Tuesday

Dining in Barnegat Light, NJ

This is the first time in my entire life that my feet didn't touch the sandy beaches of Long Beach Island before the 4th of July. In fact, I didn't get down there until nearly August, July 27th to be exact. Becoming a new home owner will do that to you I guess.

In any event, I made up for lost time, taking in the sights including a visit to the Barnegat Light Museum and Gardens a block away from my old beach house, a walk up to the top of Ol' Barney (the lighthouse), stopping by old places of business (Bobbie's Boats, the area that was once Broadway Pizza and The Beach Grill, Moustache Bill's Diner and 18th Street Cafe).

It's no wonder that I have an affinity for dining out, having worked at so many restaurants during my youth. Broadway Pizza relocated a few towns south a few years back, The Beach Grill (one of the crazier jobs I've ever had) was replaced by Broadway Pizza a long time ago, Bobbie's Boats is still there with nicer boats for rental and a cleaned up dock, and both Moustache Bill's and 18th Street Cafe are still running strong.

I even stopped by some friends' old places of business like Andy's, Kelly's and White's Deli - all of which were regular stomping grounds in the past.
What I didn't recognize at White's was a ground mixture of beef and bacon (10:1 ratio) that they simply labeled as "Baconburger". So very tempting. The smell of this deli is awesome. It just has that "beach deli" smell to it, which is quite a bit better than that of most delis anywhere else.
I had two breakfasts and a lunch at Bill's and got to see my old friends/bosses/colleagues and taste the standard fare of eggs and such. Bill's has actually gotten a little better than my visits last year. Something wasn't working last year, but I'm happy to say it's "back" though I was a little disappointed in the clam chowder. What is normally the best chowder I know, this was a bit watered down.

I also stopped by Seth Van Dorn's place (18th Street Cafe) to say hi and later have a deliciously simple (or would it be simply delicious) dinner of seared tuna, clams casino and a side salad. Best ingredients you can find on the island cooked very simply - allowing the food to do its own thing. The fish is caught that day or the day before, never frozen, and of top grade quality. The vegetables are garden fresh. And both are brought in/procured by family members. Here are some pics. If in town or on the island anywhere, it would be a mistake to miss this place. Book in advance as seating goes fast.



6 Comments:

Anonymous iamnotachef said...

Right up the street from "Moustache Bill's" is a takeout place called "Off The Hook." They have a few tables outside, so you can eat there if you feel like it. They specialize in fried seafood, and the clam strips and fish and chips were excellent. The chips were spectacular! Whoever was frying that day knew his stuff, and the oil was obviously fresh. It is worth a detour if you are on LBI and need a fried food fix.

5:33 PM  
Blogger Big Apple Dining Guide said...

Thanks for the comments.

I'm a fan of Off The Hook too. My friend Charles was likely the one cooking your food. He's pretty good at what he does, and when most of the fish they serve comes to land via the docks about 50 feet away, there's good reason its so good. (Same with 18th Street Cafe).

6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Save the Carousel!!!

Awesome ice cream place and the property is being sold. The owner rents it and it cant stay!! Please help us save the CAROUSEL ICE CREAM PARLOUR!!

2:35 PM  
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Blogger Chuck Stevens said...

I definitely love Mustache Bill's! My wife and I are there almost every morning during the two weeks we vacation there every summer. I love their sandwiches and am always getting some to go. Nothing like pulling down our beach carts and coolers loaded with a few great sandwiches from Bill's. Can't wait to get back down to 23rd street this summer!

12:01 PM  

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