites who would rather expand horizontally, than live in a cramped space. Its a great place to raise kids, with lots of room to play and on streets that are one way in and one way out.
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David

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Re: Discovering the Essence of Old Mandarin
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2015, 01:46:00 PM »
Mandarin is a great part of town full of an interesting history. A drive or bike round around Mandarin road is really awesome.

David, I'm curious about the chain restaurants you mention - I think Mandarin has some great local restaurants around Saucy Tacos, Santionis, Picassos, julington fish camp and clarks fish camp are among the more popular ones, but some of the best places to eat around!

The area does lack something "cool" for young professionals though, you're right there. Sadly, no breweries, but no neck bears or fedoras either :)

As for chains I've utilized Outback a lot since moving out here, never went that often before but for the price it isn't bad. Five Guys, Red Elephant, Ale House are among my favorite chains considering my palate hasn't changed since I was 22. For non chains Picassos is great along with the other ones you mentioned.

Don Juan's is a nice step above Lanop &  I love Dolce's & Paddy's pizza. (And the guy who originally opened Carmines has Moondog pizza just across the bridge in Fruit Cove.) Maple Street is a great local-ish chain and their restaurant off Racetrack is impressively huge.   Village Bread Cafe is my answer to Metro Diner since it's always insanely packed. Not quite the same atmosphere but a good breakfast either way.

As for the nightlife there's supposedly a microbrewery opening up just a little north of the area off Baymeadows & San Jose, but no hard date for that has been set yet. But i'll stick to Riverside for my nightlife needs until suburban decay sets in around North Mandarin then it goes through the gentrification/creative rebirth cycle with cool new shops opening :D


« Last Edit: December 14, 2015, 02:11:44 PM by David »

edjax

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Re: Discovering the Essence of Old Mandarin
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2015, 02:39:53 PM »
There is also. V's in Mandarin. I would also suggest Enza's Italian. Very good. Several local places north of 295 also in Merchants Walk and the Outback Plaza.  Of course also have the Tree Steakhouse and Beach Diner. And to always favorite Dreamette.

With regard to the brewery, it is now actually under construction.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2015, 02:42:02 PM by edjax »

David

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Re: Discovering the Essence of Old Mandarin
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2015, 10:35:10 PM »
Yep the V pizza is a stone's throw from my house. Still haven't checked out the Mandarin location. They're doing plenty of business out here... And that's good to hear about the construction starting on the brewery!  There's also a new Lebanese restaurant/hookah lounge in the space formerly occupied by Pizza Palace around the corner from there.. I haven't tried the veal brain or chicken liver yet :D I hear the cow tongue's not bad tho.

mandarinmuseum

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Re: Discovering the Essence of Old Mandarin
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2015, 12:26:30 AM »
Thank you very much for posting this great overview of Mandarin. Mandarin Museum & Historical Society encourages all readers to take at look at our website at www.mandarinmuseum.net to learn more about Mandarin's history and how you can be involved. The 2016 Membership Campaign has just begun. All are welcome to join as members, with several levels of membership available. The support of our members is the foundation for the work of the organization. All are also invited to become a volunteer and be part of the all-volunteer team that brings Mandarin's history to life through our many program and events. Visit the Mandarin Museum and Walter Jones Historical Park on Saturdays (except Dec. 26) from 9-4, FREE. Visit the historic Mandarin Store and Post Office at 12471 Mandarin Rd.  on the first Saturday of every month from 12-4. Check the calendar for special events. Sandy Arpen for Mandarin Museum & Historical Society, 11964 Mandarin Rd. 32223 268-0784

jaxhistory1

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Re: Discovering the Essence of Old Mandarin
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2015, 02:24:55 PM »
Great story. I have to say I was blown away by the first picture of the corner of SR13 & Lorreto, it is absolutely unrecognizable now. Almost tempted to say that Florida Memory photo could be misnamed, as its in the group with a bunch of old pictures of the Westside. As a life long resident of Mandarin I do remember when there was a a drug store there (Taco Bell now) and a very large old tree which doesn't show up in that picture. Still great subject matter and story.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2015, 03:07:06 PM by jaxhistory1 »