2017 has given us some gems and some duds. We ate 30+ Philly Cheesesteaks in order to rank the best ones in town (and my car smelled like cheesesteaks for days). We also saw a number of new restaurant openings- some fantastic and some missing the mark, badly.
Let’s look at the best of what 2017 gave us in no particular order…
- We shared Nana Teresa’s Bake Shop with you, AKA heaven on earth. If you STILL haven’t been, what are you waiting for?! Gas up the car and head to Fernandina for the most divine treats in Northeast Florida.
- Chef Tom Gray of Moxie opened his new restaurant, Town Hall, in San Marco. Town Hall is one of the best restaurants in town right now. The food is consistently fantastic and the service is excellent.
- The Happy Grilled Cheese opened their brick and mortar store and downtown lunchgoers couldn’t be happier about their new cheesy options. Hey HGC, you make US melt!
- Chef Kenny Gilbert of Gilbert’s Social celebrated one year in Jax and let us in on the tumultuous first year that was. Chef Kenny now has even more hurricanes under his belt, but that’s not stopping him from developing more restaurants for hungry Jacksonville diners. He has more in store for us in 2018.
- We ranked the best seven Philly Cheesesteaks in Jax and included some honorable mentions. Have you eaten all of them yet?
- We made a Mimosa Directory because we knew you needed one as much as we did. Cheers!
- The internet went crazy on our article about legit Filipino food in Jax. Have you had your lumpia, longanisa, and pork sisig?
- We made a directory of gluten free eats for our gluten free friends. You deserve good food, too, GF friends!
- The best ramen place in Jax opened. Whether you choose Shio, Shoyu, Tonkotsu, or Spicy Kimchi, Chef Levi will serve you the best bowl of ramen you’ve had all year.
- A new Dim Sum place opened! While Timwah’s opening was rough, the food has been excellent from the beginning. They did streamline their operations and dining at Timwah is now a delightful experience.
- Your Pie started what may be the best kept secret on the Jax food scene- the Local Pie Series. Because the staff at Your Pie Southside and Your Fleming Island is so passionate about pizza, they started coming up with their own insane monthly pizza specials. So far we’ve seen a Sriracha Nacho Pie complete with crushed Doritos, and a Slider Pie which was the pizza version of a Krystal burger. Regardless of the month, the Local Pie is not your average pizza- it’s insane flavors that inexplicably work for the foodiest among us.
And what we’d rather forget about 2017…
- We were fed locally sourced catchphrases at Bread and Board. You’ll never look at arugula the same way again. For what it’s worth, we went again just this month to give it another chance. It was exactly the same experience. For what it’s worth, a lot of people love Bread and Board. We still don’t understand.
- Good Dough let us down with their shiny millennial trappings and lack of good dough to back it up. Don’t let everyone’s insta posts fool you. You’re paying for the photo op, not legit donuts. I know some folks can’t get enough Good Dough donuts. We’re going to have to agree to disagree.
- We ate terrible Latin-Caribbean food at El Taino. Have you been? We hear it’s hit or miss. But the miss is huge. Beware.
- The Jaguars food service, Delaware North, served our aunt a corn dog that looked like it had been stepped on. While consistency has been a struggle for Delaware North at Everbank, they have taken positive steps, including hiring an all new game day staff, revamping a number of recipes, and having salt and pepper shakers available. They finished the year definitively better than they started. And for the first time in Delaware North’s tenure at Everbank they are facing the challenge of feeding playoff crowds to kickoff 2018. Go Jags!
- We ate the saltiest food of our southern lives at a southern comfort food place. That’s saying something.
There you have it! The good definitely outweighed the bad when it came to eating our way through 2017. What was your best and worst food experience of 2017?
Your review of Good Dough is so off base, I can’t take the rest of the article seriously. Good Dough’s dedication to fresh, locally sourced ingredients, including partnership to Vagabond Coffee, along with their wonderful neighborhood service, always results in an amazing experience!