At the beginning of November the boyfriend and I traveled to Jacksonville, Florida for the South Atlantic Modern Language Association conference. I won’t bore you with any details about the conference. You’re welcome.
I will definitely fill you in on some delicious restaurants in the Jacksonville area, though!The first night in Jacksonville we went to the Avondale area to find a place to eat. This area is so adorable. The main street is lined with little shops and tons of restaurants, and it was kind of romantic to walk up and down the sidewalks under the lighted trees.
We stopped at Blue Fish Restaurant and Oyster Bar for dinner. Since we didn’t have reservations, we were seated in the back courtyard – this area is cute even though it needs a little renovation – and we got to eat by candlelight next to a fountain.
I started dinner with a whiskey bramble (top pic) and we split the scallops fonduta (cheese encrusted!), which we apparently ate before I could snap a pic.
For dinner I had the fresh catch blackened and topped with jumbo lump crab served over red beans and rice and andouille sausage. Delish! The boyfriend had oysters (ew).
We walked up and down the street to burn off some food and look at all the happenings. There were so many restaurants that looked and smelled incredible, and I can’t oversell how adorable this area was!
The boyfriend wanted gelato, so we stopped in Le Macaron where I also grabbed a grand marnier macaron! Mmm 😊
On Saturday morning I had to present at the conference, but we can fast forward to brunch. I think I’ll make that my life motto. We walked from the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront across the bridge to bb’s restaurant and bar. We passed a woman running who seemed concerned about us (I guess we looked lost all dressed up and walking?) and she looked even more surprised that we were walking to bb’s, even though it wasn’t a long walk at all.
bb’s was adorable and SO good! There’s usually one thing that really jumps off a menu, but I really struggled to choose something because everything sounded incredible (look here and I’m sure you’ll agree with me). I went with the “down south” poutine (below). How could I go against gnocchi, gravy, and bacon?
The boyfriend had skirt steak and eggs. I won the best dish award.
There are some really beautiful desserts in a case at bb’s, so why not have a slice of Oreo Mousse Pie?
We took the free Skyway train back to the hotel – it was a beautiful view as we crossed the river. I felt guilty about leaving the conference, so I went back for a session on The Hunger Games while the boyfriend went down to Jacksonville Landing to watch some football. When we met back up we decided to just walk around downtown.
Luckily, we stumbled upon Sweet Pete’s Candy Shop. Sweet Pete’s is two stories of candy (and a wedding was going on in the third story – how awesome is that?). On one side there’s the Candy Apple Café that totally appeals to adults who are still children at heart, especially if your inner child has a giant sweet tooth! We sat at the bar where I ordered a Pop Rockadopolis – vodka, orange liqueur, lime juice, cranberry, and POP ROCKS. And of course I had an adult grilled cheese.
As if a giant candy store wasn’t enough, we then walked across the street to a park (below) with this giant, disturbing face arch. I’m not sure what the story is, but it was unique enough that I needed a photo.
The next morning we went back to the Avondale area for brunch before heading back to North Carolina. Our family dog is named Biscotti, so when I saw a restaurant named Biscotti’s, of course I had to go!
We were seated on the sidewalk at the little patio tables, which was delightful until it POURED rain. I managed to be sitting right under the gap, so my back was drenched. Luckily we had already eaten. Speaking of eating…
I’m a French toast fiend, so naturally I ordered the crème brulee French toast and a bellini with peach puree (it came in a huge glass – that’s my kind of brunch).
The boyfriend got an omelet and a pineapple mimosa. We both got the delicious cheese grits.
Biscotti’s is a sister restaurant to bb’s, so the boyfriend was REALLY hoping to have another slice of Oreo Mousse Pie, but it was not meant to be. Our waitress whisked him away to the dessert case and he chose a Reese’s mousse instead. He still looked pretty happy.
What are your favorite things to do in Jacksonville? Do you have any restaurants that you recommend for the next time we’re in the area?