Enjoy Fresh Local Fare At Mossfire Grill, Jacksonville, FL!

The MossFire Grill
1537 Margaret St
Jacksonville FL 32204-3821
(904) 355-4434

The MossFire Grill
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by Michael Wilkins

Today was my best friend’s birthday so we went out to dinner to celebrate at the Mossfire Grill. The food here is outstanding and one of the reasons is because this enterprise is a farm to table restaurant.

For those of us who are not carnivores they offer dishes that include tempeh and tofu. The Mossfire Grill has a Southwest flair to their offerings and is located in the community of Riverside in Jacksonville. The specific area is called Five Points and the restaurant is a short walk from the five points intersection in the Riverside area of Jacksonville.

Mossfire Grill Exterior

Mossfire Grill has 2 levels with a smattering of tables on a deck outside on the second floor, which provides a nice view of the five points area and a relaxing place to chill. There are also a few tables outside the front of the restaurant covered by umbrellas where you can relax and find some shade from the sun.

 

Mossfire Grill Interior

 

The food served here is made from scratch and the Executive Chef, Jonathan Dwelle, takes the time to go out and meet with the locals purveyors to see what fresh producer they will have available for the day’s menu. He bases his menu for the most part on what’s available from local growers. I also learned that one of the distributors they do business with actually purchases most of their produce from local growers. This is encouraging in many ways because it means that the distributors are realizing that the restaurants they serve want locally grown products. When the people creating the food take the time to go out and meet the local growers, a relationship begins which changes the creation of the dishes made in the restaurant. The chef starts thinking about the different things he or she can create based on what’s available or will be available from the local growers.

Jonathan says that his goal is to keep the restaurant in a unique niche. There are several other restaurants that serve southwestern themed food, but not the same way or with the creativity  found at the Mossfire Grill. It is his intention to find more ways to create dishes that keep them in this unique niche.

 

Mossfire Grill Executive Chef, Jonathan Dwelle

 

Mossfire Grill is owned by a couple of individuals who moved out here from Denver. They had a restaurant in Denver which operated in a similar environment. When they moved here to Jacksonville they wanted to create a restaurant with a southwestern flair. The original restaurant, named the Tumbleweed Grill, was located on the first floor of what is now the Mossfire Grill. After opening the restaurant the owners ran into some difficulty regarding the name of the establishment and had to change it.

Their is an interesting history behind the name Mossfire Grill. It comes from the great fire in Jacksonville that occurred on May 3rd, 1901. The fire started with sparks from a nearby chimney landing on moss that was laid out to dry. In eight hours, the fire burned 146 city blocks, destroyed more than 2,368 buildings, and left almost 10,000 residents homeless. It is said the glow from the flames could be seen in Savannah, Georgia, and the smoke plumes in Raleigh, North Carolina.  This was 17 years ago and nothing like that existed in the Jacksonville area.

 

Mossfire Grill Interior 3

 

Mossfire Grill staff is happy to say that the restaurant is thriving after 17 years in large part not only because of the quality of the food, but also because of the strength of their reputation regarding service. The restaurant caters to all types of diners, but it is easy for vegetarians/vegans to find something to enjoy.

 

Mossfire Grill Black Beans & Rice

 

I started my meal with the amazingly flavorful vegetarian green chili soup which includes green chilies, roasted corn, tomatoes, onions and tortilla chips. I need to say here that the I thought the service was great. Some people might have said that the service was a bit slow, but we talked to our waitress about several things and she made the dining experience much better by participating in that conversation.

 

Mossfire Grill Burrito

 

I also chose the burrito, which is stuffed with rice, beans, green chilies, fried tempeh, and guacamole. I opted out of the sour cream and cheese. The portion size was huge and I was unable to finish the burrito since I had already had a bowl of soup. As a side order I chose their steamed vegetables. Marjie chose the tempeh taco which includes marinated fried tempeh, avocado, corn salsa, cabbage and vegan pepper aioli. The food was excellent and the portions were more than large which left us with some to take home.

 

Mossfire Grill Tempeh Taco

 

The Mossfire Grill can be found by exiting onto Park street from I 95 and going east to Five Points. There you will turn right and head south towards the River. The Mossfire Grill will be on the left as you exit the Five Points roundabout. Don’t forget to take a walk over to Riverside Park and catch a view of the river.

 

Michael Wilkins is a respiratory therapist, an avid scuba diver and an accomplished photographer. He has been living with hepatitis C for more than two decades and is a cancer surviver. Michael has kept liver cancer at bay by employing the healing properties of a plant-based diet.

A year later, after a strict plant-based regimine, his tumor markers are normal and his MRIs are clean! This has made Michael more passionate about staying on a vegan diet. He has met lots of wonderful passionate people with amazing stories while walking down this path. Michael’s area is Northeast Florida, particularly the Jacksonville area. Contact Michael to share your restaurant finds, make comments, or just to say hello!

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