Dine Southern Style on the Georgia Coast with Barbara Jean

imageBarbara Jean’s Restaurant & Bar
St. Simons Island, Georgia

There’s something comforting about the never changing–those restaurants you’ve been going to for years that you know and love, and have come to expect. You know the quality, you would bet your life savings by the she crab soup and nothing excites you more than sharing the experience with friends and family who’ve never tasted and seen. At the corner of Mallory and Beachview streets located in the Pier Village of St. Simons Island, Georgia sits one of my family’s constants: Barbara Jean’s. You may have visited in the Golden Isles, or in one of the four locations in South Carolina or Florida. Whether you go for the famous crab cakes or the pumpkin bread and the sweet jalapeno corn bread with cinnamon butter, Barbara Jean’s Easy Southern Dining makes deciding where to eat lunch or dinner a cinch!

It's rare to visit without a wait, but always worth it.
It’s rare to visit without a wait, but always worth it. I’m on the left and that’s my mom, Debbie, on the right.
Ahh, the blessed bread basket. It is the thing I look forward to most at Barbara Jean's. Caution: Sample each variety and take the rest to go!
Ahh, the blessed bread basket. It is the thing I look forward to most at Barbara Jean’s. Caution: sample each variety and take the rest to go!
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The appetizer portion of coconut shrimp comes with four large shrimp and a mango dipping sauce. It is more than enough to fill me up!
This is the she crab soup. It's cream based and filled with fresh, lump crab meat. I like to pepper mine heavily and sprinkle crushed saltines over the top.
The she crab soup is cream based and filled with fresh, lump crab meat. I like to pepper mine heavily and sprinkle crushed saltines over the top.
I took a friend who had never been to visit recently and upon getting his drink, he said, "Now that's a tea glass!" I recommend a half and half tea with a fat wedge of lemon.
I took a friend who had never been to visit recently and upon getting his drink, he said, “Now that’s a tea glass!” I recommend ordering a half and half tea with a fat wedge of lemon.
Barbara Jean's is known for their famous crab cakes. This is the crab cake and grilled shrimp over rice dinner with stewed tomatoes and broccoli & cheese casserole.
Barbara Jean’s is known for their famous crab cakes. This is the crab cake and grilled shrimp over rice dinner with stewed tomatoes and broccoli & cheese casserole.

My favorite seat in the house is by the bay window overlooking the Pier Village shops. In the summertime, every table is usually full and the place is bustling with wait staff, bus boys and hungry tourists and locals. Traveling with Fido? Grab a seat on the patio. Dining alone? Pull up a chair at the full bar and order up your favorite cocktail. The menu prices range from $4.99 for a cup of soup to about $24 for the most expensive dinner entrée.

The food is Some Kinda Good y’all, and my best friend swears by “The Chocolate Stuff.” Cobbler-like and better than a brownie, it’s Barbara Jean’s signature dessert and is served in a big bowl with homemade whipped cream. Other menu items include Tuna Steaks, Shrimp & Grits and Chicken Fried Steak. The restaurant is coastal and down home all at the same time…my kinda place!

After dinner,  walk along Mallory street or take a seat at the Pier to see what the fisherman are reeling in. Of all the places to eat in the Golden Isles, Barbara Jean’s should be at the top of your list.

Barbara Jean's on Urbanspoon

My Year in the Blog-Sphere

Some Kinda Good is one. Happy Blog-iversary to me!

I began blogging at a time in my life–the year was 2011, the month was November–when I needed to be fully engaged in something. It’s amazing how the landscape of your life can change in a year’s time, and who would’ve thought blogging about crab legs and barbecue would’ve filled a hole I never knew was missing?

Blogging allows me to combine many of my favorite things like eating, food and cooking but also writing, taking pictures, being on camera and sharing my personality and passion for coastal culture and the South. I really didn’t have any expectations when I set out to blog, other than not being one of those people on Facebook that share nothing but food pictures–because unknowingly, I was that girl for a long time. The moment became very real to me when a friend commented on one of my food pictures with this: “Facebook: Rebekah’s Food Diary.” I thought, ‘Wow, he’s right. There’s a better way.’

Enter Some Kinda Good.

Some Kinda Good’s original design by my friend, Amanda Hudson.

With a background in web writing and PR, I had all the skills in place. I set out to learn WordPress and gathered up some photos of the food I’d cooked. Not surprisingly, I had plenty of content at the ready, as though it had been stockpiled for its moment in the sun.

Some Kinda Good has evolved over the year, and I’m kind of embarrassed at some of my earlier posts. You’ve got to start somewhere though. As one of my favorite quotes says, “The expert in anything was once a beginner.”

Some Kinda Good’s current design by my friend, Tori Sprankel.

Throughout the year, I’ve built relationships with restaurant owners, food and beverage connoisseurs, food writers and other bloggers. I’ve gotten to meet notable cookbook authors, culinary producers, well-respected chefs and colleagues at food & beverage public relations firms throughout the Southern seacoast.  I’ve also subscribed to Bon Appetite Magazine and become a sort of amateur kitchen expert among friends and family. I’ve worked with ingredients I once considered foreign like, heirloom tomatoes and pimiento-cheese. I’ve sampled restaurant dishes I thought I would never order like fried chicken and waffles or an open-face whole egg omelet topped with goat cheese, sautéed shrimp, spiced pecans and arugula….for breakfast!

I’ve learned to be true to me, that you can’t pursue a food trend because it’s a trend. When I did that, I only did it for the sake of being popular, to show that I too was up-to-speed with food on a stick, kid food for adults and all things local and organic. While it was fun to experiment, those ventures lacked passion.

And we all know without passion, the fire dies.

All along, my philosophy has been guided by one thought from Julia Child who said, “Find something your passionate about, and keep tremendously interested in it.” I’m a firm believer that it’s never too late to do the things you love, and when you do the things you love, success comes.

Some Kinda Good was ranked #2 on Urbanspoon’s Leaderboard of Top Georgia Food Blogs September – November 2012.

These are the successes I’m celebrating…a few highlights from my year in the blog-sphere:

Most Popular Posts:

Most Searched Post:

Favorite Search Term:

  • Faulk Some Kinda Eating

Accomplishments:

  • Held #2 spot on Urbanspoon’s Leaderboard of Top Georgia Food Blogs: September – November 2012
  • Currently ranked #3 on Urbanspoon’s Leaderboard of Top Georgia Food Blogs
  • Featured as an Editor’s Pick of the Day on Bloggers.com
  • Featured as a Tweep of the Week on Atlanta Dish, the company blog of Melissa Libby & Associates
  • Becky Sue Hits the Big Time: Special feature on Kudzu Dad Blog
  • Featured in numerous editions of Paper.li, an online newspaper
My Farmers Market Fun and One Souped-Up Strawberry Shortcake post was featured in The Atlanta Moms Daily on April 30, 2012.

Relationships I’ve Built as a Result of Blogging: 

I got to meet Nathalie Dupree (bottom right) at the Inaugural Saint Simons Island Food & Spirits Festival in September 2012.

Without sounding too much like I’ve won a Grammy, I couldn’t celebrate my successes without acknowledging a few special folks:

Thanks to my mom and best friend Charity, who without fail were always the first to comment on my posts, even when the content lacked interest or when no one else cared. Thanks to my graphic designer friends, Amanda and Tori for giving my blog the exact look and feel I envisioned, as it progressed throughout the year. To Angela and Jennifer, my other best friends, thanks for all your encouraging words…your affirmation often kept me going. To my former co-workers and friends in the PR department at Floyd Medical Center, your belief in my abilities blows my mind. Thank you for your constant reassurance, for calling me out when my posts aren’t well beyond expectations and for holding me to the Class of Style standard.

And finally, my favorite Twitter friends: @Golden_Isles, @VisitSavannah, @ClassicGeorgia, @Grocerize and @ChefCourtney13–y’all are always faithful to retweet my posts and I’ve gained many followers as a result of your influence. Thank you, really.

With nearly 15,000 hits and a healthy following through social media, I’m pretty stoked. Not too shabby for my first year in the blog-sphere. Some Kinda Good is bringing my dreams to life. Maybe year two will include The Cooking Channel or Food Network. Dream big or go home!

Follow @SKGFoodBlog on Twitter or find me on Facebook.

Simply Satisfied with Mallery Street Cafe

Mallery Street Cafe
St. Simons Island, Georgia

A rainy morning on the last day of vacation led us to Mallery Street Cafe, a quaint place that boasts familiar, great tasting food in a causal setting. While the rain fell outside, we enjoyed a cozy table inside and awaited breakfast.

The menu is short and sweet with recognizable breakfast food like french toast, fruit, eggs, pancakes, grits and toast. You won’t break the bank here, because the items are a la carte. What is it about a coffee mug on a saucer surrounded by cream and a little spoon for stirring that elicits such a good feeling? A welcomed sight indeed in the early morning.

It was nice having the option to specify how many pancakes you wanted. So often at restaurants, a set number proves too many and are left uneaten. Two hit the spot.

Anytime there’s a packed house, that’s always a good sign. Just give me friendly service and tasty food in a coastal environment and I’m good to go. Located just across the street from the popular St. Simons Island Village, the cafe is a short walk from the Pier.

Open for breakfast and lunch, the cafe serves homemade soups, desserts and features daily specials. Make this place a stop on your next visit to the Golden Isles–you’ll leave simply satisfied.

Mallery Street Café on Urbanspoon

The Crab Trap, A Family Favorite

The Crab Trap
St. Simons Island, Georgia 

When I consider my idea of a perfect 24 hours, I’m waking up on St. Simons Island, spending the day on East Beach basking in the sunshine, finding sand dollars and conch shells and getting lost in a good Pat Conroy or Mary Alice Monroe book, always anticipating where we’ll eat for dinner. No trip to the island would be complete without a visit to the landmark seafood restaurant The Crab Trap. Complete with boating and rustic nautical decor, the atmosphere is always bustling. Enjoy a drink from the bar while you wait for your table and take a seat on the long bench under the southern ferns.

Located only a skip and a jump from the Atlantic ocean just passed a charming residential area on Ocean Boulevard, The Crab Trap has been one of my family’s favorite dining destinations for years. Who can resist fresh seafood and crunchy hushpuppies along with cold cocktails after a day in the summer heat? Not I! This is my mom Debbie (right), and I soaking up the sun. We love getting our tan on, then washing the sand away and heading out on the town for some good seafood.

Crab legs are my absolute favorite seafood. Ordering them at The Crab Trap is only fitting. Would you look at the width of those things? That’s some serious crab meat. These will run you market price which is usually $20 – $25. Totally worth it. In the center of each table, there’s a convenient hole for discarding all those empty shells.

On my most recent visit, I ordered the soft shell blue crab dinner for $20.95.

Here’s what they would’ve looked like earlier in the day…I didn’t catch these blue crabs myself, but took this picture while strolling along the St. Simons Island Pier. Poor things, never had a chance.

The sun sets on a perfect day over the F.J. Torras Causeway to St. Simons Island near the Golden Isles Marina.

Where do you hang out in the Golden Isles?

Crab Trap on Urbanspoon