Wandering around the San Marco area of Jacksonville I came across Stan’s Sandwich and Grill. It was located on the corner of Lasalle Street and Hendricks Ave in a small plaza between a dry cleaner and a convenience store. A red script marqee and matching awning marked the restaurant’s location.
The day was gray, and a light mist fell as I pulled into the parking lot. It was a bit before noon, and it was already a struggle to find a spot. I settled in front of the laundromat and walked past a sign advertising various services. The front of the restaurant consisted of large glass windows, and I caught a glimpse of the interior as I walked past.
Opening the front door a long counter stood to the left. The cashier was at the back, and behind her stood a small kitchen occupied by a solitary cook working the griddle. Historical pictures of San Marco dotted the walls in each of the two dining areas that were separated by a half wall. Red and white checkered table cloths covered the tables, and seating was provided by black metal chairs. It was unpretentious, and felt like a place locals had visited for years
I took my place in the small line standing stretching in front the counter. Behind it a girl made sandwiches and chatted with the customers. Over her shoulder ran the menu board. It was one of the old ones with each items named spelled out in small plastic letters. Stan’s offered a variety of hot and cold sandwiches, salads, and desserts. I decided to try their Italian and completed my meal with a bag of chips, a coke, and a slice of pound cake.
My name was quickly called and my sandwich was brought out in a red basked lined with wax paper. The Italian consisted of salami, pepperoni, and ham that had been placed on the griddle to warm and then topped with a slice of yellow American cheese. The grilled meat and cheese were topped with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, black olives, pickles, Italian dressing and mayo. I took a bite. The bread was soft and fresh. The meat was slightly charred on the edges in the same manner a piece of ham browns in a cast iron skillet. The vegetables were fresh, and the Italian dressing pulled the sandwich together. While it may not have been a traditional Italian sub, I really enjoyed Stan’s version. As for the pound cake, it was dense, moist, and sweet without being overpowering. I tried to save a small piece for Becky, but by the time I reached I-10 all that remained was an empty piece of plastic wrap.
Service at Stan’s was fast and friendly. The cook was very sweet, and came around to the tables to make sure the patrons were enjoying their lunches. The restaurant was also very clean and well kept. I would stop in for another sandwich, and would like to give their burgers a try. Stan’s can be found on Facebook, and reached by telephone at (904) 398-6442. They are open M-F 6:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 7:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m..
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