Comfort Zone

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by Damon Noisette // photos by Agnes Lopez

As the seemingly never-ending stream of franchise restaurants in St. Johns Town Center is capturing the attention of diners across the city, a neighborhood alternative appropriately named The Local recently opened its doors across town. Located in Miramar, where Hendricks Avenue and San Jose Boulevard meet, the counter-service comfort food restaurant adds a legit coffee shop to the area, complete with an exclusive Columbian-Guatemalan coffee blend from Bold Bean and a striking La Marzocco espresso machine.

The 70-seat restaurant is still getting its legs as it works through rezoning, a process very familiar to owner Ted Stein, AL1_8579and its drink offerings will expand to include beer and wine this month. With the addition of low proof spirits, later hours are expected to be announced soon, along with new outdoor seating on the back patio. Inside, The Local feels like a relaxed café perfect for a quick bite and an Americano; it exudes a bit of the coffee shop vibe with subway tile and distressed wood accents, a long bar and a comfortable couch tucked away in the back. Ordering is pretty simple: You make your order at the counter, take a number and then your meal is delivered to your table.

Starting with a breakfast menu that runs until 11 AM, The Local employs its scratch kitchen to put out a wide range of favorites, with sauces, dressings and even the syrups made in-house. The Breakfast Plate, two eggs, bacon (or sausage) and a side, is cleverly priced at $9.04, as is the Breakfast Bowl. Granola fans can try The Local’s own recipe, either with yogurt, strawberries and bananas ($7) or an açaí smoothie served in a bowl ($9).

Salads come in generous portions, like the Get Chopped ($8.90), with romaine, apples, cucumbers, tomatoes, avocados, goat cheese and almonds with a lemon thyme dressing. The Portobello Philly ($9.04) is a hearty vegetarian sandwich that combines marinated and grilled mushrooms, roasted red peppers, sautéed onions, Provolone and balsamic vinegar on toasted ciabatta. For sides, it’s not a bad idea to stick with the crispy house made chips over the sweet potato home fries ($1.50 upcharge), which came a bit over-salted for our taste.

The Local Crostini ($11.50), a plate of delightful bite-sized pieces of sliced steak, bleu cheese and roasted red peppers on house-made crostini, is available after 5 PM as part of the tapas menu. And while the cheese fries ($8) certainly could have used more cheese, there were plenty enough to share.

All Day Everyday The restaurant is open daily from 7 AM to 10 PM, serving breakfast until 11 AM and tapas after 5 PM.
First-Ades Lemonade and limeade are made in-house and the eatery even has its own low acidity coffee blend from Bold Bean’s Murray Hill roastery.
Grab & Go A case with fresh juices and prepared meals by the front door is ideal for people who don’t have time to sit and eat.

The Local4578 San Jose Blvd. • 904.683.8063 • thelocaljax.com