Jerseygator's Blog

There’s shore “food” and there’s good shore food

Posted in Friends,New Jersey,restaurants by jerseygator on September 16, 2010

We got back from the shore today, barely beating a severe thunderstorm that knocked out the power and many branches.  A fun time was had by all, and we’re already making plans for next year.  And before we go next year, we will research where to eat a bit better.

I’m a foodie (yes, I admit it) and like to try new things.  However, the shore doesn’t offer you much unless you’re willing to drive.  And there is a reason they offer coupons in those lobby books.  Yeah, don’t go there. (Although the coupons are great for things like boat rides and other “touristy” stuff.)  The first night we asked a local and found a little diner (The Vegas Diner) which wasn’t too bad.  We had some typical diner fare with good service.

The next morning we decided to try one of the boardwalk diners.  The advantage of going on the off season is no wait and what I presume is more personalized service.

Miss Amy's on the Wildwood Boardwalk

We found “Miss Amy’s” at the far end of the boardwalk in Wildwood just a short walk from our hotel.  They had a $2.99 breakfast special (you know, 2 eggs, 2 cakes, 2 bacon) which was really tasty.  So tasty in fact, that we went back there the next morning for the same deal!  The manager brought us a sweet roll hot out of the oven to go with our breakfast and we were ready for a day at the beach.

Unfortunately, our dinners weren’t as good.  After The Vegas Diner we found a coupon for a mexican restaurant (Juan Pablo, and yeah I cringed when I wrote that) where we had highly mediocre food (although Courtlyn said the crab cakes were good).    We also had highly mediocre service.  It reminded me of eating on International Drive around Disney World.  They sense “tourist” and don’t bother to treat you well enough for a repeat visit.  The next night we asked the locals again (yes, we learned our lesson) and went to “The Lobster House” in Cape May.  Everyone told us what a great restaurant this was.  Not that night.  The lobster bisque was good, but my salmon and Kenzie’s tuna were overcooked.  My sense was the restaurant was big on ambience but very typical fare otherwise.

George's Place in Cape May. This is the entire restaurant!

Finally, I decided to go on line and check out the bloggers (duh!).  This is how we found “George’s Place” on Cape May.  Oh. My. God.  I’ll preface this discussion by saying that we went there for lunch on Wednesday, and then back for breakfast AND lunch on Thursday before going home.  Yeah, that good.

Not too long a wait in the off season... but be prepared

George’s Place (301 Beach Avenue) is a small corner diner with just a few booths.  As it is off season, we didn’t have to wait long, but be prepared.  We had to wait outside for 20-30 minutes twice, but it was worth it!  Once seated, the service was fast and friendly.  The booths will only comfortably fit 4 adults, and no larger parties would be able to sit together.

We found out that Guy Fieri from Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” had just filmed a segment there, which will air in November 2010.  We were curious what he had highlighted, but our server didn’t know.  George’s specializes in Greek food, so after looking at the menu, we decided on the gyro (all except Kenz, who went with the cheeseburger).

Guy Ate Here! Watch Food Network in November for segment

While waiting we started with the humus and pita, and I think I can say it was the best of both I’ve ever had.  The pitas were fresh off the griddle and were almost too hot to handle (although we certainly did, with lots of ouches and blowing on our fingers).    We wiped the dish clean and were contemplating getting a second order when the server brought our lunch.

Doesn't look like much, but this is the best hummus we'd ever had

The gyros were made with fresh chopped lettuce, tomatoes and onions, along with a house made tzatziki and folded into those awesome pitas.  Sublime.  Kenzie’s cheeseburger was two patties with melted cheese on grilled sourdough (I believe) and was delicious as well.

The next morning we drove back to Cape May for breakfast at George’s Place.  Along with the standard fare of eggs, bacon, and pancakes they offer a nutella waffle.

Nutella and banana waffle

The waffle was perfectly cooked, crispy and tender, smeared with nutella and topped with bananas and very finely chopped walnuts.  Courtlyn ordered the banana french toast, beautifully presented and stacked high.

One fantastic gyro

For lunch, three of our party got the same thing that they had eaten yesterday!  You know it’s good if it draws you back within 24 hours for a repeat performance.  I opted for the falafel in pita, a variation of the gyro using falafel (a fried patty made with ground chickpeas and spices) instead of the lamb.  We all agreed to start with the humus and pita yet again as well, and we all agreed that it was worth coming back a third time in 2 days.

There is so much more on the menu that I’ve already told Darrol we’re heading down for a day trip (or two) to try the dinner menu, which includes lamb chops and pork medallions.

The Greek salad. We didn't order it this time, but the very nice lady at the next table let me take a picture of her lunch!

I’ve learned my lesson, fellow bloggers.  Keep writing about the great food out there, and I’ll listen.  I’ll also try to do my part and keep you informed of the great options we have here in South Jersey!!


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