Looking for a restaurant near my hotel I found Olio quite by accident. Once inside there is a place for the menu boards where one can read it and choose what to eat. You then go to the counter to order and pay for your choice, pick out a table to sit at and wait for your name to be called. Once called you go, get your tray and sit down at your table.
While waiting for my name to be called I was watching the activity behind the order counter. The young chaps preparing the food were getting whatever food was ordered onto plates or into soup bowls. Then the chaps put them on a tray, call out the name and you would pick up your food and take it back to eat.
This is what "fast food" should be like, the freshest ingredients, delicious recipes, prepared individually and served in a matter of minutes. The food was so delicious and fresh I ate here 3 times, twice for lunch and once for dinner on the only night, Friday, when it is served. The menu is the same but there are many choices and so I didn't duplicate any of the meals.
The staff are so pleasant and cheerful and very helpful if one has any questions about the menu. They were very patient when I asked about dishes that had no meat of poultry, I do eat fish and they could not have been more obliging. Since it is in downtown Jacksonville it can get very busy at lunchtime and be a bit noisy when the names are called for folks to pick up their trays. Once I started eating though I forgot about the surroundings and just indulged in extraordinary food.
The first meal was lunch and I ordered the soup and salad special. I had mushroom soup which was unlike most mushrooms soups I've eaten, Instead of being a cream soup it was more like a broth with teeny bits of mushrooms. Then the Caesar salad which was so fresh and tasty. I was still hungry so I ordered the Fish Tacos which were wonderful and perfectly prepared. The next day for lunch I had the Salmon salad, the Salmon was hot and seared and served on mediterranean vegetable couscous, arugula, feta and smoked tomato vinaigrette. So I decided to eat dinner there that same evening. They open at 5PM and there weren't as many staff or diners as at lunch. I ordered the beet salad with grilled shrimp with the shrimp grilled to perfection and I also ordered the french fries served with basil aioli. Everything except the salad was served piping hot and the fries with the dip were just the best I've ever tasted.
This is an exceptional restaurant with excellent staff, Francesca was one young lady who was so helpful in answering my questions, outstanding food, extremely clean and fun to eat at. If I ever get back to Jacksonville, I will certainly return to eat at Olio again.
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