The Best Conch Fritters In The Keys…Aren’t Actually In The Keys

Or Are They?

Heading south along Card Sound Road, just before crossing the toll booth to go over the bridge, is a one of a kind relic left over from the Old Keys. Alabama Jack’s is a small open air roadside bar that acts as sort of a gateway to the Florida Keys.

I’m not sure if it’s true, but I’ve heard rumors that if traveling to the Keys by boat, it’s against maritime law not stop here for lunch and a few drinks. It also happens to be the home of the best conch fritters in the Keys.

conch fritters

Getting There

Alabama Jack’s is on the northern end of Barnes Sound, hidden in the middle of the mangroves, right next to the border of Monroe and Miami-Dade county. In fact, even though it’s in Key Largo, google maps has it mislabeled as being in Homestead. They open at 11:00 seven days a week, but close well before the sun goes down.

With all of the mosquitoes in the mangroves, you wouldn’t want to be here after dark. I took Sparky for a quick walk last night, since he’s still learning to use the bathroom on the boat, and I was swarmed by the little bastards. I’ve often wondered why they don’t call them mosquitogroves.

Painting The Scene

Sparky at the helm
Sparky waiting for his fritters

The bar is an old building surrounded by a wooden fence with walls decorated with license plates from every state. There’s a rickety old dock out back that on any given weekend is lined with small center consoles, flats boats, and dinghies.

With extremely shallow waters around the area, the only thing that’s getting in there is a small boat. On most afternoons there’s live music, and the bands usually play both types of music…country and western.

Back To The Fritters

What was the original point of this article? Yeah, that’s right…food! The menu is an assortment of your standard bar food ranging from burgers and wings to chicken fingers and fries, and of course being the Keys, fish.

The conch fritters here are very different from any place I’ve had them in the Keys, or anywhere at all for that matter.

Instead of your standard little balls of batter with a tiny little piece of conch what you get here is a giant piece of dough filled with conch. My description may sound a little strange, but the big bowl of conch fritter here is the best I’ve ever had. If you’re heading down to the Keys, Alabama Jack’s is well worth a visit.

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