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Barbara Jean’s Restaurant – A St. Simons Icon

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by Guerry Norwood

Barbara Jean’s is a family run, multi-unit restaurant operation that began here on St. Simons Island in 1988. Jim & Barbara specialize in both seafood and made-from-scratch, home-style cooking. There is little doubt that they are best known for their Crab Cakes, but their Southern entrees and vegetables are great. At Barbara Jean’s they make three different fresh breads and up to fifteen vegetables daily. They also have three homemade soups on the menu daily, and that always includes their truly incredible “She Crab Soup.” Each day they hand batter and cook to order every fried product, and those include Chicken Fingers, Chicken Fried Steak, Fried Fish Fillets, Chicken Fried Chicken, Fried Shrimp, Fried Catfish and Coconut Shrimp too!

My personal favorites are the meat loaf and the country fried steak. The service is impeccable, the ambiance is lovely, and the food is to die for. It’s rare that a restaurant can pull off both seafood and home-style cooking and do both very well, but Barbara Jean’s does just that. Expect long waits all day long in the summer. I recommend you put your name in at the door and then take a stroll through the Village to the pier to work up a good appetite. You will need it with all the food and bread they serve you!

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