Longbranch NJ

I met up with a bud at the W.35th Pier to hop on the Sunstreak ferry and finally check out his place in Longbranch, NJ to get away from it all without having to jump on a plane. The views of leaving NYC were gorgeous…like turning around as you’re walking away from your lover and looking back and smiling Wow! It was well worth the price of the RT ticket ($45) in and of itself.

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Once we dropped off our bags and chilled a bit we headed over the Pier Village. I have to say I was surprised to see how built up the area is between Condos, Hotels, huge Restaurants on the water, the Pier Village complex and the length and breath of the boardwalk. We started at Indulge and caught the last hour of their happy hour(
$6 for food,$6-$7 drinks…including high end like Hendricks Gin…ends at 8pm on Fridays). We ordered up some beverages and food. We shared the Pepper Shooters(hot cherry peppers stuffed w provolone and prosciutto) Buffalo Sliders with 2 types of blue cheese,jalapeno and hot sauce, and  Pretzel Bites with 2 dipping sauces.

Our next stop was Avenue.The main level is a huge restaurant with a very long long bar, upstairs is a club. Happy Hour here goes till 10pm on Fridays and includes discounts on wine, beer, and the house specialty drinks($7, normally $12). I had their Pineapple Cilantro Jalapeno Margarita which was a great variation on the classic wanted another…but we needed to catch up with a friend at our next stop…Tiki Bar. You need to get a wrist band to drink(where’s the roller-coaster? Do I make the height requirement?) I order up a Gin based Jersey Summer and while chatting up a couple of girls with my bud they order a round of tight$nache shots…a variation on a fuzzy navel and proceed to tell us of their wants and desires. Fascinated…we leave for the next bar stopping for a slice at Michael Angelo’s. The Chicken Parm slice was a nice sized slice and loaded with chicken, mozz and a nice tangy sauce. Our last stop was at the Wine Loft. It’s more of a date spot between the wine lists and couches…but I was being given the grand tour of Pier Village. Bars close at 1:30am….and it was time to call it a night.

The next day after taking my buds morning 6 mile RT stroll along the boardwalk we stopped in at the Turning Point News and Cafe. I ordered up an egg and cheese sandwich with a  pour over Sumatra coffee while we waited for our for the beach sandwiches. When in Rome…so I went with the Jersey Shore…turkey, bacon, Swiss, alfalfa sprouts on whole wheat. We finally make it to the beach and hit the water. After a few hours the air started to cool a bit so we headed back to the Tiki Bar. I made a slight detour to Shaka in Pier Village to get an Hawaiian Saved Ice. I choose their “special” with Coconut, Berries, and “special love”. When I showed up with said tasty ice treat my friends of course busted my chops. “What’s with the Ices…are you 12”? Then they turned to the bar to order another round of… Pomegranate Blueberry cocktails. Really?!?

We headed back to my friends house to BBQ and went to town on streaks, burgers, Pork braciole and veggies and salads. Another group of friends showed up and we got ready to head out….until the best laid plans of mice and men went awry when we couldn’t get a cab to hit Asbury Park…so back to Pier Village where we caught up with a bud of mine and his date for drinks at Indulge. I mixed it up between Hendricks and Tonic’s with bitters and Cucumber Melon cocktails. One of my buds tried one and liked it…but did say it “tasted like something you drink at a spa” …he knows that how?

The next morning another looooong walk ….more coffee at Turning Point...hit the Beach….chowed down on sandwiches made out of the BBQ leftovers and then back to the Sunstreak(please note, plenty of traffic so plan an hour for the 15 minute ride) for some more incredible views of Manhattan. While it is only an hour away from NYC…it really did feel like I was away. Come to think of it…I should have titled this Indulge at Tiki Bar

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