Dish Update-March 2011

by erin thursby
Bubba Burger will be opening a local chain in the former locales of the now-closed Times Grill restaurants. It’s a fast casual, order at the counter kind of deal, with all the Bubba Burger flavors, as well as a couple of other selections, like hot dogs and a chicken sandwich.
Also on the franchise front is the South Florida-based chain First Watch, which will be opening two locations later this year, one in Ponte Vedra just off JTB and the other in Mandarin. They’ll serve breakfast, brunch and lunch.
Jax Beach partiers are apparently disliked by their City Council. I call that biting the hand that feeds them. They’re making bars serving booze after midnight pony up for an extra $75 fee on top of state licensing and they’re imposing some rules to shut down bars if their patrons get out of hand too many times. It seems a little much to ask a bar owner to be able to control their patron’s behavior. At a slammed bar six deep, a barkeep doesn’t have the time to eye every patron for the requisite balance of sobriety. Will it just make bars less likely to call the cops on rowdy drunken patrons and more likely to hire their own security? According to Police Chief Bruce Thomason in a T-U article by Drew Dixon, “public drunkenness, especially in the central business district north of Beach Boulevard and east of Third Street, which is popular among visitors to the Beaches, has gotten out of control and that officers constantly respond to calls for help.” If this measure actually works, less calls will mean less cops, thereby saving the city of Jacksonville Beach money. I guess the bar owners can hire them on as security when their cop hours get cut.
Shula’s 347 in the Sheraton Jacksonville Hotel has been replaced by Bold City Grill. If you’re into brews and are looking to drink somewhere other than Jax Beach, they’ve got the local Bold City Brewery Ales on tap. Bar food, sandwiches and steak are on the menu.
I’ve enjoyed the food at Tuptim Thai on Roosevelt (near NAS) and I’m glad to hear that they are opening another location in the Baymeadows neighborhood!
The Olive Tree Mediterranean Grille is open in San Marco, serving $5 sandwiches for lunch, both classic American and Mediterranean inspired.
The Casa Marina Hotel & Restaurant will be opening their Penthouse for lunch in March on Tuesday-Friday from 11 am-4 pm.
The Sawgrass Marriott’s Exec Chef David Scalise will be a featured speaker at the 2011 Chef to Chef Conference in San Francisco (March 6- 8). He will be speaking about food sustainability in the industry.
Wednesday Working Women’s Wednesday at Suite in the St. Johns Town Center 1/2 priced glasses of wine 1/2 slimlist martinis 1/2 hanger vodka drinks for the ladies 4 pm-10 pm.

Wednesdays Wine Tasting at Matthew’s Restaurant Cost $15. 5:30- 7 pm.

Friday The Jacksonville Landing Market Vendors set up throughout the Landing selling locally-grown produce, baked goods, plants, pottery, arts and crafts and more. Every 10 am- 2 pm

Saturdays Riverside Arts Market For details on upcoming RAM opening events go to page 6.

March 12 6th Annual PHiNS Gumbo Cook-Off and Festival The public can enjoy unlimited Gumbo servings for $10 each. Advance tickets on sale now and include a free drink at the event. The Jacksonville Landing,

March 11- 13 St. Augustine Lions 30th Seafood Festival Tons of delicious seafood, outstanding music and affordable arts & crafts. Fun for all ages, so bring the kids. Contests and prizes too. Francis Field at 29 W. Castillo Drive in St. Augustine, next to the Visitors Center.

March 19 The 22nd Annual Great Atlantic Music & Seafood Festival The free festival offers live music, fresh seafood cooked in every possible way, a festival market place, surf contest, and rides and games for the entire family. First Coast, Florida Keys and Louisiana inspired seafood cuisine will be prepared any way you like it- grilled, boiled, fried, or steamed. Seawalk Pavilion, Jax Beach.

March 12 28th Annual Barbeque & Western Each year over 500 guests from all over Northeast Florida attend to sample the wonderful BBQ dinner, cooked and served by two generations of men who have volunteered their time for almost three decades to support this cause. Guests will be able to bid on exciting auction items and dance the night away to the sounds of Cloud 9. The event is open to the public and everyone is encouraged to attend. More information can be found at

March 18 Dirty Martinis for Clean Water II Benefiting Rotary International’s focus to provide clean drinking water for all. Cocktails, music, tastings and silent auction. $35 per person. 5 to 7 pm. WJCT Studios 100 Festival Park Avenue,

March 19 Dreams Come True Cornhole Classic! $50 per team includes tournament admission and lunch for two and, most importantly, $2 Intuition 12 oz drafts. Double elimination format with prizes awarded to the top three teams. Check-in starts at 10:30 am, with the first throw at 11 am. Wanna bring your cheerleaders? Guests can cheer you on and enjoy lunch for a $10 donation. All proceeds will go to support the Dreams Come True Horizon Board’s efforts of making a difference in the lives of local children battling life-threatening illnesses. Tournament space is limited, so register now at [email protected]! Intuition Ale

March 19 Herb Festival Jacksonville Herb Society’s 18th Annual Herb Festival. Herbs, soaps &
lotions (for people and pets!), food and arts & crafts. Members will be available to answer questions about growing, harvesting and uses of herbs. Glynlea Grace United Methodist Church, 6429 Atlantic Blvd.