I feel like I’ve been MIA from the blogging world for a couple of months now, and that’s because I have! I’ve been wrapping up the school year for my little 3rd graders so things have been wonderfully chaotic. But… I’m back!
Last year my husband and I visited a restaurant in Fernandina Beach, Florida called Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen. It was absolutely wonderful! From Southern Mac & Cheese to Alligator Ribs… we enjoyed every bite! However, Fernandina is a drive from St. Augustine so we hadn’t gone back since our time there last year. However, the owner (and may I add, Top Chef contestant & winner of Beat Bobby Flay), opened up a new restaurant in Jacksonville, which is much closer. I recently had a chance to try out this new restaurant, Gilbert’s Social, and I was even more pleased than I was at the prior restaurant.
When eating BBQ, I feel that it’s crucial to smoke the meat in house. And it’s even better when the guests can observe it. Exhibit A.
Aside from the beautiful smokers, the first thing that I noticed when I walked into the restaurant was the aroma. It was so incredibly pleasing – smoky with a hint of sweetness!
I order the BBQ pulled pork with Alabama White Sauce (my favorite), pimento cheese with crackers, and macaroni salad. Since I live in North Florida, which is practically South Georgia, I tend to consider myself a good, southern woman. And with this role, comes a keen sense of discernment when it comes to BBQ. It also helps that my husband is a native Texan. With this said, THIS IS THE BEST BBQ THAT I’VE HAD IN FLORIDA (runner up goes to Woodpeckers BBQ). The pork was tender and juicy and everything else that you would wish for a platter of pulled pork to be.
My husband and father decided to split the “GS Ultimate Sampler”, which consisted of pulled pork, pork rinds, turkey drums, baby back ribs, Andouille sausage, burnt ends, sliced brisket, chicken drums, pork belly, and a few other accompaniments. They thought that they could finish this monster of a platter, but they were very wrong. Lets just say… they both had hefty lunches the next day! They both said that their favorite item from the platter was definitely the ribs!
Onto the dessert. Oh my goodness. Banana Pudding. As they describe it “Banana Rum Panna Cotta, Banana Compote, Molasses, Brown Sugar, Butter, Bourbon, Chocolate Chips”. Of course, I had to order some vanilla ice cream to go with it. This dessert was perfectly-sized and packed with so much flavor. It was the perfect way to end my meal – and thankfully, the guys were so stuffed from their platter, so I didn’t have to share one bite!!
They also had a nice selection of local craft beers from Bold City Brewery. Can’t beat that!
Overall, I think we’ve found our new go-to restaurant. The food was exceptional and reasonably-priced. I would highly recommend it for anyone making their way through Jacksonville, Florida!
Cheers to many more BBQ visits!