Jamie Davis opened his second JD Shuckers in his home town of Georgetown, DE several years ago, but has since moved on to spend more time at the original mothership JD's in Angola. But the place remains an upbeat neighborhood bar with a wide variety of craft beers surrounding a well-stocked raw bar. And if anything, the food is even better. The menu is all about well-prepared comfort food like burgers, sandwiches and broiled or fried entrees. They even have a particularly good prime rib! There's always a fresh catch available depending on the season. Bar goodies are served up in large portions by friendly waitrons. You go to JD Shuckers to unwind and have fun, not to see and be seen. We'll leave that to Rehoboth Beach and Lewes.
Starters are pretty standard, with a few cute surprises. Like the same dish in Angola, the calamari is exceptional. It's fried to a dark crisp (I hate underdone rubber bands), nicely salted and decorated with pickled jalapenos. The wings surprise you with 5 choices. We like the standard Buffalo and also the Thai Chili (see gallery for photos). The mozzarella sticks are unusual in that they are made in-house. The pre-prepared ones that are so prevalent are OK (it's hard to mess up a piece of cheese), but these are quite good. Cheese lovers will scarf these down (in the gallery, note Jack Riddle's hungry paw photobombing my wing photo in the background because he couldn't wait for his mozzarella sticks). All in all, there are nine starters from which to choose.
JD Shuckers is true to its name in the raw bar department, offering not only raw oysters and middleneck clams, but also a selection of steamers (oysters, middlenecks, shrimp) and a sampler of all three. They also dress up PEI mussels with garlic and offer snowcrab clusters (market price, of course). Often there are daily varieties that are on special. We like to get the steamer sampler that sports shrimp, mussels, scallops and clams. Garlic butter, Old Bay and crispy garlic bread top it off.
Choose from six burgers which you can decorate with 11 toppings. On my last visit I got the Bacon BBQ Burger topped with jalapenos – and blue cheese crumbles … just in case. One of my regular Foodettes loves to alternate between the French Dip and the Beer Battered Fish & Chips. There are seven sandwiches on the menu, and there's always an entree special. Mozzarella-lovin' Jack got the spiced apple-topped pork chop the other night (see the gallery) and he loved it. Again – it's a special, so it might not be on the menu when you go. But I guarantee there will be something you like.
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One of the stars of the show is the Hard & Classic Shakes (see the gallery for a mouthwatering – if I do say so myself – photo of the salted caramel pretzel shake). There are five choices, and all of them are made with Hopkins Dairy Farm Ice Cream just down the road a piece. Add alcohol if you wish. You WILL be carded, and no carryout on the hard version. Jamie is proud of his bread puddings, and the recipe changes with the seasons.
Georgetown's GM and lead cook is none other than Jesse Brammer. He oversees the kitchen operations and watches over the huge bar that serves a well-selected choice of crafts, domestics and imports, along with pretty much any cocktail you can come up with. The bar is cleverly designed to be open and airy, but unseen and unheard in the restaurant area. Clever placement of screens and hidden acoustic panels keep things quiet. And wait until you see those gigantic ceiling fans. I want one for my car.
JD Shuckers is located on Rt. 9/404 directly across from the Owens Campus of Delaware Technical College. You can call them to check hours at 302-856-1400. Check out the menus at their website.