Ages and ages ago, we stopped by Skipper’s Fish Camp, a popular, upscale seafood place in the coastal Georgia town of Darien and enjoyed a very nice meal with some excellent, fresh shrimp. We noticed B & J’s at the time, and soon found a gigantic pile of recommendations and love for this decidedly downscale little joint with a partially unpaved lot. Mike from Sweet Tea & Bourbon stopped by B & J’s a little later that same spring and raved about it.
It took us four years, but we finally got over here. And yes, we could certainly have found time to come by earlier, but the south Georgia I-95 corridor to-do list is kind of ridiculously long, and fluctuates based on Marie’s mother’s and father’s availability and interest, so we play a lot of it by ear when we come down this way. On this most recent trip, however, I nailed down Saturday afternoon’s lunch here, and I’m very pleased to say it was worth the wait and lived up to all the hype. You guys, this shrimp is ridiculously good.
B & J’s is really popular, and despite their interstate billboards, the full parking lot showed primarily license plates from the area. It’s where the locals eat, and they come in big groups. There was a single table available when we arrived at 11.45, and the wait for the food after we ordered was quite long as the kitchen was really backed up with orders. The service was a lot better than you’d expect for such a crunch; the servers working the floor here see this all the time, and they know how to keep guests smiling and their drinks filled while they wait for their meals.
A good idea to pass the long wait: skip the fries that come with most of the orders and go for the single trip to the salad bar while the kitchen works its magic. It’s a couple of dollars more, but it’s better for you, and it’s uncannily like the salad bars that I remember from going to restaurants with my folks in the early 1980s and encountering three-bean salad, pickled sliced beets, and garbanzo beans for the first time.
Eventually, the shrimp came out – a half-pound basket for $14, which is a positive steal. These are outstanding shrimp. If I’ve had better, it’s not been often, and it’s only been within thirty miles of this restaurant.
I like this place tremendously. The more claustrophobic among you might have problems with the crowd, and even the benches by the register waiting for carry-out orders are jammed with people, but it is definitely worth visiting. Amazingly good shrimp at a wonderfully affordable price with great service all adds up to one of the best seafood options in the state, honestly. If you are traveling up or down I-95 in Georgia, need a good meal, and can’t spare the long detour to Saint Simons for Southern Soul Barbeque (which we visited for dinner that evening), this is one heck of a good alternate.
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