This is Part II of a series of restaurant features from Daytona Beach, FL. For Part I, click here.
Racings North Turn
Gentlemen (and women), start your engines.
That is, if you are ready for a drive to Daytona Beach—home of some of the most unusual seafood restaurants found anywhere.
Take Racings North Turn, for example. This restaurant literally grew up around the beginning of racing history, right where cars used to race on the sands before moving to the Daytona Speedway.
This is where you can eat outdoors, on the beach, and imagine the sound of those engines competing with the rushing of the waves. Now, you are more likely to hear synthesized tracks with live guitar music playing while you study the menu!
Study it carefully, because there is plenty from which to choose. Bacon Wrapped Sea Scallops. New England Clam Chowder, homemade daily. Conch Chowder in a tomato base. Crab Stuffed Mushrooms. Pecan Encrusted Mahi Mahi in a bananas foster sauce. Or, the Extravaganza—broiled fish, spicy steamed shrimp, mussels, clams, oysters, snow crab legs all for $40.95.
Add a pina colada smoothie, lean back under the umbrella-covered sky, and watch the world go by.
Vroom . . . .
High Tides at Snack Jack
Next stop, Snack Jack’s, as it is commonly known. Great place to grab lunch in your swimsuit or surfing gear—just sit outside at one of the ocean view picnic tables, and enjoy the piped in calypso music.
Here you’ll find valet parking, but don’t worry—they don’t go far. Valet is required because the limited frontage means they double and triple park the cars to fit them all in. Leave the car, take the tacos. You can get grilled or blackened fish tacos wrapped in flour tortillas with coleslaw, cheese, and a homemade Baja salsa. Or, try the fish Reuben, offered grilled, blackened, or breaded and fried. On either dish you get your choice of flounder or mahi mahi.
If you’ve worked up an appetite in the waves, get the Name Your Own Fried Platter, where you get generous portions of your choice of fish, oysters, shrimp, scallops, crab cake or clam strips in any combination you choose. Or try the ‘Uncool Shrimp,’ which are fried and dunked in hot sauce!
This is a ‘no shirt, no shoes, no problem’ sort of place, where the restrooms are labeled ‘Dudes’ and ‘Dudettes’ and seafood is served with sea breezes, no charge. The don’t take credit cards, but they do serve wine & beer buckets, have hush puppies that are chewy and sweet, and offer everything from a surf dog to coconut shrimp on the menu.
This place is all about the mystery of the sea—they have a mystery soup, a mystery appetizer, and a mystery dessert. So if you are feeling adventurous, just say, ‘Surprise me.’
And, don’t leave without the t-shirt.
Final stop, Inlet Harbor, with its 2,000 feet of docks. This is where to go for the best sunset view, hands down (and cameras up). Assuming you have sprayed against the ‘noseums’ – those pesky Florida bugs that are so small that you ‘no see um’ – then you can enjoy sitting on the outer edge of the dock for the full view. And, if you prefer, grab a table indoors.
The claim to fame here is the Jumbo Fried Shrimp, cooked “the old Florida way,” and served with bread sticks and the house Key Lime Butter. The Inlet Stuffed Shrimp ($18.99) is another good choice, or try the Sampler, with mahi mahi, shrimp, scallops, crab and oysters.
It’s a casual, comfortable setting which was restored in 1996, with live music and lots of energy. It’s the kind of place where you can either dance and party around the tiki torches, or find a quiet corner to watch the sun go down. We recommend you go on a night when a single guitarist holds the stage—it’s a great Florida atmosphere after a day spent driving by pink and yellow beach houses and avoiding tourists. Or, if you want more of that energy, go on a Friday or Saturday night, when the Then & Now Band is playing.
Menu choices range from a huge—and we mean huge—nacho plate called the ‘Mucho Nachos’ ($10.99) to the all-you-can eat shrimp. But save room for dessert. The Banana Xango ($5.99) is a banana caramel cheesecake rolled in pastry and fried, served with a white chocolate caramel sauce, whipped cream and strawberries. See if you can resist that! They also have the requisite Key Lime Pie, and if you manage to stop by many of the hotels or tourism centers, you may find one of the ubiquitous coupons offering a free slice with purchase of an entrée.
This place is all about the Atlantic. Key lime and tropical flavors, fresh seafood, and memorable atmosphere.
So go, make a memory. And eat some shrimp for us.
Click here for Part I of our Daytona Beach Seafood Tour!