Jacksonville "Hole in the Wall" Restaurants, Part 7

Five more Jacksonville "hole in the wall" restaurants to try.

Published September 12, 2014 in Hole in the Wall - MetroJacksonville.com

Image Courtesy of Pie Heaven Bakery Cafe

Image Courtesy of Pie Heaven Bakery Cafe

Image Courtesy of Pie Heaven Bakery Cafe

Image Courtesy of Pie Heaven Bakery Cafe

Image Courtesy of Pie Heaven Bakery Cafe

Image Courtesy of Pie Heaven Bakery Cafe

Anita Hyde, Owner and pie baker (left) and Linda, Manager and pie baker
Image Courtesy of Pie Heaven Bakery Cafe

Pie Heaven Bakery Cafe

Mayport Road may be Jacksonville's best foodie-type secret. I'm hesitant to share these awesome spots for fear that city council will ban commercial ovens or something just as asinine (read about the recent food truck legislation here).

Pie Heaven Bakery Cafe is everything you want America to be...I'm not overstating. It's peaceful, simple, quaint and welcoming. It's the quintessential pie shop, unassuming and amazing.

They just celebrated their one year anniversary. The business, thus far, is a success. Their pies have something do with it.

The most favored pie according to the owner, Anita Hyde, is the strawberry pie. They make a variety of pies daily from scratch. Plus savory "pies" such as a quiche or chicken pot pie are always on the menu.

Whether you go for the key lime with the crumbly delicious crust or the strawberry pie with the crisp and buttery crust...well, I think you will be happy with whatever you order.

1980 Mayport Rd
Atlantic Beach, FL 32233
(904) 524-7274

Yelp Profile
Urban Spoon Profile

Bongiorno's Philly Steak Shop

My first genuine Philly cheese steak was in Philly as I was traveling through (on my way to Canada). It came from a food truck. I was so nervous because I didn't know how to order one and I knew there was Philly cheese steak lingo that had to be figured out before I got into line.

You don't get to ask questions and you certainly don't get to make adjustments when you order. There's no "yeah, instead of the white american cheese can I get, like, an extra sharp ched-dar?"

I did okay at the food truck that day until I had to answer "whiz or no whiz?"

"I'm sorry, what did you say?"

"whiz or no whiz?"

"wha...what does that mean?"

"kid, do you want cheez whiz on it or not?" He held up a can of Cheez Whiz to allow for my full comprehension.

"You want to spray cheez whiz on my sandwich....? No, no thank you."

I don't care how iconic the Philly steak is no one is spraying dyed yellow "cheese" from a can on my sub.

Thankfully, "whiz" doesn't seem to be an option at Bongiorno's. Or, they knew on site that it wasn't worth asking me.

Look, I don't know what to say about Philly cheese steaks. They're good. I enjoyed my sandwich. In fact, I couldn't put it down. That s***ty American cheese combined combined with the "you don't belong in these parts" beef  laid on top of the whitest bread in the universe is so much fun to eat. You feel like like a giant rat finding the food gold mine because Philly cheese steaks are made for giant rats. That's a compliment.

Their staff was fun, a bit of snarky along with their hospitality. Everyone seemed happy working in the busy restaurant.

Important note, they roast their own turkey for their turkey subs. The beef; however, that comes frozen but it's from New Jersey so, I was assured, it's a win.

2294 Mayport Rd
Jacksonville, FL 32233
(904) 246-3278

Yelp Profile
Urban Spoon Profile

Image from Khaotok Kayla Nakhachai

Image from Khaotok Kayla Nakhachai

Image from Teresa "Foodie2U" H.

Image from D.Y.

Sam Won Garden

Sam Won Garden restaurant is located in one of Jacksonville's better areas for restaurant hunting. It's across the street from Mi Tierra (the best chicharones in jax) and in the same plaza with about five other restaurants that need to be tried (Hala's used to be in this strip).

Apparently, much of the food served at Sam Won Garden is prepped family style. So, the menu can seem pricey until you properly divide. The food isn't mind blowing but it is good, fresh, clean, enjoyable...

It is a step above the Korean "diner" in World Food Market.  

Lunch specials are quick and comprehensive, lots of little sides come with the main course. A non-regretful way to spend $10.00.

4345 University Blvd S
Jacksonville, FL 32216
(904) 737-3650

Yelp Profile
Urban Spoon Profile

Do three restaurants with the same ethnic style of food, located within a half mile of each other, make a district? Let's say it does.

Irie's Caribbean is located near Sunrise Bakery and Island Tropics.

All three  caribbean restaurants have their merits. Irie's food was stellar and they weren't afraid to lay the heat on their jerk chicken. Eating the spicy food in their hot box of a building made for an sweaty meal, which would be fine if I could have walked out of the door and jumped into the sea. Their veggies weren't overly stewed/steamed, which seems to be the M.O. for most Caribbean spots. Their veggies had some crunch, which was nice.

Irie’s Caribbean Restaurant

3801 N Main St
Jacksonville, FL 32206
(904) 683-4976

Yelp Profile

Celeb's Corner Kitchen

Celeb's is a loving establishment. They are great people who serve passionate food. While I was there, Chef Love not only cooked our meals but she served them as well. We didn't choose from a menu. She just asked as a few questions and went back into the kitchen. It was a fairly extravagant lunch. I think it was a five course meal! That may not be typical, the five course meal part, but what is typical is their creative and surprising meals. It is an enjoyable adventure eating at Celeb's.

They cook a little bit like jazz. They're not afraid to improvise. They feel the environment. They feel you. They bring you love in a bowl.

Call before you head over. A lot of their time is spent on their food truck.

736 A Philip Randolph Blvd
Jacksonville, FL 32202
(904) 329-4677

Yelp Profile
Urban Spoon Profile

Article by Arash Kamiar

See more "Hole in the Wall" restaurant articles on the next page.

Related "Hole in the Wall" Articles:

Jacksonville's Hole in the Wall Restaurants, Part 1

Jacksonville's Hole in the Wall Restaurants, Part 2

Jacksonville's Hole in the Wall Restaurants, Part 3

Jacksonville's Hole in the Wall Restaurants, Part 4

Jacksonville's Hole in the Wall Restaurants, Part 5

Jacksonville's Hole in the Wall Restaurants, Part 6

Jacksonville's Hole in the Wall Restaurants, Part 7

Check out Stephen Dare's "A Chef's List for Dining In Jacksonville."

This article can be found at: https://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2014-sep-jacksonville-hole-in-the-wall-restaurants-part-7

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