Local Foodie Holiday Gift Guide 2017

We at Jax Restaurant Reviews believe in our community. There are amazing locally owned restaurants and food companies doing remarkable things. If there is a foodie or a local you want to shop for, but just aren’t sure what to get, we have the answers to your quandaries.

Johnny Appleseed Apple Jelly from Congaree and Penn
Congaree and Penn is a local farm located on the northwest side of Jacksonville. They are known for their rice, which is served in a number of local restaurants. Congaree and Penn has an incredible product right now- Johnny Appleseed Authentic™  Apple Jelly. Their sister farm in Oregon has been working on propagating and growing apples from the last known and authenticated Johnny Appleseed apple tree for the last 23 years. The apples were shipped to the Florida farm where they were cold pressed and blended with organic Florida cane sugar. Not just a topping for toast, Congaree and Penn’s apple jelly is truly a piece of history. Get it here. Jars are 8oz. for $12.

Little Black Box Jams
Little Black Box Baked Goods is a local purveyor of fresh baked goods and spreads. You can find them at the Riverside Arts Market where you can get handmade pop tarts and other yummies. For gift giving, Little Black Box offers delicious and imaginative jams and spreads such as Blackberry Bourbon Vanilla Jam and Punchy Monkey Jam. Visit Little Black Box at RAM and see what they they’ve been cooking up lately!

JRR Dinner Adventure Tickets
One of our very favorite things we do at JRR is our Dinner Adventures. We take over restaurants and enjoy multi-course meals with friends, new and old. It’s the most fun date night or ladies night out. From vegan events to dinners with bacon in every course to dessert adventures, we have something for every taste. Check out our events for 2018 and give someone special an all new culinary experience. The Elvis Birthday Dinner is not one to miss! Our Dinner Adventures are typically on weeknights and run $35-$45 depending on the restaurant and menu.  

Moxie and Town Hall Gift Cards
Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails and the new Town Hall Jax are some of the most sought-after local restaurants in town. Chef Tom Gray puts thought and intention behind everything he does, which is why Moxie has so many cool eco elements, such as 200-year-old river wood that was excavated out of old logging riverbeds. This same focus is what Chef Tom brings to his dishes and menus. Moxie and Town Hall are not only great local restaurants to support, they are great local restaurants where you will have a fabulous meal. Moxie is running a special on their gift cards right now: through November 24, buy $100 in gift cards, receive a $40 bonus. November 25-January 25, buy $50 gift cards, receive a $10 bonus. Buy for someone on your list, get something for you! You have until Friday to get the deal of deals on Moxie and Town Hall gift cards.
Purchase in store at Moxie or on their website using the code “HOLIDAY40”
Purchase in store at Town Hall or on their website using the code “CHEERS2017”
Fine Print: Bonus card may be used for food + beverage purchases. May not be used for tax, gratuity or gift card purchases, or combined with any other offer or promotion. No cash value. Cannot be used same day as purchase or replaced if lost or stolen. Valid 12/26/17 – 2/8/18.

CAMP Craft Cocktail Mixes
CAMP Craft Cocktails are jars of specially dried and mixed ingredients to take your cocktails to another level, plus they are so easy! CAMP Craft Cocktail flavors include Aromatic Citrus, Bloody Mary, and Hibiscus Ginger Lemon. Choose your cocktail flavor, add your favorite spirit, refrigerate for 3 days, and enjoy! CAMP Craft Cocktail kits last up to 2 years in a pantry or 30 days once infused. CAMP Craft Cocktails serve 8 and cost $15. You know that friend who likes to #brunchsohard? Yeah, CAMP Craft Cocktails are right up her alley.

Carve Craft Vodka
Carve Craft Vodka is Jacksonville’s first craft vodka. Established in 2014, Carve Craft Vodka is distilled and bottled locally at Grey Matter Distillery. With emphasis on quality, each small batch is distilled seven times and filtered through an activated coconut carbon system to ensure a smooth and pure finish with every sip. A bottle of Carve Craft Vodka would go perfectly with a CAMP Craft Cocktail. You can find Carve Craft Vodka at ABC Liquor stores, Winn-Dixie Liquors, many local liquor stores, and Total Wine.

Carve Vodka Distilling

Jax Diner Spices
One of the best chefs in Jax is Chef “Sweet Pete” Roderick Smith, owner and executive chef of Jax Diner. After running huge resort kitchens throughout the Caribbean and Southeast U.S., Chef Pete just wanted to cook good food for regular folks. He opened Jax Diner in 2016 and has built a committed following. Ask anyone that has been to Jax Diner about their meal and you’ll have to listen to them describe their sandwich or mac and cheese for the next 15 minutes. Chef Pete can make anything from multi-course fine dining dinners to home cooking. His food at Jax Diner isn’t fancy, it’s good. Chef Pete blends his own spices and has started selling them by the jar. You can get Chef Pete’s proprietary spice blend for $7 at Jax Diner or at the Riverside Arts Market at the Abundant Harvests Farm booth.

Chef Kenny’s Spice Blends
Celebrity Chef Kenny Gilbert, Executive Chef and owner of Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen in Fernandina Beach and Gilbert’s Social in Jacksonville, shares the love he puts in all his food. He has a line of spices starting at $6.20 for his Raging Cajun Spice Blend to $80 for a gift box of 12 bottles of spices. The Raging Cajun spice is what Chef Kenny is known for. Any of his spices would be a great gift for fans of Gilbert’s Social.

Barrett’s PimChee (refrigeration required)
Barrett’s PimChee is the best dadgum pimento cheese you will ever put in your mouth. It is made locally with premium ingredients in small batches and sold in specialty stores. Choose from Classic, Bacon, Sriracha, and New Bay flavors, and put it on ANYTHING. Because it is a fresh dairy food you’ll have to pay attention to the expiration date and keep it in the fridge (not under the tree). But the southern cook or cheese lover on your list will love you for gifting them Barrett’s PimChee. Better get yourself one while you’re at it. Get it at: Grater Goods in Murray Hill, Green Man Gourmet in Avondale, GLHF Game Bar at the Landing, The Gifted Cork & Gourmet in St. Augustine, and Dorn’s Liquors in Gainesville. Or order it directly and have it delivered. Let’s assume there’s a minimum order required. Email inquiries at BarrettsSmallBatchJax(at)gmail(dot)com.

Belgian Chocolates from Belgium Barista
For the ultimate chocolate lover on your list, treat them to Belgian chocolates. Belgian chocolate has been regulated by law in Belgium since 1884 so as not to adulterate the exquisiteness of the chocolate with inferior ingredients or a lower percentage of cocoa beans. Belgium Barista offers a variety of exclusive Belgian chocolates and candies. Pick some up at their store at 11362 San Jose Blvd. in Mandarin.

Russian cookies, candy, and snacks at Gastronome Cafe
One of the best gifts I ever gave my culinarily adventurous husband was a giant custom snack box. I basically went to little stores all over Jax and found sweet and savory foodstuffs and packed it all up like a box of treasure for him to open on Christmas. It was a huge hit! He didn’t like every single thing, but he had a blast exploring it all. If you have someone on your list who always wants to try new dishes, cuisines, and candies, make them a custom snack box! Gastronome Cafe is a locally owned coffee shop and Russian bakery with TONS of cookies, crackers, candies, and all kinds of Russian and Eastern European treats. Gastronome is on the corner of Atlantic Blvd. and St. John’s Bluff Rd, across from JAXEX Airport in the shopping center behind the Shell station.

Gastronome - Peach

Gastronome – Peach

Hip Asian Comfort Food Cookbook
One of the most respected local chefs in Jax is Dennis Chan of Blue Bamboo. Chef Dennis has created his own style of Asian food he has dubbed Hip Asian Comfort Food™ and wrote a cookbook to share that passion with you.Chef Dennis’ book is described as such: Hip Asian Comfort Food takes you from the spark that Dennis Chan felt while watching his Grandfather in the kitchen onward to his warm and embracing relationship with food, family and friends. Each recipe has a story and each story the flavor of genuine discovery. The person on your list who loves to cook and host friends and family would love to read the passion Chef Dennis Chan has to share. Order a copy of his book on Amazon.

Calli Marie Bakes Cookbook
Calli Marie is a renowned Jacksonville baker. She bakes for Brew in Five Points, and does private orders for gorgeous cake works of art. Callie Marie doesn’t overthink the aesthetic of her baked goods. She lets cake be cake and dresses it up with touches of nature or other sweets. You can always order a specialty cake from her, but for the baker on your list go with her cookbook, Calli Marie Bakes: Coffee Shop Baking at Home. Books are $35 on her website.

Cookie Bokay
I’m going to regret telling you this one. The Cookie Bokay is a cookie gift and delivery service that has been in business for 29 years. They bake fresh cookies daily that they arrange in bouquets or baskets and deliver, much like flowers or fruit, only tastier. The Cookie Bokay’s cookies are delectable. You can get a special holiday cookie bouquet, or just order half a dozen cookies and wrap them up in a box yourself. The Cookie Bokay offers nine flavors, including one monthly special flavor. The cookies are HUGE and will melt in your mouth. The Cookie Bokay is at 1809 Cassat Ave. You can order cookies at (904)-388-9000. The cookie monster on your list will thank you.

Dog Beer
If you’re looking for something fun for a dog in your life, check out Bark on Park, a dog boutique in Five Points. Their (non-alcoholic) dog beer will be the perfect thing for your next trip with Fido to the brewery.

Dry Rubs, Sauces and T-shirts From Butt Hutt
If you have a BBQ aficionado or food truck fan on your list, check out the merch Butt Hutt Smokehouse has to offer. One of the Jacksonville’s favorite food trucks, Butt Hutt offers five sauces for their BBQ and makes those same flavors in dry rubs as well. You can order one sauce or rub for $6, build a gift basket of your faves, or get one of everything, plus a Butt Hutt t-shirt. Prices for baskets range from $35-$75. Check out Butt Hutt’s gift options here.

Butt Hutt Sauces and Rubs

Raneri’s Gourmet Sauces
Raneri’s Gourmet is a local gourmet food company producing sauces and spices with a Southern influence. Their BBQ, Hot Honey BBQ, and Steak Sauce together make a great gift for that person who loves to grill. You can get a set of three sauces for $18 from Raneri’s Gourmet here.

Sustainable Springfield Honey

Sustainable Springfield is a local 501(c)3 non-profit organization in the Springfield neighborhood. Sustainable Springfield took a blighted lot and turned it into a community garden in 2010. They also have a children’s garden, quarterly food swaps, and among other things, bees! Sustainable Springfield sells the wildflower honey they harvest from their bees. It doesn’t get much more local than that. Order your Sustainable Springfield Honey here.

There you have it, our 2017 Local Foodie Gift Guide. Use it to shop for people on your list, or for yourself. We won’t tell. 

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