Thursday, March 18, 2010

Review: French Pantry

One of my favorite lunch spots in all of Jacksonville is The French Pantry. Located in what looks like an old warehouse, this place is truly a treasure.

Only open from 11-2:15, Monday thru Friday, there is almost always a line that goes out the door. Seating inside is at French farmhouse tables, and more than likely, you will be sharing your table with others. Your menu choices of the day are featured on 3-4 chalkboards. As you wait in line, you can check out the menus, French Pantry is well known for their Bruscetta, which is unlike any you've had! They also have salads, sandwiches, and sometimes soup. The best part is that they feature items that change daily. Sometimes you can get lucky and they will have the crab cakes or Bang Bang shrimp salad. Two things NOT to miss if you see them. This is also the kind of place where everything is made fresh for you, to order, and once they are out of that item for the day, it gets wiped from the blackboards. Drinks to choose from include water, brewed iced tea, Diet Coke, regular Coke, or Sprite. They do have coffee and espresso available.

Once you place your order, you will be directed to a table, and fresh bread quickly follows you to your table. A steamy loaf of bread served with a bowl of dipping spices, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar is yours to share with your table mates. Your food is brought out very quickly, faster than most table service restaurants. At our table that day, there was very little talking, the only sounds you could hear were sighs and groans of contentment. My party ordered the Chicken and Artichoke bruscetta with goat cheese, the Fried Shrimp and Green tomato salad, and I got the Ar
tichoke, Prosciutto, and mozzarella Bruscetta. Most items are served with a small mixed green salad. Food is never scarce here, you will be stuffed if you eat it all!

The French Pantry also has a delicious selection of desserts to choose from, and it changes daily. Popular items are the Strawberry Cake, Carrot Cake, German Chocolate cake, and the White Chocolate Cheesecake. Make sure you ask for it when you order, because if you think about it and try to get it later, it may not be available anymore! You can also purchase freshly baked bread and rolls while you're there. Some choices include French baguettes, 7 grain, whole wheat, goat cheese and sun dried tomato foccica, and their delightful goat cheese rolls.

Menu items range anywhere from $8-$12, and desserts are $5.50 a slice. Definetly check this plac out for lunch one day, trust me, you'll be hooked!

French Pantry on Urbanspoon

Monday, March 1, 2010

Guy Fieri and Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives: Metro Diner

I was invited to participate in a taping of Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives at the Metro Diner in San Marco. Let me first say that I'm pretty much a Food Network junkie. I pretty much always have it on, no matter what time of day it is. When I got wind from a friend that Guy was going to be filming in the area, I got SO excited!

The morning started at 10am. Guy and crew were already inside hard at work filming the dishes to spotlight, which were the "Yo Hala on the Square" stuffed french toast, the Pittsburg Steak Salad, and the Mealoaf Plate.I don't want to really give away all the behind the scene secrets as to how it all happens...but I will say that I did finally get interviewed by the producer about what I thought about the place and the food. I hope they like my interview enough to show it on TV :)

I leave you with a few photos!

Me posing with Guy's Camaro
Guy, standing out on San Jose Blvd about to cause an accident.
Guy giving a description of the exterior. The older man is the Field Producer, Mike Morris. VERY nice man and really funny!

This guy's nickname is "Fraggle" and he does most of the prep stuff w/ the stand ins, giving instructions and what not. He actually has the trailer with all the equipment and Camaro, and he is the one that drives it everywhere. Cool guy to talk to, he said it's great checking out the entire USA from the road.

Metro's Menu board.... if you look in the top left corner, you can see where Guy spraypainted his logo and autographed it!

Crabcakes Benedict.... SO good at Metro Diner!!

The Yo Hala on the Square and the Pittsburg Steak Salad

Metro Diner on Urbanspoon

**UPDATE** The episode will be airing on Monday, September 20th at 10:00pm! The episode is titled "You Found 'Em". Here's the link to the episode.

THEY SHOWED ME 4 TIMES!!! OMG! I can't believe it!