Pizza is one of my favorite foods and I really wish I could eat it every day. Unfortunately, for health reasons, eating pizza every day probably is not the smartest decision, but Picasso's makes me want to test that theory.
Tucked away behind an old drugstore converted to Imaging center off of San Jose Boulevard sits a small strip mall hidden from the main drag of Mandarin. Inside that shopping center, you will find an old dive bar, a tattoo parlor, and karate center, but the diamond is Picasso's. Their pizza pictured below is out of this world. Made with fresh ingredients every day it truly just makes my mouth water writing this post. They have three styles of pies as well, Saint Louis which is a thin square cut pie. The New York, which is my favorite and pictured below. Also a Mediterranean, which I have yet to try, but tonight is Friday, so lets just assume that will happen. You probably can't go wrong with any of them.
Chef Chris young, a native of St. Louis, has spent time in NYC and graduated from the Culinary Institute of America. His menu is littered with American classics from Pizza, Kentucky Hot Brown sandwich, the Jax Cheesesteak, New York Pastrami which was stacked with at least one pound of meat (only half pictured below, because I was too hungry to wait for a photo), to Fried Mac and Cheese.
On our last visit, my father ordered the Chicken Parmesan and the hand made pasta is looked and tasted like pure happiness. Let me clarify, I am not a chef, never spent time in any European kitchens or culinary schools, but I do know what tastes good, what is homemade, or store bought. Everything that seems to come out of this kitchen seems to have the highest quality you can find in Jacksonville. Paired with a very laid back atmosphere it is easy to enjoy a great meal here. The biggest setback is that the restaurant itself is not very big so if you are late to the show, plan to wait a little bit.
Lastly, I am a huge fan of random appetizers and while I am sure everything is great. The Crispy Risotto Bites are amazing. These are like little balls of love. Just get them. You won't be upset.