2010 Jersey Shore Food Preview

OCEAN CITY

LUNCH AMONG LADIES   Relocated from Ventnor, cheery Ma France Crêperie has become the simply chic afternoon refuge for women-who-nibble and co-eds who’ve semestered in Lyon. Recommended eating: the crepe with mushrooms and gruyère or red-wine-braised duck; signature vegetarian onion soup; the dessert crepes with Nutella, of course. 506 9th Street, 609-399-9955, mafrancecreperie.com.

(CARIBBEAN) ISLAND FARE  We know what you’re thinking. We thought the same thing: Authentic Caribbean food in Wonder Bread Ocean City? Deeply earthy, spicy, dark-meat Jamaican jerk chicken? Exotic, irresistible, crispy-sweet plantains? Fragrant shrimp curry? We know. But trust us: 701 Mosaic is the real deal. You might not even mind that, this being a dry town and all, there’s no dark rum to turn the homemade ginger beer into a dark ’n’ stormy. 701 4th Street, 609-398-2700.

COFFEE SHOP  When Who’s On First opened a couple of years ago, it immediately drew a line of locals craving La Colombe Americanos and the warm, crunchy mocha-chip or oatmeal-raspberry or peach-ginger diet-spoiling scones that have become as essential to any Ocean City stay as Kohr’s soft serve, Shriver’s saltwater taffy and Voltaco’s lasagna. 100 Asbury Avenue, 609-399-0764, whosonfirststreet.com.

PIZZA  Behold a bold move: Prep’s Pizzeria & Dairy Bar, a family-run place that feels as classic as the preppy ’80s, is the place we prefer for a sit-down pie — and, if we still have room left, homemade Belgian waffles with ice cream. (Sorry, Mack & Manco’s. You know we’ll be back this year, too. After all, you’re Mack & Manco’s; patronage is practically mandatory.)  1004 Boardwalk, 609-398-0636.
HAUTE CRAFT SHOP  For every boat tote, a needlepoint project from Scrim Discovery.  924 Haven Avenue, 609-398-6659, scrimdiscovery.com.

HEALTHFUL BOARDWALK FARE  Hawaiian chicken, salmon teriyaki, sticky rice, grilled ahi tuna steaks, -strawberry-and-goat-cheese salads, and, if the kids throw a fit, grilled burgers and waffle fries are the deliciously -mostly-good-for-you reasons the picnic tables outside Hula Grill are always crowded. 940 Boardwalk, 609-399-2400, hulasauces.com.

OLD-FASHIONED SWEET SHOP  Not everything is as homemade as it once was — you’ll find no gummy-bear-making machines in back. Customers seem pickier than they used to be. (Requests for gummy bear mix without green bears aren’t uncommon.) The ladies behind the counter can get prickly. (You could, too, if someone ordered three pounds of gummy bears, no green.) Still, the nonpareils, peanut butter fudge and chocolate-covered blueberries can’t be beat — and that sweet smell wafting onto the avenue makes old-school (closed Sundays!) Rauhauser’s Candies one avenue shop that’s impossible to resist. 721 Asbury Avenue, 609-399-1465.

DOUGHNUTS  The only thing that makes us okay with summer’s end: Oves -cinnamon-powdered apple cider doughnuts, still warm from the fryer. This  double-decker beachside restaurant is also a breakfast classic, with shorter lines than Brown’s and better views than the Varsity Inn. 4th Street and the Boardwalk, 609-398-3712, ovesrestaurant.com.

BOARDWALK SNACK  Instead of going on about the wonder that is the caramel corn at Johnson’s Popcorn, we’ll let a 1968 bubblegum AM radio hit by a group called Ohio Express do the explaining for us: “Yummy yummy yummy/I’ve got love in my tummy.” Yeah, that about covers it. 1368 Boardwalk, 609-398-5404, johnsons-popcorn.com.

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  • C

    Wow, you were really off the mark w/ the recommendation on Prep’s pizza in Ocean City. Sampled Prep’s this weekend, but it doesn’t hold a candle to Mack & Manco’s!

  • Kristin

    I love seeing another pizzeria recognized in Ocean City, Mac and Manco’s is far from the only good pizza place on the boardwalk. Prep’s has been on the boardwalk since 1965 – they must be doing something right!