When you are driving over the causeway onto St. Simons Island, you see a big billboard with an advertisement for Tortuga Jacks. “Voted #1 place to eat in the Golden Isles!” The only problem with the billboard is that Tortuga Jacks Restaurant is on Jekyll Island! But, after driving past the sign for the last several years, we decided we needed to give Tortuga Jacks a try.
A couple of weeks ago, after riding our bikes on Driftwood Beach, Mom, Dad, Tom and I all headed to Tortuga Jacks Restaurant. Set off by itself between “downtown” and the north end of the island, you ride directly in front of the restaurant on the bike path. Tortuga Jacks Restaurant bills itself as the only oceanfront dining on Jekyll Island. It might be the only oceanfront dining on any of the Golden Islands, because oceanfront real estate is too pricey for most restaurants.
Tortuga Jacks Restaurant calls its menu “Baja Mexican.” Wikipedia says that Baja Mexican is a Mexican and Mediterranean mix. The Tortuga Jacks webpage says Baja Mexican is “Mexican favorites turned out in a festive, easygoing environment with a covered outdoor bar & patio.”
The menu seemed to be a laid-back Mexican with southern dishes thrown in as sides. Dad got the mini-buffet which included fried chicken, fried fish, cornbread, and banana pudding. Obviously mostly southern. Tom and Mom both ordered fish sandwiches. I was the only one who ordered something Mexican, getting a steak fajita. Dad’s buffet was so-so, as I would expect from southern food at a Mexican restaurant. Mom and Tom both enjoyed their sandwiches and fries. But I was the real winner. My fajita came with the steak sizzling on the plate. I put together my own fajitas with steak, rice, grilled peppers, lettuce, and tomatoes. They were delicious! Tom also had some of my steak.
Tortuga Jacks is also known for its specialty drinks and live entertainment. We did not sit outside because it was a cold, windy day, but some people did. We enjoyed our visit very much and Tom wants to go again. Next time I think he will order the fajita too!