2010 Jersey Shore Food Preview
CATERER Years after she left the Four Seasons Nevis to open Foodies in, of all places, South Jersey, outrageous Peggy Feudi is still working the over-the-top spreads. Her gourmet-to-go shop packs in endless options for four-star picnics, and her catered feasts remain absolutely de rigueur among the lagoon-manse set. 8010 Long Beach Boulevard, 609-494-4212.
CLAMS Backing up to the Barnegat Bay watershed, just across the bridge from LBI, the squall-and-salt-air-worn shack that’s home to Blacky’s Clams has wholesaled three, and only three, takeout items for as long as anyone can remember. Fresh and local littlenecks, topnecks and chowders represent five generations of the clamming Paul family’s trade. The only thing they sell but don’t harvest: lemons. 1128 East Bay Avenue, 609-597-4260.
BYOB There are the obvious do’s and don’ts about dining at tiny Yellowfin: Do: Reserve at least two weeks in advance. Do: Bring an extra bottle of rosé. Don’t: Bring an extra guest. Do: Order the fried Jersey tomato special. Do: Expect to splurge. Don’t: Skip the Key lime pie. But here’s one, less obvious Don’t: Gossip. The place is so small, and the tables are so close together, that anything you say after that fourth glass of rosé will definitely be overheard and recalled by your fellow diners. In other words, Do: Remember: It’s a long island, but a small one. 104 24th Street, 609-494-7001, yellowfinlbi.com.
BREAKFAST SANDWICHES An institution for carnivores — the ribs, the hot dogs, the chicken cutlets, the filets! — is also a best-kept secret for quick and yummy just-got-to-the-island (or just-got-back-from-tennis) egg sammies. Oh, and they cater, too. Okie’s, is there anything you can’t do? 2107 Long Beach Boulevard, 609-494-5577, okiesbutchershop.com.
ONE-HALF OF A DI BRUNO’S FIX Homemade chicken parm, a well-stocked olive bar, sopressata-layered hoagies, and a billion varieties of EVOO make Mario’s our go-to spot for Italian to-go. 1905 Long Beach Boulevard, 609-361-2500.
OTHER HALF OF A DI BRUNO’S FIX LBI’s very own house of cheese, Cheese Shoppe is known among summer residents as both the savior of and inspiration for impromptu cocktail parties. 1800 Long Beach Boulevard, 609-494-4630.
BAGELS, PHILLY-STYLE Bagels & Beyond’s are doughy in and out. Like Hot Bagels. 1616 Long Beach Boulevard, 609-494-4848; also at 4008 Long Beach Boulevard, Beach Haven, 609-494-4400.
BAGELS, NEW YORK-STYLE Bageleddi’s are crunchy outside, doughy in. Like H&H. 1714 East 18th Street, 609-494-4761.
FRESH FRUITS AND VEGGIES No worries if you missed the Red Top on your way into town. Country Corner has you covered, not just for Jersey corn and tomatoes and blueberries, but also for windowbox plants and peach pies. If you’re on either end of the island, the traffic to get here can be maddening — but really, it’s the best produce in town. 275 West 9th Street, 609-494-0667.
CRABCAKE For more than 20 years, jumbo lump crabmeat in its purest form — plus a delicious variety of fresh local fish, crab chowder, raw bar items, creative sauces, and a fish market that somehow doesn’t even smell like fish — has made Ship Bottom Shellfish our must-stop, even if we’re in town for just the weekend. 721 Long Beach Boulevard, 609-494-0088, shipbottomshellfish.com.