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Picasso's Jacksonville Florida

Hometown Goodness: Picasso's in Jacksonville, Florida

Cooking is an art. Eating is an art. Comedy is art. Love is most definitely art. I’m beginning to sound like a broken record but food is meant to be shared over love and laughter. The quality of the ingredients and preparation should be of the highest quality, similar to the company you keep. If you regularly share in your version of soul food with people who elevate you, then you are participating in the world of art. I welcome you to an artistic experience, bring your comrades and an appetite because I’m taking you to a hometown favorite, Picasso’s Pizzeria, Where Food is Art. I remember the very first time I walked into Picasso’s, ordered my meal and enjoyed everything so immensely I couldn’t wait to return. I even remember the conversation that led to said meal and I could plant a fat one on the very special gentleman who suggested it. He said “you ever had St. Louis style pizza?” Being a food enthusiast bordering on snob I was appalled I hadn’t heard of this let alone experienced it. My foodie ego was bruised and just as quickly, my stomach started growling with a craving for the unknown. I wanted to be blown away in a manner I couldn’t predict. By food. Now. And so we set off, out of our comfortable suburban island, across the Buckman bridge, to San Jose Boulevard, where Picasso’s resides.

It should be noted here that Picasso’s has moved, slightly further down San Jose, passed Whole Foods, but still on the right-hand side, to an even nicer building with more space to feed the many hungry mouths. Regardless of the slightly fancier location, the down the earth staff and homey feeling when you walk in remains. Chris and Scott(co-owners and exquisite chefs) will remember your faces, your orders, your food issues (my advice? get over them, open your mouth and bite.) and even the details of your life, your kids, spouses, jobs, hobbies, etc. At Picasso’s, they love to eat, love to cook and love to share; therefore, they’re exponentially grateful for their ever-expanding clientele and the mutual love for their home-cooked grub. Obviously the food is the most important aspect to this operation, but knowing your supporting an individually run business that not only cares deeply about the quality of each ingredient in each dish, but also desires to connect with you on a human to human level rather than a role-playing, chef to patron exchange, gives me reason to spread the word and keep coming back.

What’s beautiful about this place is that you’re able to try truly excellent, unique foods from around our vast country. I hadn’t tried St. Louis style pizza or their toasted ravioli, but I did, and boy was I ecstatic. Their pizza is unique in that their cheese and sauce mixture resting on top of a delicious, home-made crust, is creamy and flavorful and just plain peculiar. Peculiar in a great way, don’t be thrown off non-adventurous eaters, be excited! This may be the best culinary thing to happen to you all year. It was for me that year. The crust is thin, the sauce mixture flavorful and a stand-out and the array of toppings to choose from is astounding. My most recent love affair between me and a pizza involved a basic St. Louis style with pesto, sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes on top. It was divine, heavenly, proof that the magic of life is right here on Earth and nowhere else. Rejoice in knowing that all of life’s wonders are right here for the taking. Open up and enjoy it!

Along the way in my now 4 year relationship with this blessed place, I’ve tried their New York style pizza, perfect; their hamburgers, juicy, delectable; their fried mac ‘n’ cheese, you haven’t lived, holy hell; their salads, fresh, bright, healthy and satisfying; their sandwiches, borderless, extraordinary; their entrees, try the shrimp ‘n’ grits, holy shit; almost every appetizer, special and entrée on their menu, all amazing, all worth it; and their desserts, holy effin ravioli batman, chocolate f*cking mousse that would taste so good your unborn baby will crave it. Just trust me. They are the epitome of quality, of home-made, of soul, and of art. They're food looks, smells, feels, sounds and tastes, like art. Do yourself a favor and masticate on this.

I live in one of the greatest food cities in the world and I still crave Picasso’s, constantly. During each trip back home, I’m given the greatest gift, the ability to share in this wonderful food with my amazing family. We laughed, we chewed, we loved. It’s what we’re meant to do. It’s what I grew up appreciating and what I’m most grateful for to this day. It spawned a passion that is driving me to keep pursuing this experience, like an addiction, I need more good food, with more good people. This very simple but very primal and pivotal experiences keep getting better and I’m inspired to share in hopes that you all can feed your souls as well. And I hope you do, in whichever way you can.

Breathe. Open your mind, your heart and your mouth, wider. Be an artist. Experience art, however you define or embody it. Share it. Elbows on the table, laugh with your mouth full. Enjoy.

Want to have a humorous, comedy/food rapport with me? Then write Follow me @mastic8onthis