A friend recommended we try Barbara Jean's while in Jacksonville. It's south of Ponte Vedra south of Jacksonville. Because we were driving north on I-95 we opted for the original restaurant on Saint Simons Island, GA. Saint Simons Island has a lovely little upscale town with world class golf courses, a lighthouse near a pier and Spanish moss hanging on the trees.
Barbara Jean's is on the main drag. On a Monday at noon, there were plenty of empty tables. We were seated quickly.
Prices are on the high side. We considered getting a couple of appetizers including a $5 cup of she crab soup and sharing the shrimp & grits but we were told that if we wanted to share, they tacked on a $3 charge to the already steep price of $16.99.
My husband got a 5 oz. crab cake sandwich ($11.99) and I opted for the shrimp & grits and got a cup of the she crab soup instead of the two veggies that come as sides.
The she crab soup was unremarkable. Instead of chunks of crab, it was full of pellet-sized bits of crab. It’s thick and creamy but a bit fishy.
The shrimp & grits were quite good. The Andouille had a really nice kick and the shrimp are fresh, fresh, fresh. There are chopped green onions, jalapeños (I think) on top of the creamy grits. My only complaint is that it is served in a tiny bowl, making it difficult to eat. I would have preferred a wider bowl, shallower bowl. By the time I reached the grits at the bottom of the bowl, I was too full to make a dent in the grits.
My husband’s crab cake sandwich was just okay. He ordered it with just coleslaw but it arrived with a pile of fries too. To avoid temptation, he asked that they take those off the plate. I tried a taste of the crab cake. In my opinion, it was just okay. I prefer cakes that are mostly crab rather than made with a lot of breading.
The breadbasket is worth a mention. While the homemade wheat roll was very good, the jalapeño cornbread and the pumpkin bread were outstanding.
Service was fair. Our waitress wasn’t particularly friendly and we had to try to flag her down a couple of times.
One nice thing is that they tack on an extra $0.25 to the bill that goes directly to the local land trust. We were fine with that but you can ask them to remove it if you don’t agree. I think $35 plus tax and tip for a total of $44 is excessive for this lunch for two.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.