Foodie Files Jax Edition: Sunday Brunch at Casa Marina

Hi ya”ll! Can you believe that it’s already November? I feel like the year flew by super fast but I am very grateful to have encountered so many wonderful souls in this period of time.

As always because I have a bit of wanderlust and  I discovered yet another amazing brunch spot here in Jacksonville. It is Casa Marina one of the oldest and most historical hotels in Florida and America. How cool is that? Not only does this place boast some amazing architecture but also some amazing food and views. It’s an all you can eat brunch with a prime rib carving station, omelette station, eggs benedict over fried green tomatoes, an assortment of cold salads, seafood paella, herb roasted chicken, garlic mashed potatoes, shrimp cocktail, a tropical fruit display, a yummy dessert area, and endless champagne, mimosas, and poinsettias as well as house wines. Truly a Sunday Funday spot. And all under $35! Can we say awesome?!?!?!?!

The food is fresh, yummy, and flavorful and the service is impeccable. My servers always made sure I was well attended to and the vibe is so relaxed with a very beachy vibe and a view of the Atlantic Ocean via their balcony.

I will definitely be back very soon! Definitely worth every penny! I will caution those who are true foodies to pace yourself because you will want to try everything and you just want to make sure you don’t fill yourself to the brim like I did. đŸ™‚

Casa Marina Sunday Brunch
The banquet style of the brunch layout as the crowd trickled out
Casa Marina Sunday Brunch
Mimosas and chocolate mousse!
Casa Marina Sunday Brunch
Garden salad with house dressing which was absolutely yummy, rice pilaf with salad shrimp, shrimp cocktail and broccoli
Casa Marina Sunday Brunch
Veggie omelette from the omelette station, bacon, breakfast potatoes, eggs benedict over fried green tomatoes, fruit salad, and a poinsettia!
Casa Marina Sunday Brunch
Front entrance! See you soon Casa Marina!

Foodie Files: Hidden Gems Jax Edition- Jax Beach Brunch Haus

It’s Sunday Funday and we all know what that means. Brunch and relaxing! Jacksonville has an awesome foodie scene that’s way too splendid to not be a part of. My latest hidden gem was Jax Beach Brunch Haus.

I stumbled upon this hidden jewel by chance as I had an appetite built for destruction today and was ready for some quality wholesome food. And boy did they deliver.

Hands down, excellent customer service, good food and great vibes. Live music. Beautiful ambience and a very relaxed but inviting hipster style vibe.

A perfect brunch spot if you want something filling but not too heavy, with locally sourced foods, a great selection of items, great smoothies and awesome cocktails. For today’s selection I had a Paradise City with Hash, T. W. Mexicali and a Southern biscuit.IMG_6686IMG_6687

I didn’t wait long for my food at all and it was quality like everything had been prepared to order and of the freshest quality. All the staff had a warm and inviting demeanor, and the restaurant itself had a very down to earth homey vibe. I am going to make it a plan to check out their espresso and coffee options next time but it is definitely worth a second and third look. You get great helpings for the price and I even had enough to take home leftovers.

The restaurant was formerly know as The Loving Cup Hash House but may be under new ownership and brand management.

I am always excited to find new restaurants that I love and this one will be another that I make a return visit too as well.

What are some of your favorite Jax Foodie finds? I would love to hear from you!

Foodie Files: Hidden Gems Jax Edition

So it’s been a while but here I am again. I am trying to be consistent in posting here at least once a month (if not more) and I wanted to share some of the recent foodie files that I’ve stumbled upon in my area.

I absolutely love finding new restaurants and especially trying new foods.

One of my most recent finds is Monroe’s Smokehouse BBQ. When I say this place is amazing, that doesn’t even begin to properly explain it. Everything about this place is spectacular. From the great customer service to the food. I haven’t had anything that wasn’t tasty, well seasoned, flavorful, and fully satiating to your palette and appetite.  Best of all EVERYTHING is made from scratch.

My favorite dishes are the macaroni and cheese, sweet potato souffle, and collard greens. I’ve only had the ribs and smoked wings but everything always smells so yummy so I would safely assume that the rest of the meat options are equally as appetizing.

IMG_5873.JPG

Featured in this picture are the smoked wings and sweet potato souffle as well as the macaroni and cheese. The sweet little heat sauce is AMAZING!

Monroe’s has several locations throughout the Jacksonville area and they also boast a pretty awesome food truck that makes its rounds around town so it’s definitely worth the effort if you’re in the area.

The next restaurant that I stumbled upon was the Blue Fish Restaurant and Oyster Bar. I was really in the mood for some really good seafood and wanted to try something off the beaten path. This had so many positive reviews when I looked it up that I had to give it a try,

Again, another really excellent choice all around and I am sure I will be back before it’s said and done. It’s nestled nicely between the Murray Hill, Avondale, and Riverside Area so it boasts a very quiet but beautiful atmosphere and just as beautiful ambiance on the inside. Great service and almost all options are based upon seasonal availability or the local market which I also love because you can literally pop in and try something new every time so it gives it a new yet authentic feel every time that you go.

IMG_5978.JPG

First let me say these fried green tomatoes were not only yummy but surprisingly a great way to start the meal. An unexpected start to a wonderful meal and the roasted red pepper goulis and goat cheese set it off just right.

IMG_5980Next up, it goes without saying that summer is the best time for sampling new dishes and enjoying great drinks. BY FAR, one of the best sangrias in town. Flavorful, good distribution of wine and fruit and not too strong where it sneaks up on you but just enough to be able to enjoy the meal or ambiance and so you can relax. And it subtle enough so that it doesn’t take away from your meal itself.

IMG_5981

The grand finale. Herb crusted snapper with jumbo lump crab, seasonal veggies, orzo and rice, with a side of their famous white cheddar macaroni and cheese.

Both of these restaurants are fast becoming two of my favorite spots to stop in when I am mood for eating out but as always the exploration continues. If you’re ever in the Jacksonville area, make sure to stop into both of these wonderful hidden gems, you’ll be glad you did!