On an overly humid afternoon my tour of delis in Avondale and Riverside brought me to Richard’s Sandwich Shoppe. The simple store front, which I passed by twice, sits at 1030 Oak St, Jacksonville, FL. Parking was an adventure (cars stacked two deep in front of the restaurant), and after finding a spot I popped into the deli.
Richard’s is an old school spot the locals visit for lunch. I took my place in line and surveyed the interior plastered with old pictures, a crocheted thrown with a sewn cat, and throwback Jaguars paraphernalia. When it was my turn to order I asked for a camel ride*, cherry limeade, and a side of tabbouleh.
My meal was brought to the table by a smiling older woman, and I immediately dug in. The camel ride consisted of a pita pocket filled with a slice of ham, salami, bologna, and American cheese. Fresh lettuce, tomato, and onions sat under the meat. An over generous schmear of mayo completed the sandwich. The sandwich was good but not great. Although some claim it is the best camel rider in Jacksonville, I’d slot it as behind both Whiteway and Gina’s offerings.
As for the tabbouleh, tomatoes, finely chopped parsley, bulgur and onion, were seasoned with olive oil, and salt. I did not detect any mint or lemon juice. Overall the dish was flat and disappointing. Another let down was the cherry limeade, which tasted weak and watered down.
I am happy I stopped at Richard’s for the experience, but I have no plans to head back anytime soon. On a positive, service was very friendly, and the restaurant was clean. For more information, including hours of operation, Richard’s can by telephone at (904) 358-3120.
*In Jacksonville a camel rider is not an ethnic slur. For a brief history on the camel rider sandwich in Jacksonville, FL check out this article from the New York Times, A Taste of Jacksonville Tucked into a Pita.
Sweet Tea & Bourbon’s Rating: