A lot of restaurants in Florida are outstanding but few of them are magical as this restaurant hidden in Jacksonville. Clark's Fish Camp is one of those places that feels surreal and foreign thanks to their bizarre food items. This restaurant will take you on a food expedition like no other.
For more than 30 years, Clark's Fish Camp has been serving traditional Southern cuisine in a whimsical setting featuring the largest taxidermy collection in North America. You will feel like you just landed to the world of "Avatar" once you step inside the venue.
Even though the restaurant filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to damages from Hurricane Irma and Matthew, it still continue to operate and serve one of their iconic dishes — The Full Smoked Alligator.
This is not your typical southern restaurant where you can get shrimp and tacos. Here you will find a live pet alligator and a menu offering seafood platters, a raw bar, crawfish, clams, escargot, ahi tuna, shark bites and a numerous of items from the sea and bayou.
According to First Coast News, the process of cooking a full alligator is the same as prepping a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. First, the animal receives a whiskey bath with Jack Daniels or Jim Beam, then is rubbed with homemade barbecue and mustard sauces and completed with special house seasonings.
The special alligator recipe includes bacon wrapped on the alligator tails and arms which gives the alligator a special flavor and taste. In addition, they stuff it with Andouille sausage wrapped in bacon.
It takes about four to six hours to smoke the alligator before it is served on a wooden tray. The alligator dish's presentation includes hush puppies, scallions that represent a Floridian swamp and a fried catfish in the alligator's mouth.
As mentioned in First Coast News, the alligator tail is the most popular part of the dish.
This is the restaurant to go to if you are looking for a unique dining experience and you want to explore your palate. The full alligator costs between $120-$155 depending on the size. You need to call ahead of time to order the dish due to the time it takes to prepare it. You can call 904-268-3474 to make your reservation.
Clark's Fish Camp
Price: $120-$155 depending on the size.
Address: 12903 Hood Landing Road, Jacksonville, Florida 32258
Why you need to go: This unique restaurant serves a full smoked alligator dish.