Establishing St Augustine Foodies has taken us on a journey that we could never have anticipated. Several years ago, we set out to dine at a restaurant in Jacksonville, hoping to be inspired. The chosen restaurant happened to be a personal favorite at the time. It was a wonderful little new American restaurant in Atlantic Beach. As we walked up to the restaurant something seemed a little off. The chef walked out nearly ready to shed a tear and told us that the power had been shut off and unfortunately the restaurant would come to an end. This broke our hearts and that was when we decided to try to change things. The idea that was born became Jax Restaurant Reviews. Since then, we have been busy exploring Jacksonville’s rich culinary culture and eating our way through our city. We have grown and have brought friends and family onboard, turning this into a true family venture.
So who are we now? We are a group of passionate foodies that truly believe in the success of locally owned restaurants. We exist to promote, encourage, and present to our readers and followers the very best that the Jacksonville and St Augustine have to offer. Every decision we make as we grow is based on how we can help small restaurants succeed. When we started, one of our biggest goals was to spotlight great small restaurants with passionate chefs who are flying under the radar. We’ve done that. In many cases this has led to great success stories where small restaurants who were previously unknown have ended up on the radar screen and have seen huge increases in business. Some examples that comes to mind are Mama Q’s Pizza and Ariana Kabob. There are also plenty of examples of great places that we shined a light on who still didn’t make it. Local restaurants truly have an uphill challenge against the big chains and their huge marketing budgets. We have also begun to spotlight the hardworking, inspiring, visionary local chefs. Sometimes we forget there are people behind the creation of the food we eat every day. Those people work endless hours and unpredictable schedules to create, design, and execute even what seems to be a simple dish. These chefs are artists, through and through.
We have proven now, through the implementation of our Food Adventure Series, that one of the best ways for us to help small restaurants grow is to feature them as one of our restaurant partners. Food Adventure Dinners are typically $39 for a gourmet six course meal featuring on and off menu chef creations. These events will give you a chance to experience a wide range of what a restaurant has to offer, but at a price much lower than what is typical for this sort of event. For the adventurous foodie, it will give you a chance to experience a new restaurant or experience a familiar restaurant in a different light. You’ll be able to try cuisine that maybe you’ve never heard of before. You will meet fellow foodies who could become new lifelong friends (we see this often!). You’ll have the opportunity to talk with the chef and listen to their passion. You will leave inspired. For our restaurant partners, we will pack a restaurant on a day that you’re normally empty. We know that you will pull off an impressive meal and those who enjoyed it will share that experience with their friends and come back. The guests of the event will leave with a sense of your vision and have a new appreciation for your restaurant.
Finally, where are we going? We are rapidly expanding to becoming the biggest food blog in the southeast. We are currently established in Jacksonville, St Augustine, the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill triangle, and Charlotte, North Carolina. Our goal is to continue to grow and share our knowledge and proven record in Jacksonville to help restaurants all around the country. We have created a project that motivates us every day to get up and help someone, and we love every minute of that. We will continue to provide you, our readers, with our honest opinions on the local food scene. We will continue to share our favorite foods via social media to show you what we discover in all areas of the city. We will continue to show you how amazing and talented our local chefs are. Most importantly, we will continue to help our small businesses reach the people who care about them the most—you, our readers. Thank you for continuing to read and eat with us. Food is the most communal and familial experience, and we are thankful to share it with you.