Located off the beaten path in historic Avondale, Pinegrove Market and Deli has been serving the community quality, premium meats for more than 60 years. For the third year in a row, the neighborhood eatery won Best Deli in Jacksonville.com’s 2017 Bold City Best competition.
Owned and operated by the Bajalia family since 1968, the deli began as a grocery and meat market.
“When my father bought the place, he worked to establish a good name in this neighborhood for nearly 50 years,” said Nader Bajalia, owner. “He built a reputation in the community, and it’s our duty to uphold that, and we take that seriously.”
Today, the full-service restaurant and meat market serves breakfast, lunch and dinner Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The wide range of foods includes classics like Grove Pancakes for breakfast and dry-aged steak for dinner.
On any given day, you’ll find brothers and owners Nader and Ronald Bajalia behind the counter offering their best cuts and a friendly smile.
“We’re unique in that we are the owners, but you’ll always find us here,” Nader said. We’re dedicated to our business, our community, and our friends and family that come into our shop. A lot of people who come in know us on a first-name basis. We know families here, and we’ve watched their kids grow up and bring their kids here.”
While its reputation in the community gets customers in the door at Pinegrove Market and Deli, the food keeps them coming back. You won’t find any pre-packaged meat or frozen foods here. The focus is on high-quality, premium cuts and fresh ingredients to create the best possible foods.
“Because we have the knowledge to recognize quality meats, we are able to serve only premium cuts,” Nader said. “Everything we serve — from meats, to fresh veggies — are all high quality, premium products.”
In addition to consistent quality, the brothers specialize in unique creations. From the popular Steak-In-A-Sack, which features center-cut sirloin sautéed with mushrooms, onions, bell peppers and cheese in a pita, to Jimmy's Hot Press, named after a local who enjoyed the unique flavors of smoked turkey, homemade Tabouli and baby Swiss cheese in a pressed pita, there’s a wide array of menu items for new and returning customers to try.
“If you want to separate yourself from the rest, you have to be a little different. But, if you’re going to be the same, you have to be the best. That’s why we offer unique sandwiches, and the best of the classics people love,” Nader said.
Not only do they have plenty to choose from to satisfy any appetite, the portions are generous as well.
“We don’t skimp on what we serve,” Ronald said. “We pride ourselves on giving customers the best possible product, and a good portion for a fair price.”
As for the future, the Bajalia family isn’t planning to go anywhere. The restaurant will soon undergo an interior enhancement to its indoor dining area.
“We know customers love the look and feel of our place, so we’re just going to accentuate everything they love about it and make it even better,” Nader said.
The deli is a pillar of the community, and the family is looking forward to being here for years to come.
“People are part of something here,” Ronald said. “They are part of our family, and we plan to keep that tradition alive.”
Stop by Pinegrove Market and Deli at 1511 Pinegrove Ave., Jacksonville, or visit pinegrovemarket.com for more information.
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