Flava Moose

I posted something on Instagram a while back… I don’t remember what, but I do post a lot of food pics (food, Jamberry, seashells and my Pomeranian!) and I received a notification that Flava Moose liked my photo.

Flava Moose?  Oh, I had to see who was this Flava Moose.

Flava Moose is just the yummiest, most overwhelming and awesome ice cream shop in the universe!  (And I’ve made it my mission to check them all out!) Flava Moose may just be my favorite though.

Why?  Well, to start with, the combinations are endless!  IMG_3814.jpg

You begin by choosing a size… a Small is still three scoops…. just sayin’….

Then you choose whether you want Ice Cream, Gelato or Ice.

Next you you have to pick a Milk…. Soy, Cashew, Almond, Coconut, 2% Lactade, Whole or Greek Yogurt. (I’d vote for whole milk, but if you have a dairy issue, they’ve got you covered!)

Nope, not done yet…. What kind of sugar do you want to use?  Splenda, Honey, Regular Sugar, Maple Sugar or Stevia?

How about a waffle bowl?  Or would you like you ice cream in a crepe?  They’re made fresh as you watch.

(I was talking with the Flava Moose man during my last visit and I’d mentioned that I was img_3816Gluten Free so I couldn’t have the waffle bowl….the delicious smell was torture! and he said that they’d been considering adding GF waffles and crepes.  Eeeeep! Of course I squealed and promised that I’d come in and taste test for them! One in each flavor should do it, right?)

No no, we’re not done… I got side-tracked with the whole GF waffle bowl thing….. NOW…. pick a flavor.  Your brain may just possibly explode from the sheer possibilities of deliciousness.

 

 

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Brian chooses chocolate every time.  He says he’s a purist.  (whatever)  Mom is working her way through the fruit flavors and I’m bouncing around the menu.  Blackberry & Raspberry was delicious!  So was Lavender & Raspberry….. (I’m on a raspberry kick lately.) I’m thinking I want to try the chai next time… or maybe the rose?  There are also veggie flavors to choose from.. carrot, broccoli, aloe, corn…. I’m not sure about those…. they sound too healthy.

 

 

Okay, but that’s just the ingredients… now lets talk about how it’s made!  Each order is made individually… that’s how you can have so many combinations.  They first blend the base flavor and the milk then the concoction is poured over a -40° pan.  Using two scraper/spatulas they scrape and smooth and blend the ice cream mixture until it is just the smoothest, creamiest and dreamiest.img_3812

Of course you can add toppings and sauces, but I don’t usually choose to add any. I think I heard that there were over 18 different toppings.

It’s not a super fast process, but it is fun to watch.  We took our out-of-town-friends to try Flava Moose last week.  It was our last stop on the two-day “See Where We Live Now” tour and we were all getting kind of tired from running around.  It was nice to stop and let the ice cream be the entertainment for a bit.  The Flava Moose crew mixed our ice creams and chatted with us as one at a time we each received our chosen creations.  We’d all grab a spoon and sample each other’s and oooh and ahh.  Then the next ice cream mix was being drizzled on the -40° pan and the scraping, smearing and squooshing show would begin again.  It would probably make a great first date stop.  The shop is only two blocks from the beach… after you got your ice cream you could walk to the beach to eat it…. yeah… ice cream and a walk on the beach… totally romantic!  (Yes, my idea of romance does include ice cream…. duh.)

Every time you leave the Flava Moose crew hollers “Bye, see you tomorrow!” and I think ‘thank, goodness I don’t live closer or, yeah… I would back tomorrow.  Blast you, Moosie!’

 

311 North 3rd Street
Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250

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Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe

A few weeks ago I noticed the sign for Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe and immediately googled the menu.  Jackpot!  Right on the front page of the menu it said that most items either were, or could be Gluten Free.

I’ve been trying to drag Mom and Brian there, but they kept making faces at me.  I like really Greek food… the more olives, grape leaves, lamb and feta that you can throw at a dish the better.  Mom and Brian aren’t quite into it that much, so I had to keep giving them the menu and whining to get them to go.

It’s a good thing it took me several tries to get them to go since apparently Taziki’s didn’t open until that very day.  We missed the grand opening event by an hour, but they were still quite busy.  The owner, John, came over to greet us and chat about the menu.  I told him that we were excited to see so many Gluten Free options on the menu.  (I like to make tell the owners/staff/chefs how much I appreciate the GF options.  I know it can be more work to keep things safe for us GF people and I like to make sure they know how much it is appreciated… and that it affects our decision to choose a restaurant.)

John was super sweet and knowledgable about the menu.  He mentioned a lemon chicken soup and since Brian was working on a cold I asked if that one was GF.  He thought for a moment and then replied that no, it wasn’t because the stock had wheat.  I was impressed that he knew.  Later when he visited our table to check on us he told us that everyone who works at the cafe has to take tests on all the menu items and has to know what is in everything.  Nice.

I ordered the Taziki’s Feast without the skordalia sauce, since it isn’t GF.

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 Taziki’s Feast with the Chargrilled Lamb – Fresh grilled lamb, carefully seasoned, and served with our homemade skordalia sauce 

It was fabulous! I really liked the salad too.  Could have used more olives, but that could just be me and my olive obsession.

You’ll notice the Pita triangle on the edge of my plate.  Not Gluten Free.   I mentioned it to John when he stopped by to check up on us.  I said it would be nice if they had a button or something to denote Gluten Free orders to prevent cross contamination.  He was very apologetic and said they did have a GF button (or something similar) and that the kitchen should have known better.  They’d only been open a few hours, and it was crazy busy.  I was impressed with how well they did with our orders as it was, so I didn’t really want to complain… just point it out.  It was obvious and I was able to remove it and just avoid that area of the salad.

Mom and Brian really enjoyed their lunches too.  Brian had salmon, Mom had shrimp and I stole nibbles from both.  I think I’ll order the shrimp next time.  It was quite tasty with the lemon and butter.

All in all I’m pretty excited about the new restaurant.  They’re impressive with they’re understanding of the menu and all the ingredients.  The Pita Triangle guy needs a bit of work, but it was the first two hours, so….  The food was delicious, fresh and bright and the restaurant is pretty and spacious.  I’m looking forward to going back soon.  Mom and Brian even agree… I win again!

14035 Beach Blvd.
Suite 8
Jacksonville, FL 32224

 

Tommy’s Brick Oven Pizza

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Brian has been wanting to try Tommy’s Brick Oven Pizza for a while now, but some how Epik Burger keeps interfering… (I dunno… don’t look at me…. ) The other night he was craving pizza and I’d had my Epik Burger fix the day before so I couldn’t really say anything.  Tommy’s had really good reviews on Find Me Gluten Free.

Why haven’t we been eating here all along?!  The pizza was fabulous!  No, seriously… not ‘good for gluten free,’ but GOOD… actually good. Best of all, the Gluten Free-ness of the pizza seemed to be an honest concern for the staff.   Out front there’s a guy tossing pizza dough in the air and stretching crust onto pans…..  and that just looks like Gluten Doom…. but then I saw one of the other guys dissapear into a different room and come back with the prepared GF pizza on a sheet of parchment paper.  The pizza was transfered from the paper into the brick oven…. completely avoiding the gluten-ed crust tossing area.

According to their menu all the toppings are Gluten Free except for the meatballs.

Mom and I decided to share a pizza.  They’re 12″ and that’s plenty for the two of us.

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Funghi Pizza
This pesto based pie is topped with Portabella and button mushroom slices, and lightly topped with mozzarella, then dusted with Romano cheese for the finishing touch.

The Brumos (59) Racer Pie
A ‘World-Class’ Pie, for our local ‘World-Class’ Daytona Racing team: Pepperoni, Sausage, Bacon, and Ham. A True Champion!img_3582

Brian was right…. and now I’m addicted to Tommy’s pizza.  We went back again a few nights later.  This time I wanted to try a pizza with the tomato sauce instead of the Basil Pesto…. Brian has already settled on his favorite and he went with the Brumos (59) Race Pie again.  This time Mom and I split the Jack Murray Pie.

img_3717Jack Murray Pie

Everyone loved Tommy’s Uncle Jack, and he loved it loaded! Here’s his favorite with Pepperoni, Sausage, Mushrooms, Green Peppers, Onions, Olives, and Bacon.

I’m not sure which was my favorite…. both were really good. I’m thinking next time I’ll tell Mom to order the Funghi Pie and Brian to order the Brumos Racer Pie and then I’ll steal pieces from them both!

4160 Southside Boulevard Unit 2
Jacksonville FL 32216

Sweet by Holly

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Cuuuuupppcaaaakkkeeeesssss!!!!!

OMGeee, these things were little sprinkle covered cups of happiness!

I’d tried to get Brian to go with me to Sweet by Holly the day before, but he’d gotten kind of annoyed with me when I lured him into Target saying that I just needed tape…. and then four boxes of coffee and a small turkey later we were hiking across the parking lot with arm-loads of shopping bags.

Mom and I returned the next day after spending the day at the beach…. Yay for 76° days in November!

Sweet by Holly had gotten really good reviews on the Find Me Gluten Free app…. and well, its cupcakes… I had to check them out!  We even got one for Brian.

Chocolate Raspberry:
Chocolate cake filled with raspberry and swirled chocolate and raspberry buttercream

Chocolate Peanut Butter:
Chocolate and peanut butter batter swirled together, along with chocolate and peanut butter buttercream swirled together

Black Out:
Imported semi sweet chocolate is melted into both the cake and the frosting without restraint. The best extra brute cocoa powder in the world is then added to create a richness and depth of flavor that knock you off your feet!

The cupcakes were delicious.  Mom and Brian gave them 4 out of 5 stars.  I’m not sure what they’d have wanted for that extra star… I thought they were pretty fantastic.  Not at all grainy or crumbly… they were moist and super flavorful.

I really appreciated that all the GF cupcakes were in a separate case. It always makes me nervous when the GF and Non-GF items are in the same display case.

We got there pretty late in the day and there were still several choices of GF cupcake flavors to choose from.  I have plans to go back and sample the rest of them soon!

Sweet by Holly
ST. JOHN’S TOWN CENTER
4624 Town Crossing Dr. – Suite 137
Jacksonville, FL 32246

Epik Burger

One of the (many) things that I am loving about our new life in Florida is how easy it is to find good Gluten Free food. I am blown away by how many places offer delicious gf options and how no one (so far) treats us like freaks. Back in Missouri we were always getting the eye-roll or the blank stare when we’d say we were gf. So far everyone has been nice, understanding and reassuring about the safety and gluten-less-ness of our food. It’s been an amazing relief. 

Epik Burger has quickly become one of my favorite places to eat in Jacksonville. There are lots of great sounding places with good reviews on the Find Me Gluten Free app, but I’m struggling not to ask for Epik Burger all the time!  

Maybe I wouldn’t feel so bad if I’d at least try a different burger each time I went. There are a ton of gluten free options, but I’ve already fallen in love with the Epikurean Burger… I want to try other burgers… but it’s sooo good…. I’m addicted. 


Epikurean Burger -Maytag Bleu Cheese, Truffle Mousse, Pancetta, Mushrooms, Blackberry Jam, Balsamic Mayo, Green Onions, Parmesan Cheese

Yes, blackberry jam, I am so serious… it’s insane… with the Bleu cheese… oh! 

The gluten free bun is really good too. Not the best I’ve ever had, it’s just slightly on the crumbly side, but not bad. 


And what overly indulgent burger would be complete without an equally indulgent side of Bacon Cheese Fries?! (The French fries are GF too!) 

Bacon Cheese Fries –
Cheese Sauce, Bacon, Green Onion, Jalapeno

Epik Burger
12740 Atlantic Blvd
Unit 105
Jacksonville, FL 32225