Sliders Seaside Grill has been a steadfast landmark and prominent beachside meeting place in Fernandina Beach since its beginning as a traditional American “roadhouse” in 1945. As Fernandina grew, it became less a wayside inn with rooms and food for weary A1A travelers and more a central spot for lunch, drinks, dinner, and dancing that we enjoy now.
Named Sliders since 1980, polished to a Caribbean gleam in 2003, and expanded with a second floor and banquet space in 2011, Sliders is serving its fifth generation of visitors. Visitors and residents alike enjoy all the hospitality Sliders offers today: breakfast on the upstairs porch, lunch and dinner inside or out, a lively bar with signature cocktails, swings and sand for children, banquet space, and live music and events. Not to mention a nice swimming hole just to the east!
On a recent visit, my friend Karen Miller joined me for appetizers and lunch as people streamed in for those beachy outside seats. Our server Harlie got us started with a Sliders Slammer, just right to get the Caribbean feeling going, and Sliders’ Fried Pickles, which have been a favorite in my family for decades! The six Small Plates options include two kinds of Atlantic shrimp, sea scallops, ahi tuna, chicken, and a Lump Blue Crab Cake with house Remoulade, of which Sliders is very proud. It’s a wonderful way to relax with drinks and music.
Sliders creative manager Cason brought us Baked Lobster & Crab Dip, a favorite of Sliders’ regulars, and it was a rich blend of meaty, creamy, salty, and crisp. Oyster-lovers that we are, we tried all three of the baked options: Jalapeño-Lime, Rockefeller, and Parmesan and Bacon. Karen loved the Parmesan and Bacon and I enjoyed the others, with their flavors balancing each other so well.
For entrees, Cason recommended two new fish entrées. With a special crab cake on top, the Crab Topped Flounder, with Andouille sausage peeking out of potato hash with peppers and onions and served with a Bourbon cream sauce and a side of black pepper aioli, was delicious. The crispy, slightly sweet crust of the Plantain Crusted Flounder was just right with its hot-sweet Pineapple-Jalapeño relish, served over Cuban black beans and rice with a side of citrus aioli. Shrimp & Grits is another popular entrée, along with Seared Salmon, Creole Dinner, and a Low Country Boil. Meat-lovers in the crowd can rejoice with Sliders’ 12-ounce ribeye.
Purists may prefer the generous seafood platters, or lunch baskets served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with house coleslaw and especially good hush puppies. Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese is a tasty twist on that childhood favorite. Three generations of my family have special memories of the pineapple casserole that has been on the menu for decades.
Like our family, visitors and locals have their own memories of Sliders through the years. Slide on by for drinks and live music, dessert by the beach, a large outdoor venue, steak and seafood, or just for old time’s sake. Open every day at 11 a.m. on South Fletcher Avenue, Sliders is that place that changes some but not too much, and always welcomes you back like an old friend.