We recently stopped in Jacksonville, Fla., while traveling to Sarasota. The area we stayed had little to offer except fast food, and after several hours driving on I-95, we needed a drink.
St. John’s Seafood and Steak showed up on our laptop radar. This is a local chain with three locations. We chose the “western” one on Lane Avenue, off of Commonwealth (near both I-295 and I-10.)
Other TA reviewers have described St. John’s “not the fanciest” and “unpretentious.” Both are good descriptions.
This is a fish house, plain and simple. Indoor/outdoor carpeting, basic booths, uninviting lighting. It has a few TVs on the wall for the sports fans. Soda crackers (not bread) are served while you wait for your food. A strong, but appealing smell of frying seafood filled the air.
But it was a FIND. They offer a shrimp platter –15 medium-sized shrimp for $11. This was not a diet night, so I chose fried. It was perhaps the best fried shrimp I have ever had. My husband got his shrimp blackened and he said they were perfect, maybe the best he's had. And we counted. Both of our platters had at least 18 shrimp but it probably depends on the size available on any given day.
The coleslaw was wonderfully creamy. We both chose green beans for a side and WOW what a surprise. Not grandmas canned green beans. When we asked the waitress what made them so good she told us they had a little butter, a little onion and seasonings but we could tell she didn't know the recipe.
Service was a bit slow, but it was a Saturday night and most people were drinking iced tea which probably meant the servers had to hunt for their wine supply.
It was a very good meal and St. John's will be a mandatory stop in our future travels through there.
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