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Skipper's Fish Camp

85 Screven St., Darien, GA - (912) 437-3474
Posted By Michael Stern on 10/25/2009 9:17:00 AM
Skipper's Fish Camp, overlooking the Darien River and the Altamaha Bio Reserve, is a well-mannered restaurant decorated with nautical curios including an 11-foot stuffed alligator but with none of the haphazard chaos typical of a working fish camp. It still has a boat launch next door, dating back to the days fishermen brought their shrimp straight to the restaurant kitchen. During lunch, I watched one old boy haul in his skiff and sort through a cooler that included the morning's stripers as well as the few cans of beer he had not yet drunk. If you trailer a boat to this dock and plan to go fishing, you must bring your own bait, for instead of a tackle shop, Skipper's is adjoined by a prestigious waterside condominium development where no worms are sold.

The grand meal is crisp-fried flounder, a fish so big it hangs over both sides of a dinner plate. The vast plateau of meat below its craggy orange-gold crust is moist and sweet, easy to lift in bite-size nuggets right off the skeleton. Fried shrimp are firm and fresh (and indubitably local), accompanied by red-crusted hushpuppies in which the cornmeal is infused with a throbbing swirl of sweetness and garlic. Compared to the muscular shrimp, fried oysters are shockingly fragile, so tender that they seem to evaporate on the tongue. Excellent side dishes include brown-sugary sweet potato casserole and bowls of bright and bitter greens.

The essential dessert is Georgia peach cobbler, a double whammy of fruity sweetness and buttery crust. It is served hot, and of course you want a globe of vanilla ice cream melting on top.

6 out of 6 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Crisp Fried Flounder
Sweet Potato Souffle
Fried Shrimp
Brunswick Stew
Fried Oysters
Collard Greens
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Skipper's sweet potato souffle, speckled with crisp nuts and infused with buttery brown sugar, is rich enough and sweet enough to be dessert.
"Skipper's sweet potato souffle, speckled with crisp nuts and infused with buttery brown sugar, is rich enough and sweet enough to be dessert."
Michael Stern





Darien, Georgia, is well-known for excellent shrimp, as exemplified in this handsome appetizer. The veil of crust on each firm pink crescent crunches and melts into savory bliss as the meat within snaps freshly when teeth attack.
"Darien, Georgia, is well-known for excellent shrimp, as exemplified in this handsome appetizer. The veil of crust on each firm pink crescent crunches and melts into savory bliss as the meat within snaps freshly when teeth attack."
Michael Stern


These oysters are large and their meat substantial, but the crust that envelops them is nearly weightless.
"These oysters are large and their meat substantial, but the crust that envelops them is nearly weightless."
Michael Stern


Seafood stars at Skipper's, but you must start with a cup of Brunswick Stew. It is redolent of sweet, smoky pork and also includes pulled chicken, big hunks of tomato, lima beans, and corn.
"Seafood stars at Skipper's, but you must start with a cup of Brunswick Stew. It is redolent of sweet, smoky pork and also includes pulled chicken, big hunks of tomato, lima beans, and corn."
Michael Stern


A little bitter and very bracing, collard greens are a righteous balance for the sweet potato souffle and a good companion for just about any seafood on the menu.
"A little bitter and very bracing, collard greens are a righteous balance for the sweet potato souffle and a good companion for just about any seafood on the menu."
Michael Stern


Fried Oyster Salad 6-24-13
"Fried Oyster Salad 6-24-13"
Eric Males


Shrimp and Grits (and Bacon), Onion Rings, and Collard Greens
"Shrimp and Grits (and Bacon), Onion Rings, and Collard Greens"
Eric Males


My table was just below the giant alligator that hangs on Skipper's wall.
"My table was just below the giant alligator that hangs on Skipper's wall."
Michael Stern


Whereas the classic fish camp is ramshackle and raggedy, Skipper's is ship-shape. Those are swanky condos in the background.
"Whereas the classic fish camp is ramshackle and raggedy, Skipper's is ship-shape. Those are swanky condos in the background."
Michael Stern


Fishing boats that ply the waters just off the coast for sweet Georgia shrimp are berthed just outside Skipper's.
"Fishing boats that ply the waters just off the coast for sweet Georgia shrimp are berthed just outside Skipper's."
Michael Stern


Across the Darien River is the Altamaha Bio Reserve, where you can paddle a kayak through old-growth cypress and glimpse alligators, bald eagles, sea turtles, osprey and otter.
"Across the Darien River is the Altamaha Bio Reserve, where you can paddle a kayak through old-growth cypress and glimpse alligators, bald eagles, sea turtles, osprey and otter."
Michael Stern



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