Jacksonville, FL 32257
Sometime, it can be a good thing to strike off on your own, like I did today. You get to pick the place with out debate, about distance, food type, cost, you can go where the road takes you. The road took me into Mandarin area today, on an Asian food quest. One of my favorite spots is on St Augustine Rd. on the way I spotted the sign for St Mary’s Seafood and More so I immediately had a change of plans. I did know their first restaurant is St Mary’s Ga and this sister restaurant piqued my curiosity.
Once I pulled into the parking lot, I realized I had been at this spot before in another incarnation, this building has been several different restaurants that for what ever reason were no longer there. The lot was full so I took it as a good sign and when I entered it was packed. This is a large space with two dining rooms, one room was completely full. The signs state they pride themselves on fresh seafood served at affordable prices in a comfortable family dining environment I was ready to test that statement. Once in the door, friendly greeting from the staff and quickly seated. As busy as it was my waitress, arrived with a smile and menu, she took my drink order and let me read.
I started with the fresh shucked oysters, they arrived on a bed of ice, good sized, plump and easy to spot they were freshly shucked on order. I was a happy woman. They tasted as good as they looked.
I also tried the Fried Gator Tail, always a fun dish if done correctly and this was. plump, well flavored breading and tender inside, and no it does not taste like chicken. When they first arrived my immediate thought overcooked, this was a lie, perfect brown morsels. They were so tasty I chose not to dip them in anything.
For my last dish I opted for the St Mary’s Combo Platter, a choice of two fish and two sides. I went with the Scallops and Shrimp asking for them to be blackened, and fries. I was happy when my plate arrived. A nice mixed portion of shrimp and scallops, and I do believe since I only ordered one side, the kitchen provided extra fries.
Both Shrimp and Scallops were covered with a nice amount of seasoning, and upon tasting them they passed my taste test. Fries, hot crisp, and plentiful. As I ate, and observed, management covered the room, both husband and wife were in residence today and they were stopping by each table to inquire how things were going and if the customers were satisfied. That is one reason I seek out the family owned businesses, a lesson learned from a good blogger friend of mine. I received my visit as well. My waitress was equally as pleasant, getting me a to go drink as I was leaving.
Take away, good affordable fresh seafood and a family friendly environment, priced to please as well. Grab the family, this is definitely a spot for all, feast on the food and share the love.