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  1. #1
    Senior Member DeanM's Avatar
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    2009 dining report

    Ok, because of the ridiculously slow activity on this site I wasn't
    even going to bother with this, but I've been giving my yearly reviews
    of our week for the last 4 years in a row, and if it can help some
    people better their own vacation then I think it's worth it.

    a little late but here we go...

    July
    3rd Fri. - We rolled into town around 8pm and took a short walk up to
    Buxy's Salty Dog Saloon. At first we almost passed on this place as we
    watched a young couple stagger out drunk and fighting with each other
    and their group of friends (nice huh?), but after entering we seen it
    as a pretty low key & safe. The food was decent everyone had
    sandwiches except the 5 year old who had chicken & fries served in
    a dog bowl. The best part of the meal was the nacho appt. 3 plates of
    these could have fed us all. I believe the bill was around $85 for the
    6 of us.
    July 4th Sat. - Davinci's by the sea. I had the mussels con coze (which I always get) wife had blue cheese ravioli the the kids had stuff shells, cheese ravs and shrimp w/Alfredo, we had a calamari appt & 4 cannoli for desert Everything was great, &the bill was around $90 + tip, which I feel is very good for 6 people

    July 5th Sun. - Horizons. I still believe this is the best quality buffet in town. Everything we had was on point prime rib was juicy & pink all the way through crab legs were huge and not over cooked. Only one problem here, the gratuity... now I understand why they add it to a party of 6 or more but this place adds 20%!!! To a buffet??? probably would even been ok with this if the clown waiting on us did his job right. all the guy had to do was take dirty glasses away and keep our waters refilled and he failed at that! he brought water and only refilled glasses that were completely empty if you had 3/4 of an empty glass it was going to stay that way... so to me this moron did not deserve a $30 tip! As good as the food is, this might be enough to be my last visit.

    July 6 Mon. -Sunset Grille. Definitely one of our best meals of the trip. I had a seafood mix of shrimp scallops and crawfish tossed with bow tie pasta in a spicy red sauce, wife had the crabcakes, 2 kids had burgers, 1 had fillet minon, 1 had tenders and fries. in addition we had the crab dip and the guacamole as appetizers. Everything was perfect! really can't say anymore then that... (can't remeber excatley but...) the bill was around $150

    July 7 Tues. - Jumbo's. This restaurant is new for 09. It is the old windows on the bay location. Food and waitstaff were both beyond our satisfaction. I had the fried oysters, wife had crabcakes (which DID have a little bit of filler but not much & tasted great so no complaints) one of my daughters had the coconut shrimp, one had a sandwich of some sort (huge) the one boy had a burger (yes again) and of coarse the chicken tenders fot the little guy. I would deffinetly go back - however I seriously doubt that this place will make it till next year. There was no business here at all, and the location is bad + they have no signs even telling you that the restaurant is around the back of the building. you drive down 61st and there's a fittness center, and this place is around the back, with no sign out front at all... good food good service but they need marketing help bad. Shame...

    July 8 wed. Bayside Skillet. for breakfast this place is top notch. the plates of crepes are almost embaressing they are so huge, but it's not cheap 6 people for breakfast was over $100. For dinner we did Franco's Pizza. We needed a break from the restaurants, so we walked a couple of blocks down the boards and fed everyone for 40 bucks! This is simply the best pizza on the entire boardwalk .

    July 9 Thur. Mickey Finns. Still needing a break from the big meals we decided to go here and sit out on the deck. I had the softshell sandwich, my wife had the crabcake sandwich, the girls both had salads one was grilled shrimp the other chicken, my 15 yr olld son got the triple deck burger (you need to see this thing in person!) everything was really good took a while for the food to come out but it was well worth the wait.

    July 10 Fri. - The Shark. This was our favorite meal of the trip, I had the wahoo, wife had (yep you guessed it) crabcakes, one daughter had the steak salad, other daughter had the mini burgers, the older boy finally had enough burgers and ordered the shark steak (grilled),and of coare the 5yr old had the chicken & fries. The wahoo was the best I've ever eaten, it was served over blue potato salad & topped with a mango salsa, the crabcake had no filler and tasted like crab, the shark steak was by far my favorite dish that I tasted, we also had the brushetta & gingered calimari for appts. for dessert we shared 4 different dishes which we probably could have got 3 and been enough. Around $200 and I HIGHLY recomend this place!

    July 11 Sat.- Harborside. We've made this a tradition that after we check out of the hotle we hit this place for lunch on our way home. Never been disapointed here. food was great as was the service.

    well that's it for another year...

  2. #2
    Senior Member Britt4duke's Avatar
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    Re: 2009 dining report

    Good Stuff Dean.



    Thanks for the review. One question though....Do you remember what everyone eats when your family goes out, or do you jot it down? I would never remember all the stuff you reviewed unless I took notes while I was on the vacation.



    And I also agree, the site is quiet of late....odd trend. Usually there is more activity during the vacation season. I don't get to go until August 15, so I get to live vicariously through everyone else until my vacation comes.

  3. #3
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    Re: 2009 dining report

    DeanM,



    Thanks for the report,

    This site is a shell of its former self. I used to check it daily. Now every few weeks. Trip Advisor has a site that has more going on. I was hoping for format changes or a return to the way it was but, not to be.



    I enjoyed reading your report. Its a nice break to see whats going on and what others are doing. It sounds like you had a good trip. Our group enjoys crab cakes as much as yours does or at least as much as your wife does. I still am amazed at other experiences at sunset grill. I have never been impressed with the place, but yet due to every one else's posts I keep trying them again and again. Somethings are very good others flat out bad. The crab cakes and other things you would expect to be good have been terrible. The lamb and the lobster have been good. I am formulating my plan of attack for our August trip this year and as of now we are cutting sunset grill out. I do like their web cam though. I show my kids the fish later in the day.



    If you liked Buxey's you should try Smitty McGee's. They have great seafood based barfood. The Shark is a place I have heard good things about but haven't fit in yet. I wish more would post their trip reports as this site always had a more close knit group than Trip Advisor.



    brianpa

  4. #4
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    Re: 2009 dining report

    Dean I was waiting for your report. Just yesterday I wondered when you were going to OC. Good to hear you guys had good meals evrywhere. Other then the tip. 20% for a buffet is crazy. I makes me mad when they add it to begin with. I tip more then 20% usually, but when they add it, thats all they get. This year we will be a family of 6 also. I understand adding it to large parties, but seriously a family of 6, 1 or more being a young child.



    I've been on the fence about trying DeVinci's. but we may have to try it this year. Its on the boardwalk, which we've talked about trying to eat more there this year. That way we don't have to load my little guy (21 months) in the car so much. Plus $90 seems resonable for 6 people plus apps & deserts. My grandpa (who started the OC tradition in the 60s) would kill me for thinking that way.



    Oh and I'd have to disagree with Francos being the best on the boards. That crown belongs to Pizza Boy on 11th. My family made it a tradition first night is Pizza Boy & Cannolis from Julias. 4 weeks, can't wait.

  5. #5
    Senior Member DeanM's Avatar
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    Re: 2009 dining report

    Britt4duke, I do it all from memory, which is really odd because after my gullblader surgery 2 years ago my short term memory is shot to hell. I've been told this happens to some people after going under. - if you did notice though I did not list anything we ate a Harborside. I can remember I had shrimp tacos, with scallops as an appetizer, but I'm drawing a blank with everyone else.



    brianpa, I'm sorry to hear Sunset never worked out for you, & I understand, because there are places like that for us too - people love dough roller, I hate it, and I've tried it many times to the point if you gave it to me for free I wouldn't want it... good thing about OC is if a place isn't working out for you, you've still got a ton of options.



    VitiminJ, yea the 20% thing just left a bad taste in my mouth. !8% would probably not even shown up on my radar or if the service would have been exceptional I'd have probably given it a pass but neither was the case and after I left it was one of those things that made me more pissed the more I thought about it... As far as Davincis goes, we really like it, its close, reasonable, and the food is good. Is it the best Italian restaurant I've ever been too? no. but for the boardwalk in OC I think they do a good job. Now as far as the price goes I should tell you we had no drinks only waters & iced tea, with that meal (We are just not big soda drinkers) except for the 5yr old, he loves rootbeer and gets it just about everytime we go out. Also the 4 cannoli we had for dessert is given out for free with use of the coupon in the visitor guide you get in the hotel lobby

  6. #6
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    Re: 2009 dining report

    brianpa,



    I'm surprised by your Sunset Grille experiences as well. I've been there at least 20 or 25 times now and never had a bad experience except for the occasional unattentive waitstaff.



    Drinks are awesome, atmosphere is awesome, the view is awesome, and the food is always spot on...hmmm.



    DeanM,



    GREAT REPORT! You should post it on tripadvisor.



    mink

  7. #7
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    Re: 2009 dining report

    DeamM I love free stuff. I'll have to get that coupon book. It is in the Visitors Guide not the Sunny Days one right? Oh and you didn't make it to Antipasti this trip eh?

  8. #8
    Senior Member pghDave's Avatar
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    Re: 2009 dining report

    Great report, Dean. Sounds like you had super dining experiences.



    Still puzzling over the gall bladder / memory thing but if you have the empirical to go with that claim who am I to argue! ;-)



    Alas, other priorities this summer will kep us from our annual OC pilgrimage (probably!) so I'll enjoy everyone's updates until next year. Everyone do your best to keep the good places in business!

  9. #9
    Senior Member DeanM's Avatar
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    Re: 2009 dining report

    Thanks mink, I might just do that.



    VitiminJ, no we did not make to Antipasti this year, and the reason is (and nothing against Fausto) we wanted to do something different in place of that on this trip so my plan was to stay one extra nite, and eat at Fresco's instead of Antipasti for an upscale italian meal - long story short in order to stay the additional nite at the Holiday inn suites we would have had to switch rooms for the last night, and we had a really bad experience doing that the year before so we decided to just leave on saturday as originaly planned and canceled our Fresco's reservations while crossing the bay bridge heading back home.

  10. #10
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    Re: 2009 dining report

    Thanks for the update.



    Yeah rumor has been Jumbo's won't make it. Ashame too. Tough spot.



    Sunset grill is good, Buddy does a great a job there and at Micky Fins.



    There's a new Italian place in town, well just west of Fenwick down the street from Smitty McGee's.



    Mio Fratello........... the reviews are very positive only open since Monday.

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