July 30, 2014

904 Life ~ A New Page

Every now and then I run across something here in the 904 that I want to think about sharing.  Well the time has finally come for me to introduce
904 Life
My plan is to share those hidden nuggets that I stumble upon from restaurants, businesses and other jewels.
 .  Granted this page is currently a little light but hey you have to start somewhere right?
Concepts in Focus
What prompted me finally starting this is the fact that I was paid $85 today for spending 90 minutes with a research team from Cracker Barrel!! That's right I was paid to go to one of my favorite travel restaurants.  This isn't the first time that I've been involved with a focus group and made EASY money. Concepts in Focus is a marketing research firm working in the 904 and always looking for new participants to expand their database. Use this link to access their Join Our Database page for focus groups, and this link for surveys.  The more information you provide them will help you qualify for more focus groups to participate in.  The question is Person Who Referred You To Our Site ~ Please use my name Lady Bren :) I do not get compensated for referring anyone to them however it lets them know that I am a "voice" or at least trying to be here in the 904.

I thought I'd also include my first restaurant review here as well.  
Gumbo YaYa's 

7pm Saturday night and we couldn't decide where to eat and  oh so tired of the chain stuff.  We turned to our Jacksonville coupon magazine (you know the ones you buy from the kids at school)  and  found Gumbo Ya-Ya's.  Ok I'll admit being a huge fan of the Sandra Bullock movie the name had me snagged.  Mind you we were driving almost an hour so our expectations were high. And after a long day's work hubby was HUNGRY
    Being a Saturday when they offer Shrimp and Crab boils there were two larger cookers outside welcoming you with glorious smells.  As we walked in they were preparing platters filled with Crabs, corn, sausages, potatoes that were reminiscent of the crab boils back home on Long Island.
    The restaurant is small with 6 tables inside however there is a covered patio that can hold a number of large groups.  There are tv's in and out with sports on.  
    Our waitress was very sweet and helpful.  Seeing I couldn't decide she recommended the Trios Choix which includes your choice of gumbo, an entree (with some understandable exclusions) and a side. I chose Seafood Gumbo, Shrimp  Etouffee and because I'm a preschooler at heart Macaroni and Cheese.  Hubby had the Crab Boil.
    I have never had such an incredible meal in what we used to call "A Hole in the Wall" restaurant.  Despite all the tables inside full and two large groups outside our food came quickly and the service was wonderful.  Gumbo Ya-Ya's makes their own hot sauce ~ as I am a wimp you're going to have to take hubby's word that it rocks. 
    The Crab Boil: As you can see from the picture it is a nice size portion.  He had 6 clusters of crab legs, two hunks of sausage, corn and potatoes.  The seasoning used definitely wasn't Old Bay and while hubby did use some of the Ya-Ya's sauce he didn't need much! It took him nearly an hour but he did earn the clean plate award.
    My dinner choice was a wonderful introduction to the restaurant's flavors.  The Gumbo was great, not too spicy but just enough to remind you you're eating Cajun food. My next choice is going to be my main entree next time we go: Shrimp Etouffee.  If I could have sent the Macaroni and Cheese back (and that says a lot as I love my M/C) and gotten a second serving of the Etouffee have no doubts I would have.  The shrimp popped in your mouth with flavor.  At first I would only let hubby have pieces of bread dipped in the sauce as i didn't want to share  but I broke down and gave him a full bit as he had to experience this heavenly dish. Just so you know I wiped the plate clean with the bread they get from New Orleans.  The Macaroni and Cheese was wonderful; I plan on trying the Bodin Balls next time.
    I had a great time talking with Lauren and Rob the owners.  I love that they were there working on a Saturday night.  They're both from N.O. and while they live in the 904 the paraphernalia decorating the restaurant tells you where their hearts  long to be,  In fact during football season if LSU or the Saints score customers are rewarded with free Jello Shots~~get happy.
    After that great meal there was no way we had room for desserts SO we took some home.  Hubby (and daughter who didn't dine with us) loved the Jack Daniel's Bread Pudding while I enjoyed the Hammond's Delight; A cherry and pineapple cobbler.  I appreciated being given the heating instructions for both.

My only fuss is this:  I wish they would change their plates to somethings reusable rather than disposable.  My Hurricane was served in a Styrofoam cup, which I thought strange as the beer was served in a glass, and my three dishes were all in disposable bowls.  I do understand their choice as their square footage is quite limited it is just a personal preference.  
We have already scheduled a dinner date in our iPhones for a return visit!  Next time it will be during the week when they make fresh Beignets ~ OH MOMMA
So that's my new page on the blog ~ there's a tab at top did you see it? 
That's it for today sweeties.
Remember to
 Always be Glorious & 
Wear Your Invisible Crown
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