Destination Jersey Shore Eats: 2013 NHL Draft

Our 2013 NHL Draft “Best Bets”

Now with the draft quickly approaching, people are going to have to eat. That is truly a necessity. After all, whether your budget is big or small, there is something for everyone at the Jersey Shore. Get your forks, knives, spoons, and appetite ready and let’s go!

Sandy And The Shore

People have heard it over and over again but for the most part, the Jersey Shore is open for business. Yes there are some considerable changes but businesses need your help. The 2013 NHl Draft probably will see some people, media, prospects, have several days to explore the state. It is a perfect opportunity.The goal with this part of the “eats” was to go a little off the beaten path and then a little mainstream as well. We are going too start from the lower part of the shore and gradually work our way up.

The front of the legendary restaurant (Jen D /
The front of the legendary restaurant (Jen D /

Are you ready to take a little tour? Let’s go and find some places to satisfy that sweet tooth or that grumbling in your stomach. It is time to start with the lower shore region.

Lower Shore / Long Beach Island

The Chicken or the Egg — Located in Beach Haven on Long Beach Island, the iconic eatery was featured on Man Vs. Food for its Wings but more importantly its array of sauces that include obscene and ludicrous just to name a few. The menu has a little something for everyone with more than reasonable pricing. Yes, they do have fried pickles which is quite the staple in parts of New Jersey. Yes, after Labor Day, they close down for the season but is a place well worth it to go and just fill your gorge.

410 Bank Street — New Orleans says hello in Cape May err “bonjour”. The restaurant with its scenery and menu alone make it one of the top places in Cape May, New Jersey, and possibly the country. How many people can say they ate at an 1840 carriage house with tropical like environment and ambiance. If you want seafood with a New Orleans and Caribbean flair, then this is the perfect place. We did not forget the PDF menu of this dining experience. The prime rib, corn chili, 1/2 Cape May lobster plate is something you must try once. It is that mouth watering. Also, the jumbo scallops with New Orleans Creole Sauce has a taste that keeps people coming back for more.

Mack’s Pizza — Simply it is a Wildwood tradition for over a half century. Pizza, subs, and more on the boardwalk the way it was meant to be. This is pretty self explanatory but staples like these are the reason a lot of people flock to the “Jersey Shore” in the first place.

Irish Pub & Inn — If you are in Atlantic City and nearly lost your shirt, this is a pub where you can eat like a king for a surprisingly low price. The sandwiches and soups make you wonder how you can pay 80’s prices for food that is pretty damn tasty. Drinks are priced reasonably and a good time is guaranteed as the pub itself does not close until 3 am. It really is old school Atlantic City at its finest.

The Merion Inn: This restaurant, also in Cape May, literally is a reserve only type of place but the food, drinks, and atmosphere make it a must go if you are that far south. If you were wondering about choices, here is their menu. The “prix fixe” menu is excellent for early birds or night owls. Their seafood is truly a cut above and though maybe a bit pricey for some, the taste and ambiance makes this experience worth the long journey.

From Island Beach To Long Branch

Roy Rogers — I can hear it now. Are you serious? Yes. For those that can remember, Roy’s was a restaurant the kid in me remembers so fondly that the last full service Roy Rogers had to have a place on here somehow. There were those roast beef sandwiches and of course the “Fixins Bar”. Do I need to say more? For the heck of it, the chicken still tastes incredible and a hat tip to this little Pine Beach institution on Route 9….they always seem to have a new special when one least expects it. Granted it is a fast food place but again just for that nostalgic feeling, it would be like going to a Tim Horton’s or even In And Out Burger. Roy’s just has that kind of effect.

The Shrimp Box — Point Pleasant Beach has a bevy of restaurants for the pickiest of taste buds. Though the menu may be rather simple….their salad bar has a crab and lobster salad that almost makes it worth the entire meal. The surf and turf is very good but the baked salmon is a definite show stopper. The lunch menu is mostly under $20 and dinner entrees are rather reasonable. Dress is casual to very casual. Bay side views are featured along with a rustic look that keeps the audience riveted while dining away.

The Mill — On the lake side in Spring Lake, lies a restaurant with breathtaking views and exquisite food. If you want to see a dinner menu, here it is. The chefs have definitely done their homework as food always is prepared with an attention to detail that is top notch. Even the wine list has a diverse array of choices. Yes they do banquets and wedding receptions too but for those looking for a view and unparalleled food, “The Mill” may just meet their match with this beauty on the water.

Amy’s — There are places that have an assortment of omelettes and then there is Amy’s in Long Branch. With 220 omelettes to choose from, if you cannot find one for you then you just did not look hard enough. From the seafood groupings to authentic country style, breakfast will leave you full and satisfied. I humbly recommend the #183, the Super Belly Buster. It is a tough and daunting omelette but wow does it have some staying power in your stomach. Do not worry about price at all and just enjoy the seemingly endless menu of choices. This is truly a breakfast behemoth of a restaurant.

Crab me! (Bum Rogers / File Photo)
Crab me! (Bum Rogers / File Photo)

Bum Rogers Tavern — As you are just about to enter Island Beach State Park, this bar and tavern calls like a siren. Though the outside does leave a bit to be desired. You come for the crabs and the bar specials. The spicy crab buckets alone are messy but if you want good crabs, you have to get a bit of them on your hands. If you have a big enough appetite, you want to set your sights on “The Jersey Shore”. It has a little of everything and should satisfy even the heartiest of appetites. Oddly enough, the mozzarella crescents have a surprisingly good bite to them and it is just something not traditional. Granted, the place may appear a bit higher priced than it should and there some loud crowds but that atmosphere is just dynamite and worth it.

All and all, we still have a little more ways to go up the coast or in this case up routes 35 and 36. The final leg of the journey goes from Long Branch and hooks back through the Highlands.

From Red Bank To The Highlands…..

Windansea — As we hook around into the Raritan Bay a bit, the waterfront offers some restaurants that not only survived Sandy but are now thriving. The elegance of the place draws you in but the food and drink hook you hard and never let you go. In the winter, you can warm up next to the fireplace and in the summer, enjoy the nicest breeze off the water one could ever ask for. The menu may be a bit on the high end but the quality and atmosphere more than make up for it. You get what you pay for as they say sometimes. So many items can be recommended but the jerk chicken sliders are just too good to pass up for starters and the surf and turf is to die for. Also, try the stuffed flounder. The flounder and crab cake mix is done just right and delicate enough to hit your palette with a double shot of goodness. A diverse wine list punctuates their menu and makes this a place to travel to…and less than an hour from Newark to boot.

Off The Hook — There is something to be said about a view and the vibe of a place. Off The Hook satisfies on those two fronts then several more. Their lunch menu is what we are focused on but by all means try them for dinner as well. Not many places try Fried Raviolis as an appetizer but Off The Hook pulls it off. The seafood salads are downright dangerous and literally melt on your tongue good. Lunch prices are extremely easy on the budget and the beers and drinks are always flowing at this restaurant that overlooks Sandy Hook, the Highlands, and so much more. There is also a ferry from Manhattan that will take you pretty close to the restaurants also.

Cupcake Magician — We had to sneak this one in too just because of the sweet tooth factor. We advise to go during the very early evening (say 5-7 pm) on Friday or Saturday night as a nice dessert treat after an early dinner. There are enough flavors to literally make even the most grumpy person smile. If there is one place to go for a cupcake, this is it. Consequences be damned! After all, why else would we toss in a cupcake place if it really was not that damn awesome? Exactly! Oh just for a bit of advice….their red velvet cupcakes are so good, you may order six or more. Advance warning!

JBJ’s Soul Kitchen — This is a place that is different in every way and yet the food is unmistakably scrumptious. Comfort food is literally something that has no words. It is just an experience that has to be tried. Please understand that you may be seated with complete strangers. It is a heck of a nice way to meet different people and reminded me of being seated at Good and Plenty in Lancaster, PA. Prices are reasonable and some of your tab goes to charity ladies and gentlemen. This is well worth it and people will be shocked to find the star connections to this restaurant.

Moose’s Tavern — Sneaky insertion here! The Tinton Falls restaurant features a very prominent moose head. The bigger entrees are featured here. If you are one with a big appetite, go with the Moose’s Cut prime rib. It is 24 ounces of meaty goodness. The St.Louis Ribs and Lemon Chicken are dishes that have to be tried along with the nice assortment of drinks. The lodge like atmosphere makes one really relax and though this is not quite near the shore. It had to be included here just because sometimes you have to go off the beaten path and this is definitely a little off the reservation.

If there are any places we missed, please list them in the comments section. There was just no way we could fit any more into this and these out of town people are going to be very hungry. All and any help is very much appreciated.