Barbara Jean's is located on busy and vibrant Mallory Street (see map) in beautiful downtown St. Simons Island, Georgia. The restaurant is small, almost claustrophobic (or to be charitable, “cozy”), but nevertheless “rustic-cute.” We slipped into a wooden booth and studied the large menu.
Husband Henry ordered a bowl of the She-Crab Soup ($4.99). It was thick and satisfying. He also ordered a side of Dirty Rice ($2.99), which was unusually smoky-flavored. Sarah had the tasty Shrimp Salad Sandwich ($6.99), which she relished. The side of Squash Casserole had a nice, creamy, mushy texture, with hints of butter and onion. And I ordered Barbara Jean's signature dish, crab cakes. (Actually I had one 5-oz crab cake on a bun for $9.99. With it came fries or a substitute. I chose the Broccoli and Rice Casserole, which was very rich, and stereotypically heavy Southern.)
I prefer Maryland-style crab cakes to the ones served here. Mine was quite soft and wet. Not what I had in mind.
The view out of the windows onto Mallory affords an opportunity to watch the colorful hustle and bustle of this charming vacation island. I just know it would be fun to live here — wish we'd worked that out decades ago before everybody had discovered the now rather exclusive (read: pricey) St. Simons.
As far as Barbara Jean's is concerned, our threesome gave it mixed reviews. Of the meals we ate on our whirlwind, four-day coastal South Carolina/Georgia tour, Sarah liked Barbara Jean's the best. Henry and I did not rank it that way, finding it rather “yuppie,” and the food not as inspired as we had hoped. — Perhaps you should try it for yourself. (See their website.)
Shrimp Salad Sandwich and Squash Casserole.
Crab Cake, Broccoli and Rice Casserole.
Copyright © 2006 Patricia B. Mitchell.