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The Great Jacksonville Fish and Chips Expedition- Day 1: Mulligans Pub at Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach

May 6, 2014

         On my inaugural expedition, I chose to visit a restaurant to which I had a gift certificate: Mulligans Pub at Sawgrass. I was given the $25 gift certificate by a co-worker at our annual Christmas party. Upon arriving at work the following day, the certificate found its way into my top desk drawer where it languished, nearly forgotten, until 5:00 this very evening.

         I met my old friend, Tim Rahn, at the establishment. Tim had confided in me that he had eaten there at least a few times and had never liked anything he had eaten there. I convinced him to go with me, his unpleasant experiences, and my own previous so-so experience notwithstanding. We went inside and got a table, because I hate sitting at the bar. We were waited on by a very friendly waitress named Jennifer. As we walked in, she offered us “ice cold beer”, and continued to offer “ice cold beer” through the remainder of our visit. Tim took her up on her offer. I opted for water. We both ordered the fish and chips.

          After 15 minutes or so, and after ogling the rather young, attractive, blond, female bartender, we were served up two large helpings of the Dublin Fish and Chips. These were large, hand-breaded, Atlantic cod fillets fried to a golden brown with a generous helping of fries. The fries had an obvious previously frozen flavor. The fillets were huge. Tim said his were too big. As he tried to pick one of the fillets up, it crumbled and fell over his fries. He may have been right. It collapsed under its own weight. Mine held aloft however. The main thing was how they were going to taste anyway.

          Bland. That’s how they tasted. There was a distinct lack of flavor. They were beautiful to look at, but just ho hum to the taste buds. They were not overcooked, the batter was crispy and golden, the cod was moist, but the flavor was just lacking. I liberally squeezed some lemon juice and sprinkled some black pepper on the fillets, but they remained rather bland. Tim used salt and pepper, but to no avail. He also stated that his had gotten soggy and in turn had gotten his fries soggy. He stopped eating. He said he was going to peel the batter off and feed the fish to his Bengal cat. I finished mine. I swallowed every bland bite of fish and every obvious, previously frozen bite of fry.

          Each helping cost $14.99. The overall cost, for two orders and Tim’s beers, was $37 plus tax and a $10 tip, minus the $25 gift certificate. Mulligans Pub does not have the best fish and chips in Jacksonville. Rating – 3 out of 5 Gills




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