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May 6, 2011 07:13 AM

Ye Old Cottage Inn - Keyport - has anyone been there recently?

Looking for a great seafood place to celebrate my sister's birthday tonight. A friend suggested this place & I would love any comments. Also, any suggestions for great seafood (not Legal Seafood) it's gotten too expensive anywhere else is very much appreciated!! - We live in Union County but will travel a bit. Thank you ChowHounders!!

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  1. Yes, and I am trying to forget that horrendous meal....yuck is all I can say! Unless you are over 80 and need food with zero flavor and just an overall dirty place, then go here. Sorry to be so critical, but I went on a recent trip with my mother and a friend of hers who raved about the place years ago. (She is luck we are still talking to her..ha ha!)

    Anyway, I had a broiled shrimp dish that was oozing in a garlic-y oily sauce. The mashed were served just plain cold. My mother's scallops were rubbery, and her friend had flounder that also was oozing in some oily mess. I could not believe the waitress would even think of serving "burnt" dinner rolls, yes burnt, and stall corn muffins.

    The place is in a time warp. Felt like 1980 inside. The meals were just plain bad and the menu really has nothing that even sounds good. Sorry, but I honestly would not ever suggest anyone go there. The place also had a damp smell to it. Maybe something to do with the pipes in the bathroom because there was 2 roto-rooter trucks outside.


    I have heard many things about this place in Westfield: Although I think it is more for lunch than will see the menu:

    I have never been, but do a search here maybe it will help.


    The other that comes to mind is Limani in Westfield. We only went once and that was over 3 years ago. We never went back, but I think it was ok.


    When I am in this area, I love Portugal Express in Elizabeth. The food is really great! We were just there this week again and I my husband had a T-bone steak and I had shrimp in garlic sauce. The food is just so tasty and very fresh seafood. On Good Friday we were there and I had a whole red snapper..Delicious!!! (Only $ 15.00) You really can't beat the prices either. The drinks are cheap, too. A small pitcher or red wine (good stuff, too!) is $ 5.00 and a large is $ 10.00. Parking is on the street, but the neighborhood is fine. Here is a link:


    I hope this helps! The Mcfish sandwich is probably better quality than anything at Ye Cottage.

    Have a great time!!!

    Portugal Express
    460 S Broad St, Elizabeth, NJ 07202

    5 Replies
    1. re: Angelina

      Thanks for your help Angelina, will definately stay away from Ye Old Cottage. A friend at lunch just reminded me about Loucas in Edison (seafood grill) with some nice Italian dishes as well.. It was great when I went 3 yrs ago and will report back if we decide on that tonight.

      Loucas Restaurant
      9 State Route 27 Ste 9A, Edison, NJ 08820

      1. re: basil4me

        I was there xmas time for an affair .....all I can say is Stay Away waste of money.

      2. re: Angelina

        It sounds dreadful!...What a shame...When I was a kid we ate at Ye Cottage Inn many times. Even back then it was definitely a "Grandma/Grandpa sort of place,with a massive, overblown menu and cheesy decor, but the seafood was always fresh. I remember they had really good clam chowder, fresh, hot rolls and friendly Servers.
        Sorry to hear it's gone so far downhill. :-(

        Ye Cottage Inn
        149 W Front St, Keyport, NJ 07735

        1. re: Angelina

          Angelina - Cira 1980 is the perfect description. I loved this place when I was like 7 in the '80's, we use to go with my Grandparents. I was not the Chowhound then that I am now but only loved because I passed the boring time watching the boats in the marina!

          Another funny thing to note, I read the first 2 lines of your post and said, this has to be Angelina writing!

          1. re: angelo04

            Ha ha!! Too funny, Angelo!!! I know EXACTLY what you mean! Sometimes I do sound cirtical, but being the food snob I am today, why settle for anything less?

            I use to love as a kid this place....Captain G's in Fords. ( Menlo Park Terrace on Rt. 1 South.) They had a soup & salad bar, and as a little girl I thought it was the coolest thing being able to get & pour my own hot, steaming soup from the salad bar. Imagine that today???How many lawsuits?? yikes!

          Wow, the last time I recall seeing YOCI mentioned was this thread.

          1. As was already stated, you should only go to Ye Cottage Inn if you are looking for a place that caters to extremely old folks who crave essentially tasteless food. IMHO, many diners serve better fare than you are likely to be served at YCI.

            Years ago, my old boss, Jerry, used to take his aged mother there on Sundays for dinner, and she apparently loved it, while the rest of the party tolerated it. The place has not gotten better over the years, and eventually I think that their target demographic will disappear due to mortality.

            I recall that, despite the fact that my boss had majored in history, he always referred to the place as, "The Ye Cottage Inn", obviously not knowing that "ye" is an archaic form of "the". So, he was actually calling it "The The Cottage Inn". Go figure!

            Ye Cottage Inn
            149 W Front St, Keyport, NJ 07735

            1 Reply
            1. re: Ted in Central NJ

              "many diners serve better fare than you are likely to be served at YCI."

              I think there are many NJ Diners serving better food and often providing better service, than can be found at lots of traditional restaurants. What they lack is ambiance.

            2. Thanks Chowhounders for keeping me away from Ye Old Cottage Inn. Instead, we had dinner at Pete's Fishery on Route 34 in Matawan. The place is not fancy, but clean and the menu was extensive. I had the fried oysters and they were delicious. My sister enjoyed her scallops but said the rice was "mushy" and our friend had the haddock and he ejnoyed is dish too. Thanks again for your input!

              10 Replies
              1. re: basil4me

                Pete's Fishery used to be great. They must have changed Mgmt a few yrs ago and they changed the menu . Unfortunately, their preparation has gone downhill but the fish is still fresh

                1. re: Tay

                  What about the Keyport Fishery? Have you eaten there? Is it any good?

                  Keyport Fishery
                  150 W Front St, Keyport, NJ

                  1. re: basil4me

                    Take out only but delicious sandwiches and platters (& fresh fish is sold by the #) can be enjoyed at the Keyport Fishery. If you hit a nice day you can sit over by the water and take in the breeze. Also, believe it or not fellow CH's I had the most delicious crab cake platter at the Bulkhead Bar & Grill recently. I don't know what compelled me to try the place after decades of ignoring it but the crab cakes were delicious.

                    Keyport Fishery
                    150 W Front St, Keyport, NJ

                    Bulkhead Bar & Grill
                    59 W Front St Ste 6, Keyport, NJ 07735

                    1. re: basil4me

                      The one time I tried it (with a friend) after reading lots of positive things about it - both I and my friend (NJ resident) found it unremarkable, "meh" food at best, horrible buns and fries that rapidly turned mealy. For me, not a place to make a trip to.

                      1. re: basil4me

                        After two visits to the Keyport Fishery, I'm crossing the place off my list. Believe me, I very much wanted to love the place: it has risen from the ashes at least once and rebuilt after Sandy destroyed it (if you do go, check out the Sandy high-water line on the column in the center of the place).

                        The service here is cheerful and quick. However, the food is decidedly mediocre. Is it the tasteless breading mix used on the clam strips, the crab cakes and the fish? Is it the oil used in frying? Is it the fish itself? I'm not going to do any further research. Fish sandwiches and platters are served on soggy white bread (avoid), instead of the much more often used seeded roll. Aside from the texture, there wasn't much in the way of taste to distinguish the various fishes from one another (grouper from tilapia, for example).

                        Sorry, as I said, I wanted to love the place, but I think I'll search out another Monmouth County fishery to fill my shore-style seafood dinner mojo.

                      2. re: Tay

                        *Peter's* Fishery has had a couple of changes of management since we started going thirty years ago (when they were where Esposito's is now). At one point Peter sold it and went back to Greece. He then returned after a couple of years and opened *Pete's* Fishery in the Browntown Shopping Center. It didn't last (it's now a 7-11). At some point his son bought Peter's Fishery. (I'm not sure if there was an intermediate owner or not.)

                        We thought it went downhill a bit when it moved across the corner--upscaling the service with real plates and utensils, but raising the prices and decreasing the soda choices considerably. (I really liked Fresca with seafood, but all the canned sodas went away.) The son also added a lot of more elaborate dishes (Cajun this and Mediterranean that), but we preferred the basic fried or broiled fish anyway.

                        They also got sloppy. Sometimes the salad hadn't been drained enough, making the dressing watery. The tea was consistently a lukewarm cup of water with a tea bag--for $1.50, I would expect they would at least get the water boiling!

                        All in all, we feel it's gone down quite a bit from what it was.

                        Peter's Fishery
                        921 State Route 34, Matawan, NJ

                        1. re: eleeper

                          Thanks for the info eleeper, where do you go for seafood? It's tricky finding a good place around here.

                          1. re: basil4me

                            Alas, I cannot add a good recommendation. Because we are on healthier diets than we were thirty years ago (isn't everyone?), we are 1) eating more fish at home (hence less outside the house), and 2) avoiding fried fish (which used to be what we liked at fisheries). Keyport Fishery sounds like the only "classic" fishery left, though we haven't been there in ten years. We do still occasionally go to Peter's for basic fish and fries, mostly from tradition and because it's only a mile from our house.

                            (Actually, the seafood place I'd recommend is West Lake, but I don't think that's what you're asking!)

                            Keyport Fishery
                            150 W Front St, Keyport, NJ

                            1. re: eleeper

                              eleeper, I don't think Keyport Fishery is for you, either. Their platters and sandwiches are fried, as are the french fries. The food is great, though, so I'll overlook the health issue.

                              Plus remember it is take out only, so it's not proper to compare it with Peter's.

                              Keyport Fishery
                              150 W Front St, Keyport, NJ

                              1. re: cantkick

                                It's a bit of a hike, but Navesink Fishery in Atlantic Highlands has excellent seafood and goes far beyond the standard issue shore area "Combo Platter - Broiled or Fried" style of preparation. Of course if this is still a thread concerning your sisters birthday, I suppose you could file it for next year... :-)


                                Navesink Fishery
                                36 N State Highway, Middletown, NJ

                    2. I visited there a few years ago and the meal was nasty, the place is old and the wait staff are older. Stay away there are so many good places around and this is not one of them! People I know tell me the same thing that try it again and again.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Flexible1234

                        You guys got me going & I had to add in. I recently heard about Keyport Fishery & nothing but good things. I was asking a girl at work about it because she lives in Keyport & someone else chimed in & said "WHEN ARE YOU TAKING ME THERE!", it was that good he knew the place from 10 years back. Yes, I heard they do great fried food, but hey, look at my screen name & tell me if I care, hahaha.

                        But nobody has answered Basil4me question, where do you go in central Jersey (Middlesex/Momonth county) for seafood? Although its probably too late for that birthday party Basil4me, did you find anything? Basil4me, me & my wife go to Sawa in Eatontown alot & I noticed an Eat at Joe's, I'm sorry to recomend another chain but its less expensive than Legal Seafood. I have not been to an Eat at Joes for many years & it was in another state so I can't tell you how it is but only to give it a try. At least at a chain restaurant you get consistancy that is at most decent.

                        Anyway, Basil4me needs an answer & CHOW has not provided. Can someon out there help us all on where to go for Seafood? Not so sure about Basil but I'm looking for somehting in Middlesex, Monmouth county area.

                        1. re: TheBaconator

                          Monmouth County Seafood, North to South -

                          Navesink Fishery - Navesink, just east of Atlantic Highlands off Rt. 36 -

                          Ray's Seafood - Little Silver -

                          Mr. Shrimp - Belmar -

                          I've maintained an online listing of Monmouth County Restaurants for over a decade and can honestly say I've never heard of "Eat at Joes." Given the location you mention
                          I suspect you may be referring to Joe's Crab Shack. I could only recommend this place if you felt uncomfortable dining at more upscale elegant establishments like Red Lobster.