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KayHStallard
03-27-2007, 02:23 PM
I used to love The Embers but haven't seen anything lately about it. What are your favorite AYCE places in OC and why? Reply quickly -- going down 4/2/07! Thanks, fellow foodies!

Beth'sOC
03-27-2007, 02:34 PM
When we just want tons and tons of MD blue crabs we go to HOOPERS in west oc and get the all you can eat price. But they try to fill you up on BBQ ribs (which arent very good) and corn (yum) and shrimp (eh okay). We just ignore everything but the crabs and definably get our monies worth.

otherwise we'd rather get a higher quality meal for the same price at a regular restaurant. Most of the AYCE in OC dont have very good quality food, so you end up eating tons of poor quality food just because its an AYCE.

I have had AYCE at Embers and it was pretty okay, so I would say stick with what has worked for you in the past. :)

JustBeachy`
03-27-2007, 03:16 PM
We like the Bonfire for AYCE buffet. The last time we ate a meal at the Embers my husband got food poisoning (from the oysters) and the place was so filthy and grimey. I wouldn't go back there if you paid for my meal.

Z06RL
03-27-2007, 03:48 PM
We have the buffet at the Bonfire once each time we're in OC. We tried Embers and it was okay, absolutely will never return to Phillips (any of them) but never tried places like Halls, or the ones in the hotels. We are familiar with the Bonfire, aware of the price (Cost us $55.00 without tip for the two of us last time - one soda and one water) , and know what we like to eat and eat only that. We aren't big on filling our plates with everything on the buffet. My hubby LOVES the prime rib there and we both pig out on the crab legs. And you absolutely have to have at least two doughnuts for dessert. YUM! He likes the steamed oysters too. I don't know how good it is during the week this time of year, so I would reccommend saving that for Friday or Saturday. My thinking is that they aren's so busy during the week, but cook fresh for the weekend crowds. And if you get there between four and five, they give you $2.00 off per person on the buffet. Oh, that time is during the summer, so it might be between five and six. Maybe call or stop when you get there. Hope that helps.

You can download coupons here:

http://www.sunnydayguide.com/oceancity/pdfs/coupons/OC06_Dining.pdf

DeanM
03-27-2007, 04:51 PM
I used to love The Embers but haven't seen anything lately about it. What are your favorite AYCE places in OC and why? Reply quickly -- going down 4/2/07! Thanks, fellow foodies!

I haven't eaten there in two years, but I used to eat there all the time. I have never seen it "filthy" or "grimey". I've been eating there for close to 30yrs and have always thought that the place was well kept. I don't believe that any buffet is the place to go to get the best seafood meal in OC. but as far as buffets go, this one has always been ok with me. I would not be scared to eat there.

mink66
03-27-2007, 08:56 PM
When we just want tons and tons of MD blue crabs we go to HOOPERS in west oc and get the all you can eat price. But they try to fill you up on BBQ ribs (which arent very good) and corn (yum) and shrimp (eh okay). We just ignore everything but the crabs and definably get our monies worth.

I'd stay away from Hooper's AYCE crabs. I have heard too many people say they routinely reheat/resteam crabs from left-overs of pervious patrons.:eek: :eek: :eek:

KayHStallard
03-28-2007, 06:55 AM
We have the buffet at the Bonfire once each time we're in OC. We tried Embers and it was okay, absolutely will never return to Phillips (any of them) but never tried places like Halls, or the ones in the hotels. We are familiar with the Bonfire, aware of the price (Cost us $55.00 without tip for the two of us last time - one soda and one water) , and know what we like to eat and eat only that. We aren't big on filling our plates with everything on the buffet. My hubby LOVES the prime rib there and we both pig out on the crab legs. And you absolutely have to have at least two doughnuts for dessert. YUM! He likes the steamed oysters too. I don't know how good it is during the week this time of year, so I would reccommend saving that for Friday or Saturday. My thinking is that they aren's so busy during the week, but cook fresh for the weekend crowds. And if you get there between four and five, they give you $2.00 off per person on the buffet. Oh, that time is during the summer, so it might be between five and six. Maybe call or stop when you get there. Hope that helps.

You can download coupons here:

http://www.sunnydayguide.com/oceancity/pdfs/coupons/OC06_Dining.pdf
Thanks SO much for the great reply & SD coupons. Is there a website where I can print out these coupons from right before I head down to OC? They do have short exp dates, and I can't afford to go more than 2-3x/total year. Reading other reviews in this forum, the majority recommend MEALS rather than AYCE at anytime unless it's for 'just crabs'. I'm like you - - I go for the seafood/fish/prime rib & leave alone the 'salads' etc.!

Z06RL
03-28-2007, 10:41 AM
When you get to OC, go to the convention center. All the papers and the Sunny Day Guide are in there on the left side of the center. The link for the coupons is to the sunny day guide, but you should be able to find a lot more. I did forget to mention though that you usually don't need a coupon at the Bonfire for the early bird, you just need to be there. They usually have a sign outside stating what time their early bird is. Six more weeks and I'll be eating crab too!

Bulwer
03-28-2007, 03:07 PM
I always chuckle when I see AYCE rookies eating at these places. On their first trip they load the plate with salad, french fries, fried chicken, a few crab legs and a little bit of everything else on the 50+ item trays. And that's the ONLY trip they make! These places love people like that. You can spend $18.00 to almost $30.00 per person and you stuff yourself with all the junk food they offer?:eek: Pretty dumb I think.

Now, these places don't like people like me. I take small portions, make frequent trips and don't gorge myself in the first 5 minutes that I'm there. I usually stay with the crab legs, prime rib, a small salad (topped with crab meat, fried clams, soft crabs and that's about it. I've never had a problem with the Bonfire or The Embers. I prefer the Bonfire however. If you go on a busy night you can be assured that the legs move quickly and if you don't like a particular cut of prime rib (sometimes you get a fat piece) just wait 5 minutes and they start a new hunk. I like the first cut but prefer rare.

The Clarion has a great buffet but it's only on weekend's. Homemade clam strips can't be beat. BUT if you are travelling to OC just for the Clarion buffet CALL FIRST! If they have a private function the buffet is closed. It's not unheard of to have an entire weekend with the buffet closed. :(

I also notice the extreme waste at all these places. People load up their plates with crab legs and they break the leg, take one bite and throw it away. This happens trip after trip to the trays. It's not only the children/teenagers (who are notorious for wasting food) but adults do it also.

I went to one Chinese buffet and each table had a sign saying basically not to waste food. If they notice excessive waste you will be ask to leave. WAY TO GO!!!

So that my two cents worth.

Z06RL
03-28-2007, 04:47 PM
One thing that nobody mentioned here yet is to ABSOLUTELY STAY AWAY from PAUL REVERE'S and JONAH AND THE WHALE! The worst food ever, anywhere!

KayHStallard
04-10-2007, 01:39 PM
Thanks for all the good info about these. Didn't try any 4/2-3 since I took three small grandkids with me. I did want good crabcakes and planned on Captain's Table (couldn't find it) or Captain's Galley 2. Wound up at Waterman's in West OC about 7pm and hardly anyone there. Friend has condo in WOC, so I went on his recommendation - - mistake (at least this time of year). Broiled seafood platter very reasonably priced ($21.95) for amount of seafood on it, but ALL the seafood was way overcooked, as were the kids' chicken fingers & fries & my hush puppies. Each soda was $4! Waiter was very overbearing, seeing me with 3 little ones -- he asked me about every 5min if I was ready to order for 7-8x (it's hard enough getting the kids to decide what they want let alone concentrate then on me). Oh, yeh, the crabcake was HORRIBLE -- all filler and very spicy / very little crab in it, and it was slivers! We stayed at FSKey Resort, and the new indoor pool/slides,fountain,floating'snake' were the bomb for the kids and only $59/night! Room very clean + new TempurPedic mattresses.

ocman99
04-12-2007, 08:20 AM
that is odd, i have always had good luck at waterman's and i go there alot...

as far as the sodas they are ony $1.99 each with free refills...

anyway crab season is in and that is the place for crabs

DeanM
04-12-2007, 09:25 AM
KayHStallard, sorry to hear that you had some bad dinning experience on your trip to OC. First of all The Captains Table was in the Santa Maria motel which has been torn down for a few years now, it is suposed to reopen next year (lets all cross our fingers). I have never eaten at Watermans, and pretty sure I never will, I know OCman99 speaks very well of the place, and I'm not trying to start a war here or anything, but frankly he is the only one I've ever heard give this place a good review, I can't tell you how many people I have talked too that have said almost word for word how bad the crabcakes are, and most had a lot more bad to say about it then you did. If you were at the Francis Scott Key, you were a stones throw away from the Captains Galley. If you would have came out to the side road there at the hotel and made a right and followed it straight back you would have run into it... if you go back down in season and stay at this hotel again you might also consider dinning at the Marlin Moon, located inside the motel, this place gets flaming good reviews.


Thanks for all the good info about these. Didn't try any 4/2-3 since I took three small grandkids with me. I did want good crabcakes and planned on Captain's Table (couldn't find it) or Captain's Galley 2. Wound up at Waterman's in West OC about 7pm and hardly anyone there. Friend has condo in WOC, so I went on his recommendation - - mistake (at least this time of year). Broiled seafood platter very reasonably priced ($21.95) for amount of seafood on it, but ALL the seafood was way overcooked, as were the kids' chicken fingers & fries & my hush puppies. Each soda was $4! Waiter was very overbearing, seeing me with 3 little ones -- he asked me about every 5min if I was ready to order for 7-8x (it's hard enough getting the kids to decide what they want let alone concentrate then on me). Oh, yeh, the crabcake was HORRIBLE -- all filler and very spicy / very little crab in it, and it was slivers! We stayed at FSKey Resort, and the new indoor pool/slides,fountain,floating'snake' were the bomb for the kids and only $59/night! Room very clean + new TempurPedic mattresses.

mink66
04-12-2007, 02:06 PM
Add me to the list of bad Waterman's experiences. Had dinner there once, and won't be going back.

oceanpiner
04-12-2007, 02:20 PM
Hello, I heard that Waterman's has a great "Happy Hour." Has anyone tried that? I am going to tomorrow night and I would like to give it a try.:confused:

ocman99
04-12-2007, 03:50 PM
it's the best in west oc in my opinion

i agree their crabcake needs work but i have had great luck their since the new owners and general manager arrived plus its been completely renovated and the upstairs bar area is a cool hang out...

olive
04-15-2007, 10:09 AM
I haven't eaten there in two years, but I used to eat there all the time. I have never seen it "filthy" or "grimey". I've been eating there for close to 30yrs and have always thought that the place was well kept. I don't believe that any buffet is the place to go to get the best seafood meal in OC. but as far as buffets go, this one has always been ok with me. I would not be scared to eat there.

I have been to the Embers when the place was disgustingly dirty, the chairs and tables were sticky the silverware was like it had never been washed and the "clean" plates were anything but clean. That was a few years back, hopefully they cleaned the place up since then, but we have never been back to see.

rob_p
04-16-2007, 01:46 AM
the problem is that you don't goto watermans for a regular meal, you go for the all you can eat... which is actually pretty good.

DeanM
04-17-2007, 09:22 AM
I have been to the Embers when the place was disgustingly dirty, the chairs and tables were sticky the silverware was like it had never been washed and the "clean" plates were anything but clean. That was a few years back, hopefully they cleaned the place up since then, but we have never been back to see.

Hi Olive. First let me just say that I was/am not deffending Embers (basicaly because I don't have to, I really don't care if you or anyone else evergoes back here to eat), I was simply stating that MY expeirences there have never been anything close to disgustingly dirty, and as I've said I've eaten there for close to 30 years. I've always found it to be very clean, the trays have always been refilled, the food looked and tasted fresh, people were continuosly wiping down the buffet, and using those sweeper like things (not sure what they are called, they look like a vacum but have no motor)on the carpet, the tables always had fresh white table cloths, that I've personaly watched changed probably a 100 or so times over the years, so it kind of hard to understand how your table would be sticky... although, maybe a kid spilled his soda all over the table before you and it slipped through the cracks? *shrug*.
When I think disgusting & dirty I think of places like P. R. & Johna & The Whale... Embers has always been well maintained inside, the carpet is not stained, the walls are kept with fresh paint (the one room has a huge hand painted dinosour mural) the bathrooms are huge and clean. Like I said I'm not deffending the place, (just deffending my previoud post) I haven't eaten there in a couple of years, and I may never eat there again (who knows) but I've never seen aything there that would stop ME from returning.

JustBeachy`
04-17-2007, 09:59 AM
DeanM-- I can agree with Olive when I say that I have been to the Embers when it was dirty. Maybe we were both there on a bad day for them, who knows. You are entitled to your own opinion just as we are, and by some of your posts regarding dining in Ocean City, you do hit some of the finer restaurants. You just didn't have to get so offended.:rolleyes:

DeanM
04-17-2007, 11:42 AM
You just didn't have to get so offended.:rolleyes:

Umm...ok,... I didn't think that I was offended... Olive quoted my post in her responce, so I was just elaborating on my original opinion (that as pointed out I have a right to). I was only shedding some more light on the reasons why I would not lable this place as dirty... nothing more, nothing less. I have no vested interest in Embers doing well... I just wanted to let everyone know why I didn't feel the place was unsafe to dine at, I'm sorry that this was a problem for you.

JustBeachy`
04-17-2007, 12:03 PM
must have been the way you bolded and CAPITALIZED that gave that impression. Once again, sorry. Oh, and it wasn't a problem for me.

DeanM
04-17-2007, 01:25 PM
must have been the way you bolded and CAPITALIZED that gave that impression. Once again, sorry. Oh, and it wasn't a problem for me.

Great, glad to hear it... The words that I was putting in bolds and capitals (like "me" & "my") was done to stress the fact that these are my opinons, and mine alone, and that there really is no right and wrong here, she was naming specifics as to why she feels the way she does about the place, and I respect her (and your) opnions, and not to take anything away from Olive's opinion in her post.

I just don't feel that way about this place and felt the need to explain myself and back up my opinon that I stated back in my original post, so people would understand why I disagreed.

cbbillings
04-20-2007, 07:34 PM
We like the Bonfire for AYCE buffet. The last time we ate a meal at the Embers my husband got food poisoning (from the oysters) and the place was so filthy and grimey. I wouldn't go back there if you paid for my meal.






What is the bonfire like? i've been to Embers a couple of times but i've never been to The bonfire . what kind of food do they have?

olive
04-21-2007, 11:27 AM
cbbillings--I have been to the Bonfire too and it was very good. Basically, most of the AYCE's have the same thing on their buffet...crab legs, prime rib, chicken, shrimp, fish, pasta, sides, salads and desserts. I guess it's finding one that you like and would go back to. I have also been to the buffet at the Princess Royale, I think the name of their restaurant is Schooners. It too was good.

DeanM--I was merely telling of my experience the last time I was at Embers.

DeanM
04-21-2007, 01:33 PM
DeanM--I was merely telling of my experience the last time I was at Embers.

Olve, I understand where you are coming from- and I don't dispute for one second, that everything you said, happened just like you said, to the letter... The only reason why I even responded to it was because I orignaly put my seal of aproval on it that (obviously) it was never like that any of the times I've been there, and if it would have been I would not have continued to go there for the last 3 decades.
So do I dispute your story of you last visit no not at all,I'm sure it was excately how you said it... now do I believe that if I walked in there right now that every table and chair in the place would be "sticky" and everyone of the plates on the buffet would be "dirty" and all of the silverware on all of the tables would "look like it wasn't washed"? doubtful... Any where you go, you can hit it on a bad night, most if not all of my experiences at this place have been above average or better, but could I go there today and have a chance of having a bad experience absolutely... I have always recomended the Bon Fire to everyone, and have always thought it to be the best buffet in OC, but the last experience I had there (this past July) was totaly awful, and the problems there that night would have took more than an alert bus boy doing a better job of wiping down tables, and better inspection of the plates leaving the dishwasher. BUT in all honesty I probably hit it on a bad nite... I would be willing to bet if I went back it would probably be better, in fact it was so bad I KNOW it would almost have to be better, simply because there is nothing worse than going to a buffet seeing food that looked like it sat there for the past 3 nites, empty trays that NEVER did get refilled and over cooked crablegs so lousy that a chinese buffet would be jealous of them!:D

Bulwer
04-22-2007, 03:43 PM
Hey Kay,

I'm thinking of staying there in May. Can you tell me more about your stay there? What about parking, paper thin walls, what building did you stay in, was it busy, staff friendly?? I know where it is and what's around it I'm only interested in more details about the site itself. Many thanks!!:)

KayHStallard
04-30-2007, 10:57 AM
To Bulwer: I'm so sorry to be so long getting back to you. Parking is NO problem there -- there's plenty for all the buildings. We stayed in the ranch-style building beside the main lodge building up front and parked right in front of our door. Off-season is never busy except when there's a weekend event at the Convention Center or inlet. I HIGHLY recommend FSK Family Resort, especially if you have kids/grandkids to take. Great playground, and I was really impressed with the indoor pool (back end of the property with the two long walls all glass). Room was nearly 100% renovated from when I stayed there many years ago, and the TempurPedic bed - - ahhh, never slept so good out of my own bed!!! Get into their website (www.fskmotel.com) & check it out -- they have all kinds of accommodations and more amenities than any I've seen in OC, even horseshoes! Lovely property surrounding it, too. They're next door to the antique car museum and two down from a great little ice cream stand, directlly across from the outlets, the turn before the one you take to the left to go to Assateague (if heading towards Salisbury on Rt50). I've heard all good about their restaurant too, Blue Marlin Grille; it's won awards!

Bulwer
04-30-2007, 07:48 PM
Other people responded also. You all sold me on the place!:) I want to go down in May with my 4 year old son. He likes sushi so we are going to hit the AYCE sushi place also.

Thanks so much for the additional info. :)

RavenfanOC
05-16-2007, 11:45 PM
the problem is that you don't goto watermans for a regular meal, you go for the all you can eat... which is actually pretty good.Right on. I've worked in the kitchen at Waterman's for the past four summers, and I totally agree with that statement. The AYCE is what most customers go there for, and it's also what the management gives most of it's attention to. In otherwords, the best food that you're going to find there is on the AYCE. Waterman's is a good restaurant with decent prices if you choose to get the AYCE, or a few select menu items. Also the half price appetizers at happy hour (which I assume they still have, I haven't been in there since last September) are a great deal.

A few guidlines for getting your money's worth, as well as a good meal, when eating at Waterman's:

- Get the all you can eat, try to stay away from the menu items as a general rule. Those are the things that the often overworked and understaffed line cooks get there hands on, and are sometimes overcooked. Believe me, I know. Those cooks have burnt my lunch more times than I can count.

- Eat mostly crabs, crab legs, and shrimp. Unless you're a big corn on the cob, or fried chicken fan. The fried chicken can be deceptively good, but eat too much of that and you're losing the bang for your buck, because it's dirt cheap for the restaurant to make. The other three or four items they bring you are all fillers, so obviously stay away from those as well.

-Get in there before 5, you avoid the crowd and can get the early bird special.

-Don't order the crabcakes. They aren't very good (as others have stated). The recipe lacks imagination, as well as quality Maryland know how, and the crab meat used in them is not always, but often imported from Indonesia. So it has little to no flavor.

-If you must order off the menu, the seafood combos are your best bet. It's all quality, fresh seafood, from Maryland (except for the crabcake), not some country in the eastern hemisphere.

Overall, Waterman's is a pretty good restaurant and I recommend it if you're looking for good seafood at decent prices, and especially if you just like to sit down, eat crabs, and drink beer. You just have to know what you're doing when you go in there. Not knowing can definitely result in a bad experience, like it did for the originator of this thread. If you want seafood in the West Ocean City area, but aren't looking for an AYCE place, Captain's Galley down Golf Course Road by the harbor is definitely the way to go.

DeanM
05-17-2007, 08:43 AM
You know... maybe it's just me, but whenever I need to memorize a 5 or 6 paragraph story on what to order and not order at a restuarant, I'd just as soon stay clear of it all together. instead of hop-scotching around around a hit or miss menu.... like I said maybe it's just me.



Right on. I've worked in the kitchen at Waterman's for the past four summers, and I totally agree with that statement. The AYCE is what most customers go there for, and it's also what the management gives most of it's attention to. In otherwords, the best food that you're going to find there is on the AYCE. Waterman's is a good restaurant with decent prices if you choose to get the AYCE, or a few select menu items. Also the half price appetizers at happy hour (which I assume they still have, I haven't been in there since last September) are a great deal.

A few guidlines for getting your money's worth, as well as a good meal, when eating at Waterman's:

- Get the all you can eat, try to stay away from the menu items as a general rule. Those are the things that the often overworked and understaffed line cooks get there hands on, and are sometimes overcooked. Believe me, I know. Those cooks have burnt my lunch more times than I can count.

- Eat mostly crabs, crab legs, and shrimp. Unless you're a big corn on the cob, or fried chicken fan. The fried chicken can be deceptively good, but eat too much of that and you're losing the bang for your buck, because it's dirt cheap for the restaurant to make. The other three or four items they bring you are all fillers, so obviously stay away from those as well.

-Get in there before 5, you avoid the crowd and can get the early bird special.

-Don't order the crabcakes. They aren't very good (as others have stated). The recipe lacks imagination, as well as quality Maryland know how, and the crab meat used in them is not always, but often imported from Indonesia. So it has little to no flavor.

-If you must order off the menu, the seafood combos are your best bet. It's all quality, fresh seafood, from Maryland (except for the crabcake), not some country in the eastern hemisphere.

Overall, Waterman's is a pretty good restaurant and I recommend it if you're looking for good seafood at decent prices, and especially if you just like to sit down, eat crabs, and drink beer. You just have to know what you're doing when you go in there. Not knowing can definitely result in a bad experience, like it did for the originator of this thread. If you want seafood in the West Ocean City area, but aren't looking for an AYCE place, Captain's Galley down Golf Course Road by the harbor is definitely the way to go.

ocbiz
05-19-2007, 10:05 PM
I would stay clear of Waterman's. Ever since they were purchased a few years ago, the food quality has changed. We use to go to Waterman's a least a couple of dozen times each year. Yes, a couple o dozen times. It was our favorite place and we were "regulars". The AYCE was always the best deal around. Then, under new ownership, things changed,. Crabs were re-heated and re-served to patrons left over from previous customers. That's right, you heard it right.

Last year, a member of my family got violent food poisoning after eating at Waterman's that resulted in an emergency visit to the hospital. We were told by the attending physician that the health department had been investigating because there had been a number of reported cases of food poisoning with people that went to Waterman's AYCE. We contacted Waterman's in follow-up on two occasions and our concerns went unanswered. They chose to ignore both our call and our letter so we have since "taken it off the list" of places to go. Beware!!