Friday, May 3, 2013

Black Sheep

To the left is an herb box they have out front, I thought that was a genus idea...

Black Sheep is a hard place to overlook when you're walking around Riverside. It's unique architectural structure had me curious from the very beginning so I was thrilled to finally try it out! Black Sheep is an independently owned restaurant that focuses on fresh, local ingredients. One of their main sources of meat is from Black Hog farm located in Palatka, FL. For such a modern, formal looking restaurant I was expecting white tablecloths, wine glasses, and table side service but I was pleasantly surprised to see that you simply order at the counter and they promptly visit your table with the food (hey cool, I don't have to tip).

To view their menu click here

Their menu offers high end sandwiches (such as the Duck Banh Mei) soups, salads, and some entrees all with a sophisticated southern flair. I decided on the Mayport shrimp and grits with wainwright cheddar, tasso (a type of ham from Louisiana), and Black Sheep's own special hot sauce. I must admit I was slightly disappointed in the portion size especially considering the enormousness of their sandwiches, with something at such a low food cost (such as grits) they should really give you more when you're paying $14. My disappointment was slightly eased when I took my first bite, the shrimp were cooked and seasoned well, the grits were some of the best I've ever had, BUT I found the sauce veryy heavily salted. I think with the natural saltiness of the cheese and hot sauce they could of laid of the salt big time and since I didn't have enough grits to offset the salt attack, my pallet felt a bit assaulted (har-har).

Shrimp and grits...

My friend ordered the Fried Green Tomato BLT with thick, Black Hog Farm bacon, little gem lettuce, black pepper aioli, and southern pepper relish paired with fingerling potato salad. She loved her sandwich but found it difficult to eat because it was so massive! It's good to know you're getting your money's worth (unlike the shrimp entree) but you'd have to have Cameron Diaz's mouth to eat this beast. Their bread is truly amazing, I'm not sure where they get it, but it tastes homemade. The potato salad was out of this world! Coming from a girl who twitches whenever mayo is involved, I just tasted it for the sake of research but sweet Jesus was it good! It was more mustard based than mayo AND it had hard boiled eggs in it, which should be included in ALL potato salads if you ask me. But seriously, I could have eaten my weight in this stuff.

Fried green tomato BLT with a side of fingerling potato salad...

Black Sheep Club with a side of curried chickpeas..

Next on the list was the Black Sheep Club - a massive tower of black forest ham, roast turkey, swiss cheese, thick cut bacon, tomato, and a garlic aioli spread. Like the previous one, it was unrealistically HUGE but tasty all the same. He personally found the bacon to be a little too overpowering. The curry chickpea salad was good but I could barely taste the curry at all but the chickpeas paired nicely with the dried currents and it made for a successful side special.

The Verdict:
Overall I was pleased with my experience and I think they've lived up to their hype. The atmosphere and food are unique, and while I think their entree portions could be bigger, I don't have many complaints when it comes to taste and quality. I would love to make a return visit for dinner and check out the roof top bar.

Black Sheep Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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