Dirty Reds’ is a new restaurant in Neptune Beach, serving Louisiana-style Southern food. It opened March 29 in the space formerly occupied by Hala. When you walk up, the first thing you’ll see is an inviting deck, lined with tiki torches. This would be a great spot to enjoy the Sunset Hour:
Between the hours of 4 and 7 Dirty Reds’ has “Sunset Hour,” when your first beer is on the house. Yes, I said free! It’s Miller Lite or PBR, but still…free beer! They also have three kinds of Abita on tap (not included in the Sunset Hour).
The interior has been redecorated with a bayou theme. The bar is very cool with lots of wood work, tin roof and hanging lights. One side of the restaurant has picnic tables with buckets in the middle for when you “suck-dat-head and pinch-dat-tail” from your Cajun crawdads.
I ordered the shrimp and grits and my husband tried the chef’s special, which was a slow cooked brisket. The brisket was delicious and tender, with a wonderful smoky flavor. My shrimp were large and plump, enhanced by the tasso and creamy grits.
The owner explained that in an effort to maintain an authentic Louisiana flavor, he uses only specially-ordered Gulf shrimp. Everything was perfectly seasoned and flavorful, including the side orders of collard greens and “Kickin Mac N Cheese,” which has a touch of spice.
For dessert, we shared a slice of coconut bourbon cake. It was moist and delicious, with a hint of bourbon flavor. The table next to us shared an order of fried brownies, and they sounded like they were experiencing some kind of dessert-gasm. Next time I’ll be sure to say, “I’ll have what she’s having.”
Dirty Reds’ was a little hard to find: it’s on the south side of Atlantic Boulevard, just before the Mayport Flyover. We were glad we made the effort to seek out this new local gem.