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Writing A Review
May 13, 2023

Well, here we are, BF and me trying to figure out what to do with the precious time we have left on this Earth. Our aim is to be productive, joyful, and make the world a better place. We’re brainstorming. 

Wednesday night is traditionally date night for us, a tradition I’m dedicated to sustaining; we’ve been having fun exploring the dining scene here in St. Augustine. As we left BlackFly this past Wednesday, I told the delightful young women at the host stand what a lovely evening we had, and I’d write a review. 

Wouldn’t It Be Fun . . .

BF and I chatted on the way home about how much fun it would be to write reviews, beyond my usual Yelp or OpenTable. I’d be like a secret shopper of my passions and write stories of my experiences. We made a list:

  • Retreat Centers
  • Hotels/Condos
  • Snowbird Communities
  • Pickleball Communities
  • Hiking/Biking Trails
  • Beaches
  • Wineries
  • Spas
  • Funky Retail Establishments
  • Rest areas and exits on Interstates

Before I share my sample review, I’d like to share a few of my biases. First and foremost, I want to feel welcomed. I’m amazed at how many times I’ve shown up to spend money and feel like a bother to those who hold the quality of my experience in their hands. Secondly, I do not believe in writing negative reviews. I do believe, however, in contacting the owner/manager directly to alert them of an off night or a pissy employee, but I do not put that out into the ether. Anyone can have an off night. Thirdly, I am extremely partial to locally owned businesses who express their unique vibe. And finally, as a healthitarian (primarily plant-based + locally sourced, fresh fish) eater, I appreciate options.

I’m still playing with categories on which to focus my evaluation. If you have any suggestions, please scroll down to the comment section and share.

One more thing, this review is sadly lacking photos. Remember, my epiphany to write this came on the way home. But then again, taking photos takes me out of the moment. Maybe I won’t take photos after all. Just enjoy the experience. What do you think?

My Interpretation of a Review–A First Attempt

BlackFly The Restaurant 

108 Anastasia Blvd. 

St. Augustine, FL


Details and Conditions 

May 10th, 6:00 P.M. Date night. Arrived during a rain shower. Excited for an evening out and to be gussied up. 

We drove the four miles north to BlackFly where we found plenty of parking. Sidenote, we had to park in the back lot and traverse a gravel patch, which was messy following the recent burst of rain.

The place does not look fancy from the outside, but it’s nicely dressed on the inside with comfortable booths and a pretty light feature in the dining room. 

We walked through the bar, which was full and lively, to the host stand where a friendly, peppy, young woman noted our reservation and offered a booth or table. We chose the booth, which was roomy, comfortable, and cozy.

Our waiter was immediately likable. Confident, friendly, relaxed, and knowledgeable. He aptly guided us through the specials and then the regular menu then gave us plenty of time to browse without disappearing. We selected a bottle of Rombauer Chardonnay, one of our favorites from an impressive wine and cocktail menu.

From the Menu:

BlackFly Bread Service ~ Local Village Bakery Loaf, Paired With A Garlic Butter, Herb Oil & Balsamic $3

Black Bean Soup $9 

House Salad ~ Spring Mix, Tomato, Carrot, Cucumber, White Balsamic Vinaigrette $11GF

Triggerfish ~ Pan Seared Triggerfish, Pan Seared, Served With Jasmine Rice, Black Beans, Cilantro-Lime Crema, & Fruit Salsa $39 GF

And from the Desert Menu:

Key Lime Pie ~ Key Lime Pie Made With Fresh Squeezed Key Limes – Graham Cracker Crust, Whipped Cream, Strawberry Puree, Coconut Chantilly

The waiter offered to split the salad and delivered the soup with an extra spoon. Good call. The bread was a cute, miniature, white baguette served in a basket with house-made garlic butter. 

The soup was delicious and received extra points for being vegetarian. The salad was everything I wanted it to be. Light, fresh, and dressed with just the right amount of flavorful white balsamic dressing. 

I’m here to tell you, as a person who is extremely sensitive to fishy fish, the Triggerfish entree was the best I’ve ever eaten. Perfectly cooked. The pan searing created a light crust of salty, peppery flavor on the outside and the cilantro lime crema was divine. It was served with rice, black beans, and fresh fruit.

We finished up with a piping hot cup of decaf in a heavy, white, ceramic mug, shaped like the one my dad used to drink hot tea from, and a piece of key lime pie. We have had probably ten pieces of key lime pie here in St. Augustine (when in Rome) and this one had a hint of coconut flavor. I would return just for this. 

As a retired teacher, I’m inclined to give grades.

  • Quality and flavor of food       A+
  • Creativity and presentation of food A+
  • Staff capability A
  • Staff demeanor A+
  • Pacing of service A++
  • Appreciation of patrons A+
  • Plant-based Options B+
  • Overall delightfulness of experience A

Simply said, the staff we came in contact with seemed happy to be there and in turn, so were we. Our waiter seemed to care about our experience and asked the right questions to provide the experience we were looking for. 

Would I bring little ones here? Probably not.

Would I go back? Heck yes!

Goldilocks Grade: Just Right.

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  1. Hello, Gary! So good to hear from you! And yes, those rest stops are necessary, and we’ll be on the road soon. I’ll see what strikes me. Stay tuned.

  2. Debi
    I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog. I always feel like I’m talking to you in the hallway at school. It is my Sunday pleasure after church.

    • Thank you, Dianna! Your comment is a gift.

  3. Thanks for the intriguing review of Blackfly – been by a million times en route to or from Old Town but never stopped. Will rectify this oversight. Curious as to what you would observe about rest stops … the only thing I could say is that as I get older, they get more frequent …


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Debi Dixon

Debi Dixon

The Universe is guiding me on an incredible adventure: my Plan B. I write here to share bits of my Odyssey, hopefully to inspire, encourage, or extend the virtual hand of friendship.

When I quit teaching in 2014, I could never have imagined the growth I would experience through travel, writing, reading, therapy, and introspection.

I believe human connection and compassion will go a long way toward our healing, and the best way to connect and feel compassion for one another is through the sharing of our stories.

Thank you for joining me here. I appreciate you and may we grow together.

Inspirational Quote

“You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.”
~Joseph Campbell

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