Country Cottage of Jacksonville, Bakery & Tea Room
The first time I tried to go to eat at the Country Cottage of Jacksonville, it was Sunday morning. Travis, my fianc? and I awoke early and drove out to Jacksonville ready to fill our stomachs with our favorite combination of eggs and cheese. But sadly, the Country Cottage is still operating in their winter hours and they are only open Monday thru Thursday, 11am-3pm. So we ended up back in Ashland at one of our favorite establishments.
Thursday, I set out on my lunch break from work, and headed out again to the Country Cottage. As I pull up to the restaurant, I notice that the place is truly a small cottage; it suddenly strikes me how tiny it is. When I walk in the door, the place is totally packed. Not an empty seat anywhere. I go up to the counter where the waitress cheerfully greets me and offers me some tea while I wait on the patio for a free table inside. Personally, I don’t really like to walk into a small space full of people, so even though it was a little chilly outside I was happy to take a seat outside and wait.
I waited about 10 minutes sipping on my earl gray, until a table was ready for me. The d?cor inside is modest, perfect for the first day of spring. Pink linens on the tables under glass table tops, with white plastic chairs. There is large beautiful mural on one wall depicting a country setting. Large vines are attached to the ceiling and walls, with faux flowers on them. The crowd inside is definitely the older set. By the looks of it, I am the youngest one there aside from the kids that are out to lunch with their grandma.
The menu consists of lunch items, as they are currently only open for lunch. There are plenty of hot sandwiches and gourmet salads to choose from. All the soups and salads are homemade. I see that a woman at a table near me is eating the Chili and Corn Muffin Bowl; it’s a homemade three bean and ground beef chili, with shredded cheddar cheese, red onions and a corn muffin. I eyeball the salad side of the menu, there’s a Chinese Chicken Salad, and a Pepperoncini Salad that looks good, it has smoked turkey, mixed greens, pepproncini, tomato, jack cheese, red onion and ranch.
Since I’ve been dieting a lot lately, I’m going to take a break from salad and go for the hearty stuff. I decide on the famous lunch special for $8.95. It’s half a sandwich, with choice of a green salad, potato salad or cup of soup and a cookie. The sandwich I chose was an Italian Hoagie, it has pastrami, melted Swiss cheese topped with grilled onion, pickle, and tomato with mayonnaise and Dijon mustard. The waitress said that it was her favorite sandwich.
By the time I got my plate the whole lunch rush had cleared out. I had the place all to myself! The waitress did a good job of keeping me well supplied with hot water for my tea. I have to say; it was a really big half for half of a sandwich. It had nice thin slices of meat and big chunks of tomato. Man, was it delicious! Also I chose to get potato salad with my sandwich. The potato salad was really yummy it had the potato skins in it and not very much if any mayonnaise, just the way I like it. Somehow they also managed to get vegetables that are way fresher than I’ve been able to get at the grocery store. Really crisp cucumbers and radish slices garnished my plate as well as fresh fruit.
The new owner has been running Country Cottage for only about a year. At the front counter they also have a glass case of wonderful bakery items, moist coffee cakes and cookies. Apparently their baker is also a teacher at a local elementary school and she comes in at night and bakes all their bakery treats.
All in all it’s a great place to at least stop for some tea and a baked goodie. I know I’ll be back when I have more room in my stomach for some of the treats.