A surprisingly gourmet spot, 5Loaves 2Fish Café is tucked into the corner of the ground floor of the Riverplace Tower. You may have had the pleasure of enjoying 5Loaves 2Fish from their food truck; now come visit them in their permanent spot! The food is good and the sparkly panoramic view of the St. Johns River is almost equally as lovely. Grab a seat at one of the tables next to the floor-to-ceiling windows for a picturesque lunch.
Along with sandwiches like burgers and paninis, they have wholesome dishes that will satisfy the taste buds of the whole office, i.e. meat eaters, vegetarians and pescatarians. Choose from entrees like Cilantro Lime Chicken bowl ($8.95), Salmon with couscous ($11.95) and Shrimp and Grits ($12.99).
The rice bowl didn’t pack a lot of heat but was chock full of grilled peppers and broccoli and topped with sliced avocado. The salmon was a decent sized piece of fish with tender stalks of asparagus, artichoke hearts and tomatoes. 5Loaves’ shrimp and grits packed a creole kick with help from Andouille sausage and the dish was made with their own unique twist. The cheesy grits have a slightly meatier texture instead of the ultra smooth texture you sometimes find with grits.
Now let me tell you about my best friend: the lamb shank!
This was a special, which speaks volumes for their daily menu changes. The Braised Lamb Shank ($12.99) was nestled atop a bed of mashed celery root and potato, with a side of slightly crispy kale and a sprinkle of fried onions. Drizzled over the whole dish was a fall-spiced gravy with just a kiss of pomegranate. The mashed celery root was so creamy and tender, I hardly noticed that it wasn’t pure potato, except for the slight hint of extra hint of earthy flavor that comes from the root. The lamb shank was giant, fork-tender, and had a lovely crisp skin. The slightly acidic pomegranate gravy paired nicely with the signature rich, fatty lamb flavor. I immediately regretted finishing the whole thing, because there was no more to eat.
If you are looking for a lighter entrée; fear not, there’s always kale. The Kale & Quinoa Salad ($9.00) is protein packed and, as it was a baby kale salad, dressed and massaged, you don’t have to worry about giant, crunchy kale leaves.
They have plenty of other salad options, too, and, for those of you on a liquid diet, some great smoothies. The Blueberry Almond ($5.50) made with almond milk caught my attention, and it was pretty filling as they only come in one size-large. Take your pick from options like the Tropical Green ($5.75) and Raspberry Mango Sunrise ($5.50).
Put this 5 star spot, with 2 star prices, on your must-eat breakfast and lunch list!