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Sand Bar in Brielle?

Anne Jul 30, 2010 01:47 PM

We'll be in the area right after Labor Day. Looking for a place with a water view that has great seafood to take my parents. We've gone to the Shrimp Box for years, but I'm ready for something different. How's the chow at Sand Bar? What's your favorite menu item there? Thanks!

  1. a
    Anne Aug 5, 2010 05:50 PM

    Appreciate the honesty of all of you. My family has been spending summers in the area for more than 50 years, so I'm aware of the limitations there. I was just hoping there would be some hidden gem we were missing. We'll probably skip the view and head further south to Pices, in Toms River. We ate there last year and everyone had a wonderful meal.
    Thanks for your honest replies.

    1. b
      boodie1821 Aug 4, 2010 09:45 AM

      the river house also in brielle may work for what your looking for.

      1. v
        victoria060 Aug 4, 2010 05:57 AM

        I haven't been there in awhile but used to enjoy Spike's in Point Pleasant, I know the ambience isn't all that great but the fish is certainly nice and fresh.

        1. seal Aug 1, 2010 08:24 AM

          Unfortunately, my favorite outdoor, on the water, seafood shack kinda place is in Red Bank. It's in Marine Park and called The Boondocks and there are a few threads on this board about them. It's not a bad drive if you take the parkway, but not local to Brielle at all. The one time we ate at Sand Bar we vowed never to eat there again, only drink.

          2 Replies
          1. re: seal
            equal_Mark Aug 1, 2010 02:46 PM

            I really love the Boondocks location and view, but the menu is more suited to a boardwalk snack bar than a sit down restaurant. A seafood place with no shellfish or crab selections? Not even a simple shrimp cocktail? The only vegetable matter on the menu is cole slaw.


            This place makes Kliens in Belmar seem to be gourmet fare. I still miss Navesink Cafe at that location... :-(

            1. re: equal_Mark
              cantkick Aug 1, 2010 03:43 PM

              There's a place that opened last summer in RB on the water that reportedly had great sweet potato fries. Was that Boondocks, or another place nearby?

          2. MGZ Jul 31, 2010 04:33 AM

            I have been to the Sand Bar on many occasions. To me, and as its name implies, it is first and foremost a bar. The outside “porch” is a great place to drink and watch the river. By late afternoon, the downstairs inside area gets very crowded and very loud. So loud, in fact, that the sound will even permeate the upstairs dining room. Things get a bit less noisy after schools open again in September as the overcrowding in the area is alleviated. As to the food, it won’t make you sick, but, to me, a ‘hound taking her folks to dinner deserves better.
            The problem is, try as a might, I can’t come up with a great suggestion. The Shipwreck serves great food, but is not waterfront and comes with frills you do not seek. I agree that Klein’s would be step up in food quality - particularly if you stick with simple preparations – but it’s not great either. I enjoy the food at Red’s in Point more than any other local waterfront, but you’re basically just eating at painted picnic tables overlooking a dock (I do have a soft spot for fried seafood dipped in various hot sauces though).
            Other waterfront places you could think about would be Harpoon Willys, Peterson’s Marina, Matisse, Clark’s Landing, Union Landing, Sunsets, or even the Columns in Avon. None is perfect, as there seems to be a rule around here having to do with the “view to food quality” relationship. Perhaps you can find a good special offering, prix fixe, half price lobster, etc. that might help in making your selection?

            Union Landing Restaurant
            622 Green Ave, Brielle, NJ 08730

            Harpoon Willy's
            2655 River Rd, Manasquan, NJ 08736

            5 Replies
            1. re: MGZ
              missybean Jul 31, 2010 11:52 AM

              MGZ - I was interested to see your reply as I could not think of a place that worked within the OP's parameters but thought maybe I was missing something. My favorite place for waterfront dining is my back deck.


              1. re: missybean
                MGZ Jul 31, 2010 12:46 PM

                It's a shame, really. As I said, I have a soft spot for Red's, but I'm a t-shirt and flip flops guy (and, honestly, I've never even looked inside).

                The brunch at Matisse, off-season, isn't bad (I just don't understand why they don't keep those windows clean). The River House gave up on trying to serve better food, realizing that the place is a cash machine so long as they have booze and a view. The Jack Baker places have always catered to the LCD. (Is there a way to type the sound of shaking one's head in resigned disgust??)

                1. re: MGZ
                  missybean Aug 1, 2010 07:54 AM

                  Sad to say I have never been to Red's since the outside deck opened. My past life summer work schedule left little energy for dining out in the summer. I will have to make a point of going this year.

                  The only times we go to Jack Bakers is when we kayak over for drinks and lunch outside.

                  DH is an avid fisherman so most of our summer (fall, winter and spring) fish is locally caught. Not much any where can match freshly caught fish simply prepared at home.

                  Especially during the summer, we tend to frequent places off the beaten path. Can't take the crowds or the mediocre food.


              2. re: MGZ
                007 Aug 3, 2010 05:11 PM

                From a local, and many others agree that Red's is now more or less a touristy ripofff. Priced at about $50 for a 1.5 lobster at Reds, there are other nearby places that offer up more and better variety, along with more than just a side of average cole slaw and a potato or fries. The ambience is nil as well as the service. Better quality abounds a mile or two away from the BENNY hubbub of the boardwalk area.

                1. re: 007
                  MGZ Aug 4, 2010 04:46 AM

                  Sadly, you are quite correct that Red’s prices have risen. The overpopulation of the area, the decline of local fisheries, and the terrible quality of the water, similarly, are all quite lamentable. Voices forewarning such outcomes have long been drowned out by the sounds of counting money.

                  That being said, however, perhaps you will share your knowledge with the lady who has asked our help? Though the rest of us have tried, we have basically failed to recommend a great place for her to take her parents after Labor Day.

              3. a
                aklein Jul 31, 2010 04:25 AM

                My wife and I went to the Sand Bar on our first date, but I admit the food isn't very good. And while I would automatically go to Shipwreck, I see that it may not be the kind of place your looking for, so just a half-block to the north is a place called Union Landing. It's not bad, not wonderful. There is an outdoor bar and seating right along the marina and the food is a step or two up from the Sand Bar. Again, it's not great but it may suit your needs.

                Union Landing Restaurant
                622 Green Ave, Brielle, NJ 08730

                1. w
                  white light Jul 30, 2010 01:53 PM

                  Shipwreck Grill wins for seafood in that neighborhood.

                  Shipwreck Grill
                  720 Ashley Ave, Brielle, NJ 08730

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: white light
                    Anne Jul 30, 2010 04:34 PM

                    Thanks, but my 75+-year-old parents are looking for seafood more---simply prepared. The menu at Sand Bar would suit them better. Anyone been there?

                    1. re: Anne
                      white light Jul 30, 2010 09:50 PM

                      It's not very good. Maybe try Ollie Klien's (also not particularly great but better than the Sandbar and more in tune with what you're looking for).

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