Lunchtime came and I found myself in the San Marco area of Jacksonville, Florida. I aimlessly drove towards the downtown area. I was on the lookout for someplace that looked interesting. I was in and adventurous moods and did not want a sandwich or burger. While sitting at a stop light I Googled the restaurants in the area. Paging through the results I noticed one called Green Erth Bistro. It was a Persian restaurant and looked interesting. I hung a u-turn and drove towards what I hoped would be a great meal.
Green Erth Bistro straddles Hendricks Avenue in the San Marco are of Jacksonville, Florida. The restaurant sits in a long low slung pale green building dotted with black awnings. Two small wrought iron tables sit on the sidewalk. Behind them is a small courtyard with additional seating. Two large, heavy, wooden doors mark the entrance to the interior of the restaurant. The space is roughly rectangular in shape. To the left were drink coolers. The cash register stood at the back with a door leading to the kitchen behind it. To the right were four small tables. Along the middle was a long granite table with 15 or so seats. Colored lights were stung about the room. It had a peaceful and welcoming feel.
The waitress told me I could sit wherever I liked, and I since it was a beautiful day I decided to sit in the courtyard. The sun was shining, cars raced past, and pedestrians strolled the sidewalks. A minute after sitting down the smiling waitress returned with a menu. She took my drink order and reappeared a few moments later with my water, a basket of warm bread and a saucer of balsamic vinegar mixed with olive oil. I sat there dabbing the bread in the delicious seasoned mixture and looked at the menu.
Green Erth's owners are Persian and the menu reflects their cultural background. Among their appetizers they offered hummus, must-mu-sir (yogurt with wild garlic and spices), and must-o-klar (yogurt with house seasoning and cucumbers). The waitress returned and I told here I wanted a Chelo Kabob Koobideh. This dish consisted of two skewers of seasoned ground beef cooked over an open fire and served with basmati rice, grilled tomato and lavash (thin bread).
My lunch arrived on an oval white plastic plate. The two ground beef kabobs were placed in front of a large serving of basmati rice. A whole grilled Roma tomato anchored one end while a grilled lemon sat at the other end of the plate. I cut off a piece of the kabob. It was still steaming and smelled delicious. The meat was slightly crispy on the outside and well cooked. It was moist and packed a lot of flavor from the seasonings. I inhaled one before trying anything else on the plate. The rice was fluffy and light. A portion of the top part was crispy from being on a grill. It added additional flavor and texture to the meal. As I finished my lunch I wished I had another order of the ground beef kabobs.
The food at Green Erth Bistro was wonderful and the service was very friendly. The restaurant was also very clean. I thoroughly enjoyed my meal, and look forward to visiting again when I am in the area. The only negative, I wish they were located closer to Tallahassee, Florida!