Vacation 2018: A Week In Sea Isle, NJ

One of my favorite movie quotes is from the workplace comedy Office Space. Peter says “Michael. I did nothing. I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.” I just returned from my vacation in Sea Isle, NJ. It may not have been the most active week. It was everything that I thought it could be.

I took a break from blogging while I was away. I started to work on an upcoming series for the Flat Circle, but was lured away by the best of the Jersey Shore. When you find a spot within easy walking distance of an ice cream parlor, an arcade, a bar, a pizza shop, and a view of the beach, it is hard to focus on anything else.

Sea Isle, NJ Restaurant Review

Outside of a pit stop in Ocean City, NJ, we did not leave Sea Isle for the week. The round of mini-golf at Congo Falls Adventure Golf and walk on the Ocean City boardwalk were fun. The only other excursions away from the beach house were for food. Here are some quick reviews of restaurants in Sea Isle that we visited:

Giovanni’s Delicatessen – A sandwich shop located a few blocks from Sea Isle’s main drag, Giovanni’s is comparable to Primo Hoagies. The prices are reasonable and the sandwiches at Giovanni’s are great. This is a good spot to grab a hoagie for the beach.

La Fontana Coast – This was by far our best restaurant experience in Sea Isle. The portions were generous and represented great value. Most importantly, the food tasted very good. The highlight of the meal was bacon-wrapped scallops that were out of this world. I recommend this spot for both families and couples. La Fontana Coast also has locations in Avalon and Strathmere.

Mrs. Brizzle’s Buns – I can’t say enough great things about this shop. Any spot that can create a simple bagel, cream cheese, and tomato concoction in a way that makes a breakfast shop a must-visit location is special. The family-owned place has been around for two-plus decades.

Doc Magrogan’s – This restaurant embodies the worst of the Jersey Shore. The place is an overpriced tourist trap that I would never return to.

Outside of quality ambiance and friendly wait staff, I do not have one good thing in my review of Doc Magrogran’s. The menu looks promising, but the portions are skimpy. Even worse – the quality of the food was mediocre. I visited the restaurant/bar in a group of six, but no one at our table had a positive eating experience during our visit.

I do not mind paying a little extra while on vacation, but an expensive meal should not result in hunger. Avoid Doc Magrogran’s under all circumstances.

Basilico’s Ristorante – Pizzeria – This was a last-minute decision that paid off well. Even though the menu features a few enticing options, we stuck to take-out pizza. The pizza was good enough to make me want to come back for a more complete sit-down experience.

Dock Mike’s Pancake House – The last restaurant we visited in Sea Isle features an impressive breakfast menu. The food was good (fantastic bacon and egg omelet) and affordable. Even though we did not wait long on Saturday morning, the place was very busy. You may have a decent wait time in store at Dock Mike’s, but it is worth it.

Vacation Reading

While in Sea Isle I caught up on a small stack of reading. That mostly included a backlog of Sport Illustrated issues, but I also snuck in a few chapters of Keith Law’s Smart Baseball. The book, which was published in 2017, features fascinating insights into the new wave of analytics in baseball. It is a great read for baseball nerds everywhere.

Vacation Music

Despite being armed with a 590-song vacation playlist, I only listened to one new-ish album in Sea Isle. I had been meaning to check out Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real for some time. Lukas is the son of Willie Nelson. Promise Of The Real are a rising band on the Americana circuit. They have already been associated with Neil Young, John Fogerty, and Lady Gaga.

I listened to the band’s most recent record, which came out in 2017. The self-titled album features amazing songwriting and musicianship. The entire LP is a great listen, but my favorite two songs come early in the record. “Die Alone” and “Sit Me Down On A Cloud” are fantastic introductions to the band. Listening to the album on the beach was one of my favorite parts of my week in Sea Isle.

Nelson and The Promise Of The Real are involved with the upcoming film A Star Is Born. The movie, which stars Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, is the third remake of a 1937 film of the same name. A Star Is Born hits theaters on October 5.

What’s Ahead

In addition to the recurring Music Monday posts, I will also begin a new series reviewing many of the shows that I have been binge watching this summer. That includes series like Cobra Kai, The Americans, and GLOW.

As always, you can read all posts by subscribing to the Flat Circle. A link to subscribe is located at the bottom of the page.


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