Beach Road Chicken Dinners is a Jacksonville icon. The restaurant dates back to a time where Atlantic Blvd was known as Beach Road due to it being the only major road to the beach. The restaurant won a host of awards culminating in being named “The Best Fried Chicken in the South” by Southern Living magazine. Sadly in recent years it had fallen on hard times and the food had declined precipitously. When we heard restaurateurs Nathan Stuart and Margo Klar had purchased the restaurant with plans to expand their “Fish House” concept we were cautiously optimistic. How do you reinvent an icon while still doing its history justice? It’s not an easy task.
After two visits (once in the restaurant and once for takeout) to the new Beach Road Fish House and Chicken Dinners we can say with confidence that owner Nathan, Margo, and their team have managed to bring this restaurant back to a level that reaches beyond anyone’s expectations. I knew the seafood would be good because after visiting their other 2 restaurants I’ve grown to expect quality, fresh seafood from the Stuart family. The big question in my mind was, “Can they deliver on fried chicken and sides worthy of the Beach Road name?”
The answer is a resounding YES. Last year we drove the entire city ranking the best fried chicken in town and I have no doubt that absolutely anyone who tried all the fried chicken around town would rank Beach Road among the best, if not number 1. The next question on my mind was “Can the cream peas compete with the cream peas of Beach Road’s heyday?” The answer to that question is also a resounding yes. The cream peas at Beach Road Fish House are a little sweeter and a bit more firm than the cream peas of yesteryear but in this writer’s opinion they’re stellar.
The appetizer we think will be the standout is Chef Jason’s brussels. If you love brussel sprouts and you love sausage you’ll be madly in love with these. They marry a number of different flavors together to create something that showcases the best of all of them. Don’t miss this app! We didn’t try too much in the seafood category, but the one thing we did eat and absolutely loved was the scallops. I’m not quite sure how something prepared so simply can taste so good, but they were truly memorable.
Over a couple of different visits we tried a large portion of the menu and there really wasn’t anything we didn’t find really good except maybe the biscuits and also the gravy served with rice and mashed potatoes respectively. The biscuits were a little flat and the gracy was a little bland for our taste. However, we’ve learned since our last visit that the biscuit recipe has been changed due to diner feedback and they are now fluffier. We’ll be excited to try the new biscuits on our next visit.
The service on our visit was very good and attentive. All of the sides packed in plenty of flavor. The prices are very reasonable. The atmosphere is comfortable and the restaurant for the first time in decades actually feels very clean. What more can you ask for?
Before our visit to the new Beach Road I thought the food and concept would be good and a huge upgrade from the state of the restaurant prior to it changing hands. I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams that the recipes and the food served could be quite this good. Beach Road Fish House and Chicken Dinners is well on their way to another 50+ years of serving up some of the best fried chicken and sides in Jacksonville. We’d like to extend a personal thank you to owners Nathan and Margo, Chef Jason, and the team at Beach Road Chicken Dinners for bringing a true Jacksonville icon back to Life. We look forward to many more visit celebrating food and family at Beach Road Fish House and Chicken Dinners.
Beach Road Fish House & Chicken Dinners
4132 Atlantic Blvd
Jacksonville, FL 32207