Whiskey, burgers and milkshakes in Jax Beach, from the folks who brought you The Blind Fig
311 N. Third St., Ste. 107, Jax Beach, 595-5915, theblindrabbitwhiskeybar.com
Popular St. Augustine artisan ice pop store The Hyppo has started a Kickstarter campaign in an effort to place its pops in grocery stores. Donate today: bit.ly/HyppoGourmet
PULP Avondale plans to open this week. Like the San Marco PULP, the new location will offer coffee, tea, smoothies and frozen yogurt.
The Public House (formerly Bubba Burger Grill) at Baymeadows and I-295, which opened in November 2013, has closed.
The Dim Sum Room within Watami Asian Fusion Buffet & Lounge is open daily from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. on Southside Boulevard in the Southside Square Shopping Center.
At The Blind Rabbit, you'll find a bustling dining room filled with the chatter of bronzed beachgoers and families alike, an impressive two-page whiskey list and a menu to surely please the pickiest of eaters. The spot — in business now for six months — is the brainchild of local restaurateurs John and Jeff Stanford, who also own and operate The Blind Fig in Riverside. (The Rabbit's dining room is much larger than the Fig's, and the back wall touts a colorful mural by local artist Shaun Thurston, who also created the detailed mural on the Fig's exterior.)
We began with bacon and corn croquettes ($8), served atop a nicely presented bed of creamy diced avocado, corn, microgreens and jalapeño-tomato hot sauce. They were crisp on the outside and delightfully soft on the inside. With a portion serving of five, these larger-than-a-hushpuppy fried balls are an easily shared appetizer.
After perusing the multiple burger options, I landed on The Southern Burger ($12) — fried green tomato, Creole pimento cheese, peach habañero hot sauce, arugula, Georgia cane syrup and pickled okra spears — accompanied by sweet potato fries and several dipping sauces (curry mayo, bourbon-spiked Creole mustard and spicy ketchup), all of which were winners. So was the burger.
The shrimp rémoulade salad ($15) was another standout. Butter lettuce, grape tomatoes, long pieces of hearts of palm, fried green tomato, red bell pepper, celery and red onions tango with jumbo shrimp tossed in a creamy rémoulade dressing. The artful presentation and size of the shrimp were impressive.
The s'mores brownie ($6) was much too rich — layers of graham cracker crumbs, warm Belgian chocolate brownie and peanut butter mousse, topped with gooey brûléed marshmallow. Go for one of the milkshakes as a lighter treat. While the vanilla ($4) was perfectly creamy, for a few bucks more, aim high and get the maple bacon ($7), which, as the name suggests, is mixed with bacon-infused Buffalo Trace bourbon.
Open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m., The Blind Rabbit is an excellent choice for grabbing a meal or beverage when you're at the beach. Local craft drafts (say that three times fast) are half-price ($2.50) during the daily 4-7 p.m. happy hour. Various daily specials include $10 bottomless mimosas on Sundays and $10 moonshine flights on Mondays.