Category Archives: boardwalk food
This place has been a little quiet lately due to some serious traveling on my part and then the holidays. I took 2 trips, one to Disneyworld, which will be an upcoming post, and then to Los Angeles, which is the subject of this post!
I’m just gonna come right out and say it: the food in LA is pretty great. From fast food to fancy food, they have it covered. So let’s get to it, shall we?
We (me and the gang (Aubrie Williams, Jess Ross, Kaitlin Thompson and Briana Kelly) from the sketch group ManiPedi) literally picked up the rental car and went directly to the shining star of fast food in LA (plus, it was a long 4 hour plane ride): In-N-Out Burger! For those of you hiding under a rock, In-N-Out Burger is THE west coast burger chain. It’s not franchised, they have serious control issues (they don’t freeze or reheat) and it makes every single outpost shine in deliciousness. If you had to compare the burgers to a national chain, the closest that comes is Wendy’s, but that’s like saying Florida is kind of close to Canada because they are both in North America. If I never was allowed to eat burgers again but could have 1 kind of burger, I would eat this. That’s how good it is.
They have your basics: burgers, fries and shakes. While I am not the biggest fan of thier fries (they do not double fry the fries like most burger places, just single fry, so that they tend to get a little…hard…if you don’t eat them right away), if you order them “well done” they are a lot better. You order the burgers by how many patties and how much cheese you’d like. I got a 3×4 (“3 by 4”) which was 3 patties and 4 slices of cheese and I got that (along with the fries) “Animal Style”. They have a not-so-secret secret menu, where you can order your burger Animal Style (If applied to a burger, the meat is grilled with mustard, with sauteed onions, pickles, and extra special spread added. If applied to fries, it comes with melted cheese, sauteed onions, and spread.) or Protein Style (wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun), along with a bunch of other stuff including a Grilled Cheese (two slices of melted American cheese, hand-leafed lettuce, tomato, spread with or without onions on a freshly baked bun). The shakes are chocolate, vanilla and strawberry and they are all 100% ice cream, not a powdered mix. The best shake I have ever had, hands down. It was an awesome kick off to a great trip!
Next up was brunch! We met up with JP Boudwin, a Philly comedy transplant, for brunch at the Sunset Junction Coffee Shop in Silver Lake. Silver Lake is like hipster central in LA so I knew there’d be some place with some great food, and JP didn’t let us down. SJCS is bright and airy, with high exposed beam ceilings and a big glass front. We all slid into the big booth in the front of the place and ordered up from the friendly waitress (did I mention the service was amazing? and we had 8 people with us, which is always a pain in the ass).
The menu had a few different kind of Eggs Benedict, which was cool, along with all kinds of pancakes, hashes, sandwiches and egg dishes. It was really hard to choose, everything looked so good. I knew I was going to be eating a lot of, shall we say, artery killer food soon so I went with something light: The Avocado Eggs Benedict. It included two poached eggs with sliced avocado and fresh tomatoes, on an English muffin topped with capers and Hollandaise sauce. I decided to not get breakfast meats and got tomatoes instead of that or hash browns. Then I got a little nervous. Would that be enough food? Could that get me to my next meal without me chewing my arm off? The answer was yes, yes it could. The poached eggs were a large size and done perfectly (I want runny yolk. GIVE ME RUNNY YOLK!), the tomatoes were deliciously juicy and they were not skimpy with the fresh, firm avocado. The best part was the Hollandaise. It wasn’t scooped out of a pot that’s been in a Bain Marie for 5 hours. No, they whipped it up and plated it, and you can tell how fresh it was. Could a simple brunch dish be delightful? Because, frankly, this was. I almost want to smack myself for typing that but yeah, it was great.
We took a side trip in our LA trip to go to Disneyland! How can you not visit the place where it all started? If you are used to Disneyworld and the overwhelming monstrosity that it is, Disneyland comes off as almost quaint. That’s ok tho, I like quaint. Also, if you are any sort of pop culture junkie like myself, it’s neat to see all the original stuff. At one point I found myself alone, waiting for my friends to get off Space Mountain, and I wandered over to The Refreshment Corner (which, if you are familiar with Casey’s Corner in Disneyworld, is right at the end of Main Street in the same spot), which is an old timey spot sponsored by Coca-Cola, with great stained glass Coke Lamps and whatnot.
They have a menu consisting of a mac and cheese dog, a chili dog (or you can get the chili in a sourdough bowl), some Mickey pretzels (stuffed with cream cheese or cheese and jalapeno!), and of course, Cokes. Since it’s sponsored by Coke, you know the mix for the soda is perfect! I got the Mac and Cheese dog, which comes with a big fist full of bacon bits and a bag of chips. I also got a Mickey pretzel because…why not?! The dog was really large and tasted great. They were not at all skimpy with the Mac and Cheese (yes, it tasted just like Stouffers Mac and Cheese and I am ok with that), to the point where I was sort of taken aback to how much was on there. Theme parks are not noted for their generosity with toppings, so this was a nice change. I actually ate it with the plastic knife and fork, it was so hefty. The pretzel was warm, chewy and hit the spot after walking a million miles around the park all day! That says a lot because I come from the Land of Soft Pretzels. Even the chips were quality kettle chips, not just a half filled bag of air with some potato dust, as happens sometimes. I could not have been happier with my choice, altho the Corn Dog cart is still in my “What if..?” file. Next time!
I went out to brunch with my friend Sean and his awesome fiancee Sarah at a place in the LA Grand Central Market called EggSlut. Yes, EggSlut. Sean suggested it and I was intrigued. It started as a food cart and now this is thier first brick and mortar place. It’s more of a stall in the giant market (which is like Reading Terminal Market or Grand Central Market in NYC). They specialize in, shockingly, eggs! I love good scrambled eggs but if there is a hint of brown on them, I can’t eat them. I like a loose scrambled egg made with milk not water. I ordered the Fairfax and it didn’t disappoint! It comes with scrambled eggs, chives, caramelized onions, Tillamook cheddar and sriracha mayo. It was warm with just a hint of spice from the sririacha and buttery carmelized goodness from the onions. It went quickly into my mouth and left only a smile. Just as the egg gods intended.
But I didn’t stop there! I also got a strawberry hand pie from Valerie’s Confections. it was just about the size of your hand (hence..the name…and stuff…) and this one was stuffed with strawberry. The dough was so flaky, but it didn’t crumble when you took a bite. No, it just showed you it’s inside goodness and invited you to go on and destroy it. Who am I to argue? I destroyed it like a a toddler domineering a bowl of spaghetti. This was easily one of the best things I had on the trip. If you live anywhere near Downtown LA, get ye to Valerie’s!
We wandered over to the La Brea Tar Pits (underwhelming) and saw a bunch of food trucks parked outside the LA Art Museum. One of which was the Bool BBQ Truck, a Korean Fusion BBQ truck. I could not resist, and got the Short Rib
Burrito (white rice, cabbage asian slaw, special sauce, hot sauce, pico de gallo and short rib meat). The burrito was excellent! It was just spicy enough, so that the tip of my tongue was a little lit up but I could still taste the sweetness and the delicious meat. The people working the truck were so nice and quick with the food, it stayed on my mind the whole ride home! I highly recommend them if you are over by the Art Museum or hit thier page on facebook and see where they are. Totally worth your time to look them up and more then worth the money!
Speaking of burritos, you can’t go to the west coast without eating some fantastic Mexican food. We happened to stumble upon a great place called Machos Tacos. It’s kind of a shack on the corner of Vermont Ave in Los Feliz, yet another hipster area, and it’s next to a car wash. Oddly enough, I got to look at thier kitchen. I know kitchens. I know dirty kitchens and clean kitchen and kitchens you should pretend don’t actually serve food. This one was cleaner then I’ve seen in awhile. It also serves some amazingly kick ass Mexican food!
First up they make thier own chips (and the salsa is hearty with a parade of flavor!) and aren’t skimpy about it (so don’t ask for extra for free, this isn’t the welfare tortilla chip line!). Secondly, they aren’t skimpy with ANYTHING! Here are 2 tacos: the Chicken Mole and the Regular Chicken. Yeah, no skimpiness! The Mole sauce was dark and hearty, it didn’t just pour right out of the tortilla. It had a job to do AND IT WAS GONNA DO IT! I appreciate hard work.
I also got the Machaca Beef Burrito,and I got it wet. Wet, for all you pervs out there, is
when the burrito is covered in sauce. First off, this thing was heavier then my first car. It was half covered in a green chile sauce and half covered in a red sauce but it was all covered in AWESOME! The meat was slow cooked and when it hit your tongue it blended with the rest of the sauce and did the Macarena the rest of the way down. There was very little talking while we ate at this place. There was a lot of dancing in seats tho. So very, very good!
As a tourist in the City of Angels, you have to take a trip to the Santa Monica Pier. It’s just one of those things. It’s a cute pier (that’s now 100 years old and they are really fixing it up) with rides and a fishing pier at the end. They also have a bunch of churro carts and other oddball food. Of course, I would find the burger place. Wouldn’t you know it? Pier Burger! They have burgers, fries, shakes, a fish sandwich that Jess and Kait really liked and other odds and ends. But I went for the burger. I was on a burger mission, and this burger did not disappoint! In fact, I found it to be a In-N-Out competitor! I know! Shut my mouth! But it’s the truth! It’s a burger that tastes really fresh and is seasoned just with some salt and pepper and grilled up on a flat top. It was flat out F-ing great! I got the Double Pier Burger and I am going to come out and say…I liked it better then the 3×4. I know I’ll burn for saying it but it was that good! All I need now is a Pier Burger shirt! (they only had mediums when I was there).
One of the things I did while out there was attend a taping of The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson. I love him and his silly show, but I had gotten there so early, I had to eat before the almost 3 hours of being tied up in line and in the studio. So, on the corner of 3rd and Fairfax I found this big sandwich place called Mendocino Farms Sandwich Market. It’s an interesting place, where they give you a menu while you stand in line and order before you even get to the counter. Once you get to the counter, you also order sides. Perhaps you are not sure about the sides? You can try all of them! They encourage it! No one rolls an eye at you because you have trouble ordering! It’s pretty great. Oh, and grab a beer too. Not a shitty Miller Light, but one from a collection of accessible but delicious beers. Then you slide on down to the end of the counter and wait until your pager buzzes and BANG! Sandwich heaven!
I always have trouble ordering food. I can never make a decision and then when I do, I am always second guessing myself. It’s a horrible thing and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I couldn’t make a decision as to what to get so I asked the line order taker girl what she liked and she told me the Steak Bahn Mi. I flew blind and ordered it. Normally, I don’t like ciabatta bread because it’s so thick, I feel like it sucks up any kind of moisture in the ingredients. But they make the ciabatta fresh and it was still warm, so it absorbed some but it was soft, warm and chewy. All the Bahn Mi flavors (chili aioli, housemade sweet chili sauce, pickled daikon & carrots, cilantro, jalapenos and cucumbers). It was delightful and just enough to fill me up without making me feel like I just ate a lead weight. The girl who recommended the sandwich to me even came to find me as I was eating to make sure I liked her suggestion. I thought that was a nice touch.
Finally, one night we wanted to go to one place but it was full, so JP suggested we go to this sushi place that’s themed on the movie Titanic. It’s in the shape of a boat. Seriously. When I say they had a Japanese version of the Titanic theme playing, I’m not kidding. They even had sushi with cheesesteak in it. It was really good too!
This trip definitely was good times and I can’t wait to go out again and see what else is out there to eat and explore! Give my love to the Coffee Bean! I shall return! Here is a picture of all (well most of) the Philly Comedy people living in LA now with some of us who haven’t made it out yet. Keep an eye out!
Tony Boloney’s Food Truck: Food Of The Gods
A little while ago, I had the pleasure of attending the Atlantic City Beer Fest. It was pretty awesome. Lots of beers from all over the world, friendly people, beer themed oddities to buy and food to eat.
Wait?…Food to eat? Well, yeah. You can’t have a whole giant convention floor full of beer and not offer food, that would be wrong. Or, more succinctly, it would result in some very drunk people driving their cars into the ocean. That’s not good for anyone.
There were lots of different food vendors selling everything from crabcake sliders to yelp offering pretzel necklaces to kielbasie sandwiches. But I was more interested in the truck with the curly moustaches on it.
Normally, when people start blabbing on their website about how good their sandwiches are, I tend to automatically roll my eyes. I am from sandwich-land, aka Philly, and it is real hard for me to accept boasts from others about these things. Even with pizza, I feel the same way. There is something in the water here that makes for fantastic bread (and, of course, dough. Doh!). I don’t know what it is (nor do I want to know, save your emails), but you can’t find it anywhere else.
I did some research before I went to the Beer Fest and Tony Boloney’s caught my eye. Funny little name. Fun to say is good branding, along with the big fat chef that’s the mascot. They have a pizza & sub (not hoagie, we are outside the Philly area) shop in
AC. They obviously understand branding and food, because the menu for the shop is like 4 pages long and every single thing is a different spin on favorites (Like meat on a pizza? Try the Casino Carnivore with “every animal noah brought on his ark ravaged by mozzarella”) as well as things I never would have even thought to make (Reuben Fries!).
They decided to start a food truck (and bring it to the Beer Fest!): The Moustache Truck! Obviously, these guys are up on trends and understand marketing. It’s nice to come across a food place that understands marketing that isn’t a shitty major chain. I had emailed them and asked if they might be interested in donating a shirt for the giveaway I was doing and they were excited about it! That was cool,
because a lot of the beer vendors and assorted other vendors came with nothing to sell, nevertheless give away (besides, ya know, beer). Another thing I loved about these guys is that they are putting forth the idea that people actually *live and are from* Atlantic City, a fact that a lot of people tend to forget
when they come to empty their pockets and stuff their faces full of famous chef restaurant food (not that there is anything wrong with that, but there is much more to the city then that). Their slogan “Indigenous Atlantic City Grub” hammers that home in a mouth watering way!
When I made my way over to the truck, I was impressed with the smartness of the menu: pizza and the cheesesteal ole’. People who are drinking love pizza and cheesesteaks! They had a bunch of pizza options, but as soon as I heard it, I knew I had to try it. What was it? Reuben Pizza!
Say what? That sounds odd. That sounds weird. That sounds…delicious. And you know what? IT WAS!
The Reuben pizza would have been something terribly simple to totally screw up. How much kraut do you put on? Do you just use a squeeze bottle to put the dressing on all around? Or do you use it like sauce and cover the whole pie?
Do you cover the whole pie with corned beef like you do with pepperoni? The questions are endless! (seriously people, I need a life.) I think they nailed it. They used a 2 cheese blend to keep the pizza from tasting flat. under the meat, there is kraut, under that is a glob of the thousand island sauce that ooozes a bit but not too much. So ridiculously good. I had to physically restrain myself from getting another piece.
I also really liked how they were having fun with the crowd. It got a little chaotic, so what did they do? They whipped out a bullhorn. There was no panicking (what I would have done. To the panicking!), no freaking out, just a little louder and they kept on cranking out some awesome pizza!
I realized, after awhile, that I wanted to try the cheesesteak: The Cheesesteak Ole’. This thing had apparently won some kind of 2010 Guy Fieri Cheesesteak Battle. (An aside: I find it funny that a guy from Northern California can put his name anywhere around something called “cheesestesk” because, um, that’s all that is wrong with the world.).
This thing was awesome. It might be a tad small, length wise, if compared to what we can get in Philly, but make no mistake, this thing si PACKED with meat. Is it more like a cheesesteak hoagie then a cheesesteak because it has lettuce and tomato on it as well as the cheese and steak? Probably. But honesty, I could not care less, because this cheesesteak was fantastic.
Let’s start with the steak. Chopped sirloin. A little different then the usual meat used, which is a thinly sliced ribeye, but it’s cooked tender with a 10 spice mix. It’s a kind of taco spice that works deliciously with the jack and chipotle house sauce. Have no doubt, this thing is cheesy in all the right ways. It sticks with the meat, not like a weird cheese “sauce” you see sometimes, and it doesn’t sink to the bottom of the roll either. I was a little thrown by the lettuce and tomato on the bottom (nice and fresh too), but it gave the cheesesteak a nice bit of texture. Finally, the roll was chewy but not too chewy, and really fresh. Those Atlantic City rolls are no joke!
Wrapping this rambling review up: if you find the Tony Boloney Moustache Truck anywhere you are, go grab some food! If you find yourself in Atlantic City, wander on over to 300 Oriental Avenue (by the new Revel Casino) and go grab some grub. This place is awesome and while I wish I lived closer to them, I’m kind of glad I don’t, because I really can’t afford bigger pants. My hat is off to the Tony Boloney guys! Go now! Go!
Last July I finally got to get down to the Jersey Shore. Say what you will about those twits on tv, but I have a soft spot in my heart for the shore, as well as the eats you can find there. Here are a few shots I took on my getaway.
When I get to Ocean City, my car immediately drives to Manco & Manco’s Pizza (formerly Mack and Manco’s). This place has been around since 1956 and as far as I can tell, they haven’t changed a thing. The sauce is sweet, the toppings are plentiful, and you can still watch them make every single one (drooling is optional, but usually happens anyway). The large pies are the size of a buick and the kids who work there are always right on top of things. You might have to wait a bit for a slice or a pie, but the people watching makes the time fly. My dad used to complain about the price, but let’s face it, the days of a 99 cent slice are over. You get what you pay for at Manco and Manco, and I am quite alright with that! I cannot wait to get back down there for a slice of awesome! Hit up Manco and Manco on Twitter at @MancoMancoPizza
I am also a sucker for a great club sandwich. In North Wildwood, there is an old school diner, complete with fun old ladies with a little attitude and a stand when you check out that sells postcards and a full range of lifesavers and gum, called The Vegas Diner. You know a diner has something going on when it was voted Best Diner 12 years running! The breakfast is awesome (and served till 3pm) but I have a soft spot for their Club Deluxe: Turkey, Ham and Swiss Cheese! A lot of times when you get a club sandwich, it’s all lettuce and tomato and slim on the meat. This thing is brimming with turkey, ham and swiss, along with some lovely fresh lettuce & tomato. They throw in some fresh coleslaw, a pickle (yeah, I ordered extra mayo, which you can see on the plate in the corner of the picture) AND a plate of fries! It couldn’t get any better if you made it yourself, and the price is quite reasonable. Quite possibly the best club sandwich I have ever had! I can’t wait to get down there this year! (PS: try the homemade desserts!)
Back to the Ocean City Boardwalk. After stuffing my face with pizza, I walk off the calories by walking towards Kohr Brothers Frozen Custard. I can take or leave most desserts for the most part. When I was a kid, I used to think water ice and popsicles were a cheap substitute for ice cream (yeah I had kind of an attitude, whatever). A step above ice cream is frozen custard and Kohr Brothers does it just right every single time. I managed to get there twice the last time I was down the shore. The first cone I got was a chocolate and vanilla twist. Smooth, creamy and chocolatey good with vanilla to smooth it out. It’s flat out fantastic!
I also like to take have a different kind of custard sometimes, beyond the chocolate and vanilla. This time I went with the chocolate and mint twist. Awesome minty flavor and chocolate fantasticness. Of course to take this monstrosity to the next level, I had the thing covered in chocolate jimmies. Some people call them sprinkles. Those people would be wrong. They have always been jimmies and they always will be jimmies. And they will always be the perfect way to top a delicious dessert involving ice cream. Some people go for rainbow jimmies. I can take them or leave them, but chocolate jimmies, well, they rule all.
So now that winter is slowly crawling to the finish line, these tasty summer foods are waiting for me and you, to help your getaway make it’s way to legendary status. Come see them, they will be happy to help out!
LA Trip: Assorted Food Nonsense
I spent a lot of time during my LA trip walking around, wether by myself or huffing, puffing and kind of jogging to keep up with my friend Sean who is 9 feet tall and totally fit. And of course, all the walking makes a person kinda hungry. I did not get to a few places I wanted to go, but I managed to go to a lot of them.
For my birthday I went to Disneyland. Overall, it was pretty kickass, except for the hour and a half wait to get on the Star Wars ride (of which, every 15 minutes I’d turn to Sean and say “this is gonna be awesome!”. He did not slap me, not once. Good man.) But I have to say, I ate 2 things when we were there: a churro, which was pretty great, and a piece of pizza and a soda which sucked beyond belief.
First off, the churro was warm and chewy and cinnamon and sugar deliciousness. There was a churro cart every 5 feet, which I found kind of weird. Hey Disney Corp: why not mix it up a bit more. Secondly, the pizza was 7 different kinds of awful. It was a puffy piece of wanna be pizza hut crap. I mean it was over the top bad. I ate it because it was either that or my arm by that point, but come on! I am going to Disneyworld in Novemeber, so I’ll see how the pizza holds up. But major, major disappointment!
Next up! I was sitting a the bar one nite, annoyed that the kitchen was closed and drinking my bazillionth whiskey. I needed to eat. Danny the bartender told me about Garage Pizza. It was open late! I was up off my barstool and over there in a flash.
- Garage PIzza has 2 locations, one in Silverlake and one in Downtown LA (DTLA). I visited the downtown location, on 7th between Spring and Main. Now, pizza in LA has a bad rap, and I understand why. You live in Philly or NYC, you are used to great pizza. The dough is awesome because of the water, and obviously the water out west if different and makes a different crust. So, I was sort of hesitant when the guys at the bar were talking it up.
- I walked over to the pizza joint. It is pretty bare bones, with a lot of concrete and a few basic booths. A few Latino guys scurried around behind the counter making pizzas, throwing some dough around.
- There was a menu with a bunch of very overpriced pizzas, and a few beers to select from, as well as some salads and sandwiches. I had no need for salads and sandwiches, but I was not too happy with the prices of the pies. Then I saw what made my stomach and heart dance a bit…on mondays, every pizza is $15. That is still kinda high, but the large pizza is a nice size, so what the hell, right?
- I stepped up to order and could not stop laughing in my head because the 2 girls working the counter were dressed like they were in some sort of swanky club, barely dressed and all made up. Honey, you work at a pizza place. But, this was LA, so it’s probably par for the course. Anyway, I walked away with this pepperoni and red onion beauty!
I staggered back to Sean’s place with this pizza. Nine homeless guys asked me for a slice. I think the door guy at the apartment building wanted a piece too. Mine. All mine.
This pizza almost blew me away. It had a nice thin crust, but with nice crunch, and the sauce wasn’t too sweet. The cheese was a little brown but not overdone and the onions caramelized nicely. This was a delicious, beautiful east coast pizza! I had another pizza later on in the week and it was just as good. If you live in LA, give this place a chance (go on mondays!)! Oh, and if you were wondering, it’s just as good cold the next day!
Cheese Fry Pizza
I do enjoy many different kinds of pizza toppings and pizzas in general. When my cousin Lori said there was a Cheese Fry Pizza on the Boardwalk in Wildwood, well, I had to try it. At first we were looking for something they were calling “doritos pizza”. We walked up and down the boardwalk looking for this thing with no luck.
On the way back to the hotel, we stopped at Three Brothers II Pizza for pies to feed that late night hunger. The owner was a big dude, not unlike Bull from the show “Night Court”, shaved head and all. We asked him if he knew about the doritos pizza, and it turns out it was a taco pizza with crushed doritos on top, which also sounded awesome but we had already ordered a plain, a pepperoni and now a cheese fry pizza.
The owner explained that he was trying to save people time, as he saw them walking the boards with pizza in one hand and fries in the other, so why not combine them? Why not, indeed! That’s some American ingenuity, my friends!
This pie has no sauce, but it loaded with regular mozzarella and then nicely fried french fries (the thin kind like you would get at McDonald’s. I think bigger fries, like at Wendy’s, would be too potato-y) and Cheesewhiz (a fun fact: my cousin Kelly lives in Austin, Texas and she says they do not have cheese fries with whiz down there. Can you imagine? Savages.).
You would think the pizza would be so incredibly heavy, what with carbs and starch and starch and carbs and heavy cheese, but it really was not.
It was f-ing awesome! I was sober but I think it would have been even better as drunk food too! The starch, carbs, grease and cheese melded together to create unique vacation pizza gold. After a suggestion, I also added some ketchup to it, and it was 5 times better. The ketchup gave it some kick! I wish I had some hot sauce, or even better, Siracha, to give it an even better kick!
I ate this with 5 adults and 3 kids and the general consensus was “wow!”. However, the kids the next day weren’t feeling so well, but they also ate a ton of pizza and then proceeded to beat each other with pizza boxes, so you be the judge of what happened with that.
Would I recommend this? Again, HELL YEAH! I am a HUGE pizza fry fan and I am also a huge Whiz fan and a huge pizza fan. All these things are in one spot and I can’t get enough! Unfortunately, this is yet another food that you just can’t eat all the time or you’ll die of hardening of the arteries or just from getting way too fat. It is vacation food, and fantastic vacation food at that! If you find yourself on the North Wildwood Boardwalk, go for it!
Fried Peanut Butter and Jelly with Banana
Once in awhile you hear about something ridiculous, like a burger with donuts as a bun or a $350 cheeseburger or something like that. You never think you will actually see these things in person, in the flesh, in real life. But sometimes…YOU DO.
Enter the Fried Peanut Butter & Jelly with Banana. Another one of my cousins, Jeanie, was telling me at her shore place, about this fried sandwich. She said I had to try it, that it was amazing. She had me when she got to the banana part. As we walked to the Boardwalk, I kept looking for the place she was talking about, called “Betty Scoops”. She had told me to get to the Boardwalk and go left. The problem was that she didn’t know if it was 2 blocks or 10, and no one else could really find it either. Other cousins had had it and didn’t particularly like it, while more others wanted to anoint the creator King Of The Universe. Needless to say, I was intrigued.
And then, last nite, we found it!
I tried to take pictures while they were making it, but I am short and there were about 400 kids in there with thier parents so I was shit out of luck. But, this is how it’s done: they make the sandwich, on white bread (save your “white bread it bad for you” bs, this is a fried sandwich, all nutrition had been killed by the slow clogging of my arteries), cut them in half (yes, you only get a half, cut diagonally) and then they freeze them.
They probably pull so many out of the freezer for the day and then have to pull more later. More on this in a bit.
They then toss it in funnel cake batter and fry the bejesus out of it, sprinkle it with sugar and voila!
What’s it like inside?
It was hard to get a good picture because I was standing in the middle of the boardwalk, but you get the general idea. You really can’t taste the bread, it almost melds with the funnelcake to create some strange mutant being. As I took my first bite, I then understood why it’s just a half. Any more then that and it would be too much. Waaaay too much.
The insides meld together and mix with the funnelcake in a really lovely way. It isn’t that greasy, just kind of heavy. In my sandwich, the banana slices were still slightly frozen. I don’t think that’s the goal (other cousins have had it and said theirs wasn’t) but I liked it. The cool banana gave you something to actually crunch into and the temperature was a nice ying to the hot sandwich’s yang.
Would I recommend it? HELL YES. If you find yourself in Wildwood, look this sandwich up! I did, however, end up with some nasty heartburn, but I think that is because of all the other crap I ate as well.
Polish Water Ice
I am coming clean here: I am not a huge water ice fan. Also: I pronounce it “wooder ice” because I am from Philly and that’s what we do. Anywho, ever since I was a little kid, I always thought water ice was a cheap replacement for ice cream, just like sprinklers were a cheap replacement for a pool or Hostess products were a cheap replacement for Tastykakes. Was I a snobby kid? Nah. But it is true, while I won’t run away from water ice, I am not a huge fan.
So, while down the shore the other nite, I had my eye on a frozen custard from Kohr Brothers (side note: I never got there. boooo.) and my cousin Michele starts going on and on about this Polish Water Ice stuff. If it was almost anyone else, I would have blown them off but we both like to eat (she just has a better metabolism then me) so when she recommends, I tend to listen.
As I perused the menu, they have someone, who I guess is the owner, talking in a deadpan way on a loop about how you can try free samples (which I appreciated) and how they were featured on Food Network. What made me giggle was how they advertise “100% fat free, 100% cholesterol free, 100% dairy free, they don’t mention how much sugar and hfcs is in there. But, like I said in the above post, when on vacation, everything is good for ya.
I like anything cherry (“what? you dipped a tire in cherry? and it’s on fire? yes, please!”), so I knew I’d get that, but they offer this “Polish Chiller” which is like a Gelati from Rita’s: water ice and ice cream. However, this place only has vanilla ice cream, which I found bizarre. Details, details.
The soft serve tastes exactly like you’d like it to: soft, cold and vanilla-y. The water ice is silky smooth and very cherry. No cherry bits, but at least the flavor didn’t sink to the bottom and it held together for a good long time before melting, which was great too.
I don’t exactly know what makes it Polish. I am Polish (I run a pierogie biz) and we don’t have any secret water ice secrets, but I guess I’ll let that slide.
Would I recommend it? Sure. I had a plain cherry one the next day (sometimes kids order stuff then don’t want it. we wouldn’t want to waste would we?) and it was pretty good. Is it better then ice cream? No, but the smooth texture, and I mean smoooth….no chewing involved, no ice crunching, nothing, is a good sell. If you go, and there are locations all over, try all the flavors, they pride themselves on free samples. See which one you want and go to town.