There is a soft spot in my heart for dives that serve good, honest, bar food. While at Florida State University one of my favorite spots was Posey’s in St. Marks. It was a dilapidated building with ceilings covered in dollar bills, troughs instead of toilets, and delicious hot wings served at a bar staffed by a local with a ridiculous breast augmentation. Sadly, it was destroyed in a biblical sort of way by storm surge during a hurricane.
Rhinehart’s Oyster Bar took me back to Posey’s. From the outside neon signs beckoned me to enter. The front door was rickety and opened up to a grungy foyer festooned with Christmas lights. A second door took you into the main part of the restaurant. A wooden bar occupied the middle of the space with additional seating on the sides. The walls were covered in beer signs and graffiti of all sorts explaining why Florida sucked or who to call for late night company.
Rhinehart’s was a sketchy sort of place and I loved it. I would not bring my kid to the restaurant after 5 o’clock, but I would enjoy knocking beers back her into the wee hours of the morning. The only drawback was instead of being located on a picturesque river (like Posey’s), it sat within spitting distance of I-520.
I took a seat at the bar and grabbed a menu. At the recommendation of Becky’s cousin, who told me about Rhinehart’s, I ordered the fried shrimp. I wanted a beer, but with a 5+ hour drive ahead of me I opted for a coke. My dinner was up in no time at all and I was starving after skipping lunch due to a pair of depositions.
The shrimp was butterflied, battered and fried. They were plump, juicy and sweet. The batter tasted like crushed buttery Ritz crackers. The shrimp were delicious. A slice of warm Texas toast sat on top and underneath was a pile of french fries. They bordered on cold and I avoided them as I crushed the shrimp.
Rhinehart’s is an interesting sort of place. It is a dive bar that serves up some amazing friend shrimp, and I am glad I paid them a visit while I was in Augusta, Georgia!
Sweet Tea & Bourbon’s Rating: