Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Last Stop In Jacksonville

Strolling past the very contented looking cats making their home on Singleton's front porch you know you've arrived at the real thing, a completely unpretentious, friendly, bit rough around the edges fish shack.
Walking to my seat past the kitchen ice table not showing off but simply storing the day's catch for hungry customers I spy a telltale bumper sticker -- "Friends Don't Let Friends Eat Imported Shrimp." This somewhat ramshackle plywood (yes even the ceiling) shack isn't the refuge of Sunday fishermen and water borne adventure seekers but home away from home for men (and I suppose women) who make their living on the water, pulling in beautiful fresh fish and seafood.
"What's fresh and local?" I asked my very attentive waitress. Her eyes lit up as she told me today's flounder and sheepshead were "beautiful." She didn't need to inquire, she didn't question. At a glance this experienced waitress knew what the best dish would be. Unlike the other fish camps I visited in the Jacksonville area the staff at Singleton's knows their fish, and how to size up a customer.
Surrounded by personnel from the nearby navy and coast guard bases I bit into supremely fresh basically unadorned sheepshead filet. She was not wrong, this was a beautiful piece of fish of ultimate freshness and highest quality in a plywood shack along the sleepy water.

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