By Augusta Statz
Tybee Island’s AJ’s Dockside Restaurant is off the beaten track and hidden to most who are just visiting Tybee for the day. But, located along the back river, AJ’s Dockside is accessible by water or land, and is definitely worth a visit from any beach-goer.
Once there, you are given the option to dine inside (with air conditioning), outside under an awning or on the dock that stretches out into the water. I always choose dock seating, if it is available, because the views of the back river are absolutely beautiful.
AJ’s Dockside has a wide range of foods including seafood that can be fried, grilled or blackened. Dishes include wings, salads, hamburgers, gumbo, fish and even pork chops. No matter what you like to eat, AJ’s Dockside has got something for you on the menu.
I chose to get the fried shrimp entrée. The meal cost $16.95, but came with plenty of food. The meal consisted of 10 large shrimp, mashed potatoes, asparagus, two hush puppies and a dipping sauce. The batter the shrimp was cooked in had pepper in it and was much different than most fried shrimp batter that I’ve had. I couldn’t finish all of the shrimp, but the meal was delicious, although, it is hard to mess up fried shrimp.
The mashed potatoes were made by using red potatoes, and some of the skin was left in the mashed potatoes, which I personally like. The steamed asparagus came with a lemon slice on top had the perfect texture and taste.
The wait for the meal was about 45 minutes, but even the menu says that food can often take that long to reach the table. AJ’s may be a well-kept secret, but the people who know about it take up a lot of space in the restaurant. Parking is always a little difficult to find right in front of the restaurant, but there is another parking lot around the corner on 14th Street. So, if dining at AJ’s Dockside, be prepared for a little bit of a wait.
As I sat on the dock waiting on my meal, I had to bat away a few flies, and oddly, birds. But, as a variety of laid-back, beach music was played, ranging from Bob Marley to Jimmy Buffet, not even the bugs, the birds and the long wait could ruin my dining experience.
The views, food and overall atmosphere that AJ’s Dockside offers makes it a great spot for anyone going to Tybee to eat. It doesn’t matter how you get to AJ’s Dockside, pull up your boat and tie it off at the dock, kayak there, park your bike or your car there, just as long as you get there.Contact Augusta Statz.