16 January

The Public House brings Euro pub grub to Baymeadows East

The Florida Times-Union originally published this article on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 in its Dining section. This is the unedited version of the same article. Read the Times-Union version. For several years, a steady stream of small-chain, fast-casual comfort food outlets have come and gone from the eastern edge of the Point Meadows shopping center […]

23 November

Flying Iguana brings fusion flavors to Beaches Town Center

The following restaurant review was printed in the November 21, 2013 Taste section of the Florida Times-Union. Gritty, longtime dining spot gives way to upgraded, trendy “it” establishment. For the past two years, that’s been an all-too-familiar scenario in the Beaches dining scene. One of the latest to fall was Neptune Beach’s Sun Dog Diner, […]

4 April

Something Saucy’s Sizzling in St. Johns

The folks behind the new Saucy Taco have a good thing cooking in the Julington Village shopping center. They have remade a revolving-door storefront with a mix of craft beer, vintage automotive décor, flat screens, and a friendly-Mex menu dripping in good tastes. And when I say “friendly-Mex,” think family-friendly flavors with salads, tortas, Mexican-style […]

21 March

How to Go Greek on Gate Parkway

A version of this review appeared in the Thursday, March 21, 2013 edition of the Florida Times-Union. It’s a treat to find a neighborhood restaurant these days where food quality and service upstage ad budgets, free Wi-Fi and slick websites. Especially the kind that dares to roam within range of the chain-crazy St. Johns Town […]

15 February

Looking for a Bite on Saturday Night: Town Center Blight Leaves Bitter Taste

Is it just me, or has the St. Johns Town Center become a super-sized victim of its own success? I don’t want to go anymore.  I can’t explain it from a physiological standpoint, but lately I get a case of the nerves just thinking about the drive to the shopping behemoth. Not to even get […]

4 January

The Salty Fig Joins Riverside Gastropub Scene: This Should Be Gastrofun

The following review is an unabridged version of the same review posted to Yelp.com on January 4, 2013.  I love staycations and take them often. One of my favorite rituals is to hit up as many new and/or exotic lunching spots as possible … as in the ones you can’t shoe-horn into a neat and […]

15 July

Dig These New Island Imports at Jacksonville’s Bahama Breeze

Long before Bahama Breeze set up shop at the St. Johns Town Center in 2010, I had been steeped in the Darden chain’s island-inspired fare and colorful cocktails from my upbringing in Orlando’s culinary melting pot. And from many grueling happy hour testing sessions, I can say with scientific precision that their appetizers/small plates and […]

26 June

‘Tis the Season: Summer Springs Fresh Tastes at Seasons 52

For my faithful blog followers who like to keep score at home, we just passed the summer solstice, which for this writer means an invite to the seasonal “up-front” at Darden’s Seasons 52. And like the up-fronts you hear about in the advertising world, this event’s likewise chock-full of anticipation, fanfare and pampering. And anticipatory […]

21 March

Groundhog Be Damned! Seasons 52 Launches Spring Menu

In Florida, spring routinely swings our way weeks early, regardless of what one overhyped furry creature in Pennsylvania might sometimes suggest. So you might expect that, to a bunch of jaded Floridians getting sand between their toes in February, this vernal equinox thing is a a month late and some sunscreen short. But if you’re […]

4 January

Pele’s Heats Up Park and King with Hipness … and Fire!

The past several years have played stage to a culinary resurrection along King Street in Riverside. Upstarts jostling to make “the scene,” including Intuition Ale Works, Walker’s, Carmine’s and The Loft, cry, “I’m cool, too!” next to neighborhood stalwarts such as Kickbacks Gastropub and Whiteway Delicatessen. Together, these palaces of old-world cool make maneuvering the […]