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‘Ditch’ Dining At Its Best: More

CD Café

Solomons, Maryland (okay, a little off the ICW, but what the heck!)
From Joe and Punk (Kathy) Pica,
Carolyn Ann, Great Harbour N37
(At the moment in St. Petersburg, Florida)

CD Café is a quality food experience conveniently accessible by a short walk from the harbor and serves the best food in the Solomons area or even Southern Maryland. The cuisine is eclectic featuring homemade soup and desserts.
The food is not cheap but it is very good, if you can get in—no reservations are taken. It is first-come first-serve and very popular, so go early. The dining area is small and somewhat noisy but still offers a "great treat" compared to the many poor and mediocre restaurants littering the ICW.

Signature dishes: The food is eclectic and varies as three chefs rotate through. Generally the best choices are comfort food, New Orleans, Indian and Asian-style dishes. Try the black bean soup and the tenderloin napoleon appetizer, which is hearty enough to have as a main course
(CD café is two blocks from the docks of the Zahniser Marina.)

The MacIntosh

Charleston, South Carolina
From Nick Morgan and Sherri Smith
Sweet Time, Krogen 39
Homeport: Sarasota, Florida

The Macintosh is focused on local products and its excellent chef puts forth some very creative offerings in one of the best cities in which to dine. On weekdays it hosts “Bacon Happy Hour” featuring bacon-inspired dishes.
Signature dishes: Grilled deckle-pickled beech mushrooms, glazed confit pork shoulder.
(100 feet from the Charleston City Marina downtown shuttle stop.)

Le Bouchon du Grove

Coconut Grove, Florida
From Nick Morgan and Sherri Smith
Sweet Time, Krogen 39
Homeport: Sarasota, Florida

Le Bouchon is a “real” French bistro, where you will meet the people at the next table. It’s an open-air place along the main drag in Coconut Grove with excellent food and service. This is a high-end cuisine sort of place.
Signature dishes: The mussels, of course.
(Le Bouchon du Grove is a quarter mile from Dinner Key Marina.)

Julieann's at the Locks

Chesapeake, Virginia at Mile 12 (just south of the Great Bridge Lock, just west of Battlefield Bridge)
From Ben Ellison
Gizmo, Duffy 37
Homeport: Camden, Maine

Julieann’s at the Locks is relatively new and unknown. It doesn't look like much on the outside, and you have to cross busy Battlefield Boulevard to get there—all of which is why I'm pleased to report on the pleasant surprise I found inside. "Home cooking with an upscale flare!" is the claim and I look forward to toasting that truth with another glass from Julieann's fine wine selection on my way north. I enjoyed the spicy calamari and a bistro burger at the little bar, but next time I'll dig deeper in the eclectic menu (which you can check out at And I don't think that the prices would cause even a sailor to wince.
Signature dishes: Chili and garlic shrimp, bleu cheese rib eye.
(Julieann's is just a 10-minute walk from Atlantic Yacht Basin—where Gizmo got a fast and reasonably priced engine repair last October—and it is even closer to the free dock along the ICW.)

 Nippers Beach Grill

Jacksonville Beach, Florida
From Peter Swanson and Joanne Blake
Rio, Morgan Out Island 41
Homeport: Green Cove Springs, Florida

This sprawling dockside eatery pays homage to the famous Nippers Beach Bar and Grill overlooking the beach at Great Guana Cay in the Abacos. It’s location at Beach Marine on the ICW, a marina with plenty of space for transients, make this an easy choice for a dock-and-dine afternoon. The menu is blend of island dishes with some Latin and Florida favorites thrown in. For example, anyone who has never tried them should sample the boiled peanuts, a redneck favorite usually sold by the side of country roads. The local Jacksonville newspaper named Nippers “Best Deck Restaurant” for 2012.
Signature dishes: Shrimp and grits, fried shrimp, anything with conch.
(Nippers is on the grounds of Beach Marine, just a step up from the docks.)