We arrived in Jacksonville in time for the first game of a double header between JU and Rutgers. Mason, Uncle David and I spent a chilly afternoon sitting behind home plate, eating popcorn, and watching the Dolpins fall 6-2 to the visiting Scarlet Knights. Hungry for something more substantial than a hot dog we decided to meet up with Krissy, Noah, and their daughter Taylor for dinner. Krissy suggested we pay Jerry’s Sports Grille a visit. She said they had really good food, but were geared to an older crowd.
Jerry’s is located at 13170 Atlantic Boulevard at the end of a brick clad strip mall. We found two parking places in front of the restaurant and made our way towards the plate glass lined eatery. Sea blue letters hung above the front door along with a neon open sign. A couple of empty silver chairs lined the sidewalk. Opening the front door we were greeted by a packed house. A band tuned their instruments while men with wisps of grey hair wearing Old Spice jockeyed for position at the bar. Women in the twilight of their lives dressed to the nines, wearing bright red nail polish,and pink lipstick prowled about. We were easily the youngest people in the bar by a good 20 years.
Finding an empty table for six was almost impossible, and we lucked into a high top as an identically numbered party paid their bill and departed. A smiling waitress zipped to the table, cleared the remaining dishes, and handed us several menus. She returned moments later and took our drink order. I opted for a Budweiser while Mason asked for a Sprite. Before I had time to work through the extensive menu our ice cold drinks were in front of us.
Jerry’s has something for everyone. They serve up steaks, burgers, wraps, wings, salads, soups, numerous appetizers, and meals fit for a kid. We started with an order of nachos and ten wings. While Noah pilfered t-shirts with at the claw machine the apps arrived. The nachos were served on a large round ceramic plate. A mountain of triangular shaped yellow tortilla chips were topped with chili nacho cheese, jalapenos, lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, and shredded cheese on top. It was an old school sports bar classic that tasted great and was a steal for $8.50. The wings were served in a dish tossed with sauce and topped with chopped parsley. A side of hot sauce accompanied the wings for those wanting more kick. The wings were crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and went great with a cold beer.
Burgers are a highlight of their menu and Krissy told me I needed to order one. All of them are named for sports stars from the 1960 and 1970s (Mickey Mantle, Terry Bradshaw, Mean Joe Greene, etc.) I ordered the Dick Butkus Big Blue Burger cooked medium rare. The burger was advertised as an 8 oz burger topped with bleu cheese, sauteed mushrooms, and served with a choice of French fries, or slaw. Mason opted for the 5 oz kid’s burger with a side of mac ‘n cheese.
Our meals arrived following a reasonable wait. My burger was topped with a generous amount of blue cheese crumbles, and mushrooms. Shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and sliced onions topped the toasted bun. I took a bite. The burger was cooked perfectly and had a really nice flavor. The fries were piping hot and well seasoned. Mason’s mac ‘n cheese was ridiculously good. Everyone enjoyed their meals and by the end of dinner nothing but empty plates remained.
We finished up just as the band was opening their set and solitary elderly women danced to her own tune. I had a really good time at Jerry’s and would go back for another meal. Hopefully next time I can share the experience with Becky. Jerry’s hours appear to be a well guarded secret as they are not listed on jerryssportsgrille.com or their Facebook page. The restaurant can be contacted at (904) 220-6776 for more information.
Sweet Tea & Bourbon’s Rating: