The Perfect Bite
St. Johns Magazine's exclusive reviews of Local Restaurants by Local Foodie Lori Allen
705 Hortons Trce, St. Augustine, FL 32095 (World Golf)
by Local Foodie Lori Allen
There's a new or place in town...or maybe not so new but a second locatiohas moved closer to our 210 quadrant. St. Mary's Seafood & More has opened up a second location across the street from the World Golf Village, making a total of 3 but the original one is in Georgia. So some of us girls managed to sneak away from the weekly routine and give it a try!
The restaurant is owned by 5 brothers/brothers in laws some of whom live in St. Mary's Georgia where as others decided to call Jacksonville their home. The second location is located on old St. Augustine road and became so successful that they began their search for another area to grow. They found this spot last July and began the renovations. Once you step your foot inside you will notice how light and bright the place is, they really did a great job to make it such a nice family atmosphere.
All of us ladies tried something different which was a great way for me to get to taste a variety of things! Anyone who knows me knows that I love to taste not only my food but yours as well so you better guard it or that
wondering fork may find its way over to your plate! (I have no shame when it comes to food) Starting off with the scallops, I was able to try them both seared and fried. Both were equally as good, sweet, seasoned well and tasty.
The Mahi Mahi was thick and meaty like it's supposed to be, blackened with lots of seasonings (not too spicy), paired along with some fried okra and fried zucchini my southern girlfriend totally enjoyed her plate! We all compared the fried squash(which was good) to another favorite the fried green tomatoes and the majority voted for the tomatoes... their tangy slightly sour flavor works well with a crunchy coating .They were not too thick and not too thin. Perfect!
Probably one of the most commonly ordered dishes would be their seafood combo platters, especially if you have a large family to feed. These platters are pretty big in portion size and what I love about them is that you can get parts of them broiled, blackened, grilled or fried. You can mix and match which is great way to try out different flavors, blackened fish,broiled scallops, fried shrimp..the list of possibilities is endless. This makes it way more fun because you can customize your very own platter! We tried the grilled fish which was super light, blackened scallops (cooked perfectly) and then the rest was fried, shrimp, oysters, clams. And of course add in the stuff crab and hushpuppies you definitely won't leave hungry!
They cook up some really interesting sides to add to your main dishes like their sweet potato casserole. This recipe traveled down thru the family from the great grandma, down to the sister n law passing it on to us. They have frequently been asked for the recipe but they won't budge, so I had to guess what's in it. To me it tasted like sweet potatoes, cinnamon, nutmeg and other spices and heavy cream all blended together to make a creamy deliciousness. All of us ladies tried to figure it out so that's our best guess. But whatever is in there it sure is good! The collard greens are one of the sisters recipes served with smoky bacon so they are packed with lots of flavor. They have this creamed corn that is not completely creamed so you have lots of corn kernels for a little crunch in your creamed corn along with bacon and fresh cream who wouldn't want to try that! For the big finale of Sides give the Loaded Sidewinder fries a try, these come served piping hot, covered in green onions, cheese, bacon and topped off with a light ranch sauce! Yes it's decadent, but hey it's only a side so we are all good.
Nammour one of the brothers told me that the one of the most popular items is their stuffed flounder or Basa. (The basa fish (Pangasius bocourti) is a species of catfish in the family of Pangasiidae. Basa is described as having large, white fillets with no bones, and flesh that is moist with a light, firm texture and a mild fish flavor) These fish are stuffed with real crabmeat, topped with cheese, mushrooms and onions. Unfortunately I didn't get to sample this but it's on my list for next time! His motto is" If you offer a good product for a good price, people will show up".
They have a full bar so you can pretty much get any cocktail you want. They also have a large beer selection and if you love beer like I do, order one of their tall beer holder thingys. I have no idea what they are called but they hold a lot of beer and are pretty neat looking in addition to keeping your beer ice cold! Great for hanging out and catching a game! We mustn't leave without mentioning their Elevated St. Mary's Margarita. All of us girls thought this was one of the best cocktails ever! Even those that don't like margaritas enjoyed this! This enticing concoction comes in its own shaker (so you get way more than one drink) and is filled with Avion Silver, Bauchant Orange liqueur, agave nectar and fresh squeezed lime juice. It is so light and refreshing but packs a nice punch...you will not be
One of my favorite spots in the restaurant is their back patio; it looks over a manmade pond so you feel like you are surrounded by a bit of the outdoors. So grab one of those Elevated Margaritas, some steamed shrimp,
crab legs...a platter or two and head to the patio for a relaxing evening...you can't go wrong!
Just so you know: You can make reservations during the week but on Friday
and Saturday its first come first serve.
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Lori Allen is a local who moved from the Boston area to attend Flagler College and never left. She is a family person that loves the beach, football, working out and finding new places to try. Her love for food comes from her northern background and her love of cooking as well as meeting new and interesting people. She has never met a stranger nor has she ever been afraid to try an intriguing place. (Check out all her reviews on stjohnsmag.com)