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Rooney's - Long Branch

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Can I get thoughts on Rooney's Crab House in Long Branch. My last 2 times there have been quite opposite- the first trip the service was great and the food was above par, nothing amazing but worthwhile. My last time there everything was horrible. The service was literally painful, they ran out of bread and just kept lying that they would bring more and the seafood platter was horrendous and cooked the wrong way.

I didnt know if it was worth giving it another try- the service and the waitress was so so bad that I am tempted to completely give up on the place but didnt know if it was only a one time thing.

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  1. Rooney's has been discussed quite often on this board. The consensus is that the food is mediocre at best. After many experiences there, we found the only thing worth ordering is the shrimp cocktail. Even the formerly excellent Key Lime pie has gone downhill. At this point, we've given up going to Rooney's. Truly sad because there is that spectacular ocean view and the wonderful open-air beachfront room.

    2 Replies
    1. re: RGR

      Listen to RGR - Stay away from Rooney's.

      1. re: bgut1

        Actually, I would RUN from Rooney's. :-) ha ha

    2. We like to go to Rooney's for a nicely made martini at the bar, the people-watching is always most entertaining. Then we make a mad dash and have dinner somewhere else. Anywhere else. I have had two dinners there and one lunch and the food was just plain lousy. A friend insists that the have a good fried flounder sandwich, but I'm having trouble believing him. We had two different kinds of bread for our two lunchtime sandwiches and both were awful. They must have searched long and hard to find the bread source from hell.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Deb Van D

        If the fried flounder is anything like the fried fish in the fish 'n' chips -- or, for that matter, the fried shrimp, which I tried once -- all I can say is don't depend on your friend for culinary advice!

        1. re: RGR

          Ha, well, I guess that tears it. And to think all I was worried about was the bread. He's a little too skinny to give reliable foodie advice anyway.

          1. re: Deb Van D

            I think what youare all missing, in addition to the mediocre at best food is the newly priced menu. The clam bake used to be a great value at $50 for 2 lobsters a year or 2 ago, now it is $90 for the same item! SOunds a little crazy to me.

            1. re: dineoutnj

              I've had some great meals at Rooney's. We were a group of 6 last week on Friday night for appetizers near the bar. They've put in some new long hightop tables. If anything, I've found it to be a long wait on food, but not a quality issue. Jack and Gail are always there when I go in. If in for lunch, you should try the mahi-mahi sandwich. Also, the steamers have a very cool, upscale presentation. Expensive? Yes! But as with everything down there, you're paying for the view.

              1. re: hotfoodhot

                wish I had seen this thread before lunch today. I was thinking rainy day, some chowder, I had never been there and a friend said it would be good for lunch. She also hadn't been there since the menu price changes and it was ridiculous. Our bill for 2 adults and 2 kids for lunch came to $85 and we didn't drink. Even the kids menu is a joke-$8.50 for chicken tenders and fries(her son)(which I am pretty sure were both frozen) and then my daughter got a cup of lobster bisque(she's 3 and an aspiring foodie) and there was not a single chunk of lobster in it, the general flavor was good but it $8! I got the calamari salad and honestly the calamari salad at Brothers in Red Bank is WAY better, twice the size and nearly half the price! (But then again you are sitting in Brothers not looking out at the ocean!)

                Anyway, as always, you all are right, I just neglected to check. Needless to say we won't be rushing back there anytime soon.

      2. As for Rooney's: Great views, very nice bar but forget the food. This restaurant has seen it's day...

        12 Replies
        1. re: bjsimmons

          Just had late lunch-early dinner. Nice day to eat outside, good scenery, food not worth the price they charge (232.00 for 4 people) on par with a fair pizza place. Walk a little and go to McCloones, better food, cheaper price same atmosphere

          1. re: lou747

            I agree. McLoone's has better food, although it seems price-wise they are pretty comparable.

            1. re: hotfoodhot

              Saying that McLoone's is better than Rooney's is like comparing Burger King to McDonalds. Both are pretty horrible. Read the many threads about these places and spend your money elsewhere.

              1. re: bgut1

                Based on my one lamentable experience at McLoones, I will echo b's advice. Spend your money elsewhere.

                1. re: val ann c

                  Thanks val :)

                2. re: bgut1

                  "Saying that McLoone's is better than Rooney's is like comparing Burger King to McDonalds."

                  Great line.

                  Rooney's is fine for a drink at the bar. The prices are reasonable and the view is pleasant. There's no reason to eat there.

                  1. re: Bob Martinez

                    Even the seagulls stay away from Rooney's back door - not a good sign for a shore restaurant!

                    1. re: Bob Martinez

                      Thanks Bob :)

                    2. re: bgut1

                      Bgut - WELL SAID my friend, couldnt have put it any better.

                      let me throw another analogy- choosing Olive Garden over Applebees

                      1. re: yankeefan

                        Beautiful day today. Walked the boards and stopped in for lunch at Rooney's. Very busy, but nice service. Was thrilled to see they still had steamers this late in the season. Such a nice presentation, if you've never had it here. Comes out in a metal pot with lid. Delicious. Also had calamari and spinach dip. Excellent.

                        1. re: hotfoodhot

                          Putting all the Rooney's bashing aside, hotfoodhot is correct that you can make a decent meal out of the apps (especially the steamers and raw bar items). The only problem is that these little buggers can be a bit expensive for what your getting. I have to admit that me and the misses have done this once or twice during the summer when we crave the raw stuff.

                        2. re: yankeefan

                          Yankeefan, I disagree with that. Olive Garden is SO much better than AppleBees. ;)