Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Lunch at Kathy's Bakery and Cafe

Today I had the opportunity to spend some time with my youngest son and we went to check out a local coffee place. Since it was pushing noon we decided to have a little lunch.

Kathy's Bakery and Cafe

Nothing in the name gives away the fact that this is a Cuban bakery and sandwich shop. 

As we looked over the menu hanging on the wall I knew I'd have to order a Sandwich Cubano. Ham and roast pork with Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard. On Cuban bread mashed and toasted in a hot press. I loved the bread. Soft on the inside and crunchy outside.

Josh ordered something a little different. Pan con Picadillo is basically a Sloppy Joe but it's ground beef cooked with green olives in a tomato sauce.  A little sweet and salty. Perfect combo! Also on Cuban bread toasted in a press.

There was a delicious looking display case full of pastries but what I really came for was the coffee. 

Cafe con leche. 

Oh my gosh. To me it's like a hot dessert in a cup. The sugar and the coffee and the foamy milk. Yum! Taste like it's caramelized.

I know you can make cafe con leche on a stove top but oh what I'd give for a coffee machine like the one in this shop. I loved watching the ladies work this machine. Individual grounds for each cup. Add the milk, sugar and steam the cup and steam it some more. So much nicer than just pouring a cup from a carafe and serving it with those little packets of sugar and powdered milk. This was a beautiful, frothy creation. Yum. I want another cup right now!

After walking back and forth in front of the display case drooling over the variety of pastries we finally choose 3 different ones to bring home. All wrapped up and tied with a ribbon.

Layers of puff pastry filled with pastry cream, topped with caramel.
Pineapple cheesecake
Sponge cake cone soaked in rum.

 At home after dinner we had a taste testing. Each perfect little pastry cut in to four 
somewhat equal pieces.

The verdict?
 Josh's favorite was the little cone cake soaked in rum I liked the layered caramel cake. The topping reminded me of a Sugar Daddy only soft. My husband and daughter-in-law just wanted to know why we had to share!

This just about says it all...

I really enjoyed our visit to Kathy's Bakery and Cafe.This is definitly a Cuban bakery. The employees speak English but Spanish is their first language. From the signs to the TV channel and the conversations going on around the little shop. I love going to a place like this where the culture and language is different than what I'm used to. My Spanish is marginally better than my German (for those who were with me on our trip to Germany you know my German stinks:-) but even so I managed to tell the two ladies behind the counter thank you it was very good...Gracias, muy bien.

You know what the ladies did? They clapped and cheered for me! Made my day...I will certainly be coming back not only to try a few more pastries and a cafe con leche but also to try out a few more Spanish phrases.

Kathy's Bakery and Cafe on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Wednesday Walking - Street Art in San Marco

This is where I share the favorite place we walked this week
Our walk through the San Marco was cut short when the clouds rolled in and began dumping buckets rain. Before we ducked into the nearest restaurant our walk took us by this guy. A bronze sculpture located in front of Threatre Jacksonville on San Marco Blvd.

"The Entertainer"

I think she looks like someone skipping happily down the street.

"The Entertainer"
by John Kennedy
In celebration of the Arts in San Marco

I love the quote at the bottom of the plaque

"Seek the lofty by reading, hearing and seeking great work at some moment everyday."
Thornton Wilder

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Lunch at Mossfire Grill in Riverside

Mossfire Grill 

We walked with the club in Riverside and almost didn't stay for lunch because it was a little early. But stay we did and I'm glad.
This was our first visit to the Mossfire Grill. The menu is mostly Southwestern fare with a nice selection of  tacos, burritos, enchiladas and quesadillas. A few surprises thrown in like crab cakes and meatloaf with mushroom gravy means a little something for every taste. 

I decided on the Chicken and Spinach Quesadilla

A flour tortilla filled with chicken, goat cheese, white cheddar, spinach and roasted garlic. Served with salsa, guacamole and sour cream. 

The tortilla was grilled so it was slightly crisp. I really liked the goat cheese. It added a salty, savory flavor to the mild chicken and spinach. 

John ordered the Stacked Pulled Pork Enchilada. I'll be honest when it came to the table we weren't sure it was an enchilada. That is until the waitress pointed out that it was stacked and not rolled!

Slow roasted carnitas style pork on blue corn tortillas smothered with ranchero sauce, cheese and sour cream. Served with rice and black beans.

We shared so I got to taste the enchilada and it was delicious. I liked my quesadilla but I really enjoyed the enchilada. 

Even though we got to the restaurant around 11am quite a few tables were already filled. The service was friendly and our meals came out quickly. 

Lunch for two with water to drink including the tip was $22. A little pricey for lunch but we made it our main meal for the day. I don't mind paying a little more if the food and service is really good. And it was really good at Mossfire Grill. 

Mossfire Grill
1537 Margaret Street
Jacksonville, Florida 32204

Lunch: Sunday-Saturday 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Dinner: Sunday - Saturday 4:00 pm - Close
Brunch: Sunday 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Happy Hour - Everyday 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm

The Mossfire Grill on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 6, 2015

Walk, Dinner and A Movie in San Marco

Jacksonville has several beautiful old areas around town. North of downtown is the neighborhood of Springfield  established in 1869. Then we move to Riverside, aptly named due to its proximity to the St Johns River. Riverside saw its greatest growth between The Great Fire of 1901 and the failure of the Florida Land Boom of the 1920s.  Then there's gentile San Marco annexed by Jacksonville in 1932. It's marked by the million dollar homes on the river and a quaint shopping district with a variety of eating places.

Saturday night John and I took to San Marco for what should have been a nice long walk. We are little behind on our 600 mile goal so our original plan was to walk for two hours and then eat dinner at the San Marco movie theater. Unfortunately our walk was cut short by an hour when the storm clouds moved in and rain drops began to fall. Maybe it was fortunate because we decided to pop in to the Maple Street Biscuit Company for dinner since we had an hour to kill.

Storm clouds rolling in.

We enjoyed dinner at the Maple Street Biscuit Company and you can see a full review at this post:

After dinner we walked a block to the restored San Marco Theatre,  Built in 1938 by local architect Roy Benjamin the San Marco Theatre  is an example of classic Art Deco that was popular at the time. David and Sue Blue took over the theater 8 years ago and oversaw the restoration.

A box office out front and a single screen movie theatre (can you believe it only has one screen?) it actually boasts dinner and a movie.  We'd already stuffed ourselves so we didn't sample the food. Maybe next time.

Lace up and enjoy a walk, dinner and a movie!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Maple Street Biscuit Company in San Marco

Saturday night John and I planned to take a nice long walk around San Marco and then eat dinner at the San Marco Movie Theatre and Grill. But you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men...Storm clouds rolled in and we had to cut our walk short so we ducked in to  the nearest restaurant to seek shelter and fill our bellies.

Maple Street Biscuit Company

I have to admit that I was a little hesitant because to tell the truth I don't really like biscuits all that much. Yes, I'm a southern girl born and raised but I've never really cared for biscuits...too much doughy stuff going on not to mention a boat load of white flour carbs.

But we were there and I ventured to make the best of it.

The menu was posted on a large blackboard on the wall. So many choices. I was glad when the cashier took the time to explain some of the items and he told us his personal favorites.

As soon as he pointed out the Squawking Goat I knew that's what I wanted. Deep fried chicken with a patty of goat cheese smothered with house made pepper jelly.

John ordered The Blues Biscuit. Pulled pork topped with house made slaw and BBQ sauce. Just like Memphis.

I was thrown for a loop when the cashier asked for our favorite TV show. What? It seems that's how they call you when your food is ready. It took a few seconds to gather our thoughts and come up with "The Big Bang Theory". The only TV show we watch together on a regular basis.

It did give us something to talk about while we waited for our food. We should have said Bonanza, Have Gun Will Travel or Chips, Bay Watch or the Vicar of Dibley. Something more original...

Our food came out pretty quickly. They called our TV show and John went to pick it up at the counter. The cashier helped him bring it to the table. Hot and yummy looking.

The Squawking Goat
Flaky biscuit, all natural fried chicken breast, fried goat cheese medallion and house made pepper jelly.

I actually liked the biscuit. It was nice and brown on top and flaky inside. Not doughy at all.  The chicken was good but the best thing was the pepper jelly. Sweet and spicy. The cool, creamy goat cheese was a nice complement to the spicy jelly. 

The Blues Biscuit
Flaky biscuit, pulled pork topped with house made slaw and BBQ sauce. 

Unlike me, John loves biscuits and he said these were pretty darn good ones! Thumbs up from a great admirer of the biscuit. 

Fried Green Tomatoes
Nicely battered with a little kick. Deep fried but not greasy. So good!

We were pleasantly stuffed when the cashier came to our table with a plate of  pecan cinnamon biscuits covered in white icing. Complementary of the house for first time customers.  

Pecan Cinnamon Biscuit Smothered in Icing


It would have been rude to refuse so of course we had to eat them. Every last crumb and I'm not ashamed to admit I even scraped the icing off the plate. 

So much for my dislike of biscuits!

Dinner was  $23.00 and we had to bus our own table but everything was really good. Big portions served hot. The restaurant was clean and comfortable and the staff extremely friendly. 

I was happy that the rain forced us inside. 

Maple Street Biscuit Company 
 2004 San Marco Blvd
Jacksonville, Florida 32207

Monday - Saturday 7am - 2pm
Friday and Saturday 5pm - 9pm
Closed on Sunday

Two other locations:
410 North 3rd Street
Jacksonville Beach, Florida 32250

1171 Edgewood Ave South
Jacksonville, Florida 32207

Maple Street Biscuit Company on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Wednesday Walking - A Stroll on the Riverwalk Downtown Jacksonville

As one of the few rivers in the United States that flow north the St. Johns River begins in the marshes south of Melbourne. It winds its way slowly 310 miles north where it dumps into the Atlantic Ocean at Mayport. It's a lazy, slow moving river and is the focal point of downtown Jacksonville. The city has taken advantage of this natural wonder by building a beautiful walk along both the north and south banks of the river.

We started on the north side of the river and walked over the Main Street bridge. 

We love to go downtown and walk over the Main Street and Acosta bridges. The Main Street bridge is a pretty easy walk. Just a little incline. Now the Acosta will kinda kick your butt. It's pretty steep. I didn't feel up to a strenuous walk today so I was a little happy that the Acosta bridge was closed. Some type of an endurance bicycle race going on. The goal was to see how many times you could  cross the bridge in 4 hours. 
I could probably do it once...

We caught sight of a few of the bicyclist as we were wondering around.

Any how...Below is a view from the bridge looking back towards the Landing.

And now from the bridge looking south towards Friendship Fountain.

The remodeled Southbank Riverwalk is beautiful They did a great job! Still a few places under construction but it didn't hinder our progress. Such a great improvement over what it used to look like. 

The Southbank Riverwalk used to end here at this statue but now it extends all the way to the Duval County School Board building. Yea, they got a nice view paid for by the taxpayers...

 Jacksonville Naval Memorial
Commemorates the relationship between the U.S. Navy and the people of Jacksonville. 

One of several party boats docked along the river.

Friendship Fountain with the Main Street Bridge in the background


We spent a good bit of time around the fountain looking for a multi-cache Geocache. I've written before about Geocaching. In a nutshell people hide things that you search for by using GPS coordinates. When you locate the hidden item, called a cache, there's usually a log book to sign and then you mark it as found on the website. 

"Geocaching - When you use multi billion dollar military satellites to find Tupperware hidden in the woods."

If you'd like more info on this fun outdoor activity check out the website Geocaching is a family friendly activity.

It was a beautiful day to be walking and we covered over 3 miles. 

Perfect weather, lovely view and friendly people can't hardly beat that!

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