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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sand Dollars

    2013 Dining Report

    We just got back from our 2013 trip to OC from 8/15 to 8/24. We stayed Thursday and Friday with my friend and his wife and two kids in Delaware then the Plaza on 98Th from Sat to Sat. The weather was not as cooperative as in years past. But no hurricanes or earth quakes and in recent years our weather has been so perfect so a few showers we really can't complain.

    My parents stayed at the Fisherman's Inn next to the Bay Bridge the same as last year based on FPK's recommendation. They enjoyed clams casino, rock fish and bloody marys. They also ate at the Old Mill Crab House in Delmar, my dad said they were the best steamed crabs he has ever had.

    Thursday we just rolled into to town and stopped at Joe's Shrimp Boat. I was dying to eat there, and it did not disappoint. Everyone gets a sample of the steamed shrimp right from the start. The kids balked at the head on shrimp and fussed about not being deveined when they ate . So I told them they were not allowed to eat any of my 1 lb order of them. That didn't work and they were eating them as well as the coconut shrimp, steamed mussels and fried seafood sampler we ordered. As much as I liked the steamed shrimp the true star was the coconut shrimp. They were the best I had anywhere anytime. I would not order the fried sampler again it was fried shrimp, clams, crab balls and hush puppies, but not as good as the other items. For dinner we had Grotto pizza and Capriotti's hoagies in Delaware. The pizza was ok. The hoagies were great. I particularly like the thanksgiving hoagie, strange but had to keep eating the thing.

    Friday my buddy and I went on his boat in the bay to Dewey Beach and the Rusty Rudder. The place has a nice view and boat docking but the food is just ok and the service was non existant.

    Saturday we met my parents and the men had the customary drinks at the outside jungle bar while the women enjoyed the beach in front of the Plaza. After checking in we got cleaned up and once again my friend and his family joined my parents and my family at the Galaxy. Last year I spoke of how well everything went, this year not so much. The dining tables were unstable leading to a broken glass, the timing was off with the kids orders there was clearly visible hair on the side of a serving dish of steamed mussels, and chewing gum stuck on the side of the basket of bread. Wow what a night. The Galaxy has always been one of my favorite places, but if this was our first trip there would never have been a second. The hair should have been spotted before serving as was plain as day. The chewing gum indicated either not changing the bread napkins or a fool in the kitchen. The food was up and down as well.

    Late night we had pizza from Lombardi's that everyone who was still awake enjoyed. We ate the left overs for most of the week.

    Sunday was a bad weather day so we went to Delaware. After stimulating the economy we headed to Catch 54 for lunch. It was raining and I couldn't figure out where to park. So we ended up at the old standby Smitty McGee's. It had been a few years since we were here last. They were packed but we got a table quickly. Key west wings, hot dogs, crabby cheese fries, fish tacos all very good. I really like this place and wish we had one where I live.

    For dinner we headed to the Crab Bag for our "bust em up" crabs. However I never called to ask how busy they get. We were told an hour and half wait. It was already 7pm. So Bahama Mamas it is again. But they moved from Wicomico with a great view of the bay to a shopping center. Usually we pre order the largest they have but this time we went last minute so the biggest they had was XL's. They were not good. I don't know what a recooked crab or a dead crab looks like for sure, but I had some that were black and disgusting. They also ran out of coconuts for the drinks which the kids really look forward to. The new location is not nice. I told my family to take a nice look around before we left.

    Monday for dinner we hit Fagers Island and sat upstairs. My dad ordered the prime rib which was huge, but over done. The crab cakes were full of crab but had lots of shredded crab. The oysters were lights out fantastic. The raw ones were the best of the week the grilled oyster sampler was amazing. I usually don't like cooked oysters but these were special. Kids liked the coconut shrimp better at the shrimp boat.

    Tuesday we went to Hooked and I was at the point of despair because we had such bad luck with meals this year. We started off with my dad and I doing an oyster shooter, and boy was it good. Hooked uses smoked oysters and it hit the spot and was a harbinger of the great meal to come. Steamed clams, steamed mussels, calamari all perfect. The crab soup was spot on perfect. My wife and come down with strep throat during our vacation and had been unable to eat much for 2 days. She didn't order the soup because it mentioned peppers on the menu. I did and it was not spicey so being the nice guy I am gave her the soup. Dinner was fish and soft shell crabs all done right. This and Friday were the best of the week. Due to Hooked's more than fair prices I would put Hooked as the best overall meal of the week.

    Wednesday the clan went to West OC for the Captains Galley. The crab cakes were better than Fagers Island and were the best of the week. Again the oysters were very good, although larger than I prefer. I like the smaller ones as they tend to taste better to me. The crabcakes could use more seasoning but were all giant lumps. They look like gnocchi cakes.

    Thursday my parent brought home Bull on the Beach on 94 st that they enjoyed. The wife and I headed to a local bar that I will not mention as it was very crowded and I don't like it that way. We had tuna tar-tare, crab avocado, cheese plate, and a great bottle of wine. The service from bartenders Shelly and Brett was top notch as usual.

    Friday our last dinner was once again a Jules and once again the food was great. The service was way off however. It appeared as though only one server was working the entire room. He was not the server we usually see there and even being over worked he was not up to the task. The whole snapper, crab cakes, oysters, foie gras, and pork belly made up for it. This place never disappoints on food.

    Saturday we stopped at the Pirates Galley for breakfast. The crab benedict and the captain crunch french toast made the long drive home uncomfortable, but boy was it worth it.


  2. #2
    Senior Member OCGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Sand Dollars
    Thanks for the great review - You hit up some of my favorite places and your reviews across the board were pretty consistent with my experiences. I have not tried the new Bahama Mamas, but I suspected the new location had to be a downgrade, which yo confirmed. I wanted to try Hooked, but did not get there this year. Based on your review and the words of others here, I'm moving The Shrimp Boat to the top of my list of places I have not been to, but need to try.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Sand Dollars

    dining report

    Great report.... WOW must have cost of fortune to eat out like that... we tend to eat in at times...but we go more than once a year...we go once a we try to spread out our spending on food!!! but wonderful report......

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Sand Dollars
    I always enjoy reading the dinning reports and seeing how other families view vacations. We never eat out every day and usually just hit the Green Turtle and The Shark. Dumsers and The Fractured Prune is always a frequent stop. We usually go one whole week and at least 7-10 long weekends throughout the year between OC and VA Beach. The drag we have on eating out is the vacation time wasted getting dressed and waiting in line. Also, for us, fine dining is done on our city trips rather than beach. Thatís the joy of beach vacations, not one is the same but all enjoy!

  5. #5
    Senior Member OC_Melanie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Martinsburg, WV
    Sand Dollars
    Great review, thanks for sharing, sounds like a fun vacation

  6. #6
    Senior Member DeanM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Sand Dollars
    Sounds like you and your family had a good vacation. I'm glad to hear that The Shrimp Boat, and Hooked were winners for you... If the Crab Bag has one drawback, it's definitely the wait. We were actually standing outside in late Dec. waiting for a table! It's the proverbial catch 22 - It's busy because it's a desirable place to go.

    Over all an outstanding write up, but I'm not so sure I'm too wild about the TITLE..........

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Sand Dollars

    Sounds like you had a great vacation. And I can't believe you're complaining about free gum! Maybe it was a gift from the kitchen like The Shark does.

    I'm glad you got to the Shrimp Boat, I know you were going crazy reading all of the reviews. We really liked the head on shrimp. When I brought some back to the condo, their "whiskers" were hanging out of the box. That creeped my wife out a little. Not enough for to give me hers though.

    I have not tried Smitty McGee's. Sounds like a bar food place. Which is what I like.

    I usually get my bust em up crabs at Bahama as well. The family didn't feel like going there this year, so I didn't realize that they moved. I wonder why they gave up that great location? I saw them on 34th street but I figured it was a 4th location. They used to be the best I wonder if that's changing?

    I have to try Hooked. Seems to be a hit on this board. My wife & I are going down this weekend without the kids. Perhaps Hooked will make the cut. Or maybe we'll drink our dinners!

    I like oysters but I'm the only one in my family that does. So shrimp was our appetizer at most restaurants.

    Great review. I look forward to more.

    Take care.

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