3 Reasons to get Social | Best in Brunch | Review, Photos, Video

Amy with GM Benjamin Kingsbury

The latest stop on my “Best in Brunch” series tour was recently rebranded Jacksonville Beach foodie destination, Jaxon Social. Previously named KC Crave, Jaxon Social has taken a course adjustment that I completely approve of. I had already fallen in love with their fresh, eclectic fare, but now I’m infatuated with their more social concept and casual shift in their atmosphere.

Perhaps known before as more of a “night out” spot based on their decor and menu options, now you feel more inclined to kick back and stay awhile. You will find more diners socializing during happy hour, and even bringing the kiddos out for a more family friendly vibe. Located at the beach, I think this was a great move since most locals are more comfortable in flip flops than date night’s finest (although it’s still a top notch date night spot- let’s be clear). Rising above those preconceived ideas and stereotypes, now more people are venturing in to enjoy the talented creations of Executive Chef Matt Kemper and Head Mixologist Carissa Quigg. What better way to enjoy their new style than during brunch, where diners have the option of sitting outdoors on the patio, in their newly redesigned dining room, or upstairs in the tap room? I found myself doing just that last week, and added a few new favorite dishes to my roster. Here are my:

On the menu:
Summer Parfait
greek yogurt, macerated strawberries, pineapples, blueberries and grapes with house-made granola
3 Reasons to Get Social for Brunch

1. Get Social
On the menu:
Florentine Benedicto
vine-ripe tomatoes, smoked gouda creamed spinach,
two poached eggs with creamy hollandaise

One of the first things that jumped out at me during my review was the sheer enthusiasm this team emanates. The excitement is real, and contagious. Chatting with general manager Benjamin Kingsbury, you can’t help but smile. With charisma you would expect from a motivational speaker, Benjamin explained to me their name change and the meaning behind it. Names are full of purpose and this group wanted their name to reflect even more of the heart and soul behind their business. Owned and operated by a crew of locally grown restauranteurs, the concept was always to serve inspiring, and distinctive food and drink in an environment that drew the masses in and invited them to stay. After testing their original concept out they determined a subtle adjustment was needed to hit the target head on. That adjustment came in  the form of a more casual ambiance, and more social activities, including “Social Sundays” to be held one Sunday a month. During “Social Sundays” a variety of fun events will be planned, for instance during one future event diners will be able to purchase a ticket for brunch and a tour of local breweries. Live music on the patio and corn hole will also make an appearance to engage the crowd and give them an opportunity to win free drinks (yes please). What you will find unchanged is their incredible menu, full of tasty dishes ideal for sharing. 

On the menu:
Panko  encrusted French Toast

2. Get Fresh
On the menu:
pineapple and jalapeño-infused 360 vodka,
fresh orange and pineapple juices, muddled cilantro

Holding their own along side the ever rising standard of dining on the First Coast, you have to expect a lot out of a restaurant whose garden has it’s own facebook page. With fresh kale, eggplant, squash, and a host of herbs harvested from the garden, there is no doubt you are eating fresh. Jaxon Social is committed to purchasing as much from local purveyors as possible not just because of flavor, but also because they support the local economy as a home grown business themselves. I loved tasting the crisp, out of the garden flavors of mint, rosemary, and cilantro. Of all the steps food takes to get to your plate, you have to applaud the one step approach. Out of the garden, onto your plate. This impact is apparent on each dish, and also each drink, as head mixologist Carrissa infuses these flavors into her unique, and highly lauded concoctions. You can get a taste of her famous creations at brunch with a refreshing rainbow of infused champagne cocktails, and with a $4 price tag, well who could resist?  

On the menu:
Champagne Cocktails

3. Get Original
On the menu:
Stone Fruit Bread Pudding
a la mode

I was impressed to hear of the leaderships purposeful intent of collaborating as a group. They encourage team participation in everything from seating diners, to creating new menu selections. Watching their dynamic, I saw for myself the hands on approach they take in everything they do. As a product of home grown businessmen and women, I’m the first to recognize incredible work ethic when I see it, and they have it in spades. Innovation is also a staple of their methodology. When I questioned Chef Matt on what inspires his dishes he related his love of creating classics with a futuristic twist. “If you’re ripe, you’re rotten.” Benjamin quoted, saying this is a common motto among their team. In order to succeed, you have to be ahead of the curve, not on it. If you think you just nailed that trend, it’s probably already over. I found this group has all the ingredients they need to soar above any expectations leveled on them. A passionate, trendsetting crew, ahead of their game, on a path that without doubt, will lead to success in whatever they do. 

On the menu:
Fish ‘N Grits
golden fried haddock, stone-ground grits and savory chorizo etouffee
I can’t wait to experience one of the “Social Sundays” for myself, and discover what other great surprises they have up their sleeves for us all as they continue to grow as a staple in our local food culture. 
On the menu:
Cinnamon Fried Cheesecake
fillo dough, cinnamon sugar, vanilla ice cream, bananas, caramel, whipped cream
Until then…
Enjoy the Journey!
xo- Amy West
Find more great photos from my experience on facebook here.

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