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June 20-22 Review

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  • June 20-22 Review

    Hello all! I just arrived home yesterday from a weekend in OC. The weather was ok, but Saturday was a bit overcast all afternoon, which was a bit of a downer, but at least no rain! We arrived in town Friday around 10:30 a.m. (we leave PA super early!) and were able to check in early, which was great. We stayed at the Sea Hawk on 124th... last year we stayed at the Shangri-La on 84th and the two are sister properties so we tried out the Sea Hawk as the other one didn't have any vacancy. It was a very nice place, friendly service and clean rooms. It's a pretty no-frills place, clean room, convenient prices, 2 beds, bathroom, mini-fridge, outdoor pool. Some of the rooms have a full kitchen as well, but since we only stayed the weekend we didn't really need it, but it's great if you stay a week and cook a few meals in the room! Next time, I will probably try to stay at the Shangri-La again, just because I like the 84th street location better than 124th.

    After checking in, my boyfriend wanted to try the Crab Bag a few blocks up. I had never been there so it was a good idea to me. We got there in time for their weekday happy hour which is from 11-5pm Monday thru friday (Or sunday through friday? I forget), which includes 6.95 1/2 doz oysters, 7.95 1/2 lb shrimp, $1.50 drafts and a few other items that I don't remember well. I had some yuenglings, and the boyfriend had a bloody mary which he said was very good. We shared the oysters, steamed shrimp, and a seafood platter that consisted of a crab cake, fried clams, french fries and fried scallops. Everything was decent. Nothing special and I think for the price of the platter they could have at least threw on a few more fries but it was OK. The fried clams weren't anything special though. Seemed like a bunch of breading fried up. The crab cake was delicious though and very very minimal filler. Next, we enjoyed the weather on the beach the rest of the afternoon and took a nap.

    Dinner Friday night was probably the highlight of the trip for me. We chose to go to Hooked on 80th street. Last year, we walked past and considered going there for lunch but felt under-dressed so we skipped it. After reading rave reviews on here we decided to make it there this year. I am SO glad we did. Now, I consider myself to be a self-proclaimed-amateur-aspiring-chef and I love good food and I have to say that this place is definitely in my top 5 all time favorite meals in my life. I would drive down just to eat there then come home. Anyway, the place is nice and modern inside but has an intimate feel. We were lucky that we had 0 wait time and were seated upstairs right away at 730 on a Friday, but it seemed to get pretty busy after that. I had the rose-cranberry sangria which was delicious and my BF had the pomegranate margarita which was good, but not my cup of tea. For starters we had the wedge salad which was amazing and the crab dip. My BF said the crab dip alone was his favorite part of the trip. There was huge pieces of lump crabmeat baked in with cheeses and bacon with homemade potato chips. If everyone in the world ate this dip at the same time, there would be world peace. For dinner, we both fought over who was getting the scallops because they sounded amazing (they were!). BF got them, they came with cheesy grits, bacon, leeks.. YUM! and I had the salmon. It was hands down the best piece of fish I had ever eaten. It came with potatoes and a tarragon-dijon sauce. It was amazing. I cannot say enough good things about this place. We also had dessert, which was a chocolate fudgey thing with coffee ice cream and hazlenuts, which I wasn't even planning on eating, but it was too good not to. Surprisingly, before tip our bill was even less than $100, even with two alcoholic bevs, 2 apps, 2 entrees and a dessert. Which to me, is a steal! I should also mention that the waitstaff here knows their stuff. They were super helpful, asking us about likes and dislikes etc. A guy at a table nearby wasn't thrilled with something he received and I overheard the waitress trying to help and find out the problem and correct it. Anyway, I will definitely be back to this place!!

    After dinner, we walked down coastal hwy and stopped in some bars for a drink or two. BJ's was a little bit of an old crowd for us (sorry!), we are 25 and 29 and it was geared more toward a 40+ crowd which wasn't really our thing. We continued on and stopped at Dead Freddies. It was pretty nice there, and their orange crushes were amazing. We were planning to go to Fager's island but when we got there there was a huge line and so we skipped that idea. We stopped at the OC Brewing Company, a new brewery, which was really nice. The place is huge inside. They didn't have all of their crafts available yet, but I tried their raspberry IPA which was good. Their menu looked good too, but there was no way I could eat anything. After that, we headed back to the room as it was pretty late.

    Saturday we woke up to overcast skies, so we headed to the fractured prune for b-fast. Donuts were delicious, even for 1.89 for one! Worth it to me, but I love them. After that, we weren't into going to the beach so we showered and headed to a few shops in the area to look around. We had a fun afternoon though, even if we were a little tired. For dinner we decided to try the Bonfire. I know buffets aren't the favorite here, but my BF likes them so we went. However, we promised that next time we are going to learn how to eat whole crabs and we will hit up an all you can eat crab house instead of a buffet. We did the early-bird and got there as soon as the place opened, which I liked because all the food was fresh. Everything was good. I have no complaints really. It was as expected... huge buffet with mediocre food but everything I ate was good. After dinner we headed to the boardwalk to walk around. It was a pretty crowded Saturday evening. We really didn't do very much besides shop in the pet shop that his near the frog bar on the inlet. We were in a food coma and just walked around to see the sites and people watch. Stray observation: I wish OC would consider implementing a designated smoking area on the boardwalk, the way they have at amusement parks. I hate walking in big crowds and have to worry about someone burning me with their cigarette. Plus when people carry it next to them, it's the perfect height to hit a child who isn't paying attention. BUT just an observation I made.

    Eventually we made our way back up to our hotel to relax. Then we went over to Dumser's across the street for some ice cream.

    Sunday morning, we went to the Bayside Skillet which is one of our favorites. He got the crepes kathryn with blueberries and strawberries and I had the potatoes Tara which has cheese, bacon, mushrooms and onion. We got a seat right outside with a nice view of the bay. All in all it was a good end to our trip. Food and service was great. Afterwards, we hung out on the beach for a bit before heading home.

  • #2
    Thanks for the great report!


    • #3
      Very good. I love vacation reviews!


      • #4
        I always find it interesting to hear how other people spend their time in OC. Great review!