On Friday, a guy at work was heading to Tampa to drop off his dogs at his parents house before going to Vegas for a short vacation. It was lunch time and that got me thinking about a place he turned me onto when we vacationed at the Tampa beaches area called Frenchy's. They are famous for their blackened Grouper sandwiches and it was the best we've ever had.
If you're not familiar with the term blackened, it just means that the fish is grilled and seasoned. At Frenchy's they have a choice of different seasonings such as Jamaican Jerk seasoning and others, but at most other places you just order it blackened. It's not usually super spicy or anything, just real flavorful. And Grouper is a mild white fish similar to Tilapia, but better and not quite as thick as Mahi Mahi.
The point of mentioning Frenchy's, was that we got to asking each other where the best blackened Grouper/fish sandwich is in the Jacksonville area and nothing really came to mind. I've had good blackened Grouper for dinner at several places, but haven't had an amazing sandwich for lunch.
At that point I was then on a mission to find a good place to try out over the weekend. I posted on a local forum asking folks their advice and received a few good responses. One was the Sand Dollar restaurant on the River. That was good advice because I've eaten there a few times and it was definitely in the top 5. Unfortunately, they're closed for major renovations due to a recent fire, but it says they will open again in August. Definitely a great place to try for the food and the view.
Another place that was recommended is Chowder Ted's. I'd never heard of the place, but we've apparently driven right by it several times.
On Google maps it looks like Ted's is a very small place on the side of the road on Heckscher Drive on the water, so that probably explains why we didn't notice it. Based on the 92% on Urban Spoon and the great reviews, it looks like it might be a little local hidden gem. This one is on the list to try out sometime soon, but note that they are closed Sun/Mon and sometimes they have odd hours on Saturday, so you might want to call ahead. Check their Facebook page for daily fresh specials.
A place that the wifey came up with is the Black Molly Grill on rt 312 in St Augustine. It's a newer place that has great reviews on Yelp and Urban Spoon. I read reviews that said the blackened fish sandwich is very good, so that was a done deal. We went on Saturday for lunch and we were glad we did!
I of course had the blackened fish sandwich and the wifey went with the blackened fish tacos and they were both excellent! The tacos came with a cilantro lime sauce that was yummy! I used some on my sandwich. They had a bunch of different sides to choose from, but I went with regular fries and the wifey went with sweet potato fries.
|Black Molly Grill Blackened Fish Sandwich|
|Black Molly Grill Blackened Fish Tacos|
One other place worth mentioning is South Beach Grill just south of St Augustine in Crescent Beach close to Marineland. The blackened Tilapia is excellent and the black beans and rice side is great as well! This one is definitely in my top 3 locally. Good stuff, great location on the beach with a slight view and worth the trip.
When we try out Chowder Ted's I'll be sure to update this post or post a new update!
Do you know of any great places in the greater Jacksonville FL area, or perhaps where you live, that have great blackened fish sandwiches? I'd love to hear about them! Drop me a comment below and let me know. Thanks!