Funny thing about Jacksonville - since it's the largest city in the United States, and more to the point, since it's in Florida, you'd think it'd be downright sloppin' over with fantastic kick-butt restaurants. But I look around me and I see it isn't so.
No, if you really want the good grub, you gotta go to the beach, where of course, it's no longer technically Jacksonville. Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach are distinctly separate communities from Jax and despite the name, so is Jacksonville Beach. And it's Jacksonville Beach where I recently fell in love with a little joint called North Beach Fish Camp. And as so often happens with love, you find it right under your nose all along. North Beach Fish Camp is adjacent to my beloved Island Girl Cigar Bar and it boggles my mind I've been stationed in Jax for two months now and took so long to trying the seafood place next door.
I had, for the first time in my life, fried clam bellies - and yeah, it is exactly that. Did you know clams had bellies? I didn't. But they're delish. And so was the flounder sandwich for the main course, which was almost more than I could eat. (Especially after the appetizer of aforementioned bellies.)
Even more likely to get me back in the door again is their cocktail selection, but of course, you knew I was going to say that. The Uncle Val's Botanical Gin and Tonic (pictured above) opened me up a third eye, and then their Hang Thyme thyme-flavored cocktail (pictured below) showed it pretty pictures.