Monday, August 26, 2013

Red's Lobster Pot, New Jersey shore

We had the most beautiful evening at Red's Lobster Pot while on vacation. We asked around and heard fun things about this casual place on the water.

While taking photos of the incredible sunset, I met a family who had just ordered lobsters for the table. Lobster red is just one of the most beautiful colors on the face of the earth, don't you think? How obnoxious am I taking photos of someone else's food? They were so nice and I'm just that girl that snapped to my little hearts content.

Our food arrived just in time for the embarrassment to cease. I had the coconut crusted mahi mahi with pina colada sauce. E. had the fried seafood platter which I was very jealous of. I'm actually trying to get away from shellfish for my little healthy heart to stay healthy. We have a whole line of family members with the biggest hearts in the world, that don't tick so well. Shellfish is off the table for me sadly. The restaurant was BYOB and I had just happened to buy a chilled white wine for later at the B&B. It turned out to be a perfect night away from the boardwalk of Asbury Park and we scored with the wine.

I couldn't get over how magnificent the sunset was the night at Red's. My mother is notorious for taking sunset photos. Her roommate from college came up to visit at Lake Michigan and laughed and laughed at the wall of sunset photos at the cottage. Rebecca said that mother had been taking the same shots since she knew her in college. Sounds familiar! Mom is such a great photographer that you can buy her cards at the little shops in Glenn, Michigan! Love you sweet Momma of my heart. This picture makes me want to fly up to Michigan for the weekend and squeeze your face. 

The Speakeatery

We found another great spot at the beach this summer for an easy lunch while on vacation. The Speakeatery had opened just two weeks before we arrived and was suggested by the gang at Cafe Volan. I can hardly believe its been over a month since we were at the beach. Where did the summer go? I keep seeing adorable kids back-to-school photos and am longing for freshly sharpened pencils and new school supplies for our office. I just love this time of year. But before I get too caught in the present I want to post a few memories from the beach.

We lucked out and found the front window seat open for us.

I am obsessed with chandeliers and the ones at this deli were made out of spoons. You can see E's knee at the window. It just started to rain as our orders came up. It was such a relaxing first day riding our bikes through the rain.

The prices in Asbury Park are so reasonable.

I ordered a Greek salad that was big enough for me and E. The bowl was ginormous.

Over lunch we admired our recent purchase at an antique shop that was going out of business. I'm in love with this frame and the light in the front window was perfect to show off this sweet little piece.

Anyone know who this person is?

All of the details at this shop "spoke" to me. Sorry it was just too easy. So much of it reminded me of my parents gourmet kitchen shop, Forty Carrots.

I could create a kitchen tool montage in about 3.5 seconds from the drawers, baskets and bowls filled with this stuff at Mom's house. This is my inspiration wall to do one of these days. I love it.

There were groceries as well as pre-made items to take to the beach. I wish we had a similar shop in Hampden.  7-11 and RoFo don't cut it sometimes. It would be awesome to have an organic convenience store open all week.

The local roaster sold their beans here as well.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Porta's, Asbury Park

We are loyal customers. If we find a great wine shop, coffee shop or restaurant we become over frequenters. While at the beach, our loyalty card was punched  three times at Porta. It opened a few weeks after our first trip to Asbury Park in 2011 and is located across from the Stone Pony. Porta means door in Italian. The up-cycled doors in the restaurant, and in the powder room stalls, were ingenious for this large space. During the day you can come straight from the beach and sit your sandy bottom down on the indoor picnic tables. At night they flip it into a nightclub. For hilarious laughs, read or follow the parody account on Twitter, @Porta_problems. For the official, way more tame account, follow @pizzaporta

The pizza is so good. My first bite tasted like a speed train transported my mouth to back to Italy. The brick oven char, chewy crust, simple sauce and bubbly mozzarella combined for the total pizza package. 

We also had the Octopus salad, where our bartender got snippy when I called it calamari. Rightly so. This octopus was nothing like his cuttlefish cousin of deep fried, too chewy past. 

While sitting at the massive hollow square bar for lunch one day, we looked up and counted tons of security cameras. Jersey Shore folks don't play when it comes to security I guess. We didn't go to the boom boom room, but next time I'm going to spike Charlie's coffee so we can dance the night away. My man hates crowds.

The lighting and the brick ovens were the star of the space in my humble opinion.

This sausage and jalapeno pie was our final meal before heading to Philly. If you ever find yourself in this neck of the woods, run, don't walk to this amazing pizzeria. E got a Porta National Park tee shirt as a reminder and it makes my mouth water every time I see the name!