There are just those restaurants that become part of the fabric of who you are. You’ve been so often for so many different life occasions that the familiar sights and sound of it brings a certain sense of comfort. These statements are true for me and my family about Jim Shaws. I can’t remember the first time I went there, can’t recall the first thing I ate, but I can remember birthday dinners, weeknight drinks at the bar and countless meals where we all said “man, I ate too much!” as we pushed back our chairs. So you can see how it might be hard for me to review a restaurant whenever I harbor this level of sentiment toward it but I’ll try.
We made a date with my parents to eat at Jim Shaws for the sole purpose of writing this review, it’s also on the rotation for places we eat at monthly if not more often. On a Saturday night there is usually a wait, but we know this, so our favorite trick to employ is to get the buzzer and head to the cozy bar area where oysters are ordered. Sometimes we order raw and sometimes steamed, but always briny and tangy when doctored up with the usual suspects of saltine base, horseradish, lemon and cocktail sauce. In this particular instance the buzzer rings as the oysters are still being consumed so two of us stay to finish up the oysters and settle up the tab while the other two are shepherded to our table. There are only tables at Jim Shaws and we get prime location this time, a window spot. From our table you can feel the buzz and whirl of traffic mere feet from the door.
As is tradition, fried green tomatoes are ordered. The plain and simple truth is that no one outside of the Whistle Stop Cafe makes better fried green tomatoes than Jim Shaw’s. FGT often get soggy from the juiciness of the tomatoes or the fried taste completely overpowers the delicate green tomato. They come atop a bed of spinach salad and topped with remoulade sauce and boiled shrimp.
My father orders she-crab soup, which is perfectly chunky and just right when mixed with some crackers. Salads arrive as well as cole slaw which my mother wants me to tell you all is her favorite cole slaw in town. I am not a connoisseur of cole slaw so I’ll defer to her.
Over the years we’ve found that both the pocketbook and tummy is happy when a pick three create your own platter is shared between two people. Between the four of us we got grilled Mahi Mahi, Fried Softshell Crab, Blackened scallops, fried catfish and fried shrimp. As you can see from the photos those are some heaping helpings!
The food was reliably good as always, fresh tasting, never overcooked or caked in fry batter. The quality is on par if not better than coastal eateries, but hey don’t take my word for it. Try it yourself!
Jim Shaw's Seafood Grill
3040 Vineville Ave, Macon, GA 31204