The FabuList 2017

ALP_2420// photos by Agnes Lopez

The prevailing wisdom is that there are some things that are just for women and some that are just for men. Yoga pants, for instance—girl thing. Monster trucks—guy stuff. Salads versus steaks. Pink versus blue.
Of course, most of life isn’t that rigidly divided. Sure, women get more manicures and some will brake for brunch, but many also think a good beer, a burger and a football game is about as good as it gets. Heck, they’re even letting girls into the boy scouts these days. So while the lines are blurred, differences are important.
Here you’ll find the results of Jax Mag’s annual FabuList poll, a reader survey created for women, by women. While the list does include a fair amount of traditionally more girly stuff like salads and shoes, we asked for input on things on which we thought women might have unique opinions—like which local bar they prefer to belly up to and where they’d choose to go on a first date. The multiple-choice questionnaire, posted on our website in mid-summer, garnered more than 1,300 responses from Northeast Florida women. Here’s what they said.

First Date:
Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails
By choosing Moxie as the place to take a first date, you’re telling him or her two things about yourself: You’re savvy enough to know about the hip restaurants in Jacksonville, but not so snobby that you’d avoid Town Center. We recommend having a seat in one of the cozy booths or at the upstairs bar, starting with the blue fin crab cakes and splitting a slice of deep-dish buttermilk pie for dessert. St. Johns Town Center
Anniversary Restaurant:
The Tree Steakhouse
The dark wood accents, the exposed brick, the candlelight, the piano in the Oak Bar—the ambiance at The Tree Steakhouse, a Mandarin landmark for 47 years, sets the mood for a perfectly romantic evening. Order the filet mignon (hey, it’s a special night) and celebrate with crème brûlée and a bottle of champagne. 11362 San Jose Blvd., Mandarin
Bachelorette Party Site:
Hamburger Mary’s
For the second year in a row, Hamburger Mary’s has dominated this category. And it’s easy to see why. The entertainment includes trivia on Wednesdays at 7:30 PM, bingo on Mondays at 7:30 PM and bawdy drag shows (Fridays-Sundays at 7:30 PM) sure to make the bride-to-be blush. And maybe a bridesmaid or two, as well. A piled-high Queen Mary burger and a Mary’s Punch are an enticing splurge after a strict pre-wedding diet. 3333 Beach Blvd., Southside
Girl-Friendly Bar:
Friday Wine Tasting, Riverside Liquors
For a few drinks with your besties, check out free Friday night wine tastings from 5-8 PM at Riverside Liquors. Each week, a different distributor showcases a selected winery’s wares, offering tastings of everything from crisp glasses of rosé to small-batch champagne. The seating area’s in the back, retail in the front for a bottle (or two, if you can’t decide) to go. 1251 King St., Riverside
Jax Jeans Source: Tenley Dietrich Tenley Dietrich is a one-stop women’s shop with apparel, jewelry, skincare products, greeting cards, candles, handbags and one of the hippest selections of jeans in the city including Mother Denim, McGuire Denim and more. The store’s new Shoppes of Avondale location means more space to dance when you find that perfect fit. 3548 St. Johns Ave., Avondale
Luxurious Spa Treatment:
Royal Coconut Milk & Honey Ritual, The Spa at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club
There’s luxurious and then there’s luxury. This body treatment (starting at $190 for 80 minutes) at The Spa at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club during which organic cane sugar, Fijian honey, coconut milk and exotic nut oils are combined to exfoliate, hydrate and renew the skin's moisture balance, is the latter. The 60,000-square-foot spa offers more than 100 services and treatments including massages, mani-pedis and facials—and food and libations—so you might as well spend the day. 200 Ponte Vedra Blvd., Ponte Vedra Beach
ALP_2445Ultimate Jax Cocktail:
Blood Orange Martini, Restaurant Orsay
The fresh, citrusy splash of oranges is the flavor of Florida, so it makes sense that this Orsay standard would take the Ultimate Cocktail category this year. Made with house-infused orange vodka, Campari, fresh pressed lemon and orange juices, blood orange purée and garnished with an orange peel, it’s as refreshing as it is pretty. Two, please. 3630 Park St., Avondale
Girls Night Out:
Black Sheep
Recipe for a perfect girls’ night out? Our readers suggest a warm evening on Black Sheep’s rooftop couches—by one of the fire pits if you can get it—a few Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing cocktails (Marlin and Barrel bearing amber rum, orangecello, Nardini Acqua di Cedro, orgeat and chocolate bitters), some roasted oysters and your girls. Extra credit for cute bartenders. 1534 Oak St., Five Points
Fave Lunchtime Salad:
Bang Bang Shrimp, The French Pantry
Fans line up outside this lunchtime landmark (literally, they do), but not for the ambiance—although it’s much improved after recent renovations. No, they’re after bruschetta, sandwiches, fresh baked breads and hearty salads, including the bang bang shrimp which has held our readers’ hearts for the second year in a row. A bed of greens topped with huge, crispy shrimp tossed in a creamy, spicy sauce still counts as a salad, so you might as well get a slice of wedding cake while you’re there. 6301 Powers Ave., Southside
Tastiest Juice/Smoothie Bar Beverages:
Native Sun
Just walking into Native Sun and taking a deep breath can make you feel healthier. With juices like the Swamp Life (kale, spinach, orange, pineapple, kiwi and ginger) and the Big Chill (pineapple, lime, cucumber and mint) and smoothies such as the Grasshopper (banana, spinach, cacao nibs, peppermint, soy milk and agave nectar), you can actually be a little healthier—without skimping on flavor. Three locations: 10000 San Jose Blvd., Mandarin; 11030 Baymeadows Rd., Southside; and 1585 3rd St. N., Jax Beach
Appetizer That’s Too Good To Share:
Smoked Chicken Nachos, Mojo BBQ
Get settled in with one of Mojo’s craft beers on tap or a glass of one of their vast selection of whiskeys and this huge plate of crisp fried tortilla chips loaded with pulled chicken, jalapeños, smoked tomatoes and Mojo BBQ sauce and slathered in Jack and cheddar cheeses… actually, just order two. You’ll want your own. Four area locations including 3572 St. Johns Ave., Avondale
Favorite Cheat Meal:
Wings at V Pizza
V Pizza’s chicken wings are a favorite of our readers, winning the wing category of our Best in Jax poll for the last two years. So it’s no surprise that when choosing a cheat meal, Northeast Florida ladies reach for these lemon-, olive oil-, rosemary- and garlic-marinated, wood-fired oven-roasted, caramelized onion-smothered bites of chickeny goodness. Just writing this makes us hungry for a plate. 1406 Hendricks Ave., San Marco; 12601 San Jose Blvd., Mandarin; 528 1st St. N., Jax Beach
Dessert to Die For:
Salted Caramel Cake, Biscottis
Though it was hard to narrow it down to just one of the tempting desserts stocked in Biscottis’ case of earthly delights, the salted caramel cake is tops with readers this year. A slice of the chocolate cake frosted with whipped caramel icing and topped with a generous helping of salted caramel pecans is one of the better ways we can think of to cap off a meal. Of course, it’s perfectly fine to skip the meal and dive right into dessert. 3556 St. Johns Ave., Avondale
Group Fitness Class:
Dance Trance
Not everyone thinks “fun” when they think “exercise.” But Dance Trance’s group fitness classes aim to change that. The studio’s challenging dance workouts range from kids to beginner to advanced. Two left feet? Try the PACE program, an introductory course designed to help you ease in to this concept of “dancing.” Regardless of one’s artistic talent, there’s no denying the routine’s aerobic requirements and healthy benefits. 214 Orange St., Neptune Beach; 1897 Island Wkwy., Amelia Island
Must-Try Hair Trend:
Beach Waves
It’s a good thing for Jax ladies that unkempt, fresh-from-the-shore hair remains trendy, because many of us spend a lot of our time in or around the ocean. If you don’t get this look naturally after you take a dip (or if you don’t have time to rush across The Ditch each morning before work), we suggest sea salt spray, dry shampoo and a good curling iron.
Best Mani-Pedis:
The Spa at One Ocean Resort
It’s a challenge finding the salon or spa to which you feel comfortable trusting your nails. You’ve gotta jibe with the tech or else the whole experience ends up being awkward. Our readers favor the atmosphere at One Ocean, an elegant beachfront resort awash in coastal colors where a deluxe mani-pedi ($140 for both, 110 minutes total) includes a massage, exfoliating scrub, marine mask and warm paraffin dip. Stop at the lobby bar on your way out (or in, whatever) to complete the relaxing experience. 1 Ocean Blvd., Atlantic Beach
Best coffee pick-me-up:
Ginger Latte, Bold Bean
Whether you’re in need of something sweet or just a jolt of caffeine, a latte from Bold Bean with a pump of ginger is the solution. The unexpected bite of ginger syrup—made in-house with sugar, grated ginger root and spices—sets the tasty drink apart from the coffee crowd. Though this particular flavor is only available March-September, a good cup of coffee is always in season. Three locations: 869 Stockton St., Riverside; 1905 Hendricks Ave., San Marco; 2400 3rd St. S., Jax Beach
Coolest cosmetics shop:
Gloss Goods
Gloss Goods, a tiny Five Points shop owned by Gwynne Mims (of her namesake salon around the corner), carries a small, curated selection of cosmetics that our readers love, including brands like Kjaer Weis, R + Co, Ecobrow and ILIA. However, be forewarned—once you’re in the store, the original reason you ventured out might become a distant memory as all the gifts, jewelry, home goods and other trinkets inspire a few oohs and aahs. 826 Lomax St., Five Points
Anniversary Jewelry Favorite:
Underwood’s
Underwood’s prides itself on great customer service, so if your partner isn’t the best at picking out something you’d like, Clayton Bromberg and his staff will know what to do. You don’t stay in business in Jax for nearly 90 years because of luck. Among the store’s selection of top designer brands are David Yurman, A. Link, Di Modolo, Rolex and Benchmark. 3617 St. Johns Ave., Avondale; 2044 San Marco Blvd., San Marco
Vintage Jewelry Favorite:
Ellie Bing
The glass cases at Ellie Bing are packed with treasures, from the glamorous (emerald crystal earrings) to the funky (turquoise leather and gold fish cuff). The shop originally opened as an exclusively vintage shop, so they know a one-of-a-kind statement piece when they see it. The large selection of new jewelry, local designers, trendy accessories, clothes and more is also worth a look.
3643 St. Johns Ave., Avondale; 21 S. 12th St., Jax Beach
Favorite Brunch Spot:
Whiskey Jax
One might not immediately think of Whiskey Jax as a spot for ladies—the restaurant’s focus on whiskey and dark wood décor is decidedly dude-ish. But their Saturday and Sunday brunch is tops with the women who took our poll. All the standards are here—biscuits and gravy, pancakes, eggs benedicts and bottomless mimosas, but there are also some surprises like the guava French toast (topped with guava cream cheese and bourbon syrup) and islander omelet (stuffed with lobster and veggies and topped with citrus hollandaise). 950 Marsh Landing Pkwy, Jax Beach and 10915 Baymeadows Rd., Southside
Hostess Gift Source:
Pineapple Post
One of life’s most stressful situations is, as we all know, choosing a gift for friends and family. Pineapple Post is the place Northeast Florida women turn. Though the shop recently moved from its original location in Jax Beach (where it operated for more than 40 years) to Sawgrass Village in Ponte Vedra Beach, it’s only gotten better—and still offers plenty of gifts fit for a hostess like engraved serving trays, personalized frames and tons more items under $50. 280 Village Main Street, Ponte Vedra Beach
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Local Party/Cocktail Dress Boutique:
Sweet Repeats
If you’re looking to add some sophistication and class to your style, there may be a treasure hunt in your future. Designer consignment shop Sweet Repeats stocks lightly loved items from big-name brands such as Armani, Prada, Hermès, Kate Spade, Michael Kors and Gucci. Some digging is required, but the perfect dress may be hiding in the racks at this Lakewood boutique.
1560 University Blvd. W., Lakewood
Best Park for a Jog:
Memorial Park
Though Hurricane Irma tried to wash away historic Memorial Park, this patch of landscaped nature only a short stroll from the hustle and bustle of Five Points is coming back stronger. The lovely view of the St. Johns from the path that encircles the grass—often dotted with yogis, Frisbee players and picnickers—is miles better than the one offered by a treadmill any day.
1620 Riverside Ave., Riverside
Handbag Heaven:
Nordstrom Rack
Though you may have to dig or keep checking back, it’s pretty common to find purses from designers such as Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors and Kate Spade on deep discount at Nordstrom Rack. Check the clearance tables for even bigger deals—sometimes a genuine gem gets overlooked. St. Johns Town Center
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To-Die-For Shoe Store:
Tootsies Ponte Vedra
Forget searching for one of those uncomfortable places to sit among endless rows of shoe boxes. At Tootsies, there are cozy chairs to plop into while trying on a pair of Jeffrey Campbells (and Sam Edelmans, and Vince Camutos, and Matisses and Sacha Londons…) and a chic boutique vibe that encourages shoppers to browse the large selection of footwear and accessories. 240 A1A N., Ponte Vedra Beach
Trendy Workout Wear:
Pure Barre
Athletic clothing has become known as just “clothing” over the past few years as women everywhere eschew denim and underwire for the comfort of leggings and sports bras. Working out is optional, but Pure Barre allows Spandex fans to do both. The studios’ clothing shops sell cute leggings, T-shirts, socks and accessories. Six area locations including 1988 San Marco Blvd., San Marco
Store You Wish Would Decorate Your Home:
Classic Home Furniture
About ten years ago, this Beach Boulevard store changed its name from Oak Street Furniture (specializing in, you guessed it, oak) to Classic Home Furniture to reflect its expanded selection. An upscale, coastal vibe now dominates the space where one can find pieces for the bedroom, living room, office, dining room and beyond. 11619 Beach Blvd., Intracoastal West
Mommy & Me Class:
Bay & Bee
We’ve been doing the FabuList poll for four years now, and Bay & Bee has won this category every time. Classes at the play space include mommy and me and kids’ yoga, nature exploration and little gardeners, creative dance, little artists, music Monday and more, all organized with little ones in mind. Oh, to be a kid again. 13475 Atlantic Blvd., Beaches
Hashtag of the Year:
#TBT
#TBT is great because has no rules (besides it having to be Thursday, and even that is flexible at this point). You can share something from last week or from your childhood. Or five minutes ago. It doesn’t matter—because isn’t every photo, in a way, a throwback?
Emoji of the Year:
Laughing Face
For the second year in a row, Laughing Face has claimed the title of Emoji of the Year among our readers. That kind of longevity in our fast-paced tech age is quite a feat. Our prediction: by next year, we’ll come full circle and writing everything out long-form will be cool again. Laughing out loud!