Tag: food

Calhoun Steakhouse makes debut in Jacksonville

Eric Taunton, News Correspondent

After a year of waiting, the highly-anticipated Calhoun Steakhouse had its big opening on October 9 with great success. Steakhouse serves a variety of food including chicken, pasta, seafood,  and of course, steak.

Continue reading “Calhoun Steakhouse makes debut in Jacksonville”

Delicious local food choices on a college budget

Miranda PrescottA&E Correspondent

Coming into the college world for the first time, many freshmen are searching for the best and most meaningful ways to spend their small stash of dollars. 

While this may include decorations for their dorm room or clothing, it also includes necessities, such as food. Since most of the dorms on campus do not have fully operational kitchens that students have free access to, home-cooked meals are almost impossible to come by. 

Also, let’s be honest here for a minute, the food on campus is good, but after a while, you’re bored of it. Luckily, I am here to tell you the best places to get food quickly and at the best price point. 

Here are three of my favorite places to eat in Jacksonville that have the best quality food for the best prices.

  1.       Cookout

This one is a given. Here, you can grab an entrée, two sides and a beverage for less than five dollars before tax, as well as choose from over 40 milkshake options. One of my favorites on their menu is the bacon cheddar hotdog. It is exactly what it sounds like: a hotdog with two strips of bacon and nacho cheese on top. Fair warning — it can be messy, but doesn’t any food that’s delicious have that problem? Cookout is also open until 2 a.m., meaning that you are pretty much set when it comes to staying out late and having somewhere to go for a quick bite.

  1.       Waffle House

Waffle House is always a viable option for anything. Saturday morning breakfast? Waffle House. 3 a.m. post study session meal? Waffle House. You just had your car break down and really need a pick-me-up? That’s right, Waffle House. You name the scenario, and nine times out of ten Waffle House will always be the answer you are so desperately looking for. Although it is most famous for its namesake waffles, there are options for lunch and dinner, and they will typically cost you less than ten dollars. I typically get the chocolate chip waffle with a side of bacon on a regular visit. However, if you can catch their seasonal blueberry waffle promotion, then do it. You will not regret that decision, I promise.

  1.       Domino’s

Now, it’s a little confusing for this choice to be on the list but hear me out. Domino’s has a deal on their website that allows you to order two pizzas, a bread side, a dessert and a two-liter soda for less than twenty dollars. So not only do you have lunch or dinner for one day, you have lunch and dinner for however long you can make those pizzas last. Now, not only do you get pizza that will last you a while, but you also do good in the world. That is a win-win scenario if I have ever heard of one.

There you go. You now have three of my favorite deals around the community. Yes, there are other deals that I believe are good choices out there, but the three I have listed are, in my opinion, the best you can get out of the food scene in Jacksonville. I really hope this helps with your quest to have food that is dorm-friendly, does not require you to actually cook the meal, and, most importantly, not from the same on-campus locations.

Photo courtesy of Cookout

A&E Editor Breanna Hill gives advice on where to eat

Breanna Hill, A&E Editor

Jacksonville State University is nestled in the beautiful Gem of the Hills, and no area of the city seems to be lacking in beauty, fun or food. You’re moving to an unfamiliar city and I’m sure you’re curious about what Jacksonville really has to offer.

Let me tell you, the Gem of the Hills really does live up to the hype. Jacksonville is fortunate enough to have the feel of a small town without having to suffer what most small towns have to deal with: lack of eateries and fun activities to partake in. Since the university is a huge part of the town, Jacksonville has long ago adapted for students and the rest that reside here in the city. There are seemingly endless possibilities when it comes to eating.

Right when you enter Jacksonville on Alabama Highway 21, you can see on both sides the various fast food establishments standing, inviting you in to satisfy your latest cravings. Jacksonville pretty much has it all—Wendy’s, Bojangles, McDonald’s, Burger King—the list goes on and on. On August 8, Chick-fil-A opened their doors to the Jacksonville community and Calhoun Steakhouse plans to open their doors later in the Fall.

If fast food isn’t what you are looking for, try visiting some of the eateries such as Coop Deville. Every Jacksonville State student needs to experience Coop DeVille at some point. Coop has cheap, delicious choices and great service. Definitely make sure to check it off your list; it won’t disappoint. If you’re looking for something more filling, and more upscale, never fear, Jacksonville has you covered there too.  Just a little way down the road from the beautiful campus we have Effina’s (a fabulous Tuscan grill). There’s also Strut’s, Yamato Steak House of Japan, Jimmy John’s, Jefferson’s, etc. The possibilities are endless!

The on-campus food establishments are just as incredible as the off-campus ones. There are going to be times throughout your college career that you’ll have the perfect schedule with the breaks that you wanted to implement, which gives you enough time between classes to run off campus and try one of the many off-campus selections, but every now and then your schedule will be tight only giving you a small window of time for a lunch break and you’ll have to stay on campus. Don’t worry. The campus has incredible dining options that satisfy every student’s inner foodie. The Jack Hopper Dining Hall, which is located on the quad, serves as a buffet style eating establishment. It has something for everyone and it always manages to leave you full and ready for the rest of your day.

Of course, if you’re not in the mood for that or you just want to grab something quick there’s always the TMB food court, complete with Freshens, Chick-Fil-A, Mein Bowl and Simply To Go. You can also find WOW! Café on campus, right beside Jack Hopper. There’s also a one-stop shop in the library known as Jazzman’s Café and Bakery with a large menu with items like sandwiches, soups, sushi, endless drink choices and of course, and of course, the much needed lifeline, coffee.

Jacksonville State students frequent Mad Hatter Cupcakes which is located in the square. Best. Cupcakes. Ever. It is definitely the best place for anybody who has a love for cupcakes or has a sweet tooth in general. Directly across from Mad Hatter’s you can find Java Jolt, the coffee shop. Not only does Java Jolt have incredible coffee that serves as several students’ pick-me-up, it also has a lounging/studying area for students. The atmosphere in both establishments are warm and welcoming, and the service is never anything but marvelous. These two places are definitely a must when it comes to experiencing all that Jacksonville has to offer. You can find boutiques such as Swank Boutique and other shops in the square. Again, something for everybody. There are also numerous events that take place year round, one of the most popular being the farmer’s market that takes place every Saturday.

Now that you know Jacksonville isn’t lacking when it comes to the food department, let’s talk about what else this town has to offer. In the heart of Jacksonville, you can find the square. The square has all sorts of businesses to suit everybody. 

This past year, Jacksonville also partnered up with a biking service called VeoRide. You’re able to find the bikes on campus and in the center of the square. The bike riding service is fairly popular and very beneficial for those who are looking to save gas money. Make sure to take advantage of VeoRide and check out the natural beauty that surrounds our campus. 

The natural beauty surrounding Jacksonville is truly phenomenal, and it contributed immensely when the town was given the nickname Gem of the Hills. This city really is a dream for anybody who loves admiring nature and the beauty of it. There are plenty of places for hikers and bikers to use and admire, one of the most well-known being the Chief Ladiga Trail. Residents of Jacksonville, Alabama have taken advantage of the Chief Ladiga trail that runs right through the city (and conveniently right through campus). The 33-mile-long asphalt trail runs through Calhoun and Cleburne counties. The asphalt trail is smooth, which enables for a safe and fun bike riding experience and serves as a great walking trail as well. The best thing about it though is that dogs are allowed on it, with a leash of course.

To admire even more natural beauty surrounding the Jacksonville area you could make the short trek to the Chimney Peak here in Jacksonville. Who doesn’t love a good hike up the mountain to see a beautifully breathtaking view?

There are endless trails and endless hidden gems to discover throughout Jacksonville. Attending Jacksonville State University will give you the perfect opportunity to explore and be even more adventurous. JSU is lucky to have such a place to call home. This university has what most unfortunately lack: a valued sense of community. It really will be a place you can call home away from home.

Photo courtesy of Matt Reynolds/JSU

Jacksonville Chick-fil-A opens doors

Scott Young

Chanticleer News Editor

Chick-fil-A opened their doors to the Jacksonville community this morning, August 8, at 6 a.m. to a crowd of excited customers who were hungry for chicken sandwiches.

Customers began setting up tents in the Chick-fil-A parking lot 12 hours before opening to be one of the first 100 customers. Participants braved the warm, rainy night to earn one free Chick-fil-A sandwich meal per week for a year, a total of 52 meals valued at an average of $320 per winner, $32,000 worth of food, in total.

“Our first day has been awesome,” said Jason Soriano, owner of the Jacksonville Chick-fil-A. “We’ve had to work out some first day kinks, but we’ve only gotten positive feedback from guests.”

Soriano and his wife, Ashley Soriano, have owned a Chick-fil-A in Montgomery for three years, prior to opening the new Jacksonville location.

The new restaurant features a two-lane drive-thru, which Soriano says is designed to allow the kitchen more time to make the food and the drive-thru more time to get the drinks ready.

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Photo above shows cars lined back in both drive-thru lanes during the grand opening of Jacksonville Chick-fil-A on Thursday, August 8. (Photo courtesy of Matthew Reeves)

“The two-lane drive-thru is to get more cars in the queue,” said Soriano. “So, by the time the car gets to the window, we have everything ready and we’re able to hand it right out of the window.”

Customers generally expressed satisfaction with the opening of the new Chick-fil-A, like Sydney Sorrells, a JSU student who said her chicken nuggets were so “hot and fresh,” she has to “wait a second for them to cool” before she could eat them.

“My dining experience at the new Chick-fil-A was quick and easy,” said Sorrells. “I walked in around 12:40 and was ordering my food by around 12:43.”

Chick-fil-A is known nationally for their customer service, having earned an award as the No. 1 restaurant on the American Customer Satisfaction Index four years in a row. Sorrells echoes the widespread satisfaction with their customer service.

“The employees were friendly from the moment I walked in the door,” said Sorrells. “I was greeted and had the door held open for me and even had my trash picked up at the end of my dining experience.”

The Theron Montgomery Building (TMB) on the campus of Jacksonville State University has had a Chick-fil-A in the building for 21 years, which was recently renovated to include a full-service Chick-fil-A, but Sorrells says that it isn’t the same.

“This Chick-fil-A brings a convenience to the residents of the town who may not want to step inside the TMB or deal with the hassle of paying the little extra it is for the Chick-fil-A in the TMB,” said Sydney Sorrells.

William Medley, a JSU student, camped out overnight to be one of the first 100 customers and win free Chick-fil-A for a year.

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Photo above shows tents and chairs popped up outside the new Chick-fil-A in Jacksonville. Customers started lining up and camping out Wednesday night. (Photo courtesy of Jacksonville Chick-fil-A)

“I figured 12 hours of my life for free Chick-fil-A sounded like a fair deal.” said Medley. “My friends invited me to do it, so I thought it would be something fun to do with them, and it turned out to be really fun. We played games and had snacks, just having a good time.”

The store is located at 500 Pelham Road South between Cook Out and Jack’s. The restaurant is serving a full breakfast menu until 10:30 a.m. with normal operating hours being 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday through Saturday.

The Jacksonville Police Department (JPD) released a statement saying that there are to be no left-hand turns into Chick-fil-A from Pelham Road, and Vann Street is blocked off from Pelham Road to prevent clogged traffic. JPD has not specified when Vann Street will be reopened or if/when left-hand turns can resume.

**Featured photo courtesy of Jacksonville Chick-fil-A.**

Future food fix: Chick-fil-a, Heirloom Taco approved for Jacksonville

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Heirloom Taco’s “hybrid” food truck under construction (@HeirloomTaco/Instagram).

Quadarius Whitson, Staff Reporter


Incoming Jacksonville “Hybrid” restaurant Heirloom Taco took a big step toward opening last week.

On Thursday night, building plans for the new restaurant as well as a full-service Chick-fil-A were approved by the Jacksonville Planning Commission at their meeting.

Renovation of the old Jacksonville Fire Station into Heirloom Taco began in October and is still vigorously being worked on by the owners, Shane & Aurella Gowens.

Although the opening date isn’t set in stone, the owners are now aiming for some time in late April after the approval of the plans on Thursday. With their street-style approach to the restaurant, the Gowens’ plan on keeping the fire station’s old water pipes. They’re also adding a neon sign and light fixtures.

The Mexican inspired food truck and traditional restaurant hybrids plan to keep a simple menu that primarily sales beef, chicken, shrimp and fish tacos with an assortment of toppings. They also plan to serve alcoholic beverages like beer, wine and cocktails.

With both Mr. and Mrs. Gowens being JSU Alumni, they both hope to build a place where college kids, as well as other people in the community, feel welcomed.

“It feels like there is something missing to tie the entire community together,” Gowens said. “I feel like this could be the perfect medium for the community.”

Soon Jacksonville residents will no longer have to travel almost 30 minutes in order to enjoy the full-fledged version of America’s famous chicken restaurant.

Chick-fil-A is planning to open in the vacant building located between Cook Out and Jack’s at 500 Pelham Road. The lot is being developed by a New Urban Development Corporation LLC, that is based out of Atlanta, Georgia. This real estate development division regularly develops land not only for Chick-fil-A franchises but also Artist Square, a 14 million dollar, 76-loft-style apartment building, as well as the Sky Lofts, a 31.3 million dollar, 207-unit mixed-use development.

The restaurant will have two drive-thru lanes, with coverings that employees can take orders from customers. The development company also wants to get a traffic signal installed at the intersection of Vann Street and Pelham Road to enable customers to exit and enter more effectively from the restaurant.

The new Chick-fil-a will join the retail location of the restaurant inside Jacksonville State’s Theron Montgomery Building Food Court.

As of now, there has been no indication of exactly when Chick-fil-A will be opening.