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Good atmosphere, great food and cheap beer in Monmouth County?

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getting a little tired of the local dining scene ( just came back from SF and Sarasota - so feeling like little old MC is a bit uninspired) we are looking for a place tonight that has a fun casual feel, with GREAT food and preferably a drink menu that doesnt charge an arm and a leg.
Ive been racking my brain and can not think of any place. I can think of a bunch of places that fufill the atmosphere and beer requirement but unfortunately fall short on the food aspect!!

Does a place like this even exist around here or just in my head?!

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  1. Two places come to mind - Barnacle Bill's in Rumson - great view and interesting maritime decor .... and MacDonough's Pub in Keyport ( on Front St ) ... sports bar so it can get noisy if there's a big game on , live Irish music some Sunday afternoons and very tasty food with a large selection of draft beers .

    Barnacle Bill's
    1 1st St, Rumson, NJ 07760

    4 Replies
    1. re: arpad

      Ditto on the Barnacle Bill's note. Not fine dining, but great for a burger and a cold beer.

      Barnacle Bill's
      1 1st St, Rumson, NJ 07760

      1. re: johnlockedema

        I, too, have to recommend Barnacle Bill's....We do go often for a burger and beer....It's just a great, casual place.

        1. re: vtt7

          Finding good food is the easy part - it's damned near impossible to find a joint that has reasonable drink prices here.

          I submit Jack's in Long Branch. One of the cheapest places to drink and eat, and also one of the best menus of any bar.

          Right behind Jack's for me is Brick Wall in Asbury. BW has better beer, Jack's has better food.

          Barnacle Bill's is ok, but their food and drinks are all on the pricey side.

          Barnacle Bill's
          1 1st St, Rumson, NJ 07760

          1. re: joonjoon

            +1 - "BW has better beer, Jack's has better food."

    2. Check out Park East in Hazlet. I went there twice recently. The first time I went during happy hour where the bar food and drinks were extremely cheap and the bar food was quite tasty. The second time I stuck to their sushi which wasn't cheap, but was really good.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MWinston

        Has anyone tried the re-opened Cove in Sea Bright yet?

      2. While I can understand the dichotomy of food offerings and superiority when talking of SF; I'd beg to differ with Sarasota coming in anywhere near that which can be had in Monmouth County, unless it was your irrational exuberance of dining 'outdoors' and fresh seafood down there.

        First off, nothing's cheap today; even beer. $5 for a microbrew or draft of one of the more common small brewery offerings isn't an 'arm and a leg'. You want cheap beer, there's probably still some 'blood & buckets' in Keyport and the bayshore.

        Reasonably priced with good food? Sure, they're out there.....with the coupling of vg food with an expanded beer list has me thinking you go to Basil's in Red Bank for the beer and decent hit or miss food ; Shipwreck in Brielle has great food and a standard beer selection on tap; with another option being Harrigan's (much more casual and vg pub grub) in Sea Girt. The latter two also have 'raw bars' if you need something to wash that beer down with.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JustJake

          if you join the mug club at basil's then the beer is decently priced. the food is good, as well, but it ain't cheap.

        2. boathouse in belmar, brickwall in AP, charley's in Long Branch/MonBeach

          8 Replies
          1. re: aklein

            Charley's, yes. The Pour House? I've been going there for 25 years and I still love it.

            Pour House
            640 Shrewsbury Ave, Tinton Falls, NJ 07701

            1. re: aklein

              +1 with the Brickwall in Asbury Park.

              1. re: 1stand3rd

                Clancy's in the strip mall outside of Ocean Grove. They always have beer specials, inexpensive but tasty sushi and a good bar menu.

                1. re: fatnut

                  Agree about Clancy's, but it gets really, really noisy in there when it's busy. I've had good food and not so good food at Brickwall - I think they have a high turnover in the kitchen...

                  1. re: OGguy

                    +1 for Clancy's also. I'm pretty much a sucker for any place that has beers for under 5 bucks.

                    To me that's the real issue with bars in our area. I recently went on a trip to maryland...and a beer there was less than TWO DOLLARS. TWO DOLLARS.

                    These days you're lucky if you can get a beer for 5 bucks here. What's up with that?

                    1. re: joonjoon


                      1. re: joonjoon

                        MacDonaugh's in Keyport charges $4.5 for a pint .

                        1. re: joonjoon

                          Liability insurance and keeping the lights on.

                2. I think The Sitting Duck in Long Branch should fit the bill.

                  Sitting Duck Restaurant
                  104 Myrtle Ave, Long Branch, NJ 07740

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Angelina

                    Beers are kind of expensive at Sitting Duck.

                    Sitting Duck Restaurant
                    104 Myrtle Ave, Long Branch, NJ 07740

                  2. I just got back from Pearl of Lisbon...2 entrees, 1 beer, 1 soft drink, and 1 digestif. The total: 25 bucks.

                    WOW. I haven't been here in a while but this place might be the best deal in food and drink in all of monmouth county. I'm so going back there again and again and again... I saw a table spilt the seafood platter and it was one of the most amazing things i've ever seen. The prawns were like the size of my hands...crazyness.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: joonjoon

                      joonjoon, what did you eat for that crazy price? I just looked at the menu and was trying to figure out what you had, but wasn't able. Enlighten me, please...

                      1. re: MichelleM131

                        I had the tripe stew (really good) for 11 bucks, my girlfriend had chicken for 8. Beer was 4 dollars, and a Portugese brandy-like digestif was 3. THREE BUCKS. That made me so happy. :) We weren't trying to be frugal either - my girlfriend mainly eats chicken and I LOVE tripe so I order it every time I see it somewhere.

                        I really want to go back and try the seafood platter though...it's 70 bucks but it could easily feed 3 people.

                        Both entrees were from the daily specials menu, some of the items change around but here's the link: http://www.pearloflisbon.com/wine.html

                        1. re: joonjoon

                          Finally got back to Pearl of Lisbon for the seafood platter... it looks something like this: http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&am...

                          On our platter was: Monster collossal gigantor nuclear shrimp, lobster, scallops, clams, mussels, king crab, snow crab claws, garlic shrimp, peel n eat shrimp, mushroom caps, pieces of fish...and I think that's about it.

                          Everything on the platter was awesome except the king crab which was really salty. I went with 2 very hungry dudes and we were quite satisfied. If the words "Seafood Orgy" gets your juices flowing, you're going to love this platter.

                          Pearl of Lisbon
                          609 Broadway, Long Branch, NJ 07740

                    2. Ichabods in Sea Bright. Great burgers, great beer selection, and great people.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: J M S

                        Really? I think Ichabods is the pits.

                        1. re: MichelleM131

                          Have you been since it has changed owners/manager/menu?

                      2. Bond Street Bar in Asbury. $3 microbrew beers and great $5 burgers. Solid homey pub atmosphere too...