Located on Clapboard Creek, just off Heckscher Drive, newcomer Palms Fish Camp adds another fish camp experience to Northeast Florida’s limited foodie landscape.
We eagerly prepared our joint entrée, a basket of Palm’s Calamari ($9.95) that arrived at the table with a marinara-style tangy sauce. The golden breading was perfectly crispy and the calamari was profusely proportioned. Like any good fishing lodge, we knew we also had to have a cup of seafood gumbo ($5), which we topped with the obligatory little crispy oyster crackers. It was, unfortunately, nothing out of the ordinary.
I ordered the Seared Sea Scallops starter (market price varies) in a special sauce, with a choice of two sides. I went with the sliced and breaded fried okra and the stir-fried veggie mix, and both were excellent. The flavor was there and the seafood and vegetables were cooked properly. We loved this dish and would definitely order it again.
My fiancée ordered the signature fish tacos ($10.95) on flour tortillas with cabbage, chopped pico de gallo, cilantro and a lightly spiced sauce. We were disappointed as there was hardly any fish.
We were curious and a bit apprehensive, but equally intrigued by Palm’s 12-inch Two-Topping Brick Oven Pizza ($10). The crust was a bit undercooked and mushy, but the pizza itself was substantial and a good choice for non-seafood lovers or kids in your party. (There’s also a burger on the menu.) We topped ours with tomatoes and jalapeños, and added grilled chicken and sausage for an extra $1.50 each.
For fun, or maybe instead of an expensive tropical vacation, I ordered the Pineapple Palms Special ($14.95): a frozen, tossed piña colada inside a hollowed-out pineapple, with Straw. Let’s say it went easily. Sitting outside on the deck on a blustery afternoon, sipping on one of these dishes is what Florida is all about.
We were too full to try Palm’s homemade key lime pie, suggested by our waitress, or the bread puddin – but maybe on our next trip.
Caron Streibich is a cooking enthusiast who will be reviewing restaurants every two weeks in the Restaurants section.