Posts Tagged 'restaurants'

Dinner Down the Shore

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I think it must have been the fried clams at the county fair. In the middle of the week my husband suggested that we go down the shore for dinner on Saturday – he had a craving for fried seafood. “Down the shore” – that’s a Jersey thing. You go down the shore so you can go to the beach. I have still not made it to the beach this summer but I’ve been down the shore for dinner twice. 🙂 I am a Jersey girl through and through. We’re the best. Tom Waits and Bruce Springsteen know that. *grin*
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There are many places we like to go for dinner, but one of the most fun, most convenient and ultimately least expensive is Moby’s Lobster Deck. It’s owned and run by the same folks who run Bahr’s Landing restaurant (which has been there for over 100 years). We learned about Moby’s from friends of ours when our son was still in single-digits. As you can see from the pictures, it’s not much to look at. It really is a seafood shack. You go to the window and place your order and get a number. Then you go up on the deck and hangout and wait for your number to be called. I seem to remember that when we first started coming the picnic tables were covered with red and white checked plastic tablecloths, but I may have added that memory on my own. What I do know is a factual memory is that my son snitched a piece of fried food from his dad’s plate without asking. He’ll never do that again, because when he found out WHAT he ate, he was not a happy camper. *grin* I don’t remember it if had tentacles or suction cups, but my son did NOT want to be eating it. Some lessons are best learned first hand, pun intended.
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When we left the house it was hot and sunny. Of course we took the convertible with the top down. It’s the best way to go down the shore. 🙂 (It’s the best way to go most anywhere, as I think I’ve mentioned.) The weather was perfect and traffic was light, despite it being a Saturday. We were doing something a bit different than our usual down the shore trek for dinner. We left around 2:30 pm (we had a stop to make on the way). We figured we get there around 3:30 or so and have an early dinner, before the crowds started coming. I’d not had lunch yet so that timing was going to work for me. We took the local roads, not the highway, which led to an interesting observation by my husband. He noted that in one short stretch of road we’d passed FIVE pizza parlors. 🙂 We immediately began counting pizza parlors the rest of the trip. That led us to the all important question: Are there more Chinese restaurants or pizza parlors? I will tell you that we asked Siri, and she failed utterly. But I think we may have discovered the beginning of a new car travel game.
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We were on the last stretch of road on the way to Highlands. There is one hill you climb, and then start down again to the coast. As we crested the hill I thought I was seeing smoke. My husband said no, that’s fog. Sure enough, as we came down the hill, it was fog. What a sea change from when we left! I have been down to Sandy Hook in the rain and the fog, so it was not a new view for me, but it was a bit uncommon. We do tend to go down the shore in nice weather, not fog. I actually enjoy a bit of fog in the mornings, or late afternoons when we are staying for a week. There is something so soothing and exotic about a touch of fog with the salt air, and the sound of the water. I will tell you that when there is NO fog, you would be seeing the sandy stretch of beach on the other side of the Shrewsbury river.
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You can see by the pictures that we did indeed beat the crowd. We had a lovely dinner listening to the seagulls (wow, those are BIG birds) and the water lapping against the pier. My husband indulged with fried clams and steamers. I had a fried fish sandwich and corn on the cob.
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We had time after dinner to drive a little further to what used to be one of our favorite restaurants. It has changed ownership, name and menu. When I’d checked it out online the menu was not especially appealing – it wasn’t seafood oriented anymore. They still have the tiki bar and live music, but I’m not sure that will be enough to pull us back. There is another restaurant next door, that we have always observed, but never investigated. This time we found a place to park the car (parking is an issue in that area – not many spaces for out-of-towners. We wandered over and discovered that this place had a VERY interesting menu, as well as 3 different seating areas – the outdoor tables with umbrellas, an open-air covered area, and then the inside typical restaurant area. We decided we’d really like to try that restaurant next time. It’s going to take a bit of planning, however, because parking really is an issue down there. Too bad they don’t offer valet parking like our old favorite does. That was, I confess, a big lure for that place. We headed back to the car, and I cruised a few more blocks, scoping out where we might be able to park if/when we return. There did appear to be hope of spaces about 2 blocks away, so it’s certainly a stronger possibility now. *grin* All we need now is to find a time to get back there.
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Flora and Food

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IMG_8864My son is settled in Tempe, and my renovations have leapt forward. I do have just a bit more to share about Tempe before returning to the kitchen, although food is on my mind.

There is soooooo much good food in Tempe!!! My first meal was at Snooze – an A.M. Eatery. It was the perfect post-flight meal. Lox, cream cheese and artisan bread, and a sparkling strawberry mimosa. We even ate outside because the terrace was lined with misters to cool the air. Most of the upscale outside spots had misters. Definitely not tolerable without misters and huge umbrellas for shade.

After that it was a combination of simply finding whatever sounded good or heading for specific restaurants. There are so many choices available – pretty much any kind of cuisine you can imagine and many you might not. There were fusions of Mexican/Asian and Mexican/everything else. Truly a foodie’s paradise. IMG_8824We had yummy Thai food for dinner my first night and it was the perfect meal for such a long day.

The next morning I woke up early and decided to plan out part of our day. I found what sounded like a great restaurant 5 minutes from the hotel – Biscuits. Absolutely fabulous biscuits and everything else was tasty as well. The service was wonderful and warm. That night we treated ourselves to a “known” experience by heading up to Tommy Bahama restaurant in Scottsdale. TB had always been one of our meals when I went down to Florida. Friday breakfast was back to Biscuits because it was too good not to do it again.

IMG_8892We spent a lot of Friday meeting people and looking at places. We were in downtown Tempe and we thought we’d just walk a bit and see what looked good. We ended up at Rula Bula, which was fantastic. It’s an Irish pub and has all the traditional food and drink. I indulged in a traditional Pimms cup. 🙂 Once again the atmosphere was warm and upbeat and the waitstaff was great. Saturday morning we headed back to downtown Tempe to try somewhere new for breakfast, even though we’d no complaints about Biscuits. It simply seemed we OUGHT to be trying new things. We went back to downtown Tempe for First Watch. My son had some fabulous egg concoction. I’m very boring in my breakfast choices but what I remember about that breakfast was the phenomenal bread and the delicious coffee, and the helpful, pleasant waitress.

IMG_8886We ran MORE errands on Saturday and didn’t have time to eat until nearly 2:30p. We thought we’d try downtown Tempe again but once we saw Rula Bula we knew that was the place for us. We sat at the bar and chatted with the bartender, Vinny. Vinny told us his views on where we should be looking for apartments, and other key things to know about the area. He was of the opinion that the room we’d just seen before lunch was in a great location and would be a great choice. We were coming to that conclusion ourselves. As we sat there chatting, my son got a text that one of those 2 available rooms had just been taken. He texted back that he would take the other, even though we had one more meet-up to do that day. IMG_8845We made arrangements to do the paperwork Sunday morning. (That would be after the night in the inferno of a hotel room.) We stopped for dinner at an Indian restaurant, the Curry Corner.We found it using search and it was 10 minutes from our location. Once again we had a tasty, filling meal. I’m beginning to think that there is NO bad food in Tempe area. 🙂

Sunday morning we fled the hotel, did the room rental paperwork and went back to Snooze. Wow, does that place get crowded for Sunday brunch! Especially since school was going to be starting in a week or so. They have a seating concept I’ve not encountered before: open seating. This was a high table with stools, with seats for 8. There were 6 people there already (3 groups of 2).We took the last 2 seats, facing each other. It was like eating at a bar, instead of sitting at a private table. It was fine, and it meant we got seated immediately instead of a 40 minutes wait. Worked for us. 🙂

IMG_8830As we drove about and around Tempe, I made my son stop the car so I could take pictures of flowers and trees and cacti. Unlike some with whom I’ve traveled, he was very tolerant and WOULD pull over and indulge my attempts at being a photographer. The cactus with the face is only a few houses away from his new lodgings. We cruised the neighborhood noticing the artistic touches on many of the houses. I’m not sure how comfortable that flamingo can be in the desert, but there it is. I took photos of the iron work art on the houses as well. I kept waiting for a police car to come by and check out the “suspicious car, occupants taking photos of residences”.

IMG_8865I took many photos of things that appealed, only to deny them a place in this blog. When I looked at what else was in the picture, I’d see green grass. I consider growing grass in this area to be a ridiculous (or even, perhaps, obscene) waste of water and effort. Since no one has asked my opinion on this matter, I am indulging in my own private rebellion by refusing to display grass. 🙂 Sunday night we spent at the hotel, as mentioned in a prior post. Monday we treated ourselves to a fine steak dinner at The Keg Steakhouse – a reward for 1st day of work for him and birthday for me. 🙂

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