Enough of the Mexican food! I am done with you! Well, till I get a craving again lol. I decided to venture out to the Jacksonville Beach area for a restaurant review and I pretty much went with the first suggestion given. Someone said “go to Salt Life” and so I went. Here is the review.
1018 Third Street North
Jacksonville, Florida 32250
Location: If you are coming from the North down Third Street you will see Mellow Mushroom first, Salt Life backs right up to the rear of Mellow Mushroom. If you are coming from the South, well, you will see it right in front of the shopping center.
Food: My plan was to go lite and just get something little but that didn’t work out! There was a ton of stuff on the menu that looked good and once the owner (Jeff) spotted me, he had me try 3 different dished out! Talk about lucking out right?! Sometimes it’s rough reviewing food. I started off with the East Coast Shrimp Roll the description reads: Seasoned fresh shrimp salad served on a toasted roll topped with melted Havarti cheese $7.99. The shrimp salad is served cold as described on menu, the roll is soft and fresh and the shrimp is in big chunks. It is very creamy and doesn’t have the seafoody (yeah, I know, not a real word) taste to it. I would definitely have this again. One thing extra that probably only I like that much is that the french fries are seasoned with salt and pepper. For some reason, I really like that. I know, I’m weird like that. Next I had the Soft Shell Crab BLT which is a fried whole soft-shell crab, drizzled with their shack sauce, served on a ciabatta bread with shredded lettuce, tomatoes and crisp applewood bacon for $8.49. Honestly, I had never tried a soft shell crab. Eating the shell and everything had always intimidated me. I know, I know…I’m from Florida, how has this happened? I’m a chicken sometimes. Back to the food… I loved this. The sauce has a nice tang to it, the crab was nice and crunchy but not over the top and the ciabatta bread was a good touch to give it some chew. The sandwich is the perfect size if you don’t want too much to eat. And the last thing I had the opportunity to try was the Caliche’s Poke Bowl described as: straight from wishbones in Play Jaco (no idea what that means). Fresh tuna seasoned with Caliche’s secret marinade served with steamed spinach over sticky rice. Topped with diced avocado and green onion for $15.99. I’m the kind of guy that is always on the fence when it comes to raw fish but DAMN this was good. Jeff, the owner, told me that the tuna is flown in fresh from Hawaii everyday. How great is that? After spending 14yrs in the Navy, I’m never too thrilled to hear that the seafood is from Mayport after seeing what we dumped in the ocean. You don’t want to know. I digress, the tuna was awesome, the marinade was very tasty and I couldn’t get enough of it. The steamed spinach was a nice touch to tie it all together. I didn’t eat the avocado though, not a fan of avocado in general so it had nothing to do with this particular serving. While the price might be kind of high for you to try on a whim, if you can split it as an appetizer and try it, you should. You won’t regret it. I promise.
Extra Info: Of course the food puts this as a “must try” restaurant but there are the little things that makes me like it too. I like the fact that the hostess is watching the outside and opens the door and greets you as you arrive, they also do it when you leave. The inside is wide open and bright, there is a big salt water aquarium, the seats are larger than normal so everyone can be comfortable, the benches have a thicker foam, it’s all these details that let’s you focus on the food instead of what is wrong. You can tell they put extra thought into this and it’s appreciated. Also, after talking with Jeff, he said they are looking to open a St. Augustine location soon and have partnered with the ex-CEO of Outback Steakhouse and are opening probably another 20 stores in the next 10yrs in other parts of Florida as well. It’s good to see a company start locally and get things right and grow into a great chain.
-Far from where I live (Downtown)
-Only one location…for now