I was told that I must visit the French Pantry. French food? Absolutely! This place is Jacksonville’s best kept secret. Here’s the catch. The restaurant is only open Monday through Friday from 11-2. Obviously, there is something good at this place if they are open for such a short amount of time. I thought about cheese and pastries. After my visits to France I realized that the French understand dairy in a way that I will never be able to comprehend. They perform magic with milk products. Seriously!
Well, I can tell you that Wes took me to the glorious French Pantry and we were both beyond satisfied. The French Pantry was a mini vacation. Have you ever learned about a wonderful new place such as a restaurant or a store and then when you went there you were overwhelmed by the magnificent experience you had?
First, be prepared to wait in line. The line is out the door and wraps around the building. Oh and you will be standing outside in the heat approximately 30 minutes or more to get inside. The person behind us was smart enough to bring an umbrella to shield themselves from the brutally hot Florida sun. Wes immediately went to his car to get his sun shield. The man in front of us did the same. We were still sweating profusely but it was an improvement. Whew!
Next, we reached the doors. Once inside the line moves fast. The menu is on a chalkboard. There were so many choices. Then, after you decide what to eat for lunch there is a glass casing before the cash register with tons of goodies such as pastries and cakes. I said to Wes, “I’m not sure if I should get one.” The man in front of us turned around and said, “You will regret it if you don’t.” He was so right. We left with a box of chocolate cookies and a piece of pineapple upside down cake that came with a small container of strawberry sauce. Oh my!
We paid for our lunch and yummy desserts and were immediately seated. While we patiently waited for our food we received deliciously fresh French bread to chew on with an oil and herbs dip. At this point it was so hard not to eat dessert before our lunch arrived on the table. On top of that we didn’t want to fill up on bread. Muh!
La nourriture est très bonne!
Eventually our lunch came and it was delicious and decadent. Wes had the Parisienne French Dip sandwich which had brie, lettuce and some kind of amazing mustard that was indescribable. I had an eggplant and proscuitto sandwich that had fresh mozzarella and some sauce that I can’t begin to describe. So Wes and I devoured our sandwiches and left with our bag of souvenirs (desserts). We both had massive food babies. I can’t wait to go back there!
Lesson learned: Le French Pantry est délicieux! The French Pantry is worth the wait even in the heat because the food is phenomenal.