Forget Jack, Jill Wants a Snack! Jacksonville restaurants Taste Trekkers Guest Forget Jack, Jill wants a snack!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Blind Rabbit

I have heard nothing but good things about The Blind Rabbit, and I have had lots of friends tell me I needed to go there, so we did! They have 2 locations, one at the beach and one in Riverside. We visited the Riverside location since it was closer to home.

 We decided on the Poutine for our appetizer. For those of you unfamiliar with a Poutine, it is Hand-Cut Fries, Pork Belly, Tasso Ham, Cheese Curds, and Gravy....aka delicious! The gravy had a very nice taste and the fries were crispy.

I got The Holick Burger for my entree. It had a Sunny Side Egg, Intuition Braised Pork Belly, Tomato, Arugula, Homemade Bread & Butter Pickles, Lemon Aioli, on a Brioche Bun. I thought the burger was very good, but it didn't really need the pork belly. I don't think it did anything for the burger and it wasn't very flavorful. However, the rest of the burger was great. I got mac and cheese on the side. It was very creamy and the topping was crunchy and flavorful.

My husband got the Blues Burger, which had Maytag Blue Cheese, Caramelized Onions, Lettuce, Tomato, Homemade Bread & Butter Pickles, and a Brioche Bun. He has been craving a good burger and said that this one hit the spot! He got fries on the side.

Verdict: Liked it
We really liked everything and were pleasantly surprised. We didn't try any whiskey on this trip, but  they have a very large whiskey menu for those who are interested. While the prices are not outrageous, they are a little higher than some burger places in town. Still, I think it is definitely worth it. We plan on visiting again soon!

The Blind Rabbit - A Burger & Whiskey Bar on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 13, 2014

Tropical Smoothie

When you think of Tropical Smoothie you don't think about them having food. I mean they are a smoothie place after all! Well we took a trip out there for dinner to try out a few different menu items. I wanted to try a few different things so we got 4 different items and shared everything. 

We tried one of their limited time menu items, Spicy Mongolian Steak Bowl. It had Steak, red & green peppers, baby spinach, scallions and noodles with sesame seeds and Spicy Asian BBQ Sauce. To be totally honest, we did not like this at all. It came in a plastic container which immediately gives the impression of a microwave meal. It actually tasted like one as well. I was expecting a nice, fresh steamed noodle dish, but this tasted and looked like it came right out of a freezer.

Next up was the Buffalo Chicken Wrap. It had Chicken, Low-Fat Mozzarella, Tomatoes, Romaine, Buffalo Sauce, Light Ranch in a Toasted Flour Tortilla. I actually ordered mine without the tomatoes, but the wrap still had them in there. It wouldn't have been so bad if it was a few, but it was loaded with them. I ended up picking them all out and moving on. The actual taste of the wrap was very good, but it didn't have that much chicken in there. It was more tomatoes than anything.

Our next wrap was the Thai Chicken. It had Chicken, Wontons, Carrots, Sesame Seeds, Romaine, Thai Peanut Dressing in a Toasted Flour Tortilla. I hate to say it, but we weren't a huge fan of this one either. Just like the buffalo chicken, there wasn't much chicken in the wrap. However, there were tons of carrots. 

Our last item was the best of them all, Chiptole Chicken Club Flatbread. It had Chicken, Pepper Jack, Bacon, Romaine, Tomatoes & Chipotle Mayo on a Toasted Flatbread. We really liked the bread, and it had a very nice flavor to it.

Verdict: It was ok.
It's not that anything was bad, it just wasn't what I was expecting. I could see Tropical Smoothie being a great place to swing by for lunch if you are in the area. I really liked the flatbread and I would like to go back and try some of the other ones that they offer. 

I intentionally did not review any smoothies on this trip. I have had them before and they are great, but I wanted this review to be on the food only.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 29, 2014

Corner Bakery Cafe

I was lucky enough to attend the pre-grand opening celebration at Corner Bakery Cafe this past weekend with the Yelp crew. The restaurant is located on Bonneval Rd and JTB. It is in a great location that is easily accessible from 95. They have indoor and outdoor seating and lots of parking. 

We were treated to a sampling of many different menu items, and they were all delicious! Here are the goods:

Buttermilk Pancakes - So light and fluffy!

Anaheim Scrambler - Scrambled eggs, tomatoes, green onion, bacon, and avocado. The avocado was what really made it special. They also have a breakfast panini with the same ingredients!

Pesto Cavatappi - Grilled Chicken, pesto cream sauce, sprinkled with bread crumbs. I might or might not have grabbed seconds when they offered.

 Zesty Chicken Tortilla Soup - Chicken, corn, black beans, and roasted poblano peppers topped with tortilla strips. Just a little bit spicy and a lot yummy!

Turkey on Pretzel -  Smoked turkey with shaved red onions, tomatoes, caraway Havarti cheese and stone-ground mustard-mayo. I really liked the bun. It was very soft and even had some salt on it!

 Chicken Pomodori on Sourdough - chicken, fresh basil and spinach, oven-roasted tomatoes and provolone cheese with pesto mayo. So many great ingredients all melted together!

Cheesecake Brownie. Just look at it. You know that thing was good!!

Verdict: Loved it!!
I can't wait to go back and try some other menu items, especially the desserts!

Corner Bakery Cafe on Urbanspoon

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Promised Land Moo Crew!

Every now and then I like to break up the reviews with some awesome food news or giveaways. I was recently contacted by Promised Land about their new Moo Crew program.I got my kit in the mail and I can honestly say that it's pretty cool! There is a nice shirt, a membership card, and some coupons in there! It doesn't cost anything to sign up, so go do it! In case you are wondering, I checked and Publix sells Promised Land in the Jacksonville area.

 I also wanted to share the following press release that has all the info and how to sign up:

 Promised Land Dairy Leads the Herd with New Ambassador Program

“Moo Crew” Membership Offered to Promised Land Superfans

(DALLAS) June 25, 2014 – From driving more than 500 miles to stock up on fresh bottles of Promised Land milk, to spreading love for the brand across the web, Promised Land Dairy’s fans are truly one-of-a-kind. Now, the premium line of all-natural dairy products is offering VIP access to its most dedicated fans. Beginning June 25, the “Moo Crew” program will provide members with insider updates, coupons, contests and rewards for demonstrating outstanding brand loyalty.

Fans can sign up for Moo Crew membership by visiting the Promised Land Facebook page or and filling out a special survey. The survey asks fans a series of questions such as “What’s the craziest thing you would do to get a bottle of Promised Land milk?” and “What’s your favorite Promised Land product?” The sign-up process also gives fans the option to sign up for VIP “Moo-Mails” from Promised Land, in addition to exclusive insider emails. Upon joining the Moo Crew, members receive a VIP welcome package that includes a membership card and limited edition Moo Crew t-shirt, among other surprises.

“Just like our special Jersey cows, our fans are one-of-a-kind, and we’ve created the Moo Crew program to satisfy their thirst for knowledge and insider scoop. Think of it as a backstage pass for our Promised Land fans,” said Allen Spence of Promised Land Dairy. “We want to reward our fans for supporting Promised Land over the years and sharing our excitement for new flavors and developments. With the launch of the Moo Crew, we are now able to connect with our fans more than ever."

Promised Land’s array of products comprises white milks, creams and its highly desirable variety of flavored milks. White milks include Homogenized Whole, Reduced Fat 2% and Fat Free. Promised Land’s core flavored milks include Midnight Chocolate, Very Berry Strawberry and Cookies N’ Cream. Promised Land also offers seasonal flavors such as Marvelous Mocha, Cotton Candy, Southern Pralines N’ Cream, Double Cream White Chocolate, Peaches N’ Cream, Cinnamon Vanilla and Egg Nog.

All Promised Land products come from pampered, “cream of the crop” Jersey cows that naturally produce creamier, nutrient rich milk. Promised Land products are completely free of artificial hormones, artificial flavors and antibiotics.

About Promised Land Dairy
The secret to Promised Land’s decadent, delicious dairy products begins with a cherished herd of Jersey cows. Promised Land’s founders believed that better milk comes from better cows, and Promised Land Jerseys are the cream of the crop. These divine bovines have delighted customers with naturally creamier, nutrient-rich milk for more than 25 years. Since its founding on a small, family-owned farm in Floresville, Texas, Promised Land has continued the tradition of sustainable sourcing, providing only the highest quality care for its beloved Jerseys. You won’t find any artificial hormones, artificial flavors or antibiotics in Promised Land products. Just premium, all-natural ingredients that combine to create an unforgettable flavor experience. From unique notes of Cotton Candy, Pralines N’ Cream and Cookies N’ Cream to classic favorites like Midnight Chocolate and Very Berry Strawberry, Promised Land’s array of products please every palate. For a map of store locations that carry Promised Land products and more information, visit or

Thursday, September 4, 2014

House of Dog

We were invited to the grand opening celebration of House of Dog in Mandarin. They are located in the Bonefish shopping plaza near 295. We walked in and felt like we were transported to a different city. The place is unlike any other place in Jax! The decor is very whimsical and up-cycled. The tables are wood with old tin signs as the tabletops, and there are vintage signs all over the restaurant. The place just has a cool vibe...and they play some great rock music!

We were treated to an assortment of menu items including Pastrami, Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Onion Rings, Fries, and Chicken Tenders. Everything was extremely delicious, but the one thing that won me over was that they had pretzel buns!!!! If you have ever had one, then you can understand how exciting this is. Pretzel buns are very popular in other cities, but they haven't caught on in Jacksonville yet. I'm really hoping that changes soon, because pretzel buns are amazing!


Verdict: Loved it!
This place has some serious potential! It seems like a fun place to go hang out (they have a bar area) after a long day at work. The food was outstanding, and they have a very large menu that is Kosher! As I said earlier, I'm particularly fond of the pretzel buns, but I don't want to downplay the food. The flavor combinations are unique and the burgers were thick and juicy! We we definitely be back soon!

House of Dog on Urbanspoon

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Pig Bar-B-Q Restaurant

I'm all about BBQ, so I'm always up for trying new BBQ places in town.The Pig Bar-B-Q Restaurant has been around for a while, but this is a new location for them. I went out there with my parents on evening to try them out. I got the Turkey Sandwich (minus the bun) with Mac & cheese and fried corn. The meal was not bad, but it wasn't impressive either. The turkey was thinly sliced and was a little dry. The mac & cheese was not very good at all, and y'all know that I am a mac & cheese connoisseur. Now I do have to say that the fried corn was pretty good.

My dad got a Pulled Pork Sandwich with Fries and baked beans.
 My mom got a Turkey sandwich with baked potato and cole slaw.

Verdict: Didn't like it.
It's not that it was bad, but it wasn't really good either. The food was just basic and didn't stand out at all. With so many other BBQ places in Jax, I don't think we will be going back. I will say that our waitress was great. She was very friendly and attentive. Now the other waitresses, I'm not sure about. One in particular kept staring at me and talking about me to other waitresses (they would look when she was talking). I'm not sure what that was about, but it was very uncomfortable. If I would have been there with just my husband, we would have definitely left without even eating.

The Pig Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon

Three F(x) Ice Cream & Waffles

I have heard a lot of buzz lately about Three F(x) Ice Cream & Waffles, so I was eager to try them out. They have such a unique concept to making their ice cream...they make it right in front of you! You select the flavor and how you want it made (whole milk, skim milk, soy, yogurt, etc), then you select 2 toppings. They mix the flavor by blender, then bring the liquid over to the cold plates. Then they work the ice cream all over the plate until it's frozen.

 We have been a few times now and we are hooked! They don't just make ice cream, you can also get Taiyaki, which is basically a fish shaped waffle with your choice of filling. Those things are amazing!! Get the Nutella one, you can thank me later.


Verdict: LOVED IT! 
While the ice cream is not the best in Jax, it's more about the experience and the ability to customize that makes this a winner. The Taiyaki is unique and absolutely delicious. The waffle portion tastes like a butter cake and the addition of the filling makes this a must have dessert! Three F(x) is one if those places that is great for everyone (including families), and I highly recommend it!

Three F(x) Ice Cream & Waffles on Urbanspoon

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Amazing Deal Alert!! Firehouse Subs


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Firehouse Subs® has entered into a partnership with the Jacksonville Jaguars this 2014-2015 NFL season to celebrate the team’s fans. As a sponsor of the Jaguars, Firehouse Subs hopes to introduce its signature steamed sandwiches to new customers through a variety of in-stadium, radio and television programs, which will showcase the restaurant’s newest promotional offer, “Field Goals for Firehouse.” Through the offer, Jaguars fans can score a free medium sub* from participating Firehouse Subs restaurants when the Jaguars kick a field goal of 40 yards or more.

The partnership between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Firehouse Subs also supports an ongoing commitment to give back to the local community and the brave first responders who protect it. The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation® will donate life-saving equipment to several Jacksonville-area public safety organizations during pre-game festivities at the Oct. 19 matchup against the Cleveland Browns. 

*Free medium sub with purchase of chips and medium drink. One sub per offer. Valid at participating restaurants in the following areas: Charleston, S.C., Gainesville, Fla., Jacksonville, Fla., Orlando, Fla., Savannah, Ga., Tallahassee, Fla.

About Firehouse Subs
Firehouse Subs® is a fast casual restaurant chain with a passion for Hearty and Flavorful Food, Heartfelt Service and Public Safety. Founded by brothers and former firefighters Chris Sorensen and Robin Sorensen, Firehouse Subs is a brand built on decades of fire and police service, steaming hot subs piled higher with the highest quality meats and cheeses, and its commitment to saving lives through the creation of Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation®. The founders are the real deal, the food is their creation, and the company is built upon a family of franchise operators who share their same passion for serving others. In 2014, Firehouse Subs debuted nationwide a new low-calorie menu, Hearty & Flavorful, Under 500 calories. Firehouse Subs consistently ranks No. 1 among fast casual brands in the categories of food quality, friendly service, and taste and flavor. In 2014, Firehouse Subs was ranked No. 1 fast casual chain by Restaurant Business Magazine; consumers ranked the brand No. 1 for sandwich, friendly service, and accommodating children in the Market Force Information Study; and Firehouse Subs was ranked No. 1 consumer choice for pleasant and friendly service by Technomic’s 2014 Chain Restaurant Consumers’ Choice Awards.

Quick Facts
42 states 
800+ restaurants
$10.1 million donated to public safety organizations
Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla.
Head on over to the Jaguars website to sign up!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Newk's Eatery

Last week I was invited out to Newk's in the River City Marketplace. I have been to Newk's before (on Southside Blvd), but have only been to this location once about a year ago. We went on a Tuesday night, which happens to be the same night my favorite soup is available, and double points night! You can download their app and earn one point per dollar every time you visit. Once you get to 100 points, you get a free meal!
We were immediately greeted when we walked in and placed our order at the counter. That is one thing that I love about Newk's, they have great customer service. From the front counter staff to the bus boys, everyone is extremely friendly and helpful. To me that's very important. I love to see that level of customer because I feel that not many places make it a priority anymore. Very refreshing.

For my dinner I got Four Cheese Mac and Cheese, and Loaded Potato soup. Yes, I know that's starchy but you only live once. I am very critical of mac and cheese, and I approve. It is nice and crispy on the top while being cheesy and gooey on the inside. The soup is my favorite soup of any restaurant anywhere. It has potato chunks, bacon pieces, sour cream, and green onions. I love to order a half side of bread to dip in there (along with my bread sticks of course!)


Ivan got the Pepperoni Pizza. That's another thing I love about Newk's, the menu is so diverse. Sometimes you are in the mood for soup but your spouse wants pizza...problem solved! Even though they are not a pizzeria, they still make a mean pizza! There are lots of different types and I have get to get a bad one!

Verdict: Loved it!
 There are many things to love about Newk's, so I suggest you go and find out for yourself!

Newks Eatery on Urbanspoon

Saturday, August 2, 2014

San Diego ~ Special Travel Edition!

We recently had the privilege of visiting the beautiful city of San Diego for Comic-Con! The event was pretty amazing, but I was also looking forward to all of that great California food!

Las Cuatro Milpas
 Since San Diego is so close to Mexico, we originally planned on taking a trip down to Tijuana for some authentic Mexican food. We weren't able to make that happen on this trip, but that doesn't mean we didn't find some awesome authentic Mexican food anyway! I found Las Cuatro Milpas while searching Yelp and Urbanspoon. The reviews looked great, so we decided to give it a shot...and we are so glad we did! Everything is ordered a la cart, which is good for me since I wanted to try a bunch of things!
The line!! It moves fast so don't get discouraged.
 Order at the counter and they make it right in front of you.
 Pork Burrito
 Pork Tacos
 Rice and Beans. These are literally the best I have had in my life!! There were bits of egg in there and the whole thing had this amazing flavor!
 Rolled Tacos - Pork
 Homemade Tortillas. Absolutely delicious!
 House Hot Sauce. I loved this stuff. It's not too hot and had a wonderful flavor. I put it on everything I ate!

  Verdict: Loved it!!! 
It was 100% authentic and the food was some of the best Mexican I have had. If you are in the area, you have to try them out. I know that every time I visit San Diego, I will stop in more than once!!

After a long day at Comic-Con with just a couple of snacks to munch on, we were dying for some comfort food. I found Bruxie and knew we had to go there!

Bacon, Egg & Cheddar - Tillamook Cheddar, Mayo and Applewood Smoked Bacon
 This was as delicious as it sounds (and looks!) The perfect bit of comfort food. I loved how the bacon was sliced into smaller pieces since you got a little bacon with every bite.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Waffle - Chili Honey & Cider Slaw
The chicken was so juicy that it dripped onto the plate when you took a bite! This was exactly what I needed. So savory and flavorful. The honey gave it a little kick and was a welcome addition.

Irish Nachos - Crispy Waffle Fries With Homemade Cheese Sauce, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Sour Cream & Chives
 These fries were sooooo good! A waffle place would naturally have some waffle fries, and I was happy because I love those! The fries were smothered with cheesy goodness and almost every fry was cheesy. I could eat these as a meal...every day of my life.

Verdict: Loved it!!
This was exactly what we were craving and hit the spot. My only regret is that I didn't get a dessert waffle. Those looked so good, but we were already planning on going somewhere else for dessert so we didn't get one. Still sad about that, but there is always next time! 

 The Baked Bear on Urbanspoon 

  This is the dessert place we went to after the waffles! We were in the mood for ice cream, and this place looked perfect. Chocolate chip cookies are my #1 dessert choice, so an ice cream sandwich place? Yes please!

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Cookie Dough Ice Cream. I'm not lying at all when I say that these are the yummiest chocolate chip cookies I have ever eaten! They were so soft and chewy!
 Ivan got a Red Velvet cookie on the top, Macadamia White Chocolate cookie on the bottom, with Oreo ice cream.

Verdict: Loved it!
I mean really, what's not to love?! The cookies and ice cream were outstanding, so the combination of the two were out of this world!

Zia Gourmet Pizza

We couldn't visit California without trying some pizza. Zia Gourmet Pizza has some odd topping combinations, so we decided to give them a try. My husband and I never want the same thing, so we decided on a half and half pizza. We got half The New Yorker (turkey pastrami combined with
scallions, pepperoncinis, light cream cheese, fresh basil and topped with mozzarella), half Potato(rosemary potatoes combined with fresh garlic, scallions, feta, lean cream cheese and
topped with mozzarella). I mainly got potato because it's something that I would have never thought to add on a pizza.

 The New Yorker

Verdict: Liked It.
Everything was very tasty and the ingredients seemed fresh, but we weren't blown away by the pizzas. I do like that they take pride in their pizza and value their reputation. They told me that they do not serve chicken anymore because it tends to dry out in the pizza oven. Attention to detail like that earns points in my book.

 Stacked is one of those hip new places that you would expect to see in  California. The concept is very interesting, you pay for what you get. If you add ingredients you pay more. If you remove ingredients, you pay less. I really like that! We were seated then our waitress came over to tell us a little about the place and how to order. It was super cool that you can order on an iPad! We placed our order and it came out rather quickly. We were a little disappointed to learn that the burger is just a burger, no side items come with it. You have to order everything separate. At $10+ a burger, it really should come with something else. That was a little off-putting to tell you the truth.

I got Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese. The taste was great, but the ingredients were very sparse. I had the equivalent of one small chicken tender, and a tiny amount of buffalo sauce, bread crumbs, and ranch. I wasn't even able to taste the ranch, I just saw a tiny bit on there. When you are paying for each ingredient, that is very frustrating.

 Ivan got the Stack N Bleu, which had a pretzel bun, roasted shallot mayo, bleu cheese, applewood smoked bacon, crispy onion strings with a drizzle of balsamic glaze. He said it was a very good burger, but he really wished he had some fries.

Verdict: It was ok, but we won't be going back.
The food was good, but the value and service was not. Once we placed our order, we never saw the waitress again until we were about to leave. Someone different brought out the food and we were never given silverware or napkins. We had to hit the call button on the iPad to get someone to come over and give us napkins, and she seemed very bothered by us asking. Another issue, I wasn't sure how to tip. Who am I tipping? I did most of the work myself but I would feel like a cheap skate if I tipped less than 15%. And to top it all off, we were still hungry when we left. That is unacceptable, especially when you paid $30+ for the meal. We were thinking about ordering a dessert, but 1. We didn't want to give them any more money, and 2. I was trying to hurry and catch the sunset.
My other passion is photography. It's a good thing we left when we did, or I would not have been able to get this sunset shot down at the pier!