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Thumbs down for Beach Haven Fishery, thumbs up for Mud City Crabhouse- LBI area

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We got takeout from Beach Haven fishery the other night. They should be ashamed! The menu says:

Famous Fishery Crab Cakes - Two large fresh all lump crab cakes made daily. It was $22-

They were small, shredded, not lump and tasted mainly of the pickle relish they added to them. There should be a black box warning on them. Caution! Tastes like hot dog relish!! Fries were soggy, and I'm sure they would have been better if not takeout, but not by much. We tried heating them in the oven back at the rental, but they didn't improve sufficiently for any of us to eat many.

The Northeast Twin (fried Scallops & Shrimp) for $21 was composed of 4 shrimp, 4 scallops and more soggy fries. The scallops and shrimp looked like they were bought frozen and already breaded.

The cole slaw was forgettable and the tartar and cocktail sauces were prepacked commercial stuff.

I would not recommend them at all. Very poor quality to price ratio.

In contrast, on another night, for about the same price, the lump crab cakes at Mud City were very good. They were a decent size and tasted of crab, not filler. Fries were crispy and good. We also enjoyed a special of sauteed cod with a tomato caper sauce.

Maybe those who go to LBI often already know these things, but perhaps this is helpful info for those of us who haven't been very often.

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  1. The irony of life here at the shore is that there is no place near LBI that consistently serves seafood at a very high level. Many of the local "fish places" use breaded frozen fish and other seafood and plop them into deep fat. The ones that don't use this shortcut have trouble with consistency, and with halibut, sea bass, and other high end selections the wholesale price tends to be around $20 a pound which translates into $35-$40 servings. Much better seafood in NYC and north Jersey.

    3 Replies
    1. re: FlyfisherZ3

      Not so flyfisher. The two joints, and they are joints serve fried fish (predominately). They're a pass, do not stop, keep on going sort of place.

      Second, you don't get a lb of fish on your plate - it's a fraction of that (5-7 oz most of the time). Now, most GOOD Shore restaurants serve terrific fish and shellfish. You don't have to go to North Jersey for that - it's a ridiculous assertion.

      You perchance ever eat at Bay Ave Trattoria (the halibut is superb, Joe's chowders and bisques are off the hook). Same can be said for Belford Bistro (their Red Snapper of day boat scallops), the Shipwreck in Brielle, Brandl's in Belmar, Navesink Fishery on the hill, Whispers in Spring Lake etc etc

      There's no irony to us locals who KNOW- you get what you pay for in a GOOD restaurant and those plates go anywhere from $25 - $35. Not everyone is willing to spend that sort of jing for their food, yet they'll spend a fraction of that plate cost for pedestrian food.. And I assure you that there's nothing prefrozen coming in on a Sysco Truck being served at any of the fine restaurants cited above..

      -----
      Belford Bistro
      870 Main Street, Belford, NJ 07718

      Bay Ave Trattoria
      122 Bay Ave, Highlands, NJ 07732

      Navesink Fishery
      36 N State Highway, Middletown, NJ

      Brandl Restaurant
      703 9th Ave, Belmar, NJ 07719

      1. re: JustJake

        All of the places you cite are at least 45 minutes from LBI. This is the Sahara of seafood.

        1. re: FlyfisherZ3

          LBI - The Sahara of seafood - LOL I like that and it is unfortunately so true.

    2. I've had good seafood at both Howard's & the Bistro place (in Bay Village). That said, every restaurant on LBI is overpriced no matter what it serves!