Out in E. Raleigh you’ll find a cluster of old-school Raleigh businesses and restaurants off of New Bern Avenue. Along with the Bojangles and Cook Out you’ll also find hidden gems like Frank’s Pizza and Jack’s Seafood and Soul Food. I had seen reviews for this place on Yelp and had it bookmarked for ages but never stopped in. I’m trying to cut back on my fried food no matter how tasty it is. But a fish has gotta swim and I need my fried seafood! So finally I caved in and headed out for a lunch visit.
Turn into Jack’s Seafood’s tight parking lot and you’ll notice a small, low-slung building with red awning. Around the corner to the left you’ll find an unmarked door, enter here because all sorts of good Southern eats lie ahead! The space at Jack’s is small, maybe room for 15 people seated, it looks like 1/2 the people here are ordering to go. Whiteboard with all the fish specials, laminated menu with more details, I order up some fried shrimp and trout along with some fried chicken. Unfortunately they were out of barbeque today, boo!
My food takes about 15 minutes, they’ve got a handful of people waiting in front of me. When my food is ready, the nice lady at the counter asks about condiments and extras, I’m all set! And carrying the bag out I can tell I’ve got a LOT of food for $11 (about $7 for shrimp-trout plate, $3 for chicken snack). At home I tear into the paper bags and as you can guess, I over-ordered. But that’s why I go to the gym! I dive into the fried chicken first which is nicely done, not much spice but a good coating. The fish is well fried with a great crunchy crust, not greasy at all. The lima beans and corn is decent as is the mac n cheese but nothing too memorable. The miss was on the hushpuppies because while they were well-fried, didn’t have much taste or texture underneath, oh well.
But if you’re looking for a classic menu with Southern favorites, you can do far worse than Jack’s Seafood and Soul Food. Look past its humble surroundings and you’ll find an inexpensive feast that will keep your belly plenty happy! And there’s quite a bit to choose from beyond the seafood so I’d have to say that Jack’s is a step up from my old favorite, Saltwater Seafood and Fry Shack. So give Jack’s Seafood and Soul Food a shot for a quick meal, it’s only a hop, skip and a jump from downtown Raleigh and worth the trek…