Jacksonville Magazine’s 50 Best Restaurants in Jacksonville 2019

The Cole Slate Team
The Cole Slate Team
Published on January 15, 2020

ChopHouse Thirteen Review – 1/11/20
Cole Slate – St. Johns, Florida

First of all, I’d like to preface the review of our experience with the statement that everyone has off nights. I have been to ChopHouse Thirteen on multiple occasions where everything has exceeded expectations. ChopHouse Thirteen allows our industry to host numerous networking events in their bar area, and private room(s), as well as a handful of Best Buddies events (Which y’all know is the way to my heart…). Most recently, I even hosted my Team’s holiday dinner at ChopHouse Thirteen. They allowed us to dine in their private room at no additional cost, or minimums, and allowed my friend Britney to wait on us, even though she’s usually behind the bar or working the bar dining area.

All of that being said…

We had a party of four, a cute little double date; and we decided to sit in the bar dining area. This way Geoff and I could watch the NFL Playoffs, while our much better looking significant others could discuss baking and… stuff 💁🏼‍♀️.

We ordered our non-alcoholic beverages, a couple tap waters for the fellas, a tea for Sam, and of course Laura’s fancy Pellegrino. Laura asked for mint for her water (I know… 🙄), but that was actually never addressed by the waitress. My assumption would be that they do have mint, thanks to their full bar (I’m sure they make mojitos and such).

Geoff ordered a red wine, but that was the only adult beverage at our table. I had mentioned maybe getting a cocktail to the waitress, but she never brought it back up (Nor did I). Maybe she missed out on an up-sale. I’m very easily peer pressured by wait staffs. Haha!

We ordered the two appetizer specials, escargot and deviled eggs. The escargot special is one that Laura and I regularly have, and we always enjoy. The deviled eggs were good, but just didn’t blow me away I guess. Or maybe Laura’s are just really good? ChopHouse Thirteen’s deviled eggs seems fairly standard, with the addition of a small piece of bacon on a few, and some mustard seeds, I think, on the others. Like I said, good but not 🤯.

Next was dinner, and the steak temperatures were where our experience became unfortunate. Luckily, my rare bone-in ribeye was cooked to perfection! Cool red center, if it were still mooing, that would have also been acceptable. Geoff’s filet was over cooked, but he inhaled it anyways. Sam ordered her steak Pittsburgh rare, which essentially means an exterior sear/ char with a rare center. Her rare initially came out ideal, but definitely lacking the outside char. Sam sent it back, as would I, to add that char. As she actually predicted, they put the same piece of meat back on the grill. This improved the exterior situation, but over cooked the interior. Laura’s filet came out over cooked too. She sent it back, and it returned over cooked again. She sent it back for a second time reiterating to the waitress that if the filet returned to the table bleeding, that was O-K! The filet came back, and it was far from bleeding. At minimum, it was medium, perhaps medium well. I really hate returning food, honestly, but for these price tags, I want Laura to be loving her steak! Since I am really not wanting to cause a problem, I felt it was appropriate to request the manager’s opinion. That didn’t help… “It looks red to me.”

We enjoyed the sides we chose: Risotto, broccoli, crispy brussels 👈🏻 table favorite, and the lobster mac and cheese. We did think the lobster mac and cheese was lacking the lobster portion a bit. I believe a joke was made for whoever found a piece of lobster would get a prize or something? Regardless, it was still good.

All in all, the experience wasn’t terrible. I’ve personally had enough positive experiences at ChopHouse Thirteen, that will out-weight this negative one. BUT for the prices and product they are trying to deliver, I would have expected the situation handled a little differently. Ruth’s Chris, Capital Grill, and III Forks would have all gone above and beyond to fix a similar situation. The ChopHouse Thirteen staff was incredibly friendly, super apologetic, but there was not an above-and-beyond warm and fuzzy to make up for the experience. Sam’s steak was comped, as it should have been, because she sent her’s back and ate the sides for her dinner. After sending her steak back twice, and settling for their third attempt that “Looked red,” Laura’s steak was not comped, nor was any attempt made on our bill to earn a return visit.

ChopHouse Thirteen’s support of my industry and Best Buddies is enough to earn my business again. I think it’s fortunate for them that it was me and not a first timer (Like Geoff and Sam) that endured such a dinner. I can’t promise they’ll be back…

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