Chowder Ted’s

When you have to overnight in Jacksonville, a good strategy is to go looking for a seafood dive. The type of place where the pastel pink paint has long worn off and the entire surrounding area hasn’t lasted as long as the chowder recipe.

Chowder Ted’s is such a place. It’s not perfect. It’s not the shiniest looking establishment, but then again, that’s never been a tell for good food. There’s the classic neon faded beer bar signs and old photos of fisherman with catches that haven't been found in the nearby waters in decades.

The waitresses have classic Floridian charm. “I can’t even eat the regular shrimp, only the red type, they’re too tough” one explains a moment after we ordered the regular shrimp. They possess the unbridled authenticity of a human first and a waitress second. They crack jokes and steer us clear of the bathroom with the refreshing candor of someone on the last hour before quitting their job.

The food? The triggerfish sandwich is immaculately fresh, the chowder tastes a bit tired but it has been around 30 years and it will last a couple more, the shrimp are solid. The whole experience? Perfect. When you’re in Mexico City you eat tacos, when you’re in Tashkent you eat Plov and when you’re in North Florida, you go to a place like this. There are hundreds of knock-off seafood joints across middle America that try to conjure up this vibe with the beer signs and the plastic blown up fish but it’s not the real deal, Chowder Ted’s is the real deal.

Episode Intel

Chowder Ted's

5215 Heckscher Dr # 3051, Jacksonville, FL 32226 Reggie Ate: Chowder, Triggerfish Sandwich, Fried Shrimp

Sweatman's Barbecue

1427 Eutaw Rd, Holly Hill, SC 29059

Reggie Ate: Barbecue Plate, South Carolina Barbecue Hash, Barbecue Ribs, South Carolina Mustard Barbecue Sauce & Banana Pudding

Schuler Peach Co.

At Smith's Station

9039 Old Number 6 Highway Santee, SC 29142

Reggie Ate: South Carolina Peaches

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