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Jan 12, 2008 11:21 AM

Kelley's Neptune City

This place always had the very best corned beef, good clam chower and large potions ..Other then that ever other food choices are at best average , but the place is always jam packed especially in the summer Also interesting, it never had a women on staff except Bill Kelley daughter ..amazing !! .. What is there secret...

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  1. To me Kelly's Tavern is no longer the place it once was. It's one of those places that is better in memories. The Pastrami reuben is still special, but the kitchen does not have the consistency it once did.

    It's still always noisy, though. Also, I used to hate how smokey it was, but that was part of the place's identity. Besides, now they have heath conscious dishes on the menu and waitresses in the summer time.

    I think I'll go to Pete & Eldas instead when in Neptune!

    1 Reply
    1. re: MGZ

      Have been going to Kelley's Tavern since the early 70s and I agree with the others that the consistency has slipped somewhat recently. However, I still find myself craving their large (no mini here) corned beef reuben and my wife a sligo. We share sides of fries and rings. When we implement that craving and drive down 35 to Kelley's we are never are disappointed.

    2. There is no secret. It's just one of those unique Jersey Shore kind of places.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Tay

        The reuben is not as good as years ago , I think they use select meat, try connely station for a nice reuben

        1. re: Freeholdtwsp88

          Nothing seems as good as it did years ago. I think we're just getting older.:-}
          That having been said, it's a great neighborhood place for a decent sandwich

      2. I always go to Pete & Elda's for takeout pizza when I'm in Neptune, even if I'm not going to eat it right then and there. It's one of the things I miss most about living at the Jersey Shore!!

        Kelly's isn't what it used to be. I used to love their pastrami reubens.. they were also a great place to stop on the way to Belmar's St. Patty's Day parade. Still good, but not great. Alas, we must be getting older.. LOL!!!

        1. Actually since they opened the outside bar ( smoking area ) there are now females on staff. Agree on the memories of this place are better than the current situation - it almost seems once there was no more smoking inside, the food suffered.

          7 Replies
          1. re: tuxedo

            I'm glad you said, "Almost". I don't know of any food that tastes better accompanied by cigarettte smoke, Even smokers agree with that fact...

            1. re: Tay

              Tuxedo has a point. Somehow the old ambiance of Kelly's was part of its magic. Filled with smoke, too loud to hear the person next to you at the bar, middle aged male waiters yelling out drink orders, no "lite" options on the menu, so cavernous that you couldn't tell what the weather was outside!

              1. re: MGZ

                Wow... That must have been 'in the day' When I was there is was pretty sedate. No smoking... No yelling... Just BIG food and a Waitress straight out of a good old hash slinging Diner...

                1. re: MGZ

                  One holdover from days past is the loud noise of glass hitting glass when the barkeep would sling the empty beer bottles into the trash barrel.

                  1. re: RobertinRedBank

                    i agree with TAY that is just one of those unique jersey shore experiences. you get a house share with friends and someone makes the suggestions to hit kelley's and the legend just grows. each year there is a new crop of youngsters who hit the shore and they eventually end up at Kelley's. Especially on overcast saturday afternoon. too many drinks and too much money spent during my younger years.

                    the food was never the draw. it was all about the liquor and about having something to soak up the alcohol.

                    1. re: cdog

                      from an old Neptune boy .you hit the nail on the head ..Kelley's is a positive experence ..The food is secondary ,but the corned beef and the clam chower are the exception to this rule ...March 17 is coming !!

                      1. re: big1515

                        I'm going to the Staten for ST Patty's Day (I'm a sucker for bagpipes, lol! ) but the two of you have made me think a trip to Kelley's is in order.IAside form all the usual stuff we consume while there, wonder if they still serve those giant cold shrimp?

            2. There was a time, age 33, 34, meal was a mini rueben well done, so the cheese gets crispy like a good thin crust pizza, then the brown mustard and you quarter the darn thing and get that mustard mashed in, chow and spin the plate a quarter turn, and twice more until done(and the mini is no white castle) a order of the onion rings, very good, the fries with gravy, a half dozen baked stuffed clams (or clam shells but never mind, this aint about seafood) and two Guinness. I would eat all that (eat - Guinness is good food) and I would feel complete. Now I would instantly gain 20 pounds.

              2 Replies
              1. re: chowdude

                Don't you just love that they call that the "small" reuben?... It's huge!
                The OR are also great. How you also managed an order of fries w/gravy, baked clams AND 2 Guinness's is totally beyond me.. I love going there but I only do it about twice a year. :-}

                1. re: Tay

                  I too spent many Sunday mornings there with my buddy eating steak and eggs with a Bloody Mary. They make the best Mary's's always a good thing when you see the Bloody Mary "stations" on the bar every 10 feet or so. I miss going there.