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2015 Dining Report

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  • 2015 Dining Report

    (As many of you know) Every year after our July 4th vacation, I always post a report of our dining experiences in OC. I'm pleased to write that we had another great trip to our favorite resort town. This was a shorter than usual trip for us, but we were still able to hit some of our old favorites, while incorporating some new ones into the mix - ENJOY!


    July 2nd: Sello's Italian Oven & Bar - We rolled into town around 5:00, and while the passengers in the car, were snacking through out the ride, the driver of this vehicle was flat out starving! No piece of fish, w/ a rice pilaff was going to cut it, I had that kinda hunger that only a plate of pasta could cure... Since this place open a few months ago, I've been waiting to hear something about it, but have yet to read any reviews, so I was flying blind, with only the owner's reputation to guide me, but knowing how successfully they ran their previous establishment (Fresco's), made rolling the dice on this restaurant a pretty safe bet.
    As you walk up to the entrance a careful eye will notice the mint, and basil plants nestled in landscaping. The decor inside has a contemporary Modern American feel, but one look at the pasta machine, and pizza oven, and it's clear that you're in store for authentic Italian!
    My wife wasn't overly hungry, and just ordered a Caesar salad. Excellent house made dressing & croutons make this salad a stand out, and it's large enough to eat as a meal,if you add a protein. The Papardelle alla Bolognese, that my son ordered, has rich beefy flavor that you'd want in a bolognese, the classical trinity of meats used in this tomato sauce, came together perfectly, coating the wide ribbons of homemade pasta, making it a dish that is not only cohesive, but beyond delicious as well! Not to be out done, the Penne Granchi, that I ordered was so far off the awesome charts, I'm not sure I can do it a justice here, but I'll try - For starters, the pasta was cooked to a perfect el dente, the tomato/ cream sauce was flavorful, without over powering the sweet lumps of crab meat, that were both large, and plentiful. The protein to pasta ratio worked for me here, as did the presentation. Also worth mentioning - the chef has definitely mastered the art of cooking with garlic, the flavor is intense, yet the pungent sting is smoothed out to the point where I'd say it's non existent, which is key, considering that thick slices, are abundant in the sauce, & other dishes, such as the side order of sauteed wild mushrooms, that we enjoyed with our meal. Needless to say, we definitely will return here in the future!


    July 3rd: OC Brewing, & BJ's on the Water - A friend of mine plays in a local band, and we had plans to see them perform later this evening, so we chose to just grab some appetizers at OC Brewing around 5:00. We shared some hot wings, cheese sticks, & our son had a corn dog, all 3 dishes were spot freaking on!!! That vinegar based hot sauce, knocked those perfectly fried wings, right out of the park! The medley of 5 different cheeses that comprise these cheese sticks puts them on a different level & the hand crushed tomatoes used to make this marinara dipping sauce is your clue that they are REALLY cooking here. Even the Corn Dog, was a premium quality dog, fresh beer batter dipped, and fried a perfect golden brown. I also thoroughly enjoyed the Lost Souls Irish Stout... This was our 4th trip here, every time the food has been outstanding... I've seen people write negative reviews of this place on here, and I have absolutely no idea what is going on there. My advice? !~ go check it out for yourself!
    Now as planned we went to BJ's about 8:30, one of the great things I like about this place is the kitchen stays open till 1:am, but in truth we were still pretty stuffed from earlier, so the wife and I just ordered soups and salads. She loved the french onion soup, & my crab soup, had more meat in it, than some crab cakes, that I've had the misfortune of ordering over the years + the taste sheer perfection! Any one can grill a steak, but you have to know what you're doing to develop flavors correctly in a soup - and they nailed it!


    July 4th: Coconuts/ boardwalk fare - This was kinda a lost day in my dining report... met a friend of mine who lives and works in town at Coconuts bar, located at Castle in the Sand hotel. This is nothing more than frozen food, that they heat & serve, I was well aware of this going in, but this was more of a get together vs a culinary experience, and I've never really had anything awful here, so it's all good, afterwards we went on the boards for the fireworks, and ate a bunch of health food, like pizza, Thrashers fries, and Dumsers shakes, then ducked inside Brass Balls to escape the rain, ordered a burger out of default - well, at least we were dry......


    July 5th: Assateague Crab House - Stopped by to visit a friend of mine at her place of work on Sunday, and to make a long story shorter, she mentioned to me that her friend owns this establishment, and when she found out we'd never been here, she made a phone call, and sent us over... Tucked back about on rt 611, 5/6 miles off rt 50, this restaurant will hit home with vacationers longing for the Ocean City they fell in love with during the 80's. Walking through the doors is like stepping back into a place where time stopped, fortunately it stopped at GOOD time! The dining room sports a nautical/fishing/crabbing decor- like most places did back in the day... The menu practically screams authentic eastern shore cuisine. prepared in classical fashion. Our son got the fried chicken, I only tried a small bite, but I loved the breading and the meat was tender & juicy. My wife ordered the crab cakes, got one fried, the other broiled both were home runs, but I gotta go with fried, simply because there's not much else in these other than crab meat -the way the should be- so the fried ones have a little more consistency to them... Feeling rather nostalgic in this setting, I ordered the broiled seafood platter, which came with a crab cake, flounder, shrimp, and scallops that were so sweet you could've ordered them for dessert! Oh, and did I mention both entree's were priced under $25? And get this - they came WITH 2 sides! (remember when this used to be the norm?) I say this with a bit of sarcasm because, I feel if I'm spending 25 bucks a person, the least some of these places could do is throw in a baked potato, & a salad for goodness sake! All in all, great food, great value, clean establishment (spotless men's room btw) very friendly staff, and most certainly worth the drive from town.


    July 6th: Rosenfeld's Jewish Delicatessen - I always like to end my trip on a high note, so that usually means hitting a place that has been a proven winner in my book, so naturally Rosenfeld's meets this criteria. I've eaten breakfast here in the past, but today I was in search of lunch, and found it I did - in the form of Papa Joe's Reuben. If you think you don't dig reubens, chances are you never tried one here. This baby is served up on grilled marble rye, piled high with a 8oz, combination of pastrami & corned beef, with swiss cheese, russian dressing, and a homemade coleslaw. This is a monster and then some, but the meats are so tender, and the flavors of the toppings are balanced so perfectly, you quickly get over the intimidation factor, and find yourself eating way more of this sandwich than you originally thought possible. I was in my own little zone eating this, so much so that I don't believe I even spoke 2 words once it came to the table, hours later I tried my wife's left over swiss & mushroom omelet, it was packed full of shrooms, onions, and cheese and was even good cold! I'll have to take my son's word that his hot dog w/sauerkraut was rockstar - considering he ate every last bite. To sum it up it's a small place, that serves up big flavors, in a traditional Jewish deli style -- it's a winner for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you can't go wrong here!
    Last edited by DeanM; 07-10-2015, 07:33 PM.

  • #2
    Love your write ups for dining Dean. You always set my mouth watering. While we've only been to two of the ones you mentioned, one, the OC Brewing Co., was a big miss for us, while BJ's is a consistent hit. You really need to try their chicken teriyaki. Excellent flavors and served with a fresh fruit cocktail. Nothing like a Japanese version, it's their own recipe and my favorite.
    Thanks for sharing your yummy experiences.
    Ask an OC Insider

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    • #3
      Great write up, Sello's sounds great, along with the assateaque crab house. I am adding those to my to try list. I didn't get a chance to write about my experiences during the airshow weekend. Maybe it's not to late....

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      • #4
        Thanks, once again, Dean for another great review! You need to visit more often, so you can review more places. LOL! I can't wait to start sampling some of the places I've been wanting to try for some time. Just a little more than a month away until I'll finally be there...sigh.

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        • #5
          Awesome write up.
          Ken

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          • #6
            Dean, I was just wondering yesterday if you were going to post your annual report soon... I always look forward to it and resolve (but then fail) to mimic it when I head to a few weeks after you.

            As always, an excellent and informative post. I've gotten many great suggestions from you over the years, including The Shark and The Shrimp Boat, which are both now on my go-to and recommended places list. I've also been wondering about Sello's. Since it has earned the DeanM seal of approval, I'll definitely try it out, but perhaps not until the off season.

            Thanks for taking the time share your experiences and to put this together!

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            • #7
              Nice, glad you had a good time..

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              • #8
                Thanks for the write-up and the reminder about the Assateague Crab House. We used to eat there every year at least once, sometimes twice on vacation. We can almost walk there from the camp ground. I'm going back again this year. I've forgotten about how friendly and clean this place is. We never had any issues in all the trips we've made but ended up trying new places through the years.

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                • #9
                  Thank you everyone, for the positive feed back.

                  z, this was our 3rd trip to BJ's and I've been satisfied every time - I think this place is vastly underrated.

                  Plains Pricey, if you make to either of em, let us know, and if it makes you feel any better, I intended to write reviews from the 2 trips I made in the spring, and never got around to it.... Maybe it's not too late for me either??? lol

                  Mike, I've made 3 trips already in 2015, but I'm thinking I could do at least one more, we really enjoyed ourselves this time around!

                  Terp, I know we don't always see eye to eye, but thank you for the kind words (I really do appreciate it)

                  OCGuy, as always, thank you, for your support, I think you'll really enjoy Sello's if you get around to trying it - let me know!

                  John, They even brought out drinks for the people waiting outside for tables - I've never seen THAT anywhere else in OC.

                  Tfunkhouser, thanks it really was one of the best OC vacations we've had in a long time. Hope you guys enjoy your upcoming trip!

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                  • #10
                    Dean,

                    My fiance and I went to dinner at BJs during the winter after having some beers at the OCBC. The food was even better than I remembered (it had been at least a decade since I'd been there).

                    Staying in West OC, it can be tough for us to venture north in the summer, but we will likely make it a staple of our winter or spring trips going forward.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks Dean. Enjoyable as always. I've updated my list for OC. We're leaving tomorrow night, much earlier than usual. I've been dreaming about all of the good food we'll have. Shrimp Boat is at the top. I love that shrimp. I'll post a write up when I get back.

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                      • #12
                        Dean...great reviews. I have been to every restaurant you reviewed except Sello's. Amazingly, I agree with every one of these reviews so obviously I will have to check out Sello's.....but where is it located?

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                        • #13
                          The Shrimp boat, was an option on the table pretty much every day for us VitiminJ, but as always too many places/too little time...

                          DeMan, Sello's is located in West Ocean City, & easy to find. Simply turn off of rt. 50 on to Golf course rd, sits on the left hand side.
                          Attached Files

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                          • #14
                            Sounds like another great trip dean. I too was surprised no trip to shrimp boat. I know what you mean about too many places not enough time. Now you put Assateague island crab house on our radar. Did you see anyone eating whole blue crab by the dozen there? They show having them. Last year we hit the crab bag but I thought the place was a huge disappointment.

                            Great write up as usual dean.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks Brianpa!
                              Yes, not only does the Assateague Crab House, have crabs, but we were greatly in the minority by not ordering em... Just about every table around us had heaping piles, of hot & heavy crabs mounded up in the center. Lots of people seemed to enjoy washing em down with cold suds as well - me? Well... I just drank my boring old water w/ lemon, in order to save room for some single malt, out on my balcony later on......

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