Jill Cruz

Epik Burger introduces Poutine using Wainwright Dairy & Creamery Cheddar Cheese Curds

12740 Atlantic Blvd #105, Jacksonville Epik Burger has long been a Jacksonville favorite when it comes to their burgers, but they recently added a new menu item that is guaranteed to knock your socks off, a Poutine using fresh Cheddar cheese curds from Wainwright Dairy & Creamery in Live Oak. In early March, we took a trip down to the farm to check out the creamery and pet some cows. Sadly, the cows did not cooperate, but we had a great time learning all about the farm and the amazing family that has been running it since the late 60’s. …

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River & Post Rooftop Lounge isn’t Just for Drinks Anymore

With wonderful views of the St John’s River, the rooftop lounge of River & Post is a nice, serene place to enjoy happy hour after a long day at the office. Recently, Chef Steve Thurston was hired on from the German Schnitzel Haus, where he worked for the past 5 years. Chef Steve has been at River & Post for less than a year, but he has already accomplished quite a feat, opening a brand new kitchen to serve the rooftop bar. Before this, any food ordered would have to come from the first floor kitchen, which as you can …

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Southern Coast Seafood, A Great Addition to Arlington, Snack and Jill

Southern Coast Seafood, A Great Addition to Arlington

With the news of closing in , a lot of people were pretty upset. Mudville has been a Jacksonville institution since 1994, so this felt like the end of an era (the location is still open, so don’t fret). Luckily, this sad news came with a nice silver lining. It was announced that the owners would transition Mudville into a new seafood concept, Southern Coast Seafood. They currently own , which is a commercial fishing business, so they will be serving their fresh catches in the restaurant. My husband and I visited on a Sunday night. We were seated and …

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Bambino Scoops, A Little Taste of Europe in Jacksonville

Jacksonville has quite a few ice cream and frozen custard shops, but there is only one place serving delicious, homemade gelato. Bambino Scoops is located in the Cobblestone shopping plaza in East , at the intersection of Monument and McCormick. Owners Maria Gallo and Manuel Ponce have been operating the shop since June of 2019, after buying the name from the previous owner. The inside of the shop is very whimsical with various posters and action figures throughout. “We brought our favorite characters,” Manuel explained. He collects figures from The Simpsons and various other comics, so they wanted to incorporate …

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Damascus Gate, Jacksonville, Florida, Shawarma, Pita, Photo by Jill Cruz

Haven’t Already Heard About Damascus Gate? You Will Soon

If you haven’t already heard about Damascus Gate, you definitely will soon! Owners Raed Alshaikh and Mouhammad Maidani have already opened two restaurants in Jacksonville and have a third on the way. I can’t say much about the third location except that it will be located in the middle of Jacksonville and is very unique. As Raed puts it, “I’m gonna do something that everybody talks about.” Alshaikh is no stranger to the restaurant business. He owned seven restaurants in Dubai including one very fun concept called ROGO’s. In this restaurant, the kitchen was located on the 4th floor. When …

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Marijuana Themed Sandwich Shop? Cheba Hut has all the Munchies

Marijuana Themed Sandwich Shop in St. Augustine? Cheba Hut has all the Munchies

Cheba Hut recently opened their first East Coast location in . I was invited out to meet with the owner Dusty and try the food. Having zero knowledge of the brand before they contacted me, I was intrigued by their business once I read that they are a “Marijuana Themed Sandwich Shop.” What did that mean? I needed to know. So I dug into the business a little bit and realized that the theme is just that, a theme. As much as some of you might want it to be, the food is not marijuana infused. The menu items are …

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New Fall Cocktails Hawkers Asian Street Fare

New Fall Cocktails Hawkers Asian Street Fare

Cocktails at Hawkers Hawkers has some new fall cocktails available and I was one of the lucky few invited out for a cocktail making class to celebrate. Our class was held at the location, but the new cocktails can also be ordered at their location, which was recently expanded to add a wraparound bar and a few extra tables.   We started the night by making 2 of their new cocktails: G-N-TEA: Smoky and herbal. Chai-infused Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish gin, apple cider simple tonic, smoked cinnamon. Jingle Juice: Light and festive. RumHaven, REÀL coconut, pineapple juice, house sake, prosecco This was such …

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Paryse Watson Creates a Piece of Canada in Riverside: The Stuffed Beaver, Photo by Jill Cruz of Snack and Jill

Paryse Watson Creates a Piece of Canada in Riverside: The Stuffed Beaver

While it’s true that we have many different types of cuisines in Jacksonville, you will only find one Canadian restaurant, The Stuffed Beaver. Located on the corner of Oak and Barrs St in , everything about this place screams “Canada!” The décor includes a giant Canadian map where people can mark where they are from, a wall of photos showing famous actors from Canada, and a stuffed beaver in the corner, naturally. If you look closely, you will also see a very familiar face adoring the photo wall, the owner Paryse Watson. You might be surprised to learn that Paryse …

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Karai Ramen Bistro: Chef Levi Broadwell Working Hard to Get Each Recipe Right, Photo by Jill Cruz

Karai Ramen Bistro: Chef Levi Broadwell Working Hard to Get Each Recipe Right

Those in search of Jacksonville’s best Ramen should head towards a strip mall near the intracoastal. That’s where you’ll find Karai Ramen Bistro. Chef and Owner Levi Broadwell has been perfecting his recipes all around Jacksonville for the past six years. His career started in Central Florida when he was just 15 years old. For years his mother worked in a Chinese restaurant, and from the age of nine he would frequently visit her there. Levi would beg the chef to teach him about cooking but would always get told he was too young. Undeterred, he would spend his time …

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Taqueria Cinco: A little slice of Mexico in Riverside, Snack and Jill

Taqueria Cinco: A little slice of Mexico in Riverside

Down in the heart of on Lomax St is where you will find Jacksonville’s newest taco shop, Taqueria Cinco. Nestled into a tiny spot between Bakery Ribault and Wells Fargo, it’s easy to miss if you aren’t looking for it. We went in on a Sunday afternoon to give them a try. First impression, this place is tinyyyyy. But don’t let that deter you, they offer outdoor tables in addition to the indoor ones. The interior seating has about 5-6 tables all along the wall opposite the kitchen, with the exterior having many more tables spread out across the patio. …

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