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Chincoteague


scott123
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drive south on 13 and you'll see an sign to wachapreague. there's a place on the water called the island house restaurant. the usual eastern shore fare-oysters, flounder, crabcakes. very friendly service and a great view from both the inside of the restaurant and the deck. they have a variant on spoonbread made with cheddar cheese that's pretty decadent. i find that the best time to go there is on a fall afternoon when the sun is warm and there beer is cold. some restaurants on the e.s. have had to import oysters from as far away as new england due to bad local growing conditions over the past few years, but thiers are always local. cheers.

"Ham isn't heroin..." Morgan Spurlock from "Supersize Me"

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In my opinion, Chincoteague is not a place for true fine dining. You can get good food (especially Oysters, crab cakes and stuffed flounder -- but most establishments tend to be quite touristy. One thing your should try is tea at the Channel Bass Inn. Bomb-like with excellent service.

For other information on Chincoteague eats I refer you to:

http://www.chincoteague.com/

Decide for yourself.

MoD

"Whenever someone asks me if I want water with my Scotch, I say, 'I'm thirsty, not dirty' ". Joe E. Lewis

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We go to Chincoteague in the middle of winter every year.

It's a ghost town and we love that most everything is closed.

I will say, however, that A.J.'s is very good.

No, its not gourmet, but consistently good with a good wine list.

They have fresh seafood, and their appetizers are creative.

The salad is fresh and very good old fashioned chunky blue cheese dressing.

Also, we go to Don's upstairs.

The bar.

Do NOT eat downstairs!

But sit upstairs in a very working class, bar where they play darts.

Order the fresh seafood bar food that the fisherman have just brought in.

They are generally there (some without teeth) at around 3 p.m. after having fished all day.

They are drinking cheap beer and eating the fresh oyster, clams and stone crab claws they just brought in.

...and for some reason, their bbq pork sandwich is heavenly!

Now, I'm from Philly and haven't experienced much of that pure pulled pork. But I crave Don's!

The Landmark was good in that basic seafood non creative way.

And the piano bar was really hokey and fun with it.

Don't forget your mosquito repellent.

Philly Francophiles

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  • 4 weeks later...

I would recommend Bill's on Main Street also for decent seafood, but again this is country cooking, not gourmet at all. The fried fish sandwish is excellent, and the oyster "stew" (really just oysters poached in milk) is simple and good, although last time we had it, we needed to add some salt. They also have a wonderful yet very simple crab dip: just some delicious fresh sweet crab meat topped with cheddar cheese and run under the broiler (it comes with tortilla chips).

I think it is the lack of gourmet restaurants and also pretension that gives Chincoteague its special charm, and keep it from getting completely overrun by tourists from DC. And the monster mosquitoes probably scare people away too.

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I would recommend Bill's on Main Street also for decent seafood, but again this is country cooking, not gourmet at all.  The fried fish sandwish is excellent, and the oyster "stew" (really just oysters poached in milk) is simple and good, although last time we had it, we needed to add some salt.  They also have a wonderful yet very simple crab dip: just some delicious fresh sweet crab meat topped with cheddar cheese and run under the broiler (it comes with tortilla chips).

I think it is the lack of gourmet restaurants and also pretension that gives Chincoteague its special charm, and keep it from getting completely overrun by tourists from DC.  And the monster mosquitoes probably scare people away too.

Flufflypopsicle, Welcome to eGullet.

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  • 10 months later...

I will be passing through Chinoteague on our way to the Outer Banks from New Jersey and would like to have a really good dinner; preferably not at a place that dishes up grub for masses of tourists.... something prepared with passion by a chef who loves what he/she is doing and served by trained servers who are gracious and hospitable. Is this available on Chinoteague and if so, please, tell me where? :biggrin: Thank so much!

Elizabeth (Betsy) Alger

The Frog and The Peach

New Brunswick, NJ 08901

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You might enjoy AJ's as it has a nice atmosphere and generally very good seafood. See the menu below. I have not been for a couple of years, but enjoyed the crab imperial and the fried soft shells. It's a higher dining standard than you usually find in Chincoteague restaurants.

http://www.chincoteague.com/rest/AJS/index.html

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You  might enjoy AJ's as it has a nice atmosphere and generally very good seafood.  See the menu below.  I have not been for a couple of years, but enjoyed the crab imperial and the fried soft shells.  It's a higher dining standard than you usually find in Chincoteague restaurants.

http://www.chincoteague.com/rest/AJS/index.html

This is probably too late to be of use, but I second the positive assessment of AJ's. We were there in June and liked it. Avoid the place accross the street (I forget the name). It's one of those American beach town "family dining" places with huge portions of mediocre food.

Don’t you have a machine that puts food into the mouth and pushes it down?

--Nikita Khrushchev to Richard Nixon during the "Kitchen Debate" in Moscow, 1959

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  • 2 weeks later...

It is time for me and my family to head to beloved Chincoteague Island for fun in the sun. I love the Island but I am always so disappointed in eating there. Last year we loved Saigon Village and ate there 3 times but alas, I hear it has closed. We tried, on a recommendation, Bill's right on Main St. and thought it was pretty bad. So, are there any new places worth trying or old places that I've overlooked? Just thought I'd give it a shot that maybe there is. Thanks for any and all help!

"Nutrirsi di cibi prelibati e trasformare una necessita in estasi."

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We go to Chincoteague in the winter, usually, off season....We really like AJ's. Not that much else is open, but we find it to be consistent, good seafood, not a half bad wine list for the area...

Upstairs at Don's seafood (definitely NOT downstairs), they have good pulled pork BBQ sandwiches. And, its a fisherman's bar for the local fisherman! They come in around 2 or 3 p.m. when they are done work with fresh oysters, clams, local stone crab claws...just ask what's fresh that day. It's a dive bar, don't play darts with anyone who asks...and there is absolutely no presentation-the raw stuff is served on a tray- but its fresh, and not that expensive! (Sometimes I wish the oysters, etc. were served on ice, colder)

Anyway, do not eat downstairs, I think I got sick there once.

Otherwise, we get fresh seafood from a house on the island (can't think of the name, but its in the Chincoteague phone book), and cook it in our little kitchen.

Bring your own veg from the road, the supermarkets don't have any fresh veg.

Oh, we usually bring back fresh crabmeat and canned local crab/clam soups...Bring a cooler to bring the fresh fish back in!

And don't forget your mosquito repellent!

Philly Francophiles

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  • 2 weeks later...

Spent a very nice week in Chincoteague but am still amazed at how few good dining spots there are. Firstly, I am very glad to report that Saigon Village is still open and offers the best food on the island. Ate there twice as the kids absolutely love it. Very good Pho, BBQ chicken, pork and beef, curried egg noodles, etc. Though ate there on the Saturday night before we left, it was quite crowded (its a very little place) and our food took an hour to come out and people were complaining. Well worth the wait though.

I also ate at AJ's on the Creek with my wife. This was better than we had hoped and is the closest thing to "fine" dining on the island. I had a bouillabaise type dish with scallops, shrimp, mussels, clams and oysters in a garlickly broth that was better than I hoped for. Wife's crab imperial was typical and so-so. The wine list was very reasonable priced and we got a bottle of Wairu NZ Sauvignon Blanc for $28. All in all a decent meal but somewhat overpriced.

We also hit a deli on South Main street that advertized "Philly Cheesesteaks" and "NJ Hoagies" (where they are called subs, not hoagies). Asked for 3 cheesesteaks to which the lady said "do you want any mayo, lettuce or tomato on them?" What??? After declining she said "You just want plain cheesesteaks?" Uh, yeah!!! I asked that the roll not be toasted to which she said "then it'll be really doughy" and she showed me a cold, semi-baked roll that needed to be toasted. Relunctantly we ate them and they were actually not that bad. But for $6.75 each I thought they were wildly overpriced.

Moral of the story: one goes to Chincoteague not to eat but to have fun. If possible eat at Saigon Village as often as possible!

Edited by davidbdesilva (log)

"Nutrirsi di cibi prelibati e trasformare una necessita in estasi."

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  • 2 months later...

It's amazing to me that finding consistently good food in Chincoteague is so difficult. Here I was in crab and oyster land with mostly trepidation about ordering anywhere. I was just down there last week with some friends who were not interested in trying Vietnamese food. This was in spite of the fact that they agree the food situation can be dissapointing but they stick to their guns about only ordering local seafood when they make their annual trek down there. They are really great friends, and that more than makes up for the dining issues.

Anyway, we first dined at AJ's. I went with the fried oysters and crabcake. Big mistake. Way too much breading on the oysters and plenty of bread in the crabcake. The best choice appeared to be Smothered Flounder, which looked and tasted great according to my friend who was smart enough to order it. He asked our server it they still served seafood lasagna. She remembered it from the menu about seven years ago. A lot of people really liked it. It seems they used Stouffer's frozen vegetarian lasagna and added the seafood. :shock: I asked if anything else was from Stouffers and she said no - new chef since those days.

Breakfast both days was at The Cafe at The Island Motor Inn Resort. The food is great, but be prepared to wait. Service is extremely slow, but they bring a pot of coffee to each table and the kitchen turns out some very tasty food. There is one server/busser working the dining room (maybe 10 tables) and I saw only two people in the kitchen. The same server also provides delivery of room service to the motor inn. She's the sweetest, skinniest thing I've ever met and she's constantly in motion. My four egg omelet with portobello mushrooms and chives in a champagne butter sauce was so good I had it both days. The eggs benedict looked awesome, and was reported to be delicious. They also make a pretty good french toast.

Lunch was at Bill's. I tried a cup of New England style clam chowder which didn't have much taste. I ordered a cheeseburger hoping that would be a safe bet, and it looked great but didn't have much flavor. A special of fried flounder sandwich was sent back because it didn't taste right, but the oyster stew and fried oyster sandwich received good reviews. What's really funny about this place is they already have two Christmas trees set up and decorations all over the place! The waitresses there must be in their late 60s and are as sweet and efficient as can be.

The last dinner was at Etta's on the Channel. We had tried to go for lunch, but they have limited hours this time of year and wouldn't be open until dinner. Our first choice for dinner was really The Villager, which my friends insist has never disappointed them. There was a 30 minute wait there so we headed to Etta's. There were lots of empty tables here. Not sure if that was going to be an indicator of things to come of just because they are off the beaten track there and aren't open all the time right now. We were seated quickly at a table in the center of the room. As soon as a table by the window opened up, the hostess insisted on moving us so we wouldn't be bothered by all the activity around us. Nice! Only one appetizer was ordered - crab balls with a honey mustard dipping sauce. Pretty tasty. Three of us ordered flounder stuffed with crab imperial. It was just fine. (I don't remember the other entree). At the end of the meal, our server asks if anyone wants dessert. I asked what they had and she starts to list pumpkin cheesecake, chocolate mousse cake - when I ask if desserts are made in-house. She looked around the room and then whispered to us that they were all from Sysco. She was so young that she couldn't bring the drink order to the table. I'd go back here because it was safe. I can't say the same for some of the other spots in town.

We actually decided to get lunch at the McDonald's in town before heading home. It was pretty good! Chains do serve a useful purpose sometimes.

KathyM

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I didn't know Chincoteague had a Vietnamese place...

Dad and I drove through a few years ago, and ate at a local-type place called the Pony Pines. Fantastic salty, Chincoteague clams and the best friend flounder I ever had.

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  • 4 months later...

Okay, we haven't been to Chincoteague since Easter two years ago. Used to go all the time on the off season. We'll be there Easter weekend again. Have a kitchen and will be cooking a few meals, but want that local fresh seafood.

Is AJ's still the best place to go?

Philly Francophiles

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