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Old Man Rafferty's Asbury Park

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yankeefan Jul 19, 2007 06:05 AM

I am an enormous fan of OMR in New Brunswick and have heard that there is one open now in Asbury? Has anyone been there yet, Im sure it is the same type of food- I was hoping it was as dependable as the one in NB.

Thanks.

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    OGguy RE: yankeefan Jul 19, 2007 06:57 AM

    I don't think it has opened yet

    3 Replies
    1. re: OGguy
      bgut1 RE: OGguy Jul 19, 2007 06:28 PM

      Any news when its supposed to open?

      1. re: bgut1
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        yankeefan RE: bgut1 Jul 20, 2007 08:04 AM

        The website said it had opened during Memorial Day weekend.

        1. re: yankeefan
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          OGguy RE: yankeefan Jul 21, 2007 02:17 PM

          I rode past there at noon today. It's not open but there are big 'Now Hiring' signs in the window,

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      OGguy RE: yankeefan Jul 30, 2007 05:42 AM

      Sign in the window yesterday said "Opening August 2007".

      1 Reply
      1. re: OGguy
        bgut1 RE: OGguy Jul 30, 2007 08:32 AM

        Oh yeah! I miss OMR from NB and can't wait for this one to open. Someone close by please keep an eye on the place and let us know when they open. Thanks.

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        OGguy RE: yankeefan Aug 20, 2007 05:21 AM

        Sunday's Asbury Park Press had an article about the place, and said it would open on August 28. Don't know if the story is on line, but in the print edition the captions under 2 pictures had the opening date, while the body of the story didn't say

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          camel653 RE: yankeefan Aug 20, 2007 07:55 AM

          As of ugust 11 (last time i passed by) it wasn't open

          3 Replies
          1. re: camel653
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            jenf234 RE: camel653 Aug 28, 2007 11:42 AM

            Tonight, August 28th, is opening night.

            1. re: jenf234
              stack_c RE: jenf234 Aug 29, 2007 11:57 AM

              Anyone go last night?

              1. re: stack_c
                bgut1 RE: stack_c Sep 1, 2007 07:04 PM

                Well, you have to give us credit for trying as my family tried to dine there this evening. As we were going with our young children we thought arriving at 6 pm was early enough. How wrong we were. Who knew that they have a street festival on the first Saturday of each month. Anyway, the place was packed with at least an hour wait. My kids couldn't handle the wait so we went to the Brickwall instead. I did however get a chance to walk in and look around. All I can say about the interior is that the owner should get his/her money back from the interior designer. How horrible. Its nothing like New Brunswick. Its stark, empty and cold. Nothing hangs from the walls. I hope at least the food is good.

          2. b
            brin306 RE: yankeefan Sep 6, 2007 06:38 PM

            OMR opened a week ago Tuesday...my son works there and said the food is very, very good. There was a two hour wait last Saturday night...and since then nice crowds....worth giving it a try....

            3 Replies
            1. re: brin306
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              OGguy RE: brin306 Sep 7, 2007 05:17 AM

              We went there on Wednesday evening. My wife had a burger she thought was very good, I had a grilled chicken sandwich that was a trifle overcooked, but very tasty. The fries were skinny commercial nothing special fries. The side salads were ok but expensive ($5?, I don't remember). Server was young but knew what he was doing. My only real gripe is that my wife's Chardonnay was $6.50 a glass. I didn't challenge it, but suspect there was a well Chard that was cheaper, but we were given the higher priced stuff without being asked - the beverage list didn't show wines by the glass...

              We'll be back, to venture beyond the burger and chicken sandwich realm.

              I agree with the comment about the decor, it's pretty ugly.

              1. re: OGguy
                bgut1 RE: OGguy Sep 7, 2007 08:45 AM

                Hello OGguy. While I agree they should have asked about the wine, I don't think $6.50 a glass is unreasonable nowadays. As far as the side salad, $4 to $5 also sounds a bit right. What did you think about the cheesy dessert case in the front? Nothing at all like the experience in NB if you ask me.

                1. re: bgut1
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                  OGguy RE: bgut1 Sep 7, 2007 11:20 AM

                  My beef is about being upsold on the wine without being asked - I agree $6.50 isn't unreasonable, but if they also had 4 buck white, it was what they should have served unless they asked, and would have been perfectly ok with my wife (if it wasn't ghastly). The dessert cases didn't really register on me, sorry.

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              SusieQQ RE: yankeefan Sep 7, 2007 12:47 PM

              We were there Tuesday evening and had to wait about 20 minutes for a table. I actually liked the decor...wide open and pleasant. Nice bar. We had good food, steak, chicken salad sandwich and caesar's salad with chicken ( I know not particularly inventive, with the salad but I happen to like it) and shared a carrot cake. Service was excellent and I will go back. Biggest problem I see is parking. There is a nearby parking garage but I don't feel real safe in those structures.

              14 Replies
              1. re: SusieQQ
                bgut1 RE: SusieQQ Sep 7, 2007 02:11 PM

                While taste in decor is very subjective, you have to admit the space is quite stark (maybe that's what you like about it I guess). As far as the parking, I agree the garage is not the best place to park, however I do recall that they offered valet parking in front of the restaurant for a quite reasonable $3.00.

                1. re: bgut1
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                  SusieQQ RE: bgut1 Sep 7, 2007 03:35 PM

                  No valet parking on Tuesday, maybe it will be just on weekends.

                2. re: SusieQQ
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                  jsfein RE: SusieQQ Sep 10, 2007 05:57 AM

                  Went early Saturday night (around 5:15) and didn't notice valet service. Found parking on the street. The space is kind of stark and "minimalist", but I wasn't put off by it. Had a light meal of salads and soups. The chicken salad was particularly good. Everything was fine with the food, but the service need quite a bit of work. Hopefully that will improve with time. A chocolate chip banana cake for dessert was delicious.

                  1. re: jsfein
                    bgut1 RE: jsfein Sep 10, 2007 08:26 AM

                    jsfein - Thanks for the post. Maybe the valet parking was a one time thing the night I was there.

                    1. re: bgut1
                      bgut1 RE: bgut1 Oct 1, 2007 02:27 PM

                      I finally had occasion to try OMR a few weeks back with the kids. My observations: While the decor still seems to be quite "minimalist" as jsfein had noted, they have added a few pieces of art on the walls (Lichtenstein prints) and potted plants to soften the place up a bit. I was however taken a back by their seating policy for families with children. They have an elevated area to the left of the room away from the main seating area by the bar. It seems they have decided to place all families with kids in this "pen". I did confirm this fact with my waiter who spun this to say that the management wanted families not to feel too self-conscious about their kids. While I did appreciate the thought, I would have rather had the option to choose the area to be seated, as I'm sure some kids are well behaved and would like the ability to sit in the main dining room. With regard to the food, the DW and I had the chicken and steak salads respectively while my children had the nachos, chicken wings and chicken strips with french fries. Everything was solid except for the wings which were soggy and over sauced. We finished with a brownie sundae (off the menu item - thanks to our waiter who tried to appease my son) and a slice of the light side of the moon cake. Both desserts were very good. I will return to OMR notwithstanding my concerns with regard to the seating arrangements.

                      1. re: bgut1
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                        jsfein RE: bgut1 Oct 1, 2007 03:52 PM

                        My family and I were seated in the elevated area with several other families, but I hadn't made the connection that all families were being seated in the same area. I agree that having the option is preferable, but I personally don't mind being seated with other families when dining with my kids. OMR has certainly gone "upscale" with the respect to its look and policies in the Asbury location. A far cry from the meals I used to eat in New Brunswick at the old (original?) location off Easton Ave.

                        1. re: bgut1
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                          yankeefan RE: bgut1 Oct 2, 2007 05:20 PM

                          Any comparison to the New Brunswick location? I wonder if the food is as good.

                          1. re: bgut1
                            bgut1 RE: bgut1 Oct 4, 2007 08:50 PM

                            The DW just brought me home some takeout from OMR and I thought I should let you all know how good it was. I had the Italian Country Salad which consisted of mesclun greens, sliced poached pears, gorgonzola cheese and candied walnuts with a sherry wine vinaigrette. I also asked for a side of grilled chicken with the salad. They seem to have the takeout packaging down pat. They put the chicken in a foil container separate from the salad (hot side hot cold side cold). Everything in the salad was fresh. No wilted or slimey greens. The chicken was moist and perfectly cooked. If I had to find fault in the dish I would say they added too much cheese (but who's complaining about that). Otherwise it was an excellent showing. Good work OMR.

                            1. re: bgut1
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                              RGR RE: bgut1 Oct 5, 2007 07:13 AM

                              As you very well know, b., Mr. R. and I are way past the stage of shlepping children along when we go out to eat. So, I found your feelings regarding being "penned in" with your kids quite interesting. I'm thinking that how a restaurant seats its patrons may depend on whether the management views it as a totally family-friendly place or, rather, as an adult-oriented place that is willing to tolerate families but may fear that very young children could become fussy and disturb adults-only diners. Ergo, a separate section for families. Since I've never been to OMR in NB, I have no idea what it's like. Do they seat families in NB in a similar "holding area"? lol

                              1. re: RGR
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                                jsfein RE: RGR Oct 5, 2007 07:53 AM

                                This is just my opinion of course, but if a restaurant has a dedicated children's menu (as OMR does) and provides crayons and coloring menus (as OMR does), I believe it should view itself as a family-friendly place and not as an adult oriented place that is tolerant of families, and not have a policy of segregating families from the rest of the restaurant. Although, as I mentioned upthread, I don't necessarily have a problem with sitting with other families when eating out with my kids. All other things considered, OMR should leave the decision as to whether to be seated with other families or in the main dining room to the customer.

                                1. re: jsfein
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                                  RGR RE: jsfein Oct 5, 2007 08:23 AM

                                  Based on your description of OMR, jsfein, it's certainly going out of its way to be family-friendly, so I totally agree that segregating families with children is wrong. Perhaps, someone with children should take this situation up with the management. It's the old "squeaky wheel gets the grease idea. If they get enough complaints, they might think better of their current policy.

                                2. re: RGR
                                  bgut1 RE: RGR Oct 5, 2007 01:31 PM

                                  I haven't been to the one in NB in years but I don't recall them having a "special" section. Like jsfein, I'm really torn about this one. I don't know whether to congratulate them for thinking out of the box or being upset about having no choice where to seat. I guess I'm leaning toward the later as I detest being labeled and not being given the choice where I would like to be seated. As you know RGR, I have three (usually) well behaved children and I think I know when and where I can and can't take them. This presumptiousness of OMR is quite troubling and in my travels have never encountered such overt family "segregationism".

                                  1. re: bgut1
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                                    RGR RE: bgut1 Oct 5, 2007 02:33 PM

                                    b., Since it is bothering you, as I said, you should speak with the manager if for no other reason than to find out why they chose to do this. I'd certainly be interested in hearing the explanation.

                                    1. re: RGR
                                      bgut1 RE: RGR Oct 5, 2007 06:47 PM

                                      R- Next time I go I will fact do that and let you know.

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                          MoxieBoy RE: yankeefan Oct 8, 2007 09:05 AM

                          Funny, no one mentioned their Hillsborough site. I was there with my wife and kids this past Saturday and everything went fine. Great burger, as always. Beats NB with their parking and much quieter. If only the waiter has a better disposition (he was certainly competent but very quiet...not the kind to have when you have kids at the table). Also, a bit of a surprise for a so-called family friendly restaurant...they were out of crayons! (But another waitress let the kids borrow her pens). (Didn't like the $1 charge to substitute a plain baked for fries, though, with the cheeseburger).

                          Great Corned beef sandwich, too.

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                            adnil64 RE: yankeefan Oct 11, 2007 04:45 PM

                            We just ate at OMR in Asbury Park and I was VERY disappointed in the service and the manager. We were there at 5pm on a Thursday night and there were plenty of seats. We were the only people waiting to be seated and we waited quite a long time while the hostess studied the seating chart. Finally, after all her studying, when she was ready to seat us, she seats us right behind her! I was going to ask for a different table but I didn't because I noticed that they had seated all the patrons at tables in a row against the wall and we were the last seats in the row. It was odd. The rest of the restaurant was empty, except for the kiddie section on the other side. Why not spread out the customers if the place is empty? The worst part, however, was when the manager came by and had another person wipe down all the menus right next to us!! It was really uncomfortable and we couldn't enjoy our food with the breeze of the wet rag everytime he wiped down a different page. When I talked to the manager about our disappointing experience he wasn't really interested. He merely told me I should have said something earlier. The food was ok, but nothing special. My food was undercooked and the table next to us even sent their food back for being undercooked. Cookman avenue in Asbury Park is full of really great places to eat, where the owners really want your business. OMR is not one of them.

                            1. s
                              Swoon RE: yankeefan Dec 10, 2007 04:02 AM

                              Old Man Rafferty's in Asbury Park is average at best! The place just opened a couple of months ago and is probably still in the process of ironing out the kinks in the front of the house as well as the kitchen. The menu selection is extensive and diverse and affordable. I have heard horror stories about the place as well many accounts of satisfied dining experiences. In Short you get what you pay for. The restaurant doesn't have close to same amount of foot traffic that the New Brunswick location has because Asbury Park is not New Brunswick in any shape or form. As a local, I watched how this restaurant appeared to have moved mountains in a desperate attempt to open before the close of the summer season which did not happen. As a result the place is trying to distinguish itself as a contender in the jersey shore restaurant scene and staving off unfair comparison to the sister store in New Brunswick. Wait a few more months and give it a try.

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