Category Archives: Food

New Jaxsons Night Market to feature food and beer monthly downtown

jaxsons_night_festivalBeginning next week and continuing every third Thursday of the month, the parking lot at the corner of Main and Adams Streets downtown will be transformed into a food and beer lover’s paradise. At least that is the hopes of downtown advocate Mike Field. Field’s vision is to create another monthly destination event downtown like Art Walk. Thus, Jaxsons Night Market, a food-centric event is born.

Cities across the country and world have had night market traditions for decades, even centuries. Generally dedicated to casual browsing, socializing, eating and drinking, night markets are traditions that draw eclectic crowds of foodies and curiosity-seekers alike.

In San Francisco, the hugely popular ‘Underground Market’ is a monthly event that brings together foragers and as many as 35 of the Bay area’s best home cooks. In Richmond, BC, on weekend evenings, more than 200 vendors set up shop on a 10-acre site in the Vancouver suburb and get to work on Chinese, Thai, and Italian dishes. Families and foodies line up Thursday evenings all summer in the lower parking lot of Yamashiro Japanese restaurant in the Hollywood Hills to taste gourmet foods like Duck Confit and pulled pork sliders. Jacksonville now joins these cities with as many as 25 food booths and, of course, craft beer.
Several of the vendors guests can expect on the inaugural night of the event include the insanely popular Hawkers Asian Street Fare, The Hyppo makers of popsicles in flavors such as Strawberry Basil and pops made with Intuition Ale Works beer and several local food trucks. In addition, visitors can enjoy foods from the event’s sponsors: Black Hog Farms, Burrito Gallery and Intuition Ale Works.

In a recent article published in the Jacksonville Business Journal, Field says, “There’s a yearning for more stuff to do Downtown. Downtown needs more reasons for people to come down, and Art Walk is such a great excuse for people to come Downtown that normally wouldn’t come Downtown. This is a different kind of monthly event that has a different spin.”

Jaxsons Night Market will be held from 6:30 to 9:30 on the third Thursday of each month in the parking lot adjacent to the Burrito Gallery downtown.

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Posted by on April 11, 2014 in Food


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Beer-flavored jelly beans?

Courtesy of Jelly Belly

Courtesy of Jelly Belly

Someone, perhaps Homer Simpson, once said, “Beer is a many splendored thing.” Truer words have never been spoken by either a human or an animated doofus. Beer is diverse. There are hundreds of styles, thousands of variations, and millions of ways to use the substance. Bakers add it to cupcakes, chefs use it to braze meats or make sauces, and Cicerones pair it with dishes. But, until now, no one had thought to make a jelly bean flavor out of beer.

Jelly Belly, the wildly successful jelly bean manufacturer made even more popular when President Ronald Reagan professed a love for them, has introduced the first beer flavored, non-alcoholic jelly bean named appropriately, Draft Beer.

“Beer has been a highly-requested flavor for decades,” the company’s website says. “And after years of perfecting the formulation, we’re ready to share this new product with the world.”

Jelly Belly has been making the tiny, chewy treats for more than 100 years debuting flavors like Birthday Cake, Buttered Popcorn and Tabasco. But, their newest flavor, which made its debut on Saturday, January 18, may be its wildest yet. The company describes the flavor as, “effervescent and crisp flavor is packed in a golden jelly bean with an iridescent finish.”

“The recipe includes top secret ingredients, but I can tell you it contains no alcohol,” Ambrose Lee, Jelly Belly’s research and development manager, said in a press release.

Because the company has roots in Germany, a beer flavored jelly bean was a natural. And, in a tip of the Tyrolean hat to its German heritage, the new bean was made to be reminiscent of a Hefeweizen ale.

On their website, Jelly Belly provides several ‘recipes’ for mixing the new jelly bean with others to create new flavors. For instance, to create an Apple Cider Shandy, pop two Draft Beer jelly beans and one Red Apple bean in your mouth at once. Experimentation is encouraged and that begs the question; would two Draft Beer beans and a Sour Cherry taste like Kriek lambic? Might be worth finding out.

The Draft Beer Jelly Belly is for sale on and is being shipped to stores now.

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Posted by on January 22, 2014 in Beer, Food


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Anthony Bourdain to bring Guts & Glory tour to Jacksonville tomorrow night

Guts&Glory_350x225_image_2In the world of culinary super heroes there is one man who, through his snarky remarks and laid back attitude, has risen to the pinnacle of his craft. That stellar, unabashedly frank titan is none other than Anthony Bourdain who will be appearing at the Jacksonville Times-Union Center April 25 as part of the Artist Series. Bourdain will storm into town with his Guts & Glory tour to regale attendees with stories of his adventures on the road that are sure to be heavily dosed with his trademark caustic humor.

Bourdain made a name for himself with his best-selling books such as Kitchen Confidential and Medium Raw. In them he reveals the shocking details of what really goes on behind the kitchen doors in hilarious and often sneeringly blunt style. His success has lead him to star in the Emmy Award-winning Travel Channel programs No Reservations and The Layover as well as host of The Taste, a cooking competion series on CBS. His writing has appeared in such luminous publications as The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Times of London, as well as the Harvard Business Review.

But, lest you think food is Bourdain’s only love, you need only watch several episodes of his television programs. Beer is a staple on the tables Bourdain sits at and with the company he keeps. Episodes that highlight his love for all things malt and hops include No Reservations’ Prague episode and The Layover’s Dublin installment. Bourdain has even famously got into a little hot water when he commented on the pulling of Dogfish Head founder Sam Calgione’s Discovery Channel television show Brewmasters.

The popular and superb San Marco Dining District is proud to be the Official Restaurant Sponsor of Bourdain’s show and is providing a dazzling selection of appetizers for the sold-out VIP reception. In addition to the show, attendees can expect a slew of merchandise including copies of Bourdain’s books provided by The Bookmark, the show’s Official Bookstore Sponsor. The Omni Jacksonville serves as the show’s Official Hotel Sponsor.

Great seats are still available for the Guts& Glory tour ranging from $40.00-$75.00, at the Artist Series Box Office between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., at (904) 442-BWAY (2929) and online at

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Posted by on April 24, 2013 in Beer, Food, Travel


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Beaches Summer Fest 2012 a rousing success

On Saturday, Sept. 15, the Beaches Summer Fest 2012 took place on a perfect late summer night complete with cool breezes and wonderful company. As mentioned in the preview article on the event last week, beer people are innately generous and the organizers of this great event are no exceptions. Proceeds from the event benefitted the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) and based on mere observation, it looks like the charity can expect a rather large contribution.

The event showcased a virtual who’s who of the Jacksonville brewing scene. There were breweries, vendors, distributors, and beer celebrities all in attendance.

All five local Jacksonville breweries were represented at the event including:

Intuition Ale Works with their I-10 IPA and Triad Belgian-style Tripple

Pinglehead Brewing with Landslide Double IPA and Moon Dance Oatmeal Stout

Bold City Brewing with 1901 Red Ale and Rhino Rye Pale Ale

Green Room Brewing with Pablo Beach Pale Ale and Cherry Key Lime Wit

Engine 15 with Old Battle Axe and JamMin Jasmine Saison

But local breweries were not the only breweries in attendance. Also present were Swamp Head Brewery from Gainesville, St. Somewhere Brewing from Tarpon Springs, and the new kid on the block Three Palms Brewing from Tampa. Another fine brew being poured at the event by Eric Jankowski of Micro Man Distributors was Lost Coast Tangerine Wheat.

While beer is always a major draw at these events, the food at this one was nothing less than spectacular as well. There was truly something for everyone ranging from fine cheeses presented by Grassroots Natural Market to sinful desserts created by Alley Cakes. Highlights included fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs with chipotle-strawberry barbecue sauce from The Perfect pair Catering Company, The Tree Hugger hummus wrap from On the Fly Sandwiches & Stuff, and Gator Burgoo from Brewer’s Pizza. Also providing food for the event was Ocean 60 Restaurant who brought Grouper Ceviche.

Another aspect of the evening was the adventurous and toe-tapping sounds of Firewater Tent Revival. On their Facebook page, the band describes itself as, “Punk rockers gone rogue. Now we are a knee slapping beer drinking good time band. We play eclectic bluegrass and old country drinking songs.” They certainly had the room jumping. And for those looking for mellower sounds the duo of Paxton and Mike entertained folks on the outdoor deck with their acoustic stylings.

The event also featured an impressive array of items up for silent auction including an extremely rare 11.5 ounce bottle of Westvleteren 12 Trappist Ale that, at last look, was going for $100. Other items included beer company mirrors and signs, a Long Board branded bicycle and surfboard, gift baskets, experiences, and impressive artwork.

And if all of the beer, food, music, and auction items were not enough to keep you entertained, the evening also provided a prime opportunity to see and be seen with Jacksonville’s brew-centric glitterati. Among that group flitting from table to table was the social butterfly Regina Heffington, the Jax Brew Bitch herself. Also spotted was Michael Payne of the soon-to-be-opened Aardwolf Brewing Company, Steve Rushe owner of Beer Junto, and Ed Stansel of the Times-Union’s Amber Waves beer blog. Susan and John Miller of Bold City Brewing were also spotted roaming the event as was Mark Stillman and Eric Lumen of Green Room Brewing. Bob Sylvester of St. Somewhere made the trek to the event as well, to pour his outstanding Belgian-influenced brews as did Randy Reaver of Three Palms from Tampa.

But, though the event was by all accounts one of the most well-conceived and executed beer events in the area and, judging by the smiles of others and personal experience, a complete and utter blast, it is important to remember that there was a mission behind the celebration. That mission was to raise funds to fight the debilitating disease, muscular dystrophy. To that end Jamie Gillis, one of the event organizers, speaking on behalf of the Beaches Summer Fest Team of 8, said that the event had garnered an, “estimated $18,500 and counting.” This estimate came as of Tuesday, Sept. 18 with contributions still coming in.

Worth noting is that all of the vendors, distributors, caterers, and musicians donated their time to the event. Even the Courtyard by Marriott, at which the event was held, donated its facilities to the cause. This means that every dollar that came in to the event will make its way to the MDA for them to use in their search for a cure with nothing held out and no one to pay.

Keep abreast of plans for next year’s event by following the Beaches Summer Fest page on Facebook at: You may also continue to make contributions to the cause by going to:

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Posted by on September 18, 2012 in Beer, Beer Festival, Food


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Red Robin serves up an Oktoberfest beer milkshake

When thoughts turn to a cold frosty one, most think of a beer, but to Donna Ruch, master mixologist at the Red Robin Gourmet Burgers restaurant chain it could mean a beer spiked milkshake. The new concoction was launched this week to commemorate Oktoberfest along with several other items themed for the yearly German festival that celebrates everything beer.

In a story on the Fox News website, Ruch says, “Nothing says Oktoberfest better than a beer, so I incorporated the fun spirit of Red Robin into this innovative milkshake.” The milkshake is a mixture of Samuel Adams Octoberfest beer, vanilla ice cream, vanilla syrup, and caramel sauce.

Other Oktoberfest-themed dishes from the chain include pretzel bites with beer cheese and beer mustard and an Oktoberfest Burger served on a pretzel bun with beer mustard, Swiss cheese, onions, ham, and lettuce.

But, Red Robin’s shake is not the only foray beer has made into ice cream. In 2006 ice cream wizards Ben and Jerry’s introduced a flavor named Black & Tan and based on the beer drink of the same name. The flavor combined non-alcoholic cream stout, swirled with chocolate ice cream, and topped with a foamy stout ice cream head. The flavor was pulled after it was discovered Irish-Americans found the name offensive because it was shared by a group of British ex-servicemen renowned for their brutality during the Irish War of Independence.

Another Ben & Jerry’s flavor, Duff & D’oh!Nuts was produced only for the premier of The Simpsons Movie in 2007. The flavor combined chocolate and cream stout ice cream with chunks of glazed chocolate donuts. It was only available at the premiere on the movie in Springfield, Vt., and in Scoop Shops the night before the DVD release.

Another restaurant chain that serves beer spiked milkshakes is TGI Friday’s. The sweet beer shake uses vanilla ice cream, Guinness Stout, chocolate syrup, and chocolate shavings in its recipe. And movie theater chain Alamo Drafthouse offers a Pecan Porter milkshake that sends some movie patrons to heaven.

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Posted by on September 12, 2012 in Beer, Food, Octoberfest


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