Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Best Blackened Fish Sandwich in Jacksonville FL

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
The food was excellent, the atmosphere was nice with a beachy/fishy theme inside and the service was great also.  They even came out to our car with an umbrella when we pulled up to keep the wifey dry.  Impressive.  And be sure to grab a mint on the way out if you go, or several actually.  They are key lime flavored green mints and even though I'm not a big key lime pie fan, they were so good!  Nice little touch.  Definitely a great place to try if you're in the area and it is now on my top 5 list.

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!


Jen said...

Both dishes look fantastic. We recently found a place here on lake lanier that has great grouper (fried, and blackened were great). Love it.

Chris said...

Oh yeah, what was the name of that place? It looked so good when I checked out the menu. Drop another comment with the name in case anyone in the ATL happens to read this post. That looked like a real fun place as well. You should do a quick post/review. That is definitely a place we'd like to try next time we're in town and the weather is good.

Jen said...

Good Idea. It's called Fish Tales at Hideaway Marina on Lake Lanier. They are known for their grouper and awesome bucket drinks. Try the Voodoo (have a designated driver).

Chris said...

Mmmm, sounds like exactly the type of place I'm looking for. Yummo!

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