3 Reasons to Brunch at Black Sheep | Review, Photography

4/23/2014

On the first season of my TV Show Like Love Want Need I had the great privilege of covering a trendy new foodie destination, Black Sheep, located in Jacksonville, FL. So impressed with the innovative design and distinctive menu, it quickly rose to one of my favorite locally owned spots. Since that episode, Black Sheep has settled in nicely as a staple in the Riverside community of 5 Points, and a must visit date night "go to" for all of Jacksonville. 

A few changes have been made since my show's feature including executive chef Waylon Rivers taking the helm after many years under owner and Chef Jonathan Insetta's tutelage. The rooftop bar was just coming together when we filmed, now it is a highly sought after space for open air dining, drinks, and parties. With outdoor eating at it's finest this spring, I had to stop by and get reacquainted with Black Sheep and see what sets her brunch menu apart. What I discovered are my:
On the menu:
Lobster Roll
garden salad
3 Reasons to Brunch at 
Black Sheep


1. Standing Out in Name and Deed

Off the menu- By Request
Chuck Norris Burger
cowboy farms grassed beef,
 farm egg, pimento cheese, hand cut fries
Staying true to it's name Black Sheep stands apart from the crowd. A style, and flavor all it's own it simultaneously makes good common sense, and screams "I am one of a kind!". For some people "different" can be uncomfortable, but for Black Sheep, "different" is a reminder of times gone by when food was fresh, and bursting with flavor. Perhaps known as a "going out" destination where prices might be high, I was surprised how reasonable the Brunch menu was ranging from $7-$18 including traditional and more adventurous selections. Seeking great food but sick of stuffy atmospheres? Black Sheep is family friendly and casual, focusing on good quality ingredients and what matters most, people. It's trendy location draws a hip crowd as well, giving it loads of cool factor.







On the menu:
Pastrami Hash
pastrami cured in house, farm raised eggs 

2. The Rumors are True

On the menu:
Little Gem Salad
shaved fennel, heirloom tomatoes, green goddess dressing
Perhaps you've heard of Black Sheep but have remained content "on your side of the ditch" or in your comfort zone of favorite dining rituals. Maybe you question the authenticity of the claims so many have made about just how fantastic the food really is. Let me assure you, the rumors are entirely true. This local phenomenon just keeps getting it right with it's bourbon inspired bar, and it's Southern Regional Americana fare. Chef Waylon and his team deliver flavor combinations that leap off the plate such as the pastrami hash, Chuck Norris burger (by request), and little gem salad. When I asked about the secret to their following Chef Waylon gave credit to the farm raised and locally produced ingredients that go into each dish. He also mentioned their continued innovation dishing out new tasty delights like rye and sorghum cured salmon, and made from scratch bagels, coming soon.

On the menu:
Eggs Benedict
biscuit, bentons country ham, poached eggs,
spicy hollandaise,
fried fingerling potato home fries

3. A Difference You Can Taste

On the menu:
Blackberry Pie
ginger, oatmeal, struesel

Equal parts rebellious, southern, bluesy, fresh, herbal, and lip smacking good. The smokey, savory, and sweet cross paths at Black Sheep defining one of the most distinct flavor identities I've been privileged to get up close and personal with. Entrees pair perfectly with cocktails epitomizing what I'd like to call the "Black Sheep effect". So profound are the flavors, I could easily recognize them in a blind taste test (bring it). It would be easy to assume that talent and flavor naturally bring success, however that would be an over simplification. A great restaurant is not unlike a symphony pooling the right talent, tools, and inspiration together cohesively to create a style all it's own. Black Sheep nails it with their southern appeal, and casual sophistication. Owner Jon Insetta is no stranger to crafting brands that have staying power. Every time I have the chance to interview his staff, I love hearing how they "wouldn't work for anyone else". When the staff can't stay away, it's a sign that passion goes into every dish. What's not to love about that?

On the menu: (L to R)
Dusty Boot, Heavens Gate, Beermosa

On the menu:
Strawberry Rhubarb Tart
Brunch continues to be a crowd favorite and "must have" on destination diners lists. It goes without saying this would fall as a priority to Black Sheep as they present deep south favorites, and simple yet elevated classics. 

Open for Brunch 9:30am-3:00pm Saturday and Sunday.
Gluten Free Menu Available

Until then...

Enjoy the Journey!

xo- Amy West

www.amywesttravel.com

You'll find more great images from my Black Sheep brunch on facebook!

Read the full "Best in Brunch" review on each location here. 

Watch Amy talk "Best in Brunch" on News 4 Jax.


Watch the full episode featuring Black Sheep here.


 Copyright © Amy West Travel. All rights reserved.

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