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Longboard Café’s menu includes fish tacos and burgers

Owner of the Longboard Café Rick Vach, second from the right, stands with Manager Dylan Leahy, left, Chef Brandon Friedland and Bartender Lee Habeeb behind the bar at the surf-themed restaurant in the 67th Street TownCenter. (Clara Vaughn)

(Sept. 6, 2013) The Longboard Café opened in the new 67th Street TownCenter June 28, but the business has been around much longer, owner Rick Vach said.

He owned the Island Time Café down the street for several years before moving to his new eatery on Coastal Highway, he explained.

“Essentially, we relocated and changed the name and changed the menu a little bit,” Vach said.

The new options include a “bumped up” gourmet burger section, new paninis and entre salads and a vegetarian sides section that “is doing really, really well,” Vach said. But the most popular dish at the surf-themed cafe is by far the fish tacos.

Beer-battered cod with shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, Mexican white sauce, roasted tomato salsa and a lime wedge come wrapped in soft corn or flour tortillas in the café’s signature dish. It keeps with the south of the boarder theme, Vach said.

“A lot of the menu influence is from when I lived out west,” in California, he said. “There’s definitely a Mexican influence.”

Vach grew up in Ocean City and returned to the resort several years ago. He opened a gourmet market in West Ocean City then moved to 67th Street to open Island Time Café.

With a less visible location on the bay, the café was a seasonal business, Vach said. “It wasn’t accessible to the local population.”

With his new location on the midtown boardwalk just off Coastal Highway, he plans to keep the Longboard Café open year-round.

The new eatery features a “higher end” dinner menu that shifts every night based on the day’s fresh catches and sauces. Some items to keep an eye out for include the grilled lamb chop lollypops and grilled baseball filet bordelaise, Vach said.

“The food’s getting really good reviews,” he said. “We’re getting a lot of repeat customers, a lot of referral customers… We’ve had a very good summer.”

The café recently added a two-for-one happy hour every day from 5-6 p.m. featuring its signature margaritas and local craft beers from Burley Oak, Evolution and 16 Mile breweries.

Vach added a Sunday brunch with a Bloody Mary bar and plans to hold special events such as a comfort food night and burgers and beer night to keep business up in the off season.

The Longboard Café opens at 11 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. on Sunday. The kitchen is open until midnight and the bar stays open later.

Visit www.longboardcafe.net for a full menu, directions and other information.

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