2434 Mayport Rd
Atlantic Beach, FL 32233 (904) 595-5143 ketchup-mayport.com
I was pleased when I was invited to visit Ketchup for lunch. I am a burger fiend, so anytime I can identify a new spot to fuel my addiction I have to go. At first glance it may not be inviting but once inside, the room itself is a large airy space, decorated in rustic beach decor. Our host Ace French did share with me he made all the tables and benches that are in the restaurant. A large outside deck that seats 30 will be a plus once the weather decides to cooperate. The customer orders at the counter and the food is then brought to you. If you have dog you can eat on the deck, and the pup will dine for free. Another plus for me! After we chatted we asked to be surprised. We wanted something out of our usual comfort zone. We were not disappointed. A nice assortment of what is available was brought to the table.
We started with the Cape Codwitch , a beer battered filet of cod served with a pear wasabi slaw, tartar sauce and crisp onion straws. As it turns out this was my favorite dish. The batter had a delightful taste, crunchy, the fish cooked perfectly, moist and flaky as cod should be. The onion straws were crisp, salty and even after they cooled maintained the crispness. Next we sampled the Tomato/Basil soup, a vegan offering served with bread knots. I was not a fan of the soup, but I am sure some non meat eater would love it.
Tomato Basil Vegan Soup
Now let’s get serious; The Classic Burger is big enough to feed two. Covered in lettuce, Tomato, Onion, with cheese this was massive. The buns are made at a local bakery but cooked in-house so freshness is not an issue. They are soft and moist and take on the flavor from the meat juices. Heads up on the burgers, they are 80z of Black Angus and Applewood smoked bacon, ground daily, You can taste it when you bite into the burger. The fries were crispy and flavorful. Ace did tell me originally they were doing hand cut fries but the quality was not what they wanted so they switched to a high-end frozen fry. We found it up to par and better than others we have sampled. Add to that the classic Hot Dog, also made in-house. This looks and tastes more like a sausage to me which is fine because I am not a “dog” fan. The spices are quite subtle yet pleasant in the mouth and texture is more sausage like. I chose to eat my share of the dog out of the bun but dipped in Sriracha Ketchup. Heat and spice pleased me immensely. This basket was served with a helping of salad dressed with house dressing.
Our last burger offering was the Mayport Burger, it speaks for itself, fried Mayport shrimp, Atlantic Beach aioli and melted jack cheese. Delightful, this was served with the wasabi slaw. And our very last treat was a slice of the chocolate madness. Rich, dense and just enough raspberry sauce to bring just a touch of tart. We could eat no more
The food is served in baskets or plastic dog bowls, utensils are plastic as well…Beer and wine as well as soft drinks are available. It’s worth the trip, especially if you have children or a dog.
Take the time to meet Ace French the chef owner, he is a native of Atlantic Beach and is is quite proud of what he trying to bring to the area and is glad to share his journey. Ask him about how the restaurant got it’s name….