Saturday, September 5, 2009

Whitey's Fish Camp

What exactly is a fish camp? There seems to be quite a few of them around the region and the terminology is rather confusing. Is it a trick? Do they lure the fish in with promises of climbing, archery, and campfire sing-alongs only to tip them into a vat of boiling oil, fry them up, and serve them with coleslaw and hush puppies? What exactly is a hush puppy?

whitey's outside

One thing these fish camps all have in common is that they're all practically out in the middle of nowhere. With Clark's, you have to drive through an obscure residential area. To get to Whitey's, just turn onto Doctor's Inlet Road from Blanding or 17 and drive until you think you're lost. You'll find yourself, funnily enough, on an inlet connected to Doctor's Lake. Park your truck on the gravel, spit out that chaw, wipe your boots, and make your way through that there door.

But don't fret, fellow suburbanite. You don't have to be a redneck to gain admittance to Whitey's, you just might not stick out as much if you are. I would advise, however, that you come with a big appetite and a taste for down south cookin'.

whitey's breakfast

We rolled up to Whitey's around about Sunday brunch time. While the other folk accompanying me opted for a more traditional breakfast of biscuits, hog parts, eggs, and so on, I decided to get a little fancy and order me some shrimp 'n' grits. Grits are one of those foods I'd love to hate but, much to my horror, I love the stuff especially when they've got a bit of good cheddar mixed in (see Seven Bridges or Mojo's for some stellar examples). What I got was more of a gruel (no defining grits texture) because of the copious amounts of cheese. But with the peppers, onions, bacon, and plethora of shrimp, added to the mix, I had one tasty and very, very rich meal. Fearing coronary failure I had to stop myself after finishing half of the immense portion and save the rest for later. And I did finish the rest, every last decadent bite.


The typical offerings are much more varied (and in some cases, strange) than what we got to choose from for our Sunday brunch. There's a Swamp Menu with gator, turtle, frogs legs, and soft shelled crab. There is, of course, a lot of seafood and all you can eat catfish.


Every night of the week there's something going on at Whitey's. On Monday there's all you can eat crab legs and beer pong. Wednesday there's all you can eat wings and it's happy hour all night. There's music most nights of the week and other crazy happenings so you know exactly where to go if you wanna get your boogie on. Well, maybe not exactly. Perhaps you should look the address up on your GPS first.

Whitey's Fish Camp
2032 CR 220,
Orange Park, FL 32003
(904) 269-4198

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