Each week my email is flooded with recommendations of amazing restaurants around Jacksonville. Along with suggestions of places to try, I also get questions of where to find certain foods. The best oysters, fried chicken, fish tacos, and pulled pork have all been requested. A few weeks ago, I received an email from a reader named Terry, asking for ‘the best Cuban sandwich in Jacksonville’. I had to be honest; I hadn’t ordered a Cuban sandwich in Jacksonville. So, my mission was set. This took me to the historic Springfield area, where I ended up at the newly renovated Uptown Kitchen and Bar.
Over a month ago, Uptown Kitchen and Bar dropped the “Market” from their name, added a full service bar, and stepped up their menu with new items and weekly specials. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, they serve everything from a Bacon Jam Biscuit to Veal Ricotta Meatballs. Breakfast is from 7am through 11am, and along with the before mentioned Bacon Jam Biscuit, they offer nine other biscuits, steak and eggs, and fried chicken and waffles, just to name a few. The lunch menu has a number of sandwiches, salads, and burgers, while the dinner menu has bigger plates to choose from like the Smoked Double Cut Berkshire Pork Chop and the Trout a la Plancha. Uptown also has a number of delicious sounding side items, like the Smoked Gouda Grits, Creamed Collards, and Poblano Pepper Cheese.
Even though it was a “Taco Tuesday” when I visited Uptown Kitchen and Bar, per Terry’s request, I had to the try the Uptown Kitchen Cuban from the lunch menu. House-smoked pork shoulder, ham, homemade pickles, Swiss cheese, and yellow mustard on Cuban bread. The sandwich was delicious, the smoke flavor came through great, and pickles made the sandwich stand out to other Cubans I have tried. Along with the sandwich, I ordered a side salad with their in-house made cherry vinaigrette. I would pay good money to get the recipe for the vinaigrette.
The prices at Uptown are a little on the pricey side, the sandwiches and burgers are all around $10. Just remember, it’s worth it for the quality of the food. I will definitely be back to try more delicious food from their new menu.
Although I can’t say that Uptown Kitchen & Bar has the best Cuban sandwich in Jacksonville, since this is my first, I can say that this sandwich is spot on. All challenges are welcome, email me, Matt.Pittman@Jacksonville.com.
Uptown Kitchen & Bar
1303 North Main Street
Jacksonville, FL 32206