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Asbury Park Restaurant Tour

jsfein | Apr 27, 201501:56 PM

Did anyone participate in this yesterday (April 26)? Apparently it was the 4th Annual, but my first. Pretty well organized event. Around 25 restaurants participated with the concentration primarily downtown (Cookman, Mattison, Main) and the Boardwalk, with a few outliers. It was only a bite (or two), but with 20+ stops, I was pretty full. Some of the highlights:

Dino's on Main - my first time Italian market on Main St. The owner(?) dishing out the chicken meatball in a stroganoff sauce was super nice and the meatball delicious.

Mark's Place on Main (by The Saint) - hole in the wall Jamaican joint. Awesome sweet and sour chicken over rice and chicken jerky chili. The sort of spot CHer's hope to uncover. Will be back.

Brando's - a great meatball, pasta sheet and fresh ricotta. This was one of the better offerings of the day. My first time stepping foot in the place...really attractive space.

Talula's - I'm surprised that this newcomer doesn't have a dedicated thread yet. The food sounds delicious, including a pie with hot soppressata and drizzled with honey. High on my to return list.

Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten - did a really nice job providing a "tour" of the facility, including some history of the space's prior lives. The roof top bar was open this weekend on a temporary CO and is going to be a huge hit this summer. The meatball offering (lots of meatballs around town) was pretty good.

Johnny Mac's - how have I never been here before. It's been written about on CH and is a great joint to grab a drink and an omelette or pizza. Next time we are in Asbury for a predinner drink, we are stopping here.

Taka - my first time in the new space on Cookman. Wow!! (Wish I like the food there more)

On the boardwalk I wasn't terribly impressed with the offerings, except for Stella Marina, of which I'm not a fan, had a terrific mushroom ravioli. Walked by the Wonder Bar and made a mental note to return soon with the dogs for Yappy Hour.

We skipped a couple of places due to long lines (Fish, Lola's), thought that some places who participated phoned it in with some very mediocre offerings, and wished some other joints had participated (no Porta/Pascal/Brickwall, thought newcomer Cross & Orange could have benefitted from the exposure, and would have loved to see what At The Table would have put out). But on the whole, it was a fun time, great weather, and plenty of food for $30.

Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten,
Wonder Bar,
Cross & Orange
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