Archive for the ‘Belmar’ category

Three Jars and a Bottle of Jersey

January 27, 2017

Hard to believe, but it’s been nearly four years since I left my beloved New Jersey. Since then, I’ve collected numerous things to remind me of the Armpit of America and comfort me as I get nostalgic for the state’s litter-strewn highways, chemical vapor-filled skies and golden but dirty shores. So join me as I break into four cherished mementos, in the form of Jersey-flavored tomatoes, alcohol and wax!

Jar #1 – Ethnic Cottage Jersey Tomato Sauce

tomato-sauce

Purveyors of internationally flavored products like Indian and Thai sauces, Ethnic Cottage decided to cover a new ethnicity, Jersey-Italian, with its line of four Jersey tomato sauces, including the pictured marinara. I was pretty surprised by the ingredient list, comprised of just tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, salt and seasonings, and no sugar, no chemicals and no weird thickeners. The result is a great tasting sauce that tastes like some little Italian grandmother made it herself. Sure, if you like your tomato sauce to be overly sweet and salty, you might not enjoy this. But if you want a tomato sauce without any weird additives and in which you can actually taste every individual ingredient, give Ethnic Cottage a try! (more…)

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Bar A: More Like Bar Eh.

June 6, 2012

I’ve written about Belmar’s Lake Como’s famous Bar A before.  Like how it’s the perfect place to hang out on those hot summer nights. And how whether you’re a guido, hipster, hippie, frat boy or nerd, you can call this place home.  And how I implored those who have never been there to check it out.

After going there for the first time in 2012 last weekend, I take that all back.

The place has just changed so drastically since I started going six years ago. I’ve mentioned this in a previous post, but Bar A’s trademark sand volley ball court, right in the middle of the outdoor section, is now populated by stupid-looking faux beach cabanas.  While the intention was to make it look like a Miami bar, they still don’t hide the truth that you’re in New Jersey on a reconfigured volleyball court.  In the old days (like three years ago) the volley ball court was a nice respite from the crowds of sweaty Jersey Shore-ians fist pumping to bad techno music – it was dark and quiet, with just a few cheap plastic chairs scattered around. Now you’re lucky if you can find any chair in the entire bar – unless you pay for it.

In the past, there were tables and chairs scattered all over the place. Today, all those tables are now quarantined off into various VIP sections where you have to fork over $400 for the privilege of sitting.  Sure, you might get lucky and find a spot on the ledge surrounding the landscaping – until one of the Magilla Gorilla bouncers shoes you off.  And, as happened to me last summer, those bouncers won’t just throw you off the ledge, they’ll physically remove you from the bar if you don’t play by their stupid, biased rules.

What troubled me most about my recent visit is their new stamping policy.  You know the drill – if you need to leave a bar, you get your hand stamped so you can get back in without having to pay the ridiculous $10 cover.  Well, on this last visit, I had to leave for a bit and planned on coming back.  When I got to the exit, I presented the back of my hand to the bouncer, expecting to be stamped in this typical spot.  I was then instructed to turn my arm over, and received my stamp.

As I walked out of the bar, I looked at my arm and was shocked – the stamp wasn’t the typical star, or smiley face, or whatever.  It was a bunch of random numbers.  On my forearm.  You don’t have to be Jewish to understand how offensive this is.

Bar A has always run a tight ship – I just had no idea that ship was a U-Boat full of Nazis. Tan, greasy, bulked-up-on-steroids Nazis.

Two Reasons Why I Love Living at the Beach

August 24, 2011

As summer is slowly coming to an end, I thought I’d share some pics of why I love living in Belmar.  Both of these pictures were taken on the same day, a couple of weeks ago.  The first is of the full moon coming out of the horizon.  After a 15 minute walk from the beach to the marina, I got a pic just as the sun was setting.  Perfect timing!

Moonrise:

 

And…

Sunset:

You Never Know Who You’ll Run Into at the Jersey Shore

April 7, 2011

This afternoon, I had an unexpected encounter right here in Belmar.  So who did I run into?  Was it Snooki?  Bruce Springsteen?  Jon Bon Jovi?  Chris Christie?

Find out after the jump… (more…)

A Little Slice of Texas at the Jersey Shore

February 15, 2011

I give this place my squeal of approval!

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of dining at Jersey Shore BBQ, a Texas-style barbecue place right here in Belmar. Now I don’t claim to be an expert in the art of barbecue; my barbecue experience is pretty much limited to backyard burgers and hot dogs and the food at the ubiquitous Famous Daves chain. Still, I know good food when I see it, and I found it here.

Jersey Shore BBQ is located in a typical strip mall behind Main Street. But don’t let that description turn you off – some of the Armpit of America’s national treasures are found in strip malls. Just look for the black sign with a pink pig on it, and you’ll know you’ve found it.

Once inside, you’ll find the dining room to be laid back and unpretentious, qualities that are becoming increasingly harder to find due to the simultaneous gentrification and guidofication of the Jersey Shore. Though nothing fancy, the interior is warm and welcoming. And no need to wait for some hostess to look at a map of tables before telling you where to sit – this place has open seating.

But enough about that boring stuff. The main draw here is the food, advertised as authentic Texas BBQ. As mentioned above, the most authentic barbecue I’ve eaten is that of Famous Daves or Texas Roadhouse – another chain, in which everything is covered in some sweet and tangy sauce. Boy was I in for a surprise.

We started with the special “Ribs Appetizer,” which, appropriately enough, was just a plate of ribs – three baby back, and three St. Louis style. While I expected them to be glazed in that familiar sticky sweet sauce, these ribs were completely different. They were smoky and peppery and just so flavorful. Though it didn’t really need anything else, I poured some of the two different types of vinegar-based barbecue sauces on the table and dipped the meat in. Wow. The vinegar just punctuated the meat, elevating its taste even more. (more…)

Winter in New Jersey Still Sucks!

January 17, 2011

...except during the winter.

About a year ago, I wrote this entry about the rough winter we were having in the Armpit of America. Well, last year’s winter was pretty balmy compared to this year. In that entry, I bitched about us getting two feet of snow last year. That might has well have been two inches compared to the three feet we got a couple of weeks ago.

Yes, three feet of snow. None of which has really melted yet. Almost every single day since that major snowfall on December 26 has been at or below freezing. And the little amount that actually does melt or evaporate just gets replaced by a new snowfall, such as the one going on right now. Luckily for me, I work from home. I can’t imagine what it’s like for the millions of New Jerseyans who have to drive to work on already shitty roads made shittier by this horrible weather.

Despite the weather, I’ve still been having fun here at the Jersey Shore. One of the good things about this winter weather is that it keeps all the guidos from North Jersey and New York up where they belong. For instance, I had quite a pleasant, guido-less night at the Boathouse on Saturday. As nice as it is when it’s less crowded, it was weird seeing the bar as empty as it was. Either way, it was a fun night. The live music was provided by Daddy Pop, one of the regular cover bands that populate the Shore and the band that played at my sister’s wedding. They were pretty good, and I commend them for only playing one of these overplayed cover band songs. It was American Girl for those interested. (more…)

Top 5: Reasons Belmar is Better Than New Brunswick

November 26, 2010

I suggest you turn around. Photo by city-data.com.

About three months ago, I moved out of my apartment in New Brunswick and into a new apartment in Belmar. And it was quite a drastic change. I essentially moved out of the armpit of the Armpit of America and into a more pleasant body part (I’ll let you pick which one). I’ve spent five years of my life living in New Brunswick, and, although I have fond memories of the city, there is plenty to hate about it.

With that, here are theTop 5 reasons why Belmar is better than New Brunswick:

1) Hippies – Both New Brunswick and Belmar are home to quite a few hippies. Still, they couldn’t be more different. The hippies in New Brunswick are mainly students of Rutgers University. Though they typically come from upper-middle class families, they like to pretend they’re poor and just getting by on their own. But don’t let those tattered tie-dye shirts, unkempt facial hair (on guys), and unshaven legs (on girls) fool you. They’re just miserable spoiled brats with Grateful Dead posters in their dorms who wake up every morning wishing they went to college 40 years ago.

Belmar’s hippies, on the other hand, are more grown up. Rather than playing their guitars and singing about imagined social injustices, these hippies have embraced capitalism. Instead of going out of their way to be part of some nonexistent, idyllic counter culture, these hippies actually contribute something to the real culture. They’ve opened establishments all over the town, like vegan restaurants, vintage clothing stores, and yoga studios. Still embracing their hippie roots, but earning a dollar at the same time. Who wouldn’t respect that? (more…)