Alabama Jacks, located in “Downtown Card Sound”, or more precisely on Card Sound Road between Homestead and Key Largo is one of those seafood dives that receives a lot of attention due to its unique location. This isn’t a place you just stumble upon since Card Sound Road is a toll road which can easily be avoided by taking US 1, the preferred route to the Florida Keys.
Emeril’s Florida, Food Paradise’s Manliest Restaurants, the Food Network’s Bobbie Flay, Guy Fieri’s Diners Drive-Ins and Dives and even Kathie Lee Gifford have all sung the praises of Alabama Jacks, touting it as one of the state’s best beach shacks (although not on the beach), seafood dives or biker bars.
This rustic, open-air bar and restaurant claims to serve the world’s best conch fritters, and on that front I whole heartedly agree. Unlike the bite-sized fritters usually served, Alabama Jacks’ fritters look like fritters. Two large fried pieces of batter filled with conch and other yummy ingredients.
On a Monday afternoon, the crowds were light so there was no waiting and we were served quickly at our table overlooking the mangrove lined waterway behind the restaurant.
While we thoroughly enjoyed our conch fritters at this highly recommended eatery, I would not encourage anyone to wait two or more hours to be seated as is sometimes necessary on weekends. Stop in for a fritter and a cold drink on your way to or from the Keys, but go elsewhere for dinner. There are so many places to get really good seafood in south Florida, but I can’t say that Alabama Jacks is one of them.
If you do go, avoid the weekend crowds and make sure you’re there early since they close at dusk before the influx of mosquitoes.