How many of you have ever had dinner overlooking a beautiful creek? Watching the sunset over the water, critters swimming, flying and wandering around the peaceful scenic view while you leisurely dine to your heart’s content. I’m sure quite a few of you. Lovely right?
This was more or less the setting we had for our dinner plans at Clark’s Fish Camp in Jacksonville, Florida. Except we were accompanied by a few more things than just the creek wildlife.
This place is not for Vegans or the faint-hearted.
Upon entering you can’t help but notice the antlers on the wall; some chiseled to look like fish, others decoratively carved and some just mounted together to make another decorative piece. – I actually had no idea what we were walking into, as I did not take part in the conversation discussing where we could eat. I just remember Brad saying it would be really interesting and probably a once in a lifetime thing. –
We opened the door to find a big glass enclosure with water on one side that we could peer into and on the other side a big lamp with a croc laying beneath it. I for some reason was under the impression that there would be some sort of aquarium where we could dine and look at the fish swimming by but little to my knowledge I was surrounded by stuffed animals of every kind! It was like a taxidermy zoo!
Taxidermy is the art of preparing, stuffing, and mounting the skins of animals for display.
The guy we made arrangements with told us it was one of his favorite restaurants growing up and it is also reputedly known as the largest privately owned collection of taxidermy in the whole of the United States! Once you enter, there is animal after animal, stuffed and mounted in pretty much every corner of the building. Some are even displayed up on the ceiling, eerily looking down at you while you eat.
We sat outside for our meal, admiring the gorgeous creek adjacent to the restaurant. People are allowed to kayak, grab a boat or take a walk out by the stream. It was a gorgeous sunset to have dinner to. – There were a few mosquitos though which I have to comment on, but I guess they come with the territory. –
The restaurant boasts a large menu – for the All-American Carnivore – with exotic meats ranging from Gator, Ostrich, Kangaroo, Camel, Llama, Antelope, Turtle, Snake and much much more… – I told you this is a Vegan nightmare! –
I went for the gumbo. The portion size was HUGE so worth the money I paid for it. I ended up taking the rest away, – these monster portion sizes in America, really do get the better of me. I alway thought I could tackle them, but my eyes are truly bigger than my belly. – They also offer fresh oysters and an array of fish accompanied by various side orders.