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LBI recommendations for summer 2006


mrbigjas
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anyone have any?  we'll be in beach haven next week-ish.  i know it's early season but i haven't heard of much yet...

James, Green Gables has been really great in the past but i've not been in a few years. It's byo but can get quite expensive.

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anyone have any?  we'll be in beach haven next week-ish.  i know it's early season but i haven't heard of much yet...

Are you looking for more casual beach fare or a little fancier?

anything! either-or. we'll be down there for a week, just the two of us, and the mrs is pregnant, so we're not going to be doing a ton of bar-hopping. we'll probably hit up a nice place once or twice during the week, and do some cooking in, but good cheap beachy places would be greatly appreciated as well, since we'll be out and about throughout the week and can't eat fancy every night...

i've never been to LBI before, and i've looked around on line, but as always i like to hear from the folks here on eg before heading out.

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La Spiaggia in Ship Bottom is the class of the island. HIgh quality BYO Italian, excellent food, good service, valet parking. You'll need a reservation on the weekend but probably not during the week just yet. Best to call to be sure though.

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this is my daughters favorite place down there......http://www.492fowl.com/

tracey

she is 19 by the way

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

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I used to go to LBI every summer but haven't been for the past few. That said, some of the better places when we did go:

- Raimondo's, Ship Bottom - Very solid Italian, somewhat on the expensive side and also somewhat inconsistent, but had a few great meals there.

- Blue, Surf City - Probably the best meal I've had at LBI I had here. Somewhat "Manhattan-esque" and too trendy for the Island. Very good food and I would strongly consider for one of the nicer meals.

- Yellow Fin, Surf City - Another very solid, somewhat expensive restaurant in Surf City. A review from 2000:

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html...agewanted=print

A few local places include Panzone's Pizza (in Beach Haven and Surf City) and Mustache Bill's Diner (at the other end of the island, in Barnegat Light).

Also, mrbigjas, the June 06 issue of Philly magazine is the "shore issue," with a few pages devoted to LBI. Among there highlights are:

Best all-around restaurant: Tuckers, Beach Haven

Best Raw Bar: Bistro 14, Beach Haven

Best pizza: Greenhouse Cafe, Ship Bottom

Best Butcher: Okie's, Surf City (a great, great butcher)

Best Summer Soups: Sweet Vidalia, Beach Haven, www.sweetvidalia.info

Have a great time, its an awesome place.

- KOBI

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A few local places include Panzone's Pizza (in Beach Haven and Surf City) and Mustache Bill's Diner (at the other end of the island, in Barnegat Light).

Ah, many memories of meatball parms at ungodly hours from this place. Great solid cheesesteaks, hoagies etc here. My wife's folks had a beachfront house close to Panzones many years ago and we lived at that place. Definately check it out

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wow, thank you all! these recommendations are fantastic. i'll admit that i didn't even think of looking in the NY times, thinking that LBI was below the philadelphia/new york line (aka seaside heights).

i'll report back.

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I had a nice dinner at Vidalia toward the south end of the island either last summer or the one before. I think I may even have posted about it. Don't know if it's still open, but the food was really good, the service and decor a bit more "citi-fied" than I was used to on the Island, it was BYOB and there was a liquor store practically right across the street.

My yearly trip to LBI should have been a couple of weekends ago, but sadly I had other obligations that weekend and missed it. :sad:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I had a nice dinner at Vidalia toward the south end of the island either last summer or the one before.  I think I may even have posted about it.  Don't know if it's still open, but the food was really good, the service and decor a bit more "citi-fied" than I was used to on the Island, it was BYOB and there was a liquor store practically right across the street.

My yearly trip to LBI should have been a couple of weekends ago, but sadly I had other obligations that weekend and missed it.  :sad:

I second Vidalia - My husband who used to cook in a restaurant said they made excellent sauces - We went with 4 people and we all really loved what we had. There are some places right over the causeway in Manahawkin also that are good -There is a pizza place that does some good casual stuff - I think it is called Francesco's. HAve a great time. We are heading back for our annual trip in August this year.

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I'll second Blue (and Kobi's rec) but a personal fav (chk .sig!) is...

Lex-Mex 8th St & Long Beach Blvd., Ship Bottom 361-5399

Run by local surfers (like Blue) - great prices & soulful vibe - the eats can't be beat.

When you come across the bridge it's right in front of you next to 7/11 (ocean side).

~waves

"When you look at the face of the bear, you see the monumental indifference of nature. . . . You see a half-disguised interest in just one thing: food."

Werner Herzog; NPR interview about his documentary "Grizzly Man"...

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  • 2 weeks later...

ok a quick followup:

sweet vidalia was indeed very nice, keeping up with trends serving escolar (and poaching it! an underutilized technique) and tomato tartar and things of that nature. as always with shore dining, entrees cost about $5 more than they would in town (high instead of low 20s). but definitely a good place. props to our waiter who accidentally broke a wine glass on our table and soldiered on throughout the evening hardly missing a step, and to the chef who managed to cook my wife's scallops through without drying them out (only a few more weeks of this 'avoiding raw things' thing).

greenhouse cafe in ship bottom is indeed a solid contender for the pizza itself. however, the senior-citizens-diner-ish aspect of things is kind of weirdly offputting--i'm down the shore, i want beach pizza, not people sitting around talking about the fiber content of the terra chips they serve with their sandwiches... but good.

(as an aside, we did a seaside heights jaunt one day for a little boardwalk while it was drizzling, and i treated my wife to the beach pizza memories of my youth: sawmill pizzeria, the biggest pizza on the boardwalk. i hadn't been there in ... oh, 15 years? during which time i've eaten a lot of pizza, learned to cook myself, etc etc. and i was amazed to find that not only is it the biggest pizza on the seaside boardwalk, but it's DAMN GOOD PIE. seriously. i was quite thrilled about that. i didn't get to stop at the white castle in toms river, though, which was a shame since they've closed all of them in philadelphia)

OK back to LBI and environs. dinner one night at mud city crabhouse, actually on the mainland side of the bay just off the causeway. even at this time of year there was about 45 minutes wait at 730 at night. crabs were totally solid; i don't know if they were local or flown in from the gulf, but i am a believer in the fact that blue crabs are blue crabs. one thing i thought was kinda funny was how everyone commented on our pile of picked crabs--we were the only people in a crowded place called a crab house who were actually picking crabs. i've never understood why the crab-picking culture couldn't get across the gulf between lewes and cape may--especially when you consider that these are the crabs people are crabbing for when they go crabbing. what do they do with them? it's a mystery.

the brauhaus and la spiaggia didn't look real open quite yet.

okie's is indeed a very nice butcher. bell & evans fryers for $1.79 a pound made a nice dinner one night spatchcocked and grilled, and excellent homemade hot dogs, both in beef and (my preference) the more traditional beef & pork.

we did go to the chicken or the egg twice for breakfasts, as recommended by rooftop1000 up there. perfectly acceptable breakfast food; i can't speak to the rest of the menu. they'll fry you up some pork roll and some scrapple though.

speaking of jersey/NY/philly things, we did spend one evening at the terrace tavern (as it turned out we were staying in beach haven terrace). the phillies were playing the yankees, and they had the game on the philadelphia comcast channel on one TV, and the same game on the yankees YES network on the other. and there were eagles and giants paraphernalia on the walls right next to each other. now that's just wrong. free wings on monday nights with quizzo, though!

thanks again to all.

one final note:

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James:

Glad you and the Mrs. enjoyed Vidalia. I thought it was quite a find. The service and food was a step up from what I am used to on LBI, and I mean that in a good way.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Sadly, the Wheelhouse, a longtime family favorite is gone. But definitely Scojo's for breakfast. Woodies in Ship Bottom for burgers, crabcakes at Moustache Bill's in Barnegat. Fella's Broadway Pizza in Surf City for pizza and cheese steaks, Ship Bottom Seafood, can be pricey but the chowder is great. Lex Mex in Ship Bottom. Harvey Cedars Shellfish.....So many more little places great for a quick bite. With 2 kids, I don't often get to the pricey places. Five more weeks til we head down...I can't wait. We also do alot of grilling with local seafood, etc.

Summer :cool:

Dana

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Sadly, the Wheelhouse, a longtime family favorite is gone.  But definitely Scojo's for breakfast.  Woodies  in Ship Bottom for burgers, crabcakes at Moustache Bill's in Barnegat.  Fella's Broadway Pizza in Surf City for pizza and cheese steaks, Ship Bottom Seafood, can be pricey but the chowder is great. Lex Mex in Ship Bottom.  Harvey Cedars Shellfish.....So many more little places great for a quick bite. With 2 kids, I don't often get to the pricey places.  Five more weeks til we head down...I can't wait.  We also do alot of grilling with local seafood, etc.

Summer  :cool:

Dana

We went to Scojo's slightly off season last year and it was horrible - I think the only thing they made right that day was grilled cheese - Someone I was with ordered some pasta dish with Vegetables - sounds simple to make right, you would think. They pasta was sticky and the vegetables were still frozen, yep there were the frozen mix of peas, cauliflower, broccoli, etc. I can't even remember what else we orderd, but it was all bad. The place is always packed in-season so either people really have no idea what decent food is or they have a completely different staff right after the summer. I don't think you have to spend a lot of money to get quality food, there are many other reasonable family places on the island that do a better job. I guess we will have to try it in-season to see if it as bad as it was that time - I would not be harping on this if it was just one out of the 5 things we got that was bad - it was the opposite only 1 dish was edible.

I would really like to try Lex Mex - you are one of many who has recommeded it, do you have a favorite dish there?

Thanks,

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i forgot to mention one other thing that made me really happy about LBI: in beach haven toward the south end of town is a tiny little storefront called la oaxaquena. when you first walk in, it looks like they don't have much of anything but snack food, but a closer look reveals several varieties of dried peppers, the usual pegboard full of mexican herbs and spices, tortillas, jamaica, AND lots of snack food. i wasn't expecting to find a mexican grocery down there. excellent!

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Sadly, the Wheelhouse, a longtime family favorite is gone.  But definitely Scojo's for breakfast.  Woodies  in Ship Bottom for burgers, crabcakes at Moustache Bill's in Barnegat.  Fella's Broadway Pizza in Surf City for pizza and cheese steaks, Ship Bottom Seafood, can be pricey but the chowder is great. Lex Mex in Ship Bottom.  Harvey Cedars Shellfish.....So many more little places great for a quick bite. With 2 kids, I don't often get to the pricey places.  Five more weeks til we head down...I can't wait.  We also do alot of grilling with local seafood, etc.

Summer  :cool:

Dana

We went to Scojo's slightly off season last year and it was horrible - I think the only thing they made right that day was grilled cheese - Someone I was with ordered some pasta dish with Vegetables - sounds simple to make right, you would think. They pasta was sticky and the vegetables were still frozen, yep there were the frozen mix of peas, cauliflower, broccoli, etc. I can't even remember what else we orderd, but it was all bad. The place is always packed in-season so either people really have no idea what decent food is or they have a completely different staff right after the summer. I don't think you have to spend a lot of money to get quality food, there are many other reasonable family places on the island that do a better job. I guess we will have to try it in-season to see if it as bad as it was that time - I would not be harping on this if it was just one out of the 5 things we got that was bad - it was the opposite only 1 dish was edible.

I would really like to try Lex Mex - you are one of many who has recommeded it, do you have a favorite dish there?

Thanks,

"But definitely Scojo's for breakfast. " I only recommended them for breakfast. It's great- homemade, cooked right (I am picky about by eggs over easy) and a bargain. I have never heard good things about their other meals.

As for Lex-Mex: We tried them for the first time last year and I don't really remember what we had, but my Mexaholic kids were thrillled. I think I remember a fish taco........

Dana

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Good waist high surf over the 4th of July - cold; but in each day of four.

Eats...

Lex Mex; 2x's (says how good they are); Yellowfin Burrito and Seafood Burito + the chipolte sauce (u provide the beer) heavenly; tasted the kids mex fare - rockin' too...

Harvey Cedars Shellfish Co.; Lobsters (platter - kicked up to 1 1/2 pds, w/ clams, mussells & corn); simple, not a long wait (and I brought champagne & a reisling). Perfect.

Moustache Bills (Barney Light) was right on - the local scallops were really a treat; same for fluke. Their salads are great too (vegies - so hard to come by at the shore).

Blue; crowed, upscale and good. Solid as ever I had the sea bass and tasted the scallops, salmon & veal (veal - not memorable). They added 20% to tab for a table of 5; it's more & more like a NYC experience *wince*.

Can't wait to return to other LBI spots (I love summer in Jersey!)...

Btw - Wida's is now "Charlie O's" - the money they spent on that upgrade!!!

~waves

"When you look at the face of the bear, you see the monumental indifference of nature. . . . You see a half-disguised interest in just one thing: food."

Werner Herzog; NPR interview about his documentary "Grizzly Man"...

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Sadly, the Wheelhouse, a longtime family favorite is gone.  But definitely Scojo's for breakfast.  Woodies  in Ship Bottom for burgers, crabcakes at Moustache Bill's in Barnegat.  Fella's Broadway Pizza in Surf City for pizza and cheese steaks, Ship Bottom Seafood, can be pricey but the chowder is great. Lex Mex in Ship Bottom.  Harvey Cedars Shellfish.....So many more little places great for a quick bite. With 2 kids, I don't often get to the pricey places.  Five more weeks til we head down...I can't wait.  We also do alot of grilling with local seafood, etc.

Summer  :cool:

Dana

We went to Scojo's slightly off season last year and it was horrible - I think the only thing they made right that day was grilled cheese - Someone I was with ordered some pasta dish with Vegetables - sounds simple to make right, you would think. They pasta was sticky and the vegetables were still frozen, yep there were the frozen mix of peas, cauliflower, broccoli, etc. I can't even remember what else we orderd, but it was all bad. The place is always packed in-season so either people really have no idea what decent food is or they have a completely different staff right after the summer. I don't think you have to spend a lot of money to get quality food, there are many other reasonable family places on the island that do a better job. I guess we will have to try it in-season to see if it as bad as it was that time - I would not be harping on this if it was just one out of the 5 things we got that was bad - it was the opposite only 1 dish was edible.

I would really like to try Lex Mex - you are one of many who has recommeded it, do you have a favorite dish there?

Thanks,

"But definitely Scojo's for breakfast. " I only recommended them for breakfast. It's great- homemade, cooked right (I am picky about by eggs over easy) and a bargain. I have never heard good things about their other meals.

As for Lex-Mex: We tried them for the first time last year and I don't really remember what we had, but my Mexaholic kids were thrillled. I think I remember a fish taco........

Dana

We are going down to LBI for a few days this week, maybe we will get to try Scojo's for breakfast, it is always packed at that time so they must be doing somthing right. thanks for the post

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Any other suggestions? I don't think I've ever been in LBI during summer. I usually go toward the end of Sept and do my own cooking. I've already reserved Sweet Vidalia for Tues at 9pm. Monday is arrival day and will be probably Engleside. Wednesday is open but I've been barred from Yellowfin :shock: . A long ago incident 6 years ago. :raz:

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We just got back from a short trip to LBI - Went to Raimondo's - we had a portobella soup with a grilled cajun shrimp on top and it was tasty, tasty, tasty. My husband had a swordfish and he was contemplating licking the plate so he must have liked it. I had the cavatelli with broccoli rabe and sausage - it was pretty good thought thought the sausage was a little overcooked and dry. blue chesse wedge salad had to much mayo, I prefer it to be heavier on the sour cream, but all and all most were happy with the meal - We also had pizza at Francesco's which is on the mainland over the causeway, very good NY style pizza, I think the owner is actually from NY -

We will be back for a full week and August so I will try some more places then.

We paired them all with a Cabernet called Simi - which was pretty smooth and had good flavor

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