Monday, January 3, 2011

Serving Up a Slider

Fernindina Beach, FL

As a "little smoky," Suit420 spent a lot of summers on vacation at Fernindina Beach, FL.

It's not that far from South Georgia. It's safe. Not trashy. Family oriented. And relatively inexpensive compared to other vacation spots.

But of all the times Suit420 visited Fernindina, I was never over 18.

That meant I never saw the nightlife. I stayed back at the hotel with the other under-agers and consumed alcohol on the premises while the adults went out.

Well, this New Year's brought me to Jacksonville -- which isn't that far from Fernindina.

And after the Christmas cold spell that had just brought teen temperatures to South Georgia, it was finally sunny and up in the 70s in Jacksonville.

So Suit420 decided to make the ride to Fernindina to kick back a few cold ones and have lunch at the bar I remembered the adults used to frequent each summer.

The ride from Jacksonville to Fernindina is pretty nice. It's full of bridges, marshes, nice houses and a lot of water.

And since it was 70 degrees outside, Suit420 let the windows down, cranked up the radio, and fired up a smoke -- which meant Slider's better have good food cause I'd be hungry for sure.

When I hit A1A near the Fernindina Plantation, I was in familiar territory. The scenery hadn't changed too much, other than a few new condos probably thrown up during the housing bubble.

There was the Ritz. Pete's Point. The Plantation. Amelia by the Sea.

And then there was Slider's.

Slider's is an old brick building located on a busy intersection, right on the ocean front.  And there's a large parking lot for customers to park in.

I whipped into the parking lot, flipped out my smoke and headed towards the building.

I was impressed without even setting foot in the door.

Out back is a huge outside area -- equipped with plenty of seating, standing room, a bar overlooking the ocean and a playground for children.

Perfect, I thought.

You could bring your family to the beach, and while you and your wife relax to a pina colada, the kids could wear themselves out on the playground so they'd go to bed early -- leaving you more quality time to spend with the lady in the evenings.

I was tempted to sit outside, but decided to sit inside at a booth. That way I could get the full feeling, because I knew as soon as I ordered a drink and some food I'd head outside to sit at the bar and smoke a clove cigarette.

I grabbed a menu, and ordered a rum and diet coke from my waitress, and kicked back to check out the scenery.

The inside was nice. It was wooden, and had perfect lighting from the outside.

The kind of lighting that's not too bright, but gives that shine that kind of wakes you up -- and makes you want a drink.

And I have to note the waitress made a big plus.

 While she was waiting on the bartender to make my rum and diet, she went ahead and brought me an ice water without me asking. Suit420 notices things like that -- especially when he has cottonmouth.

It's like when you're sitting at the bar, kicking back some beers. A good bartender will never let you take your last swallow without having you a refill ready to go. With a crappy bartender, sometimes you have to stare at an empty glass full of suds wondering what in the hell is taking so long.

I was pretty hungry -- of course -- after a 45 minute ride full of smoke and music.

So I decided to go with the steak bites and calamari.

I'm not a big seafood person, but I do like calamari.

Most of the time.

I can't stand it when it's cooked a tad too long and gets chewy.

Suit420 ordered chips and salsa for munchies too.

While waiting on my food I decided to venture outside to sip my cocktail and smoke a clove overlooking the beach.

It was about 1:30pm, and the place was starting to get busy. I sat down at the bar so I could check out the ocean while I puffed my special Clove.

And not to mention there were two cute bartenders working there as well. That's always a factor.

There were also some folks there taking advantage of the playground.

Slider's also has a wooden stage where the bartender says live reggae-style beach music plays during the days, and bands play at night.

Sounded right up Suit420s alley.

I finished my clove, and headed back in for my calamari.

Perfect timing. My calamari was ready, and the waitress had me another rum and diet on the way.

Suit420 was pleased with the calamari and the chips and salsa.

The calamari was cooked perfectly. Not too chewy. And the salsa was far above average.

It wasn't that spicy, but had a good tang to it.

I downed it all, and as soon as I did, the waitress came out with my steak tips and french fries.

Of course, Suit420 ordered his steaktips well done.

They were perfect too.

I covered it in A1 Sauce and ketchup, and killed all of the tips and all of my fries.

And three more rum and diets.

The waitress brought me my tab, and I looked around one last time and headed out.

Suit420 was pleased.

It was a beautiful day. I went to a place full of childhood memories I hadn't been in years.

And the food was awesome.

But since Christmas had just passed, Suit420 didn't want to spend any money on another restaurant shirt.

I thought about it, but headed out to enjoy my ride full of smoke and music to Jacksonville.

Rating: Seriously Thought About Buying the Shirt

1 comment:

  1. As a local I have to agree so very much. Our favorite place when we have "the kid" in tow. Almost always sit at the Tiki bar for the entertainment of both bands and sometimes the patrons themselves!