First of all, let me just say that this post is horribly overdue ... but, I'm hoping my good friend will give me a pass considering the week I've had ;)
Sooooo .... I got invited to my very first ever social networking event!! ohmygosh - I can't even tell you how much fun I had!! Before I even say another thing, I want to give a huge big thank you to Eric over at Purple Moon Media for deeming me worthy enough to invite. You are the awesomest, Eric!!! Just look at how happy we are ;)
AND ... a second apology for the fuzziness of the pictures. I was taking these with my phone, and was supposed to be tweeting these, but I apparently broke Twitter. Not one single tweet went through. I was soooooo annoyed. So, instead of getting an awesome stream of consciousness babbling live, y'all have to wait for me to do it in one whole blog. Maybe I should apologize a third time, too. *snort*
So, I grabbed my buddy Brandon and we headed to Jax 5th Ave of Lake Mary. I was incredibly excited, because I knew the food was going to be phenomenal. We started with a drink - some of us obviously take our beer selections more seriously than others.
And then the food started showing up. Y'all, I knew we were going to eat, but I was not prepared. There was no way I could even begin to prepare for the onslaught of insane yumminess that was about to bombard our table! I love me some good pub food. I know most people think it is so boring and so overdone, but when it is done really well, it can be just as fantastic as a dinner at any fancy-schmancy place you can imagine. Jax? They do it really well!
When you sit down at the table, they bring you a jar of homemade pickles. They are so fresh and so crisp! They pickle them right there on the property, and you just haven't eaten until you've eaten a FRESH pickle! Like I said, sometimes the simple things really can be the key!
If fresh pickles aren't enough for you, they have them fried. Alright, I know what you're thinking, because I thought the same thing. This whole fried pickle craze ... oy. I mean, anyone can throw a pickle in some batter and fry it, and it tastes like ... well ... just fried food. But these are so different. They are so crisp! In fact, let me tell you just how crisp they are. We were running really late to the event. Brandon got out of his meeting late and had to drive all the way from Celebration to College Park to pick me up, and then we were off to Lake Mary. In rush hour traffic - in the rain. Y'all know that this was a schlep and a half to get there. By the time we arrived, appetizers had already been served, and we were able to get the last couple of pickles. I just knew they'd be soggy and cold and icky. I readied myself for the worst. Holyshmoke was I surprised! They were still a bit warm (not hot, because seriously, we were late) ... but the crispyness of the batter around the pickle! Brandon and I were both totally shocked. I can only imagine how yummy these things are right out of the batter!! We also had some of chicken wings - Hubby's favorite!! These were the "Tropical Thunder" flavor. So sweet when you first bite into them, and then suddenly they bite right back! YUM! Those are flakes of coconut you see sprinkled on the wing. Quite possibly my favorite part. No, wait, my favorite part is that wings on Monday and Friday are 50cents!! (select hours, check their site for times)
Are you ready for a sandwich and some salad? We were! This is the Chef Salad. I was very curious when this was put down in front of me. First of all, there's no way for you to even see how HUGE this bowl is. Secondly, um ... what are those big white things all over the top of the salad?
Oh ... wait!! That's *cheese*!! Umm... that's some fantastic cheese. The rest of the salad is really good, too. But, seriously, it starts with the cheese ;)
We also had the Monster Roast Beef Wrap. They weren't kidding. My hubby is a champion eater, and I think this thing would put him over the edge. This dish is one of those things I would get for dinner and then have leftovers for lunch the next day. I think there is an entire cow's worth of roast beef. I was impressed with the flavor of the beef, and the freshness of the ingredients with it: provolone, shrooms, ranch dressing... so good! You can see pictures of it under these yummy little sips of "Dirty Beaver" we were trying out. I would love to tell you what was in it, but now I've forgotten. I know it was a French liquor of some sort.
And let's not forget the burger! The Jax Burger is just my favorite kind of burger: 1/2lb of fresh ground beef, swiss cheese, bacon, shrooms, onions, and an onion roll. I can't even tell you how much this is my favorite flavor combo for burgers. I will order this hands down every single time. But of all the burgers I've had, Jax's is by far the most flavorful. The bacon was super crisp, and you can just tell that the ingredients are of a higher quality. Check it out!
Now, y'all know that my highlight of the night was dessert, but, before I get there, I have to say that the meal was topped by the prime rib. I don't often order prime rib, because ... well ... because I'm cheap. (I'll admit it, I have very little shame.) This prime rib was worthy enough to be on the table of a steak house. It melted like butter, just as it is supposed to. I was really impressed. It isn't often that you can walk into a pub-style bar with food and order a really decent piece of meat.
And one last thing before I get to the desserts, Brandon wanted me to show you that his favorite part was the water glasses. Because, when you're eating amazing food and drinking lots of beer, you need to be hydrated, and he finds it annoying when the waitress brings you a tiny little glass of water. Not Jax. They brought Brandon such a big cup that he said, "You gotta take a picture! It makes my hand look tiny!" smh. Indeed, Brandon .... Indeed. ;)
Now ... last, but certainly not least ... the desserts. Again, I was pleased that the selections were familiar, but there was a unique take on all of them. The Brownie Sandwich seems just like a simple brownie with ice cream and whipped cream, topped with chocolate chips and syrup ... and maybe it is just that simple. But the brownie is homemade, and super delicious. The serving is huge - it took all four of us at the table to take care of it. Although, I'll be honest, the way all four of us like chocolate, I'm sure one of could have eaten the whole thing .......... but for all the burger and fried pickle and prime rib ... ;)
We also had the Fried Cheese Cake Sundae. Yummmmmmmm. Yeah, you can never really go wrong with fried. cheesecake. and a martini glass. The fact that the cheese cake bits are bananas foster makes it so much better. Then, of course, you're topping it with whipped cream and chcolate syrup ... all over the vanilla ice cream. Holy cow.
Believe it or not, that was not my favorite dessert. And, I'm super sad to say that I totally forgot to get a picture of what my favorite was. Hashtag blogger fail. I know. My favorite was actually the strawberry shortcake. Wait, what?! I know, right?! I love strawberry shortcake, but like most of my female contemporaries, I quickly pass it over whenever I see words like "chocolate" and "cheese cake". I can honestly say that I would order this dessert before the other two. The sponge cake was super moist and bouncy - just the way grandma made it! The layers of strawberry puree frosting was really good, and you can tell some attention is given to it. Topped with whipped cream and fresh sliced strawberries, it really was the way to finish off an event on a hot summer night. THAT is what Florida is supposed to taste like.
Overall, I am incredibly impressed by the extensive menu at Jax. This is not your everyday bar where maybe you can grab a bite while you're there. Jax is a place you go to eat and enjoy the more than 60 craft beers on tap. You will certainly see Hubby and me there - probably on a Monday or Friday evening for 50cent wings ;) .... and strawberry shortcake ..... and prime rib .... and the Jax burger. ;) I would be amiss if I didn't mention the great service we had, and the fun trivia night that was going on while we were there. The atmosphere was fantastic, and we really did have a great time.
Thank you, Jax! Can't wait to see you again!
And thank you, Eric! See you soon!!