Monday, June 1, 2009

A Weekend in Cape May!

To celebrate our one year anniversary (one year already!), Mr. J and I visited beautiful Cape May, located at the tip of south New Jersey. I had never been to Cape May, but was happy to find a beautiful beach town, complete with Victorian mansions, shops filled with fun knickknacks, and scenic streets to just wander down.

We sampled a few restaurants while we were there... which are described below. Some of the best food we had was actually at the B&B/inn we stayed at - the John Wesley Inn - where the innkeeper cooked up breakfast for us and the other guests. One of the highlights for me were thick, fluffy Belgian waffles topped with fresh whipped cream and strawberries and a side of peppery bacon. Yum.

And although these two aren't "reviewed" below, two other pitstops for us were Morrow's Nut House (salt water taffy, red hot dollars, all sorts of candy!) and... Dairy Queen. Dairy Queen is by no means a Cape May original, and there were PLENTY of ice cream places to choose from (there was one in particular we were looking for that Mr. J remembered from his childhood that made their own ice cream with all sorts of interesting ingredients, but we couldn't find it). But we both love Dairy Queen and very much enjoyed the Brownie Batter blizzard :)

And as for those other places we tried...

For our first dinner in Cape May, we visited the Mad Batter. Our innkeeper recommended it to us (and we had heard about it from a few other people!) so we thought it would be a good option. The Mad Batter has these adorable yellow and white awnings, covering a front porch that is perfect for people watching. Although the wind picked up and a storm was brewing, we sat on the porch (the storm did eventually arrive, at full force, but we were protected by the Mad Batter's porch's "walls").

The entrees were more expensive than we expected, but quite good, so we were pleased with the value we were getting for our money. The menu itself didn't offer too many dishes, but there were definitely many specials being offered. I had the crab bisque to begin with (this was my favorite part -- very creamy, not bland like many bisques, and large chunks of lump crab meat, yum...) and the hanger steak with potatoes & bacon (tasty, but I would probably opt for maybe a salad or other appetizer to go with my soup next time). We also shared (ok my husband mostly ate) the thai-honey chicken wings (yum, big juicy wings, not too spicy, kind of spicy and sweet) and he had the vegetable wellington -- layers of vegetables wrapped in a puff pastry and surrounded by fresh tomato sauce and slices of cheese. I think the vegetable wellington was a better option than the hanger steak.

The service was great -- very friendly and helpful. We decided to wait out the storm, eat slowly, and have a few beers...In any case, we were happy with our first dinner in Cape May. We'd likely come back, but probably try a few other places first.

Henry's was our choice for a lunch spot during our Cape May stay. It is the perfect location. We had spent the morning at the beach and planned to spend the rest of the afternoon there, so we decided to pop into Henry's for our lunch break.

We sat out on the porch with a view of the beach (and watched the dolphins swim by!). The service was friendly. The food was decent -- a good selection of sandwiches, seafood "baskets," and such. I had been craving deep fried seafood for some reason so I ordered the shrimp basket. It came with a good amount of deep fried butterflied shrimp, large handfuls of seasoned fries, and cole slaw. The deep fried clams looked excellent as well. We saw a few people order sandwiches -- in particular, the patty melt caught my eye. A good juicy beef patty in between two slices of toast.

Henry's is great if you are looking for a place right on the beach. The food isn't outstanding, but it was decent "beach" food!

After a full day at the beach, we decided to grab something casual for dinner. We had walked by the Ugly Mug the day before, liked the name, and thought it would be a fun relaxed place to go. Plus, we thought we'd like a drink or two to go with our dinner (and didn't have anything to BYO to the BYO places...). So we found ourselves at the Ugly Mug.

We sat "outside" (under the awning on Washington St). Perfect for people watching. The food has a wide selection of "bar food" -- many different kinds of burgers, sandwiches, and such, as well as some seafood items (we are at the beach after all). We split the clams on the half shell (decent size, tasted fresh) and each got a chicken cheese steak (mine with mushrooms). Everything was good ... the chicken cheese steaks were HUGE, pippin' hot, and pretty juicy.

We recommend it for a place to just kick back and relax.


oysterculture said...

What a fun post, and it sounds like a great visit. I never had the opportunity to spend much time exploring the Jersey coast, so I'll have to live vicariously through your blog.

5 Star Foodie said...

What a nice vacation! I have not been to Cape May yet, looks very pretty there. I noticed you wish list with Alinea :) and also Adour in DC - that one's on our list too. I feel like every time we go out it's mostly on travel and we never get to eat in the nice local places anymore.

The Food Hunter said...

It's been a long time since I've been to Cape May...thanks for bringing me back there.