HOME > Chowhound > New Jersey >

Discussion

Moving to Long Branch- Where to eat??

Moving to Long Branch area next week- Where to eat? Where NOT to eat?

Thanks so much!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Any particular cuisine or price range preferred?

    Nikos Trapezzi - Greek
    Ming Ying - Chinese takeout
    Ada's - Dominican
    Acapulquenos-Mexican
    El Oaxaqueno 3 - Mexican
    North Beach Grill - Luncheonette
    Pearl of Lisbon (Pearl of the Sea on their website) - Portugese
    Tuzzios - Italian

    These can be found on this directory:

    http://www.exit109.com/~mstevens/monm...

    Click on the "Location" header to sort by location.

      1. re: arpad

        Keep in mind that that listing contains pretty much every Monmouth county restaurant I can find that either has a website or a takeout menu I have scanned. In in no way represents an endorsement or recommendation (Murphy Style Grill is on there !) :-0

        If anyone else finds any establishments with websites that are not listed there please let me know and I'll guarantee you a heartfelt "Thanks!"

      2. Jr's in West End for burgers; Nunzio's or Tony's for Pizza; Jesse's for organic/wholesome/vegetarian eats; Windmill for Hot Dogs; Ming Ying for Chinese; Sitting Duck for Burger/Beer; Charley's Grill for burger/beer/ and a view; and, of course, head to Gracie & the Dudes in Sea Bright for ice cream.

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

        1. Here's the best by town starting a bit north.
          Belford....Belford Bistro
          Atlantic Highlands...Ama
          Highlands....Bay Ave Trattoria, or maybe Doris and Ed's
          Sea Bright...Anjelica's
          Monmouth Beach...Sally Tee's
          Long Branch...Sirena's

          1. Island Spice in Long Branch.

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/714273

            -----
            Island Spice
            333 Martin Luther King Jr Dr, Jersey City, NJ 07305

            1. Thank you all so much. Price is not the issue...I'm looking for the best variety of both daily and special places to go!

              1. Hi criticalfoodie,

                There was a thread on this a few months ago, you may want to check out some of the suggestions here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/713515

                1. Just north of LB is a little town called Monmouth Beach, in the center of town on Beach Rd there is a little place called My Kitchen Witch that does Friday night dinners that are simply great.

                  We have gone the last two Fridays and I am writing a review that has not been posted yet but I must say it was off the chart good.

                  -----
                  My Kitchen Witch Cafe
                  29 Beach Rd, Monmouth Beach, NJ 07750

                  13 Replies
                  1. re: carlylecat

                    Welcome to the area!

                    my family has been in the area for over 50 years, i myself have been liiving here for close to 10. Long Branch has many "hidden gems" for good everyday food (breakfast, lunch and dinner) Unfortunately as you will see if you search through past threads Long Branch severly lacks what you described as "special places"
                    here is my list of old standbys and also some "don"t waste your time or $ places" These are all in Long Branch with the exception of one.

                    TRY:
                    Ming Ying - BEST chinese food in LB and surrounding area (take out and small eat in area)
                    Ocean Cafe - good healthy lunches - homesoups and wraps, very reasonable
                    Jacks - best wings and ribs around (college sports bar crowd)
                    Izu Sushi - small and traditional menu very fresh
                    Tandoori India - faitly good indian food - only ever done take out. Pricey but large portions
                    Nunzios - traditional thin crsut pizza, old family run neighborhood joint
                    Tuzios- red sauce italian
                    Ocean View Subs - best italian subs in Jersey! been there for over 30 years!
                    Richards - great jewish deli style sandwhiches
                    Celtic Cottage - irsh pub - great burgers
                    Niko's Trapezzi- great greek/mediterrean food
                    My Kitchen Witch - outstanding breakfast & lunch (never been for dinner) in Monmouth Beach

                    AVOID:
                    Sirena's
                    Avenue
                    (pretty much any place in Pier village IMO all have lousy food and are over priced)
                    Max's ( go to Windmill for a hot dog and cheese fries)
                    Casa Comida
                    Charley's Ocean Grill - hasnt been the same since the big renovation - mediocre food for too much $$$$ -

                    Hope that helps!

                    -----
                    My Kitchen Witch Cafe
                    29 Beach Rd, Monmouth Beach, NJ 07750

                    Izu Sushi
                    31 Montgomery Ave, Long Branch, NJ 07740

                    1. re: stack_c

                      I approach this with some trepidation, as I know I will likely lose some credibility here given the history of many posts on this site, but I have to stick up for Casa Comida for what it is and does in the area. First, they make no pretense of being authentic Mex-Mex. They are unabashed Tex-Mex. There have been hiccups and service issues as they changed locations and there was some familial infighting, but they do well with much of their fare.

                      There have been issues for the 30 years they have been open, including a drawn out feud with Andrea Clurfield of the Asbury Park Press (Anyone recall the Velveeta Mexican slur?), who managed to get them erased from the NJ Zagat Guide when she assumed editorial control.

                      Given that, they do the best Fajitas in the county, bar none. They pretty much introduced specials featuring habanero and chipotle peppers a decade before there was any other Tex-Mex place in the area. I still consider the Fiery Garlic Shrimp appetizer as a full meal on some occasions. It is easy to dismiss CC given the choices that dominate the area 30 years later, but sometimes I still want that melted jack cheese and chipotle salsa on a Montes Burrito with grilled skirt steak. That plus the availability of like a dozen different brands of hot sauce to be used at the table makes me happy. The Salsas, chips, chile con queso and guac measure up against any other Tex-Mex place in the area (Yes, I'll put them up against El Meson), and when I ask for chopped fresh jalapeno on the side, they know not to serve sliced pickled jalapenos.

                      Yeah yeah, take your best shot...

                      1. re: equal_Mark

                        Well, I'm not running back there (my last meal there was pretty piss poor), but I'm not about to unleash a plague of locusts on you, either. We liked the apps there and if we get back there are determined to make a meal of them. The Fiery Garlic Shrimp sound good--we also like the albondigas, but I'm not seeing them on the menu now. Unfortunately, fajitas just don't do it for me.

                        I think stack_c's list, both pro and con, pretty spot on. Too bad about Charley's. We like having a drink there, the bartenders are first rate, but the kitchen is soulless. Okay burger in a pinch but how hard is it to make a quesadilla?

                        1. re: equal_Mark

                          Any comments on Agave Grill? It's about a half block closer to 36 than CC. I went there about a year or two ago, shortly after it was written up in the APP, but haven't been there since. I enjoyed the meal, but don't get down that way for dinner very much.

                          1. re: cantkick

                            Went there about a year ago. Food was bland. No spicy salsa, no hotsauce, no fresh or even pickled chile peppers in the kitchen. The only thing that kept it from being a total wash was a bottle of hot sauce I keep in my car for just such an emergency...

                          2. re: equal_Mark

                            I could not agree with you more. When I want margaritas, chips, salsa, guac, fajitas, I go to Casa. When I want authentic Mexican, I go elsewhere. (Looking forward to trying North of the Border in Red Bank!)

                            Last week, the fajitas were calling me. We shared the beef fajitas and a duck quesadilla special. The duck quesadilla was huge and delicious. Chunks of duck and fresh jalapenos. We took home more than half of each entree and ate the leftovers for days. A lot of bang for the buck!

                            -----
                            North of the Border
                            176 Monmouth St, Red Bank, NJ 07701

                            1. re: fershore

                              North of the Border is incredible- Had a Torta Pastor there last week while my wife had a Cubano.....huge, very reasonable, and out of this world!!!

                              -----
                              North of the Border
                              176 Monmouth St, Red Bank, NJ 07701

                            2. re: equal_Mark

                              Sorry Mark but Casa Comida reminds me of scarry Chi Chi's nightmares from the 1980's (think Hot Tub Time Machine). No redeeming qualities in my book. Once was enough for me.

                            3. re: stack_c

                              I'll second one comment from the previous reply ---- Avoid Max's: extremely rude owner/cashier, over-hyped mediocre expensive food. Has been discussed here several times in the past.

                              Best bet for that sort of chow is Windmill (2 locations nearby).... recommended.

                              1. re: bakersma

                                I totally agree on Mark's statement above on all counts

                                1. re: Tapas52

                                  Umm, I've got four statements up there...

                                  1. re: equal_Mark

                                    Mark ....I stand corrected my reply should have been in agreement with bakersma.......................

                                    "I'll second one comment from the previous reply ---- Avoid Max's: extremely rude owner/cashier, over-hyped mediocre expensive food. Has been discussed here several times in the past.

                                    Best bet for that sort of chow is Windmill (2 locations nearby).... recommended."

                                    sorry about that

                                    1. re: Tapas52

                                      I lost interest in Max's once they moved off the boardwalk and you could no longer suck down über expensive dogs & beers out on the deck overlooking the ocean while the waves washed underneath. I was able to endure the cranky register bit** until then...

                          3. pricey but fantastic - hands down one of the best meals I have ever eaten
                            http://www.treamicinj.com/
                            right next to dunkin donuts on ocean

                            Also, for more casual dining..

                            Scala's Pizza on Brighton Ave

                            Izu Sushi behind the 711 off of Ocean Ave - i swear it's good, don't get worried because it's near a 711

                            and Mix on Brighton Ave- ONLY for happy hour, unless you don't mind paying $12 for a martini ( even though.. they are pretty good and strong.. still.. I wouldn't pay $12..) during happy hour their salads (which are huge and packed with whatever is supposed to be in them.. ie.. you don't get one tomato slice etc), pizzas (which are smaller but more refined, still enough for two), and martini's are half price. So two people, a martini each (sometimes one is enough-strong!!!), a salad each, and splitting a pizza runs approx $30++. Pretty great if you ask me. And the food is GOOD.

                            -----
                            Izu Sushi
                            31 Montgomery Ave, Long Branch, NJ 07740

                            11 Replies
                            1. re: whatsthedish

                              Are you really saying that Piccolo Forno is one of the best meals you've ever eaten? Fellow Chowhounders....could this possibly be true??? HELP PLEASE...let me know your thoughts on this.

                              -----
                              Piccolo Forno Restaurant
                              628 Ocean Ave, Long Branch, NJ 07740

                              1. re: criticalfoodie

                                Thoughts on this: Il Piccolo Forno has been closed for years. What is your point? I used to actually enjoy meals at Il Piccolo Forno, the off key singing of Angelo, Stephanie (Whose husband managed Piero's in Union Beach) running the register and the nightly specials recited in a Polish accent by waitress Marta. The food was good. This was years ago. It was not the "best meals I've ever eaten," but what has it got to do with "Tre Amici?" Have not eaten there since it changed hands, but am curious about comparing it to the former occupants of that space. That's like asking whether Tavolo compares to the original Mumfords restaurant...

                                1. re: equal_Mark

                                  Equal: Good Point! So how great is Tre Amici??

                                  -----
                                  Tre Amici
                                  628 Ocean Ave, Long Branch, NJ

                                  1. re: sockster

                                    Like I said above, I've not eaten there...

                                    1. re: equal_Mark

                                      Well if anyone's still wondering, I hit up Tre Amici last night. Surprisingly solid. I had scallops over shrimp risotto, my friend got roast chicken over mushroom truffle risotto. The chicken and risotto was really delicious - I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it might be the best chicken I've had in our area. Seasoned well, crisp skin, cooked right. The risotto had a light touch of truffle that didn't overpower the dish, and the jus was just right. I think I'll be adding this place to my rotation.

                                      -----
                                      Tre Amici
                                      628 Ocean Ave, Long Branch, NJ

                                        1. re: whatsthedish

                                          A follow up on Tre Amici - one of my friends took her family there for a birthday and swore it was the worst Italian food she's ever had. I think we need some more reports on this place.

                                          -----
                                          Tre Amici
                                          628 Ocean Ave, Long Branch, NJ

                                          1. re: joonjoon

                                            I eat here at least once a month...it is not what some people come to expect from Americanized Italian food. Matthew does not prepare huge plates of pasta, heavy tomato sauce topped with layers of mozzarella! The portions are not large. What you will get here is fresh, inspired and well prepared. Try the duck confit...it rivals what we ate in Paris last week.. Please do not judge this restaurant based on what has come to be the 'standard' Italian food Americans expect...that is NOT real Italian either. If you want huge portions and food well-prepared but more 'traditional', try Anjelica's in Sea Bright! Leave Tre Amici to those of us with more refined and sensitive palates!

                                            -----
                                            Tre Amici
                                            628 Ocean Ave, Long Branch, NJ

                                            Anjelica's Restaurant
                                            1070 Ocean Ave Ste 1, Sea Bright, NJ 07760

                                            1. re: fleurdelys

                                              fleurdelys, for the record my friend is very well versed in all types of Italian fare, having eaten her way from Jersey red sauce shops to Italy and back to places like Babbo and Del Posto. Since I had a pretty good meal there myself, I'm chalking it up to someone having a bad day for now. My meal there was good and I plan on being back.

                                              Reviews on yelp seem to be unanimously bad though.

                              2. re: whatsthedish

                                Tried Izu Sushi last night. Was very good! Had the Miso soup, Treasure Island appetizer and a Crazy Tuna Roll. Unfortunately a language barrier and their overall suspicion of the motives of the sweatsuit clad Gaijin prevented me from borrowing a copy of the Chef Specials menu to scan and post (They seemed to think I was somehow going to steal their offerings for some nefarious purpose).

                                The regular takeout menu (minus the special rolls) can be viewed at:

                                http://www.exit109.com/~mstevens/Take...

                                -----
                                Izu Sushi
                                31 Montgomery Ave, Long Branch, NJ 07740

                                1. re: equal_Mark

                                  Speaking of Sushi, had dinner at Kanji on Tuesday night. I have to say, other than Yumi, that place is pretty good for a NJ sushi bar. Great inventive rolls and salads-especially the white tuna over cucumber salad, they had excellent yellowtail and salmon. Less expensive than Yumi for sure, I think Chef Roger really knows what he's doing. In fact...going back tonight and he promised to make special things off menu since he knows in advance. Will report back.

                                  -----
                                  Yumi
                                  1120 Ocean Ave, Sea Bright, NJ 07760

                              3. Ming Ying revisted- Have to tell you how impressed I am with Ming Ying- Considering it's a take out place...they make everything from scratch. I just came back and ordered the hot and sour soup...something that you'd think most places nuke, these guys made it from scratch- it was incredibly delicious. Also, they make incredible Singapore chow mei fun!! This place takes pride in whatever they send out. My only complaint is the girls who take the orders, while American (probably students at MU), have no idea about Chinese food....they really should be trained better. It's a minor complaint though...LOVE THIS PLACE~~ (and as said elsewhere, their shrimp and roast pork noodle soup is to die for).

                                12 Replies
                                1. re: sockster

                                  I appreciate the fact that Ming Ying prepares their food to order with fresh ingredients, but I have an issue with their inability to properly season their food. I've tried at least half a dozen of the selections marked on the menu marked with a chili pepper, and in addition have literally pleaded with them to make my order very, very, VERY spicy. No dice. Most Chinese places will stir a handful of those little dried arbol or bird chile peppers into the mix, but at Ming Ying I can't even discern a flake of black pepper. Their seasoning repertoire seems limited to soy sauce. :-(

                                  -----
                                  Ying Restaurant
                                  520 W Side Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07304

                                  1. re: equal_Mark

                                    =, have you ever tried talking to the owner? Last week I ordered spicy CHOW FUN, and he asked how hot...let's put it this way, the sweat was dripping from my forehead....and it was still excellent tasting. The girls in the front have no clue when you call in...you have to ask the owner himself I think to get what you want.

                                    1. re: sockster

                                      Sockster I agree the "Counter Help" has NO clue.. you hit it right on the head!! I always talk & order directly with the Owner who is been there every time we've eaten at Ming Ling which is about every other week. He seems to be very nice and accommodating.

                                      1. re: Tapas52

                                        Never met anyone there who identified himself as the owner. At any rate I now try to avoid contact with restaurant owners or staff, lest rumors start circulating that I may be a "friend," and thus expect "preferential treatment" not afforded to the "regular customers."

                                        1. re: equal_Mark

                                          Good Point!!!!!!! Been there here as well :-)

                                          1. re: sockster

                                            'Discovered' Tre Amici this summer (live in nyc and have a vacation home in Long Branch). Very pleasantly surprised. Fresh pastas, home grown veggies and herbs, carefully prepared dishes. We have been back at least 8 times, bringing friends (all who loved it). BYOB is nice too!! Service is friendly and Michael (one of the owners) has a wonderful presence. . We are probably going back this Friday too!! As for Avenue--can be overpriced but the Happy Hour is a treat--great drinks for $5 and oysters for $1.50 --to say nothing of the 'show' one gets for free sitting at the bar--always a fun time--I will be going to Johnny Piancone's this week for the first time--will report back

                                            -----
                                            Tre Amici
                                            628 Ocean Ave, Long Branch, NJ

                                            1. re: fleurdelys

                                              You might be more circumspect about mentioning the Limoncello, it is illegal for a BYO to offer customers alcoholic beverages, homemade or not...

                                              1. re: equal_Mark

                                                I thought it was okay to offer but not to charge--If I am wrong, I apologize but this has happened to us before at other BYOs (an offer of an after dinner drink) so I assumed it was okay. Again, sorry if I am wrong.

                                                1. re: fleurdelys

                                                  The owner of Tre Amici won "Chopped" on the Food Network. I haven't been but have wanted to try it.

                                                  -----
                                                  Tre Amici
                                                  628 Ocean Ave, Long Branch, NJ

                                                  1. re: MichelleM131

                                                    Yes--there are placards around showcasing the fact that he won- believe me the food is great!! You should definitely try it!

                                                    1. re: fleurdelys

                                                      Just wanted to check back in and mention that I went to Johnny Piancone's last Thursday--pretty crowded, nice atmosphere, friendly service--appetizer of stuffed artichoke hearts was interesting--was a bit dry but the garlicky sauce accompanying it was good. I had linguine with white clam sauce (wanted to try a classic dish)-clams were good, fresh and plentiful and the pasta was al dente but the sauce was somewhat watery and did not adhere well to the pasta--all in all an OKAY dinner--I was not 'wowed' but I will definitely try again. Went to Tre Amici the next night and had a simply fantastic meal--preparation much more sophisticated...perfect risotto with seared scallops and dh had the crispy bronzino--very satisfying.

                                                      1. re: fleurdelys

                                                        We went back to Johnny Piancone's last night and were a little disappointed. My husband had angel hair with white clam sauce and said it was alright. I had fettucine bolognese which was also okay. The price of Sangria went up from $8.00 to $9.50. I understand prices go up, but there wasn't any fruit in it, either. Though, there was a bug in it, so maybe they charged extra for that? Once I found the fly, I brought it to my waiters attention and he comped it. Also, my husband ordered the garden salad which literally had about four pieces of lettuce. The base of the salad seemed to be shredded carrots. He also requested blue cheese dressing and this time was charged for it. We had a mysterious $1.50 on our bill, and our server explained it was for the blue cheese dressing. Really? We won't be running back here anytime soon, unfortunately.

                                2. Just tried El Rancho, directly across from the Long Branch train station. Authentic Mexican food- IMO similar to North of the Border in Red Bank. This place makes incredible tortas and tacos. Their homemade french fries (that come with the tortas) are to die for. And if you like spicy salsa...their homemade sauce kicks butt. Not a lot of atmosphere, but really goood Mexican food...reasonably priced.

                                  -----
                                  North of the Border
                                  176 Monmouth St, Red Bank, NJ 07701

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: sockster

                                    El Rancho is probably my favorite LB Mexican joint to sit down at. Nice little cozy restaurant. They make a pretty mean Al Pastor taco, too!

                                    -----
                                    El Rancho
                                    540 Valley Rd, West Orange, NJ 07052

                                      1. re: equal_Mark

                                        A friend just told me that El Rancho is no longer honoring Restaurant.com certificates. They were no signs posted about the change and they were quite nasty about it.

                                        Guess we've brought them so much business that they no longer need the promotion.

                                    1. re: sockster

                                      Four of us went to El Rancho this past Thursday. It's been on our To Do list, and the restaurant.com coupon cinched the deal. The place was toasty warm from the fireplace, and I appreciated the effort put in to the decor. We ordered fries and chips and guac as appetizers while we perused the large menu. The fries were good but too greasy for my taste. The chips and guac were good. We all loved the salsa. The Cortes El Rancho and El Rancho fajitas were big hits. The mole was very complex and delicious. I thoroughly enjoyed the Al Pastor tacos but must say I prefer them from North of the Border. We will definitely be back.

                                      1. re: fershore

                                        You have to order the fries well done...they're outstanding!!

                                          1. re: equal_Mark

                                            Yes sir- I got them with their pork torta....a bit greasy..but handmade and really, really good!!

                                    2. Here's one: Jacks Rib and Ale House- Great beer selection and I have to tell you...their food is really, really good. Had the bbq rib and fried chicken special last night- $15.99 for a house salad, a full rack of ribs, four pcs of honey fried chicken, great waffle fries and homemade baked beans with pulled pork. My son had the sirloin which he finished down to the end...For a local bar and grill- An outstanding meal at a fair price.

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: sockster

                                        Sockster, I was also contemplating the fried chicken with honey on Monday night. Sounded really good but I had to get my Jack's garlic wing fix!

                                        If you're into clam strips at all, you must try it at Jack's. They make it with big, fat strips of clams...absolutely delicious.

                                        Best of all, their kitchen is open til 2am!

                                        1. re: joonjoon

                                          I haven't been to Jack's since my days at Monmouth, quite awhile ago now. Could I take my kids there to eat if we went early 5-6ish or for lunch? I want to try but don't want to sacrifice my "date night" meal to do so!

                                          1. re: MichelleM131

                                            Absolutely!! That wouldn't be a problem at all!

                                            1. re: MichelleM131

                                              You can absolutely bring your kids...some times I get my friend to bring her son who is only 2. :) He loves trying to play skiball in the back!

                                              By the way, 5-6ish is awesome if your kids like chicken wings...30c wings until 7pm! And 1$ bud lights.

                                            2. re: joonjoon

                                              JoonJoon: Love clam strips...ok, that's next on my list there!!! Ir really seems they take great pride in their food.

                                          2. Just tried out a spanking new Mexican restaurant called Cinco de Mayo on Brighton Ave (diagonally across from Surf Taco) that was surprisingly really good! I'm no expert on "authentic" Mexican, but it's owned by Mexicans, and isn't like the usual Tex-Mex fare around NJ that's slathered in cheddar cheese, sour cream, and bland salsa. My review is here http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/788381

                                            1. Gonna have to add Mediterranean Grill on Brighton ave to the list. I 'reviewed' it here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/785053. Amazing food, large portions, and low prices.