Restaurant Review: Kitchen on San Marco, Jacksonville FL

Once I turned 21, the Gastropub quickly became one of my favorite kinds of restaurants. I like to go out to bars with friends. When a bar offers food as well, it makes then environment to hangout and relax so much easier. If someone gets hungry, you don’t need to leave. Everyone can get what they want.

Gastropubs are a hybrid between a bar and a restaurant. Now yes, it’s true that many bars serve food. Likewise, most restaurants serve alcohol. It’s really the expectations that are setup by labeling your place of business a gastropub that sets it apart from other places within the food industry. A gastropub typically offers a higher quality, elevated, and fresher experience from the rest. It doesn’t just serve drinks. They create their own using flavors you won’t find anywhere else. Likewise, it doesn’t just offer bar food. Gastropubs take bar food and elevates it to a whole new level. It finds a way to balance familiar flavors with new experiences. The best gastropubs take their unique food and drinks and use them to form their own identity.

Naturally, one of the first spots my wife and I found when we moved out to the west coast was a gastropub. When we moved back to FL, I searched for the same thing. I am happy to say that I think I finally found that place in Jacksonville. Located near the riverside area on San Marco road, Kitchen on San Marco offers a gastropub experience with southern flair.

Kitchen on San Marco Front

Walking into Kitchen on San Marco, I was caught by the atmosphere and service. I made a reservation online ahead of time. We were shown to our table immediately, there was no waiting. I should note that they were not busy at the time. I assume we would have been seated immediately even without the reservation. It was nice to have the option to make one. It picked up by the time we were leaving with satisfied patrons enjoying their meals and time. The restaurant featured a large bar seating area, roomy booths, and high top tables. The atmosphere was warm and inviting. It seemed like the kind of place that allowed for both a nice dinner, or a place to relax and keep the drinks flowing – the perfect combination for a gastropub. Our server was super friendly. She knew the menu well and kept the drinks refilled. She checked on us frequently, but wasn’t annoying. Continue reading

Restaurant Review: Be Our Guest in Disney World, Orlando FL

This is it, my first review for a restaurant outside of Tallahassee. I can’t think of a better place to start with. Full disclosure: My fiancée and I are Disney fanatics. We have been traveling there together since 2007. Being a Florida resident, it isn’t that hard for us to find an excuse to get down there. I even proposed to my fiancée in Downtown Disney. Disney in general, is a special place to us.

Be Our Guest in Disney

Beauty and the Beast also holds a particular place in my heart. One of my other passions (outside of food) is acting. I have been acting for most of my life. In high school, my school was chosen as one of the first to do Beauty and the Beast as play. We were lucky enough to get some original costumes from the Broadway production. Our set and actors were top notch. We entered the play into state competition and were chosen to perform the show at Morsoni Hall in Tampa, Florida for all the other competing high schools in Florida. This is a huge honor. Hundreds of schools enter and less than ten are selected. Performing at states was the only time I have ever performed on a professional stage. There were 2,552 people who saw us perform that show and many that got turned away (we sold out). It is an experience I will never forget.

Be Our Guest in Disney

Don’t let it fool you though. This isn’t a biased review. When we went to dinner at Be Our Guest, we also brought my sister, niece, nephew, and brother-in-law. We all had the same opinion.

For those of you who don’t know, Be Our Guest is a new restaurant in the Magic Kingdom. It’s part of their “New Fantasy Land”. During the day time, Be Our Guest is a quick service restaurant. At night, it becomes a sit down restaurant. This Beauty and the Beast themed restaurant is modeled after three different parts of the Beast’s castle.

Be Our Guest in Disney

The main dining room  Continue reading

Restaurant Review: Backwoods Bistro, Tallahassee FL

I wasn’t sure what to expect going into Backwoods Bistro. On the one hand, the people I had known who had eaten in their original location in Sopchoppy FL seemed to love the place. On the other hand, the people I knew who had eaten at their Tallahassee location weren’t impressed. What did I know about the place? I knew it was built in a building that used to house a comedy club. That’s it. I didn’t even know what kind of food they served. I had no idea if it was a nice restaurant or a causal restaurant. The one thing I did know? I was hungry.

Backwoods bistro

Walking into the place,

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Restaurant Review: Joe Mama’s Wood Fired Pizza, Tallahassee FL

I had a fantastic opportunity today thanks to the Tallahassee Food Bloggers Association (#tfba). The group got together for the first time and went behind the scenes of a new restaurant in Tallahassee. That restaurant was Joe Mama’s Wood Fired Pizza. Special thanks to the TFBA and Joe Mama’s manager, Devon Nunneley for getting this event together.

During the event, I got to explore the restaurant. I met the chefs, owner, managers, staff, fellow local food bloggers, saw the kitchen, wood fire oven, food preparation, learn about their family/restaurant story and their food philosophy.

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There was a lot of great, in depth nerdy food knowledge that I learned at Joe Mama’s, especially concerning pizza. Here are some of the things I think the average food goer and foodie would want to know: Continue reading

Restaurant Review: Vertigo Burgers and Fries, Tallahassee FL

I have secretly been waiting for Vertigo Burgers and Fries for months. Vertigo comes from the minds of the owners of Cypress, a restaurant I have always wanted to try but haven’t been able to. The rumors of how high a bill can get had scared me away (for now). One day, I was browsing urbantallahassee.com and I found out about Vertigo. Ever since then I have been stalking Vertigo’s website and Facebook group waiting for a hint of their opening date. That day has finally come, but the question remains, did it live up to the hype I built for it in my head?

Find out after the break
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Food Truck Review: Knawty Hawg Tallahassee, FL

I want to start by apologizing for the delay in posts recently. Between, work, grad school, and wedding planning, I just have not had the time to post on here as frequently as I would like to. However, I can assure you posts will become more frequent soon.

To keep with my BBQ theme, I decided to make my next review a BBQ food truck. Expect my next post to be my Barbecue sauce recipe, followed quickly by my pulled pork recipe.

The food truck in question, is the Knawty-Hawg truck usually located on Tennessee St. near Ocala.

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Restaurant Review: Korean BBQ and More, Tallahassee FL

As my time being a graduate student comes to an end, a new point in my life beings. In anticipation of this, I will be moving to the other side of town, away from Florida States campus, next year. One of the things I am going to miss most about the student side of town is Korean BBQ and more.

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Restaurant Review: Jason’s Deli Tallahassee, FL

Recently, when I have heard the words “Jason” and “Deli” in the same sentence, I have only heard one of two responses. I have heard either “that place is really good” or “that place is always packed, is it any good”? The second response made it easy to decide my next place to review. I am happy to report that yes, Jason’s Deli is good.

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Restaurant Review: Newk’s Express Cafe Tallahassee, FL

This week I have a guest review from one of my best friends (and fellow foodie). If you want my opinion here’s the short version. The food was ok, but I wouldn’t go back unless someone else picked the restaurant. Now, on to the review.

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Restaurant Review: Your Pie Tallahassee FL

I went to “Your Pie” only knowing two things about it. I knew it was a new pizza place in Tallahassee and that it was a chain restaurant. The concept initially sounded great to me. “Your Pie” is a make your own pizza place – subway style. I couldn’t help but think who doesn’t want to make their own pizza? After all, people are particular about their pizza toppings. That’s when it hit me. Who doesn’t already customize their pizza order? I mean yes, if you order a pizza one might choose a meat lovers pizza, a white pie, etc. However, even though most places offer a choice of specialty pies, all the pizza places I have ever been to allow me to customize my pizza as well.

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