Pizza may not be a wholly ethnic food, but many of Jacksonville's pizza parlors also serve up some pretty tasty Italian dishes as well. Jacksonville's pizza places tend to be what I would consider 'pseudo' ethnic restaurants offering not only pizza, but Italian dinners, sandwiches, etc.
When dining out with a group, the decision of where to go is never easy. When you throw in Good Friday where some of us abstain from eating meat, you've added another wrinkle of complication. That is why somewhere like Al's Pizza in the Riverside area of Jacksonville is so great. They offer a huge selection of Pizzas, Calzones, Italian Entrées, Sandwiches, and Appetizers meaning that everyone can find something they like and can eat. Also, Al's Pizza has a good selection of wines to pair up with your dinner. The Pinot Grigio ($6) is definitely a favorite here.
Two of my favorite dishes at Al's Pizza are the White Pizza and the Italian Sub. An 8" Personal White will run around $9, adding a $1 or $2 for each topping depending on what it is. Al's White Pizza stands our for me because they season the Ricotta Cheese instead of using bland little blobules on the pizza. Topped with fresh diced Roma Tomatoes, it has an awesome cheesy garlicky goodness that permeates through each layer and into the crispy crust. The Italian Sub ($6) is another item that Al's does just right. A fresh sub roll is loaded up with Ham, Salami, Pepperoni, Provolone cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, and Onion. As a suggestion, add oil and vinegar and Banana Peppers. I always ask for mine toasted so that the bread is crusty and the cheese is melty. It is absolutely out of this world.
The atmosphere at the Al's Pizza in Riverside is contemporary and sleek, matching the 'hipster' vibe that resonates through the area. The service has been great every time we've visited, and drinks and checks always make their way out quickly. There are now six Al's locations in Jacksonville, a testament to Al's Pizza's ability to things right. Try one close to home, or head out for a night in Riverside - the Al's Pizza is located at:
1620 Margaret Street
Jacksonville, FL 32204-3854