Munching Around Jekyll Island

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Munching Around Jekyll Island
by Cima Star

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’d been through three months of unprecedented emergencies, crises and chaos in my business. Worn out, stressed out and burnt out…it was time for a vacation. I didn’t want to go too far from Savannah, just in case of another fire to be put out. I had to have a place that would take me, my husband and our beloved 60-pound dog, Athena. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money.

That spelled Jekyll Island.

I found a pleasant, affordable, dog-friendly hotel, the Oceanside Inn & Suites. Two rooms, the bedroom equipped with two luxuriously comfortable queen sized beds, the living room with an ocean view. Plus a tiny kitchen with refrigerator, microwave and automatic coffee pot.

A small deck off the living room provided an outdoor view of the dunes, the beach and miles of gloriously blue sea with an occasional shrimp boat drifting by.

Once checked in, we took Athena for a long walk along the edge of the dunes. Having never before been to a beach, she was ecstatic over the smells and scents of sea and seaweed, never before sniffed wildlife, and the wonders of driftwood and sea critters. Needless to say, the walk took a while.

Once back in our room, Athena stretched out on the patio, idly sniffing the air. We took off to the Beachside Shopping Center, about two minutes away, for provisions for the cocktail hour. The well stocked liquor store and nearby mini-supermarket provided all we needed, and we headed back to sip and nibble, shower, and join Athena in blissful sea air sniffing.

Eventually, hunger pangs struck and we headed out to dinner after giving Athena her own dinner and another walk.

Blackbeard’s was our choice that night, and a good one. A Caesar Salad started us off. Then I dove into the grilled Flounder, served with fresh, crisp asparagus and a perfect baked potato.

The twin Pan Seared Crab Cakes, served with black bean salsa and citrus butter, were Jack’s choice. His French fries actually tasted freshly fried. Crisp broccoli rounded out our delicious dinners.

Of course, we headed home with doggie bags to share with our girl.

For the next few days, we followed approximately the same routine, strolling through woods or by the sea, meandering through little shops and museums in the charming historic district, picking up a few provisions at the tiny but charming shopping center.

Most nights, we went out to dinner. Most days, we got lunch at Zach’s Eats & Treats, a tiny little storefront in the shopping center, featured delicious sandwiches and soups, which we took back to share with our pooch and once or twice, for all of us for dinner on our deck.

Every morning, we headed to Morgan’s Grill, courtesy of our hotel, which included breakfast chits for that marvelous place. Adjacent to the golf course, I rapidly concluded that golfers always get the best. Morgan’s provided an all-you-can-eat bounty of some of the best breakfast fixings I’ve ever eaten. Eggs as you like, grits, cereal, pancakes, waffles, corn bread, biscuits, sausages (link or patty), ham, and bacon, fruits galore. Served cafeteria style, everything was made to order. Naturally, Athena got a lavish doggie bag!

Evenings, we sampled more restaurants.

Saydee’s, jam-packed every night with golfers, sports a long, lovely and very comfortable wooden bar with a knowledgeable, friendly bar staff. Most of the patrons seemed to be golfers, many from Canada, who come to Jekyll fairly often, although, as a couple of them told me, not as often as they used to, due to increasing prices. But when they are here, they always end the day at Saydee’s bar.

The restaurant itself is large, comfortable and with a sizeable menu. I launched into my old favorite appetizer, Calamari, here served with a delicious Thai Chili sauce. The sauce made the dish, despite the calamari themselves being a bit on the rubbery side.

The Pecan Encrusted Grouper proved an unequivocal winner. The Fried Shrimp. Salads, though not particularly unique, were crisp and fresh. And the Key Lime Pie for dessert was as it should be.

SeaJay’s proved to be my idea of the perfect little beachside restaurant/pub. Jutting out over the water, and circled with weather-worn wooden decks surrounded by Live Oaks with their moss veils flowing; decorated with old-time seafaring paraphernalia, the music was beach rock from the Sixties and Seventies.

Their specialty is an abundant, all-you-can-eat Low Country Boil, an unbeatable medley of fresh shrimp, smoked sausage, corn on the cob and tiny potatoes, served buffet-style with Cole slaw, fresh rolls and butter, sauces and banana pudding.

One night, I veered away from the Boil to sample their Catch of the Day, in this case, Tilapia, perfectly grilled, served with Cole slaw or salad, and nicely sautéed veggies. Jack tucked into handmade crab cakes, bursting with fresh crabmeat, served with the same accompaniments.

We topped off a perfect evening by sharing a slice of Kentucky Bourbon Pecan Pie. Alas, Athena had to resign herself to dog food that night.

Overall, the trip was idyllic, and my fervent hopes and prayers are that developers are never allowed to destroy Georgia’s jewell, Jekyll Island.

Our Recommendations
Zach’s Eats & Treats
Beachside Shopping Center
Jekyll Island
912-635-32128
Blackbeard’s Restaurant
200 No. Beachview Dr.
Jekyll Island
912-635-3522
Morgan’s Grille
322 Captain Wylly Rd.
Jekyll Island
912-635-4103
Saydee’s
1175 No. Beachview Dr.
Jekyll Island
912-635-3588
SeaJay’s
Jekyll Harbor Marina
Jekyll Island
912-635-3200

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