Newk’s Express Café

Newks opened up on Southside Blvd recently. I grabbed my friend Karen and we went by after work during their grand opening. For starters, the place is really big even though it’s located in a strip mall. Newks follows the “fast casual” model where you order at the counter and someone brings out your food. I was instantly excited when they gave me my drink cup and it was a large plastic cup. Then I got even more excited when I saw 2 fountain drink machines with all different Coke varieties! Hooray for Coke Zero!! I digress…anywho…we sat down and started to admire the restaurant. Another thing that excited me was the kitchen area. It is surrounded by glass walls, so you can see them preparing your food! Anyone who has read my blog before knows how much I love this! In my mind, if you let me see in your kitchen, you have nothing to hide.

The food came out pretty quickly, so we were very happy about that. I got the Spicy Shrimp pizza (10”) which had broiled shrimp with roasted red and yellow bell peppers, roma tomatoes, chili oil, fresh cilantro, crushed red chilis, mozzarella and parmesan cheese. All of the ingredients tasted fresh and the dough seemed to be handmade. While I will say that the pizza wasn’t very spicy, I still thought it was pretty good. There were about 2 pieces of shrimp on each slice, and equal amounts of veggies. I also liked that they had a table in the middle of the floor with salad/pizza condiments. I went over there and got some grated parmesan cheese for my pizza J

Karen got a Pepperoni Pizza (pepperoni, mozzarella and provolone cheese, roma tomatoes,
tomato sauce and fresh basil) and a Caesar Salad. Her salad looked good because the dressing was mixed in, not just drizzled on top. I thought that was a simple touch that really made a big difference. She also mentioned that she liked that the pepperoni pizza had roma tomatoes because it gave it something extra that you don’t get on a typical pepperoni pizza.

The only good part about slacking off and forgetting to upload this blog post…I have been there again and have more pictures!! My husband and I have been twice since they opened and we love it. Here are some extra menu item pictures with a short description about each:

The Debra – grilled chicken breast, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, roma
tomatoes and pesto.

Grilled Steak sandwich – choice beef tender, marinated and grilled, sliced thin, layered with
caramelized onions, provolone cheese and horseradish spread.

Verdict – Love it! I can easily see Newks becoming one of my “regulars”. The food is great and the service is exceptional. Even the bussers are very friendly. While we were finishing up, the busser came around and was cleaning the table behind us. He was very nice and asked how we liked everything. Every employee we encountered has been this way and it really shows that they put a lot of emphasis on customer service.

Newk’s Express Café - Jacksonville on Urbanspoon


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