Saturday, July 23, 2011

Weekend Cooking... Boardwalk Food

It is way to hot to be cooking. It was 108 degrees at my office yesterday! That is unacceptable in my mind. So what to do. Well let's get in the car and take a drive down da shore.
Which in my case is a 10 or 15 minutes drive over the bridge to Ocean City, NJ. Crashing waves, kiddies playing in the sand, cool ocean breezes...and Boardwalk Food!!

To those of you who are not familiar with the Jersey Shore, and the Ocean City Boardwalk in particular, the issue of food is not as easy as it might appear at first. First, you must identify the basic food groups and them you must be able to choice the best in each category. Not just good, but the best!

So, we will start with what may be our healthiest choice...which will give you an idea how unhealthy this trip will be. If you want a salad or some grille tofu, you best stay home, because we are eating Boardwalk Food!!
Now,we are looking for pizza and there are many choices, probably a pizza place on every block. But if you are in Ocean City, the only choice is Mack and Manco's. And you can tell by the crowds. You often will have to wait for a table or a seat at the counter, while other pizza places are empty. There will often be a line at the take out counter at the front, those waiting to just get a slice. Because people know. Ocean City=Mack and Manco's
"In Trenton in 1956 pizza, as we know it, was known as "tomato pie", but when Anthony Mack and Vincent Manco came to Ocean City from Trenton that year they just called it pizza. Mack and Manco's opened their first pizza parlor at 918 Boardwalk in the summer of 1956. A few years later they opened another store at 7th Street and the Boardwalk."
For some reason I always seem to end up at the 7th Street store, but either is acceptable. They also have one on the mainland, near my house in fact, and I never, ever go there. Maybe it is the salt air, maybe it is the oven, but you have to eat it on the boardwalk. You can get all the traditional toppings, you can get white pizza and recently they added the thick crust Sicilian style pizza to their menu, but I am a purist at Mack and Manco's. Plain cheese pizza is the best. And the only thing you can drink with it is birch beer, red, cold, delicious birch beer!
Sure, they sell other beverage...but really, try the birch beer. 

Now, we need to get dessert and happily we will not have to go far to reach Khor Bros. for some frozen custard. Now Kohr Bros. first came from Pennsylvania, do so many people at the Jersey shore. And then the product,the actually first 'frozen custard' was perfected on another island a hundred miles or so to the north, Coney Island.
In 1917, a school teacher from York, PA named Archie Kohr purchased a locally made ice cream machine that was powered by a gasoline engine. He and his younger brothers, Elton and Lester, wanted to expand the dairy business they ran from the family's farm.

The fresh homemade ice cream was a popular addition to the milk delivered door to door by the Kohr brothers' horse-drawn wagon. They experimented with the recipe. It now had less fat and less sugar for a smoother, lighter product. 
Sylvester Kohr, their uncle, urged the brothers to take their new machine and frozen dessert to the shore. Following his advice, the Kohr brothers set up a small booth on the bustling boardwalk of Coney Island in 1919. On their very first weekend, they sold more than 18,000 cones at a nickel each. They knew they were on to something great!

You can have vanilla, or chocolate or several other flavors. They even have shakes and smoothies I think, and you can get your frozen delight in a cup. But folks, if you want to do things right, the Ocean City way, there is only one thing to order. That is an orange and vanilla twist in a cone .
And hurry up! Can't you see it is melting!!

Still hungry?
Looking for a little something to munch?
Well, just down the block is Johnson's Popcorn.
Since 1940, Johnson's Popcorn has been one of the most famous icons of the Ocean City, New Jersey's Boardwalk. The aroma of hot caramel tossed over giant kernels of popcorn has lured millions of visitors to Johnson's Popcorn's storefronts that lie beneath the red and white awnings on Ocean City's famous boardwalk!
All of Johnson's Caramel Popcorn is "Hand Mixed" in large copper kettles. This mixing process always draws a crowd of fascinated eyes and hungry snackers during the summer season. So don't forget to order your favorite hand mixed Caramel Popcorn today!
Let's stop and buy a tub. Maybe one to take home to the folks. Here again we are offered some choices. They have butter popcorn and they have caramel popcorn with nuts...but I think they are just offered as a test. No one buys them. No, just go up to the counter and order us a tub of their famous caramel popcorn. Tell them you want a open tub, so that you will get one scooped up, fresh to order, and overflowing. They will give you a lid for later, when you get the volume down, and they will put it in a plastic bag to catch the overflow.

I warn you! Watch out for the swooping seagulls that hand around in front of the store, waiting for pieces to fall!

Ok, surely we are done, right!
Well, I think there are a few more favorite we should check out. I personal favorite are the almond macaroon from George's Candies. Tripician's in Atlantic City make the World's best, but George has the best in Ocean City.

And if you are in Ocean City there is one place that you just have to visit, Shriver's! Salt Water Taffy is what they are famous for, but they also make a fine fudge, in a huge variety of flavors. It is a very attractive old store, with lovely wooden cabinets and if you go to the back of the store you can watch through the glass wall as they actually make the taffy, in dozens of flavors. And it is the oldest business on the Ocean City Boardwalk!!
Shriver's is the oldest business on the boardwalk in Ocean City, New Jersey. In 1898 William Shriver founded Shriver's as a restaurant, ice cream, and candy store. In 1959, Shriver's was purchased by four brothers who owned Dairy Maid Confectionery Company; a retail candy and ice cream shop chain throughout Philadelphia. Today, it is owned and operated, three generations later, by the same family. The legacy of Shriver’s famous Salt Water Taffy, Fudge, and other fine confections still remains, over 100 years later. No one else on the Ocean City Boardwalk can boast the rare combination of a factory and retail store where you can come and see our delicious Salt Water Taffy and other confections being made.
vanilla walnut please!
Hi, Mr. Taffy

This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
"Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."
Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.


  1. You've made "da shore" look awfully appealing!

  2. I remember my first trip to Ocean City and it was all about the food. I remember it was the first time I had a "sidewalk sundae" and also stromboli. I've always been amazed at the amount and variety of great food one can get at da shore!

  3. Thanks for the tour. For some reason I was most interested in the multiple desserts!

  4. I have clearly missed out. One of Mr. BFR's sisters has a place in OC, NJ and we go there on occasion. (1) I'm printing this post out before we go next time and (2) who knew you were so close -- so you'll be getting email next time we go. LOL. Mr. BFR is usually surf fishing, so I have the days to myself.

  5. Years and years ago I visited the Jersey Shore and strolled the Boardwalk...and yes, ate all the unhealthy, but satisfying food there! Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  6. A stroll along the boardwalk and all that food looks just perfect.

  7. Hi!
    Sounds like food heaven. I'll take that big ice cream cone. Have a great day!

    Just Books

  8. That pizza and the orange and vanilla twist cone look absolutely wonderful! If I ever have a chance to visit the Jersey Shore I'll know exactly what to eat!

    Keep cool!

  9. Thanks for the trip down memory lane -- we used to go to the Jersey Shore for vacation every summer when I was a kid.

    Kohr's is the best; my favorite salt water taffy flavor was peppermint; and I absolutely love birch beer -- although no one else in my family could ever stomach it, lol.

  10. Boy, a good boardwalk is a destination of itself. You've made me jealous for your day!

  11. I am going to be in Stone Harbor in August and we always go to Ocean City. Now I really can't wait after seeing this. I so envy you. Great post!

  12. There's nothing like Ocean City boardwalk food! Great post!

  13. I just had dinner but you are making me hungry all over. You had me at the pizza place with birch beer. I love how timeless these places are-very cool post!

  14. I love to see a peek into the different stores all over the world :) Thanks :)

  15. Thanks for the fun tour. That's a place I've never been but it sure looks like a lot of fun!

  16. That was almost as much fun as being there! Loved the pizza story! But where are the french fries from real potatoes?! :<)

  17. Thank you for this trip down da shore! I got a vicarious thrill from your descriptions and pictures of boardwalk food. It's been years since I've been on a Jersey boardwalk, but I remember it well. Hope you continue to get some relief from the heat! We had a mini heat wave, but today is more comfortable here at the Coast of Maine.

  18. Yes, I skipped the Fudge Kitchen Fudge...and the fresh cut French Fries...and the lemonade made right in front of you.

    Maybe we need Part II!

  19. Fudge AND French fries - now there's a meal!


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