(Marie enjoyed a leisurely weekend on the Georgia coast while I was meandering around the middle of the state…)
Grant scolds me sometimes about the fact that I lived longer on Saint Simons Island than anywhere else before going to college, but nevertheless took years to bring him somewhere he could get fresh, local seafood when we came for a visit. Now, part of this is that my mother genuinely enjoys terribly Americanized Chinese food, and our visits to her favorite place would take up a significant percentage of our available meals, causing my long-suffering husband some degree of frustration. So it is somewhat ironic that instead of going with him to visit Georgia Sea Grill, I went with my mother. And the boychild, who was not exactly on his best behavior.
I’d set up a reservation for 6 PM, thinking it was best for the sake of the other diners to get Mr. Wigglebutt out of the premises early. It might have been better to go at 5:30, because then we might have had a chance at dessert – I’d wanted one, as this was my birthday weekend!
Our server took us to a small corner booth, just about perfect because we could wedge the boy in a corner and trap him on both sides and give him my phone to play with. Honestly, he wasn’t actually that poorly behaved, it’s just that I want to see a little higher level of decorum from him in a nicer place.
My mother was very excited to go because after having looked over the menu online, she was thrilled to see that they had lobster tacos with cabbage. She enjoys tacos immensely, but had to stop getting them when she was no longer allowed to eat lettuce. The tacos are nicely sized for a smaller appetite, and she was exceedingly pleased with hers. I’d been badly tempted by the lamb meatballs and the special of flounder with plum jam, but had resolved to have some local seafood.
Georgia Sea Grill offers three ways to have their Fresh Catch of the day – bronzed, Cajun, and pan roasted (aside from the specials, of course). I chose the locally caught redfish, in the pan roasted style, and it was absolutely perfect. I love fingerling potatoes anyway, and the sauce was just right, but the fish, as it should be, was the star. I was very happy and polished off every bite.
My mother and I had intended to have some of the gelato, but my son, although he did very well with his excellent chicken fingers, had merely toyed with his even better homemade potato chips (ah, the waste) and was more than ready to go by the time we’d polished off our portions. We took him to a playground and wore him out instead of having dessert, which kind of necessitates a return.
The owner, Zack Gowen, was kind enough to stop by the table and say hello. He’d actually seen this blog when we reviewed the previous restaurant he’d managed (Locos Deli, about five years ago), and while we didn’t have much time to chat because his place was really busy, it was great to see him and let him know how much we’d enjoyed the food, and talk for just a minute about how he started with GSG. There was a nine month period while he was taking over before he could let go of the old place, and it’s a huge challenge managing two places so radically different. He said what he likes best is making changes to the menu and having different options, and I for one would really like to come back and see what he comes up with.
Georgia Sea Grill is in the space that used to be home to J.Mac’s, where Grant and I had our rehearsal dinner before our wedding in 2009. It’s a large space and really needs all of it at peak times. Although the room was mostly empty when we sat down at 6, it was completely full before our plates arrived at the table. Reservations strongly advised.
As a side note, Coastal Cuisine‘s Spring edition had GSG on their cover for the edition that came out just while we visited, the photo on the cover was of nearly what I ate, and a much better picture. Well, I have a better camera now. If we go back I might well try again. Or try out something different. Choices, choices…
Even further aside – if you are at all into fishing, here is a video that I ran across while looking into exactly what a redfish is, about how to catch one. It’s by someone who actually went fishing in the St. Simons area!
You can see all the restaurants that we have visited for our blog on this map, with links back to the original blog posts. It’s a terrific resource for anybody planning a road trip through the southeast!