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LBI in late September?

We're coming back for a second year at the Chowderfest. So, we're fine for Sunday after breakfast. But we'll need a late-night Friday arrival treat, 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and a nice dinner on Saturday. Recognizing that some places will have packed it in for the season, any / all recommendations are welcome.

Will Blue still be open? We dined there last year, to the satisfaction of all. Would go back, but open to new experiences, too. Is it still BYOB?

Any bakery particularly recommended for those of us who loved Jack's?

Thanks for your help.

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  1. The Greenhouse Cafe is open year-round (all 3 meals) and has a varied menu. Never been to Blue, and I'm more familiar with the south end of the island. I know that Howard's stays open thru early Oct. Nice bayfront view, emphasis on seafood. Another ($$$) option in the area is the Green Gables in Beach Haven. Also open year-round is the Engleside Inn; I don't recommend it for breakfast but I'm told it's great for sushi & evening meals.Not sure about full-fledged bakeries, but Marvel's Market (in Beach Haven Terrace) is famous for its homemade donuts & crumbcake, and I'm pretty sure it's open thru early Oct. as well.

    1. One of the better BYOB on LBI in My opinion is LaSpiaggia in Ship Bottom.
      They usually stay open till NYEve.
      We have been dining ther for the past 4 yrs or so and they continue to suprise us.
      Great menu and forever changing daily and seasonal specials.
      See you at the Chowder fest!!!!

      1. I like the Black Whale Bar and Fish House. They are open until the end of November. There is a bar with some tables and a main dining room. There are specials as well as a standard menu. They are 1 block west of the Holiday Snack bar: 100 N Pennsylvania Ave, Beach Haven. Also, the Crust and Crumb in Bay Village has great elephant ears.

        1. You might want to try the Big Apple Bakery in Manahawkin. It's in the Superfresh plaza. I think they close fairly early, though, so plan accordingly. Lex Mex is also very good. The fish taco is excellent. For a late night treat, try Francesco's in the Shoprite plaza on your way in on Rt. 72. It is open late comparitively speaking and the food is consistently good. They make thier own mozzarella and red sauce. You can do take out, eat at the pizzaria, or opt for the restaurant side of the joint. It is surprisingly nice. I second the nomination for La Spiaggia for a nice dinner. Only ever hear good things about this place.....

          1 Reply
          1. re: diablo

            Big Apple is a great bakery! Great muffins, which sell out quickly in the summer. They are open year round and worth the stop.

          2. We're headed down Labor Day weekend, to stay the uncrowded (we hope) week after...

            We'll be in the Beach Haven area. Looking for:

            Best places for a full breakfast? Morrison's on the bay, Pampered Pancake House
            Coffee and snacks? Crust and Crumb?

            I figure a trip to Marvels for lunches to make at home.

            Best casual dinners?
            Great seafood?
            Places with great atmosphere?

            When my family and friends went down each summer 20-30 years ago, it was some of the best times of my life. I've been back a few times for day trips and a couple of overnights in the past, but haven't stayed on the island for more than 2 days in 20 years.

            8 Replies
            1. re: BigBlue120

              Mud City Crab House is the "go to" around these parts for seafood. They are on Bay Ave (Coming off the island, take the first right exit after the bridge. It's on the left). They are notorius for the wait, so be warned, but they are definitely a good, solid, casual place for seafood. I also had a pretty good dinner this summer at Buckalew's in Beach Haven, which I had abandoned a few years ago for sub-par food. They have a new chef or something now......anyway, it was good. Tucker's in Beach Haven gets mixed reviews on this site, but I have always had a good meal with friendly service whenever I have dined there. The atmosphere is pretty good at the bar as well. If you want a ton of food at a cheap price, try the Ming Dynasty Buffet on Rt. 72. They pack 'em in, but it is really good food for the price. Go on Friday or Saturday when they feature all you can eat crab legs (but go later, like 8:00, to avoid the crowds). They also offer sushi and a Mongolian grill included. For breakfast with an attitude, try Hannold's on Bay Ave. in Manahawkin, just past the flea market. They been there since, like, 1942 or something, with the exact same cook and busboy. The one (no joke) waitress hasn't been there quite that long, but darn near, and she is a firecracker. She'll tell you to get the egg salad, but the omelets are excellent as well. And this place is cheap. Just be prepared for a slight wait since it's just the one chef.

              1. re: diablo

                I second Mud City...we had dinner there on Saturday night and it was excellent. There was a 2-hour wait, so we put our name on the list and took a drive over to the lighthouse. Our meal was fabulous, as always. I had grilled salmon with a cucumber dill relish and my SO had grilled swordfish with a garlic rosemary butter...both were outstanding.

              2. re: BigBlue120

                Morrison's burned to the ground a few years ago, and as of last spring (when I was last there) there was no sign of rebuilding. And oddly enough, Luciano's "Pampered Pancake House" burned down about 7 years ago and is still a vacant lot. If you want to stick to the Beach Haven area, I recommend the Bagel Shack (on 3rd) for a quick breakfast -- oustanding bagels, bagel sandwiches & crumb cake. Uncle Will's Pancake House a few blocks south of there has a big following, but I've had TERRIBLY slow service there and always think the food is really overpriced. (If you're an early riser, though, check the local rag, the Sandpaper, for their ad -- it has a coupon for something like a $2.22 breakfast if you go before 8 am.) You can get good seafood almost anywhere, but probably the nicest atmosphere in Beach Haven is at the Green Gables. Nearby, Howard's Restaurant has a nice bayfront location & good seafood. Also, I believe the Black Whale restaurant (in Romeo's old location) is owned by the same people who own Mud City (mentioned below). If you want to venture a little farther, the Greenhouse Cafe in Ship Bottom/Surf City is great for casual meals; huge menu with lots of "heart-healthy" options alongside the more popular stuff. If you want to go farther still, there's a great casual Mexican restaurant tucked away in one of those strip malls on Route 72 in Manahawkin; it's on the south side of the highway, where the Cup & Saucer Luncheonette used to be (if you remember that). Sorry I can't remember the name of it, but it's one of the few Mexican places in the area and should be easy to track down. HUGE tasty burritos. Also, FYI, Marvels has been reduced to a very small shop across the boulevard from its original location. (He sold the big market to WaWa.) Still has great donuts & sandwich stuff, but that's about it.

                1. re: katydid13

                  I haven't been to the Black Whale and was planning on trying it this weekend. But not after reading the experience of this poster from nj.com. The people who own this place sound horrible!

                  Went to the Black Whale in Beach Haven because I had heard good things. We must have hit it on a bad night! My meal was cold - raw scallops and the crab cake was barely seared - completely cool, creamy and uncooked inside. I stopped the manager as she passed the table and told her the food was undercooked for my taste. She asked if I wanted it reheated and I told her I'd rather have a bowl of soup. (I didn't say this but I didn't want microwaved broiled seafood platter). The manager (very rude) said, "well the plate seems warm enough". I agreed and figured the plate was out of the dishwasher but the food was cool and uncooked. Then the manager questioned us about the waitress, "did she come back and check on you?". We told her that it just came out...cold. Then the manager came back and said, "well the chef said he put it right up so it was hot but maybe the waitress took too long." We could see she was trying to blame the waitress. We explained that it was RAW but everyone elses was hot. She told us that the waitress should have came back sooner because they have a policy that they don't want to take things off the bill (duh) and that they want the waitress to field food problems so they won't have to. Meanwhile my family is done eating and this manager basically wanted to prove that they do no wrong. The waitress brought out the soup (we told her we knew it wasn't her fault) and then the manager came back again to tell us how it wasn't the fault of the restaurant. My husband finally told her that he is a CIA grad knows what is undercooked. She insisted on arguing with us and we asked her to please get our bill so we could leave already. She came back tossed the check on the table and said, "my uncle would never hire anyone who graduated from there!"We left the waitress a 25% tip (for the original amount before the foul entree was removed) for having to put up with such a nasty immature manager. The manager must have been family as nobody would put up with that attitude.I hope others have had better experiences but I felt compelled to share mine.
                  We did have an AWESOME meal at the Boathouse! Daddy-O's also has incredible

                  1. re: katydid13

                    Our house is down the street from Otts in Beach Haven Crest. I'm hoping they still have games on the tables, but who knows...

                    No more feeding the ducks at Morrison's? Say it ain't so.
                    No choc chip pancakes a la mode? I'm shocked.

                    Howards is gonna be a must try, too many raves about the French Fried Lobster.

                    I'm really looking forward to the week. Thanks for the update.

                    1. re: katydid13

                      I think it's called 'Tejana' or something close to it. I keep talking about going there....How were the prices?

                      1. re: diablo

                        If you're referring to the Mexican place in the strip mall, prices were very reasonable, even inexpensive considering the portions. "Tejana" doesn't sound right, but it could be...I know there's a nail salon immediately next door to it.

                      2. re: katydid13

                        The local "rag"??? The SandPaper is an award-winning weekly newsmagazine that has been the Island's premier source for local news and happenings for more than 30 years.

                    2. We love Bistro 14, have been for both dinner and lunch and have always been well
                      treated and satisfied. Good food and a nice view of the Chowderfest. Its in
                      Bay Village. We also like Howards.

                      1. Tried to make a reservation at Daddy-os for this weekend. They asked for a credit card to secure the reservation (there are 7 of us). Told me that they would charge the credit card $10 per person if we did a no show or failed to cancel the reservation by 4 pm the day of the reservation! What?? Do they think LBI is NYC or something? Why would I hand over my credit card number to the teenager on the phone? Having already been the victim of identity theft, which was a huge mess, I am very careful about giving out any personal or credit card info to someone I don't know. Does anyone else find this a bit ridiculous? I mean, if it were New Years Eve or something, I would understand. But this was for a 6 PM reservation on Friday!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: mschow

                          Yes, that is ridiculous, and very unusual for LBI.

                          1. re: mschow

                            I've heard similar stories about this restaurant...evidently they think they have some kind of scene going on (much like Avenue at Pier Village) and an attitude to go with it. What's next, I wonder...having patrons wait in line outside to be approved for admission a la Studio 54? They need to get over themselves, I'd say! :)

                          2. What a great week. We arrived on Labor Day Saturday for the week. Sorry in advance for the spelling errors.

                            Breakfasts
                            Chicken and Egg - Ordered ordinary stuff. Was fine.
                            Uncle Wills - Ordered ordinary stuff. Was fine.
                            Bagels from Spray Beach - Very tasty to-go
                            Marvels - Fresh donuts and cinnamon buns were awesome

                            Lunches
                            Pinkys Shrimp - Awesome seared Tuna sandwich. Great oysters/clams and salads.
                            Holiday Snack Bar - Burgers were good (as usual). Key Lime pie stunk, shoulda gone for the cakes or no name pie.
                            Daddy-O - Neat place. Food was very tasty and the waitress was great. Unfortunately, the fried foods did not agree with us. Next time we'll stick to salads and grilled items, if there is a next time.
                            Bills Mustache Diner - Very good lunch. Classic Diner. If you head to Barnagat Lighthouse, this is a good place to eat. Probably not worth a special trip.

                            Dinners
                            Sweet Vidallia - Good dinner. Nothing Special. We'll skip it next time.
                            Bistro 14 - Awesome bay views, great food. Service was slow. Oyster selection was great and quite tasty. Fresh fish prepared in a variety of ways. We had roasted salmon (meyer lemon version) and Fried Halibut. We'll go back for sure each time.
                            Howards - Great food. French Fried Lobster accompanied our Filet and Crabcake meals. All the food was tasty. I don't think I could do a whole order of FF lobster. Clams casino and oysters rockafeller were great apps. Will definitely go back, but maybe not every time we head down.
                            Tsuki Sushi - Small place, understaffed that night, running out of food choices. Sushi was excellent. Soba noodles rocked, as did the sukiyaki. Some broiled lobster dish for an app was awesome. We'll head there again anytime we get the sushi bug.
                            Yellowfin - Best meal we've had. We might head down during the summer just for dinner. Duck was the best I've had, Cod w/miso was as good as NYC. Soba noodles with BBQ Shrimp was great, and the Iceberg salad w/ bacon, onions and balsamic was great, despite being slightly overdressed. Dessert was lava cake (great) and one of the best Key Lime Pies I've tasted. Waiters were great. Service was awesome. If we had gone earlier in the week, we would have gone back.
                            Panzones - My favorite cheesesteak. White clam sauce over pasta was very good. Soups were great, as were salads.

                            Most dinners were BYO, but we didn't.

                            Blue Water Cafe was the only thing we wanted to get to, and didn't.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: BigBlue120

                              The Mexican restaurant on Rt. 72 Eastbound is called Tenampa. It is outstanding, with all the usual fare but they have a good choice of special dishes, many using shrimp that are delicious. My favorite is a quesadilla vallarta (sp?), which has shrimp, bacon, tomato, spinach and cheese. They also make the best fresh salsa I have ever had.

                              I can also recommend Howards Beach Haven Terrace for two reasons. First, our family have had years of consistantly excellent meals since we moved here in 1980. And second, all three of my kids have bussed and waited tablets here. They have received a great education as to how a successfull restaurant should be run. All the desserts are homemade, every morning. Fresh fish delivered daily, nothing frozen. All the salds, dressings and dinner rolls are prepared daily. I know this may sound like a shameless plug and I own the place, but I assure you I only want to credit an eatery that does things the right way, and I applaud that dedication.

                              1. re: dmsksr

                                My sister stopped at the Mexican restaurant on 72 last Friday, and said it was excellent. Good to know there is something authentic in the area.

                                1. re: dmsksr

                                  How are the prices at Tenampa? I like Lex Mex on the island, but they tend to be high priced for a casual joint.

                                  1. re: diablo

                                    Prices are quite reasonable. I ate there over the holidays, and they're doing so well they've decided to open on Mondays. I shared a crab-cake appetizer with my dad that was $8.95; on LBI, that would get you 1 crab cake, but here it was 2, and they were good-sized. (The chipotle cream sauce was disappointingly mild, however.) The burrito plates are massive and range from $11-$15. I think you'll find everything gets cheaper when you get off the island.

                                    1. re: katydid13

                                      Thanks katy. I still have not been, but maybe this will give me incentive. I hate paying high prices for mediocre food on the island, and most places are closed this time of year anyway...