There is a new food truck in town! Let me rephrase, there is a new food bus in town! Bone Daddy’s Voodoo Cajun has a voodoo clown wrapped food BUS driving around Jacksonville and they’re serving up the cajun home cooking that Jacksonville severely lacks. I am a cajun connoisseur after living an hour from New Orleans for 24 years. It sparked my passion for food and cuisine and “disappointed” doesn’t cover my feelings about Jacksonville creole availability. So I was excited to get an invite out to Bone Daddy’s for a sampling of their menu offerings and get a taste of home.
Before we ate we got a tour of the food truck bus which is pretty incredible. Owners Brian and Ariel have 20 years of restaurant experience and wanted the freedom of a food truck as well as the chance to showcase their passion for Creole cuisine. Working on a food truck is a learned skill – you’re in cramped quarters with limited prep space. To add to that challenge, Bone Daddy’s is making everything on their menu from scratch every single day. Opting for a bus versus a truck was a great move for Bone Daddy’s. Cajun food is prep intensive and you need various steamers and huge pots to keep gumbo, jambalaya, and etouffee simmering. Bone Daddy’s has an incredible set up inside to give those dishes the love they need. A few minutes in there and I was starving after being inundated with the smell of creole spices, so we ordered a good variety of entrees to see what Bone Daddy’s is all about.
For our dinner we opted for the muffaletta, a shrimp poboy, jambalaya, and two orders of beignets to cover the menu spectrum. First up was the muffaletta. Warning: this is a sandwich made for two people. Do not attempt to eat this sandwich alone. The menu describes it as “colossal” and that is accurate. It is absolutely stuffed with layers of mortadella (sausage-esque), capicola, genoa salami, provolone, and mozzarella. It is topped with a divine olive tapenade that really makes this sandwich special. For cajun traditionalists, the only real deviation from what you may have had in Nola is a thicker cut on the meats in the sandwich, which I doubt anyone will complain about. This is not only a must order menu item at Bone Daddy’s, I’ll put it on my list of best sandwiches in Jacksonville.
One should always follow one sandwich with a second sandwich, so we moved on to the shrimp poboy. Brian prepared the shrimp poboy with half dill sauce and half remoulade so we could try both options. The sandwich is dressed appropriately with lettuce and tomato and served on grilled Italian loaf. I slightly missed the texture of the French bread in this sandwich, but it wasn’t a deal breaker on me ordering it in the future. I know good French bread is hard to find around Jacksonville and the Italian bread as a substitute worked just fine. The shrimp were perfectly cooked and breaded in a flavorful and extremely crispy batter. The poboy was also stuffed end to end with ingredients – they don’t skimp on portion sizes at Bone Daddy’s. The shrimp were clearly fresh and cooked to perfection without a trace of rubbery texture. The dill sauce was a game changer on poboys for me. I’m accustomed to remoulade on poboys, but may be a convert to Bone Daddy’s dill sauce after this tasting. If you like the fresh herbal flavor of dill roughly blended into a tartar sauce consistency, this is the way to go. Traditionalists, don’t worry. The remoulade is equally as amazing. It may be the best decision to get the best of both worlds each time and order it half and half like I tried it. Last up on the entrees was the jambalaya. The jambalaya was topped with grilled shrimp and sausage, a sauteed trinity, and was served over rice. The mixture, once combined, was earthy which I will wager a guess was file powder and rich with the sauteed and tender vegetables. This is the one dish that does deviate from traditional jambalaya. It’s a lighter, fresher spin on the traditional heavy, dense jambalaya that you see in New Orleans. The primary difference here is the cooking method – it seems as if the vegetables and shrimp are cooked separately and then served over the rice. The good news is that the rice is fresh and tender and not overcooked by preparing it this way. The bad news is I did miss the flavor that rice normally takes on when cooked with the tomatoes and trinity. But preparing it this way is the smartest way to go on a food truck and the traditional flavors of jambalaya still boldly exist, just presented in a slightly different form.
Last but not least, beignets! Beignets are my heaven. Bone Daddy’s serves them as little bite sized pillows of delight and they literally have a whole rack set up in their truck with available toppings. Gone are the days of just powdered sugar, so we opted for the cinnamon roll flavor and the strawberry kiwi flavor. I would literally (and I mean LITERALLY) eat these cinnamon roll beignets every single day. Each beignet order gets you six bites of perfectly fried sweet dough. The cinnamon roll version is lightly topped with powdered sugar and then drizzled with a cinnamon sugar sauce that is spicy and comforting and indulgent. The strawberry kiwi flavor was also delightful with the sweet strawberry syrup and the tanginess added from the kiwi. This also received a dusting of powdered sugar. I recommend ordering multiple flavors. My “leftovers” of beignets lasted approximately 3.5 minutes into my car ride home before I grabbed them from my passenger seat.
This Louisiana girl couldn’t be happier that I finally have the comfort food I crave. I look forward to watching Bone Daddy’s continue to develop their menu and serve up the cajun specialities that I know Jacksonville will love. In addition, you really can’t ask for sweeter people to interact with. Brian and Ariel are friendly, passionate, and clearly truly happy to be doing what they love. Bone Daddy’s has several frequent weekly locations, including the Jax Food Truck Food Court, and their schedule can be found posted every Sunday on their Facebook. Laissez les bon temps roulez!
Note: From time to time we’re invited out to try a restaurant or to taste new menu items. This meal is usually comped, as this one was. We’re under no obligation to write a positive review or any review at all when we’re invited out to try a place. Every review you see on our site will be an honest review of the place whether or not the restaurant provided us with the meal at their cost.
Photos courtesy of Jill Cruz.