Where We’re Eating: Martorano’s

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In a region overrun with Italian restaurants, this trendy goombah-and-gravy joint from Philly expat and Florida/Vegas restaurateur Steve Martorano is one of the best and most fun, even if it is majorly gimmicky. You won’t find anything here that needs explanation. The Famous Meatball & Salad is exactly what it sounds like. There’s chicken cutlet parmigiana, spaghetti pescatore and Sunday gravy. It’s like dinner at your grandma’s, only with tight-dressed hostesses, Italian gangster movies on the flat-screens, a maître d’ who’ll jokingly tell you you’ll be sleeping with the fishes if you don’t watch it, and a bumping, liquor-fueled dance party that erupts late in the evenings and on weekends. So, actually, not really like dinner at Grandma’s at all, unless we had very different grandmas.

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Cape May Brewing Company Hits Philly

Photo via Cape May Brewing Company on Twitter

Photo via Cape May Brewing Company on Twitter

This December, Philadelphia’s welcoming a new player in the lineup of beer, South Jersey’s Cape May Brewing Company will be served throughout the city after recently celebrating its third anniversary.

Some of the beers to be released in town are the brewery’s flagship Cape May IPA, King Porter Stomp, Devil’s Reach, a strong Belgian-style ale and Mop Water, their 5-spiced ale.

One of the first Philadelphia bars that will carry the brewery’s beer is the Draught Horse Pub on Temple University’s campus. The owners of the Draught Horse also own Cabanas Beach Bar and Grill, the first bar to carry the Cape May Brewing Company’s beers in Cape May, so bringing the brews to Philly means the whole thing has really come full circle for the brewery.

More on the brewery »

Hurricane Sandy’s Second Anniversary Has Been Harder Than the First

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I took the day off yesterday, putting up an out-of-office message so I could pop the windows out of my Jeep Wrangler and cruise down the shore. I stopped at the Ocean View Wawa for a sandwich and a bag of chips, then parked myself in a chair on the beach in Strathmere.

I spent most of the day reading a book, but I also did a lot of staring at the ocean. I told friends I hit the beach because I’m tapering for a marathon, and I’m full of edgy energy that has no outlet. But really, I was there because today is the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy making landfall in New Jersey, and I wanted to both pay my respects and thanks to the beach that survived, and deliver a giant middle finger to a storm that destroyed large parts of our Jersey Shore.

I’ve had a harder time with the two-year anniversary than the first. When a preview copy of Superstorm: Nine Days Inside Hurricane Sandy came in the mail, I took it right to my library’s donation bin. It’s more difficult now because we have a clearer picture of how bad things really are, not just in the immediate days after the storm where we could not stop looking at pictures of roads torn apart and houses shattered into splinters, but the inevitable mess that came after.

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This Weekend, Beach and Booze: Wine Promenade

winelogo_with DOAC MDDO AC’s Boardwalk Wine Promenade is back for the 2nd year this weekend. This year’s Promenade is from 12-5 p.m. on Saturday, September 27th and Sunday the 28th.

Enjoy the beach breeze for the weekend (highs in the mid 70s) as well as over 125 different wines, wine seminars, bourbon tastings, chocolate pairings and more down the beloved boardwalk in Atlantic City. Food samplings from Hard Rock Cafe Atlantic City, Harry’s Oyster Bar, Fin Restaurant, Robert’s Steakhouse, Guy Fieri’s Chophouse, The Iron Room and more will also be available to keep your stomach happy.

Live music, DJs and art displays will cover the entertainment. Tickets are $65 for Saturday, $55 for Sunday. VIP tickets are also available.

DO AC’s Boardwalk Wine Promenade [Official]

The Relationship With Your Long-Term Shore Landlord Is … Special

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The first time, we never dreamed it would last this long.

Frankly, yours was just another duplex, one in a long line of joints we’d rented down the Shore. You were a nice enough couple. (I thought you were old then.) We were a big, sprawling family: Dad, our patriarch; four kids and their spouses; a growing crew of offspring; a stray aunt and cousin; and assorted other friends and relations. All we were really looking for was a fridge, a couple of bathrooms and a bunch of beds. We tried you out. Something about you worked. Maybe it was the layout; maybe it was the location. Maybe it was the fact that you had the exact same kitchen tile as our patriarch did. We settled in, made ourselves at home, got sand in your carpet and ramen noodles under your dining room table. It was two weeks of bliss.

The next year, we came back.

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5 End-of-Summer Shore Ideas (That Don’t Involve Sitting in a Labor Day Crowd)

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The window on summer is quickly closing (or already closed, you jerks already drinking pumpkin beer).

But we still have hot weather, and there’s still time to get another Jersey Shore fix beyond just sitting on the beach in a crowd.

Here are five ideas for doing just that — covering the entirety of the Jersey Shore. I do stray north of Brigantine sometimes.

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The Ocean City, N.J., vs. Ocean City, Md., Headline Quiz

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Two states, two Ocean Cities. But which is which?

One has a swim up bar and spots like the Brass Balls Saloon; the other is so dry it doesn’t even allow BYOB.

One pushes its family friendly image with billboards showing families; the other still uses a stale lifeguard campaign.

Only one gloated about its plan to steal away visitors from a storm-damaged area, so you can guess why my tone favors one town over the other.

But they do share the same name, and for the last seven years I’ve had a Google alert set for Ocean City, which means I’ve read a lot about both.

Can you tell which is which? Below are some Ocean City headlines from this summer.

Take the Quiz »

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