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Alabama Jacks sets the tone for an ideal trip to the Keys. Essentially a giant blue fishing shed surrounded by Harleys, it looks like a place that would bubble with trouble. Sounds include a scrappy classic rock/country band, the clinking of Key West Lager and Sunset Ale bottles, and the rumbling of idling boat engines. Inside, there's a sheltered wooden patio dotted with white plastic tables, Hawaiian button-downs, sunburns, bandannas, eclectics, eccentrics, and Old Florida flair. And there's good food. Try the famous conch fritters that come as an appetizer or as a meal for $8.25 (with two sides; we suggest potato salad and onion rings). They're buttery, sweet, massive, meaty, and much more magical than any others in the Magic City. Mahi-mahi is always blackened just right, and if you want fried pub grub, check out the chicken fingers, jalapeño poppers, fried clam basket (half-pound for $6.25), oyster basket ($9.50), and buffalo shrimp ($9.50). You'll want to twirl around on the dance floor, so plan on staying for at least an hour. Or two.
On Thursday, April 11th, we left Punta Gorda, Florida with six other boats. Our goal was to circumnavigate Southern Florida. Our return date was scheduled for May 5th.
April 25th about half way through our trip, traveling between Elliot Key and Key Largo, we decided to stop for lunch at Alabama Jacks. We anchored our sailboats in a little bay and took a short dinghy ride to the restaurant, Alabama Jacks. We had just finished our lunch when our waitress came by to collect our credit cards or cash. Those of us paying by credit card were required to show an additional form of ID before our waitress would accept our credit cards. Four of us were paying by credit card. A few minutes passed and our waitress approached our table with the credit cards. She returned three of the cards then turned to us and announced she had lost our card. She merely shrugged and suggested our friends could help us pay our bill.
We explained to the waitress that it was her problem as she was the one who lost the card. We suggested she needed to go back and look for it. She left and almost immediately returned with another shrug and said she still couldn’t find it. Our boating companions then got up and began looking for the card-in trash containers and on the floor.
We finally identified a man who we thought might be the manager and asked if the restaurant had a phone we could use to report our credit card’s loss. He pointed to a phone but said he didn’t know if it worked or not. It didn’t and eventually he pointed to a second phone. After contacting the credit card company and reporting our loss we got ready to leave. Not once had any staff member offered help or any type of recompense. One of the waitresses did say something about our waitress having a ‘bad’ day and we explained to her that we thought we were having an even worse day. We told the manager we were leaving and as our bill still had not been paid we told him we thought we were finished and he finally did acquiesce and let us leave without having to pay.
Stay away from this place! When seated the waitress will stall your order giving other employees time to break into your car in their parking lot. There is a band playing so you cannot hear your car alarm go off. They break your window and do massive damage to your car. They continue to steal ALL your belongings. This was at lunch hour on a Sunday in the middle of the day. We called the police and they told us this was a regular occurrence here and the owners are aware of the situation and choose to do NOTHING about it. Stay Away!!
We stopped here on our way out of the Keys. It was a little out of the way but it looked and sounded fun. After arriving we realized that it was all out door sitting but the music was good so we stay that was our first mistake. After we got sat our waitress KATIE came over and gave us a pitcher of water and some plastic cups and made us pour our own water and returned 20 min later to take our order. The food took over a hour to arrive which was brought out not by our server. A dish was forgot and it took another 15 minutes to get that. The food was just OK at best and every thing is pretty much fried so there is no reason it should have take that long. ALSO be careful about leaving any valuables in the car. A family had their car window smashed in and all of their stuff was stolen. A local said that it happens every weekend and the management says they do no have time to setup security measures to prevent this from happening. GREAT news right!?!?!? I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND THIS PLACE TO ANYONE!!!!
As a countdown to New Times' "Best of Miami" 2010, Short Order is serving up 100 of our favorite dishes in the 305. Send your nominations to email@example.com. Fried Fish Sandwich at Alabama J... More »
You know Card Sound Road? That cryptic stretch of asphalt on your way to the Keys? Were you ever tempted to turn your steering wheel to the left just to check it out, but because of the dirt road and lack of traffic signs felt, well, a little paranoid?Suck it up (along with a spliff) and take a 20-minute cruise into the depths of this unknown part of upper Key Largo, passing along the way lush mangroves, snippets of sea, and rustic houseboats spotted with sunburnt fishermen. Once you hit... More »
Whether you're concluding a trip to the Keys or attempting a serene re-entry into the weekday grind, Alabama Jack's is the perfect place to toast your weekend goodbye. A big outdoor bar-restaurant set in the middle of mangroves just north of the Card Sound Bridge, the 58-year-old Jack's is a South Florida institution and a great place to watch wading birds (and sometimes a snook or two) and let the sunset wash over you. The grub is straight bar food -- in a good way (fried seafood abounds),... More »
Both pipes open up on a stretch of road as long and flat as the devil's driveway, and that damn tropical sun beats down on you like a mess o' troopers on road-kill day. Your machine's growling like a hungry lion, and your ol' lady starts whining that she'd like something to drink. Problem is, nothing around. You could backtrack to some fast-food joint in a mall near Florida City, or follow that endless black ribbon south to where the mangroves muscle out the sun and you get a little shade.... More »
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