dish update – july 2010

by erin thursby
Make sure you plan ahead for Eat Up Downtown. I’m excited, even though it’s a month away! The dates are set for August 9- 22. Most Downtown eateries participate, providing three-course fixed price menus at $25. It’s an incredible event, so if you’ve been itching to try a place downtown, this is the time!
Metro Diner in San Marco is a Jacksonville favorite- so much so that they’ve decided to open a second Metro in the Julington Creek/Mandarin area. It will be located in the same shopping center as Fresh Market at the Shops at Julington Creek. (It’s further down San Jose than Fresh Market’s previous locale). No word yet on when this shiny new Metro Diner is slated to open, but construction and design are all happening this summer.
By July 1st Starbucks across the nation will finally have honest-to-goodness free wi-fi. Previously, you had to already be a subscriber to AT&T’s wireless service or you had to have a Starbucks card. Convenience is crucial to internet users. Customers with Starbucks cards could get a couple of hours of free service, but they had to register their card. With this new system, it’s just click-n-go- for everyone, not just card holders. They’ve finally, to borrow an apt cliché, woken up and smelled the coffee, realizing that providing free, easy to access wi-fi draws customers, particularly in those off-peak hours.
For those who have been waiting eagerly for California Pizza Kitchen in the St. Johns Town Center, your wait is at an end. CPK is slated to open on July 12th. It’s the first CPK to open in the Northeast Florida region.
Sadly, in St. Augustine Opus 39 and its bakery closed last month. Their high price-points simply couldn’t weather the down economy, which is a shame.
Opening up Downtown is LaShea’s (119 W. Adams St, 354-5685) which is billed as Southern and Brooklyn fusion.
If you love Burrito Gallery but you live at the Beaches, you’ll be happy to know that Burrito Gallery Express recently opened at 1333 Third St. North in Jacksonville Beach.
Akel’s Delicatessen will be launching a second location at 315 W. Forsyth across from the AT&T Tower.
Crazy Egg in Murray Hill will be opening where Dave’s Diner used to be.
There should be a little more sweetness in Springfield as Sweet Pete’s, a candy store, is opening there this month. At the helm is Peter Behringer, former President and confectioner of Peterbrooke’s.
Have a July Birthday? Come in and receive a $20 gift card from Whisky River on Juky 16.
Make a group Birthday reservation and you and all your friends receive a wirstband for Drink Specials all night
Longing for a swanky dinner but sticking to a budget? Try Matthew’s $35 fixed priced summer menu.
Thursdays Off the Grid Thursday Lunch Break Stop by any of the participating Off the Grid galleries and find a great deal for lunch while you check out the Downtown art scene. Off the Grid spaces have partnered with several Downtown restaurants to give you a lunch special good for that day through next week, exclusively for Off the Grid visitors. 11 am- 2 pm. Various Participating galleries: Southlight Gallery, Suite 106, The Adrian Pickett Gallery, The Next Gallery, L.E. Smart Gallery The Bee Gallery,
Thursdays Affair in the Square San Marco Square restaurants, bars, boutiques and shops are all in on the affair. Stroll the square- enjoy live entertainment, sample special cocktails and appetizers at great prices and shop late in an array of specialty boutiques and shops only found in the San Marco Square. 4pm- 9 pm
Fridays Sake 101 An introduction to Sake tasting. 5- 8 pm Circle Japan, 12192 Beach Boulevard, Suite 1, 710-5193
Fridays St. Johns Towncenter Market 3 pm- 8 pm,
Saturdays Riverside Arts Market
Saturdays Orange Park Farmers Market 10 am- 2 pm,
Sundays Mandarin Farmers and Arts Market Noon- 4 pm,
Wine Tasting Series at Zaitoon Mediterranean Grill Held on the First Wednesday of each month 6 pm- 8 pm, $15, 13475 Atlantic Blvd., Ste. 40 (located behind Fresh Market in the Harbour Village Shopping Center)
July 27 Beer Dinner at Matthew’s Beer gets fancy at Matthew’s! Several courses and beers and you’re sure to be satisfied. Reception: 6:30 pm.
Dinner: 7 pm