with One Side
"His fried fish is by far the freshest and best I have tasted in the area, sourced each early morning from local purveyors. His blackboard spills with dishes that make you feel like your grandmother was taking care of you—slow simmered greens, an excellent potato salad, crispy fried chicken, porky black-eyed peas, cole slaw, mac and cheese, a very solid Minorcan chowder. All the classics are there, plus a few pleasant surprises—hoecakes, chicken gumbo, shrimp and grits, homemade preserves and sauces. Even his breakfast menu wakes you up grinning: fish and grits, biscuits and gravy, fresh sausage made, like almost everything else, in house daily. Admit it—you’re hungry now, aren’t you?..."
Richard Villadoniga for St. Augustine Record, April 2010
"We had lunch. Everything was fresh and cooked from scratch using local fish, chicken and vegetables. The Flounder and chicken were both delicious and the portions generous. We had fresh Lime-ade. The Restaurant also sells their own hand made preserves like 'Prickly Pear Pepper Lime Jam'. All in all, very friendly and relaxed. As it is located at the end of a shopping center, we would never have found it if it had not been recommended to us by a local fisherman". - February 2011
(Click to link to full review)
5/3/2010 First to Review
(locals: may contain spoilers!)
"Holy grail. you've heard of it. and now, instead of cultivating a long beard as you wait in line to eat at o'steen's, you can slide on in to Stephen's Fine Foods, where, for the time being, there is no line, and where you can renew your love affair with datils, local seafood, local veggies, and lovingly homemade desserts, jellies, and sauces. here, the datil pepper sauce is fresh and authentic; no corn syrupy, ketchupy, TWEE imposter here! the datils are pungent with a strong bite, like a nite at the ol' dirt (the lazy sands...), and no add-ons like onions, maple, googoo or gaga to depress a native who can actually the handle the real thing. everything sampled was a surprise, because of how good and how delicately nuanced each of the dishes was. the fried fish was brought in by a fisherman as we ordered it, so i knew that was fresh.... "
“For my money, Stephen’s in Crescent Beach is still my favorite place for lunch in St. John’s County. The fresh fish, the locally-based sides, the hoecakes. Plus the price is right.
But lately there is another reason to go: Woodard has been toying in his kitchen with new jams and jellies and man, is he on to something! It all started when he began foraging for local wild cactus pears and simmering their juice down for hours till it thickened into his signature syrup. He added a splash of lime and a touch of datil and a work of art was born. He’s also got a delicious five pepper jelly that’s sweet, spicy and full of character and recently added a tangy calamondin marmalade to his repertoire. The guy has a gift.
And his jams make great gifts too. Give ‘em a go and taste for yourself.”
- Richard Villadoniga for the St. Augustine Record, February 2011