Today’s review is one of my all time favorite breakfast spots in Jax. The Deerwood Deli and Diner located on Southside Boulevard near Baymeadows Road has been waking up with the folks of Jax for more than 40 years. They offer standard breakfast, deli, and diner fare in a 50’s style diner setting. Oldies music pumps from the stereo and photos of Elvis and Lucille Ball adorn the walls. A meal at Deerwood Diner is like taking a short trip back to a time when folks actually knew their neighbors and the waitress knew your name.
Breakfast is a simple meal. When you evaluate restaurants you ask yourself, “What makes this place better than the one around the corner?” As far as food at a breakfast place, the answer to that question is that they consistently get the little things right. Today I kept things simple ordering the two egg breakfast w/ bacon ($5.89). How can any restaurant’s two egg breakfast really be better than another’s you ask? You’d be amazed at how often I see restaurants screw this simple meal up. Too often waitresses and/or cooks don’t listen and they miss the small requests that make all the difference. Here’s the order: two eggs over medium, wheat toast, grits with cheese, and bacon crispy. Perfect over medium eggs should have a white that’s completely solid with zero runniness and a yoke that is completely runny. When I order my eggs this way I would say they come out correctly cooked less than half the time. How did Deerwood do? They cooked them perfectly. I ordered bacon crispy. At most places, I’d say when bacon is ordered crispy it comes out crispy around half of the time. The other half they commit the cardinal sin of limp bacon. How did Deerwood do? Perfectly crispy bacon with a beautiful “snap” to it and no blackening or burning at all. Additionally the bacon was nice and thick and clearly high quality. They used sliced american cheese for the grits and thoughtfully place the cheese slices in two different places with grits sandwiched in between.
I decided to be a bit naughty and start my day off with a vanilla milk shake to go with my breakfast. The milkshake was rich, wonderful and the perfect thickness. It was served with a straw with a huge circumference so that you can suck up a large amount at one time. That’s a nice little touch that makes your milkshake more enjoyable. Deerwood Diner gets the little things right and that is what sets them apart. From perfectly cooked eggs to perfectly to crispy bacon to awesome milkshake straws, they make the best and simplest meal of the day more enjoyable.
The other thing that sets great breakfast spots apart is great breakfast spots have folks working there who really care. Deerwood Diner is no exception. My waitress for this visit has been working at Deerwood Diner for over 16 years. She knew half the restaurant by name and truly treated them like family. There is something to be said for stopping in at a place on your way to work and being taken care of by a person who’s also become a friend. I have no doubt that’s how most of Deerwood Diner’s patrons feel when they come in for breakfast. On my visit I got excellent service and so did everyone else sitting at the tables around me. The folks at the table behind me told the waitress they had to be out of the restaurant for an appointment within 30 minutes. Our waitress had them fed and out the door in 20! Where else can you get that kind of service?
I’ll sum up today’s article with this: If you live on the Southside, Deerwood Diner is the place you should be eating breakfast. You’ll enjoy simple food cooked correctly and wonderful caring folks.