After living in Jacksonville for a few years, I have grown accustomed to the food at restaurants in town. My wife and I moved here from another city in Florida, so we’re also experienced with the food there. This helps my reviews because now there is a point of comparison. I won’t name the city or restaurants, for the sake of their reputation.
First, I would like to talk about Mama Lu’s. This was the first Filipino restaurant that my wife and I tried in Jacksonville, and we were not disappointed. In fact, this is one of the few restaurants where I didn’t even read the great online reviews until after we ate. That way it wouldn’t spoil any surprises for me, like a good book. Make sure to be near the Atlantic Boulevard Estates in Jacksonville so you can get a seat before rush hour. Regardless, there are a couple things that Mama Lu’s gets right. The first one is the food.
Even if Filipino food isn’t at the top of your list, this Jacksonville restaurant has something for everyone on the menu. Not a lot of people have tried this style of cuisine, and if you haven’t then I would highly encourage you to at least try it. This isn’t American “Filipino” food, either. This is authentic food, and it is made really well. My favorite dish to order here is the sweet and sour chicken. I know it’s bad for me because of the breading, but that isn’t nearly enough to stop me from ordering it each time. Each dish that my wife and I have ordered from Mama Lu’s has come with great portions, as well.
We didn’t even have to order our own dishes each time, we could have just shared. How romantic. She prefers a different dish, anyway. I forget the exact name of it. The next thing Mama Lu’s does great is the service. A few of the reviews that I read online criticized the service, but my wife and I have encountered no such issues so far. And we have been eating at Mama Lu’s for at least a year. Every time we go, the staff is always very attentive and friendly.
They make sure your glass is full and ask if you need anything else, and then they don’t waste any time getting whatever else you need. There are plenty of restaurants, not only in Jacksonville but in all of Florida, where it takes ages for your food to come out. Even when you’re pretty much the only person in the restaurant! I have to say, I’m always surprised at how fast our food arrives. If it tastes this good and there’s a large quantity of it, how can the chefs be supplying it so quickly? I can tell that it’s not just canned food, either. All of the ingredients taste really fresh, and it’s a nice change of pace from typical unhealthy restaurants.
Last, it’s not something that you would normally notice, but lately I have started to pick up on how clean the Jacksonville restaurant is. Maybe we have just been to some dirty restaurants in the past, but I really like how sanitary Mama Lu’s staff keeps the interior. A vital aspect that a lot of people don’t think about is keeping the kitchen clean. They think hey, the chefs clean up as they go, right?
But even if you’re cleaning off the counters, that’s not going to keep the exhaust hood clean. I know some great restaurant hood cleaners in Jacksonville too, so I will definitely have to let the owner know next time I see him. From what I have heard, they also offer additional services such as commercial kitchen equipment cleaning. And they’re located in Jacksonville, so getting the restaurant itself won’t be a hassle. I could have guessed that from the title, but it was on their about page as well. Great restaurant overall.
Indochine is next up on the list, and for good reason. Here, you’ll be eating in downtown Jacksonville. I added Indochine to the list not only because the food and service are great, but also because it’s a great setting for a romantic dinner. If that is something you’re interested in. I really enjoy how Indochine offers different spice levels, but also explanations of each spice level.
“Spice 3” doesn’t mean anything to me when I’m just reading it on a menu, and I don’t handle heat very well even if I do like the taste. Again, the wait staff here is very nice and helpful. I always love being greeted with a smiling face whenever entering a restaurant. Like I mentioned before, Indochine is also a great restaurant for a date in Jacksonville.
That is because the atmosphere in the restaurant is peaceful and relaxing, and the lighting is great as well. Some restaurants think that loud music blaring over a speaker counts as ambience, and that could not be further from the truth. If you want to learn more about specifics on the menu, just read one of the amazing reviews that my wife and I wrote.
Last but not least, there is Golden House. A common recurring theme across each one of these restaurants is that they serve Oriental food. It’s not especially my favorite type of food, these just happen to be very good Jacksonville restaurants. Here, my favorite dish is the shredded beef with pepper. I originally saw someone else order it and thought that they were string beans, but I’m glad that it comes with peppers.
They add more to the taste than string beans would. I would make sure to be nearby Brierwood in Jacksonville beforehand, though. My only complaint with the restaurant is that it’s quickly losing its status as a hidden gem. Now it’s becoming a super popular restaurant, and I’m going to have to battle other customers for a seat pretty soon. You can tell a restaurant is growing in popularity when the positive online reviews really start to stack up. My wife checks almost daily.