The Speakeatery: Sandwiches in Asbury Park

Yesterday, Matt and I went to Asbury Park (along with my friend Brit from college) to watch the LGBTI Pride Parade and Festival. We were a little hungry and decided to go to a relatively new restaurant, The Speakeatery, where Matt’s friend Jake happens to work. It’s a cute little place with an old-school feel. Orders are taken at the counter and there is even chalk board in front of the seats for guests to draw on.

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They offer deli sandwiches, specialty sandwiches, salads, soups, and a variety of sides. It took us all quite some time to figure out what we wanted since everything sounded so good!

I got the Pickle Focker, which was made up of pickle brined fried chicken, pickles, bacon, pickle slaw, and dill shallot aioli served on a round roll. I also added fries for $1. This sandwich absolutely did not disappoint. First off, it was so big I could barely take a proper bite. The chicken was incredibly juicy and I loved the flavor that the pickle brine gave it. The shoestring fries were also piping hot and very well seasoned. There was also enough for the three of us to share.

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Matt got the Angry Al Capone: ham, prosciutto, hot capocolla, pepperoni, hot cherry peppers, and provolone on a hero roll. I only took a little bite, but it was very good from what I tasted! Finally, Brit got the Pork Chop Express: garlic and herb shaved pork chop, broccoli rabe, and provolone served on a soft pan baked hero. She said it was delicious.

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We all agreed that we would definitely go back. Next time, though, I want the Hand Grenade: smoked bone-in BBQ rib, baked bean puree, five cheese mac-n-cheese, house whiskey BBQ sauce,and cole slaw. How amazing does that sound? (Also, click here to see a video about the sandwich.)

What’s the best sandwich you’ve ever had?

Date Day in Asbury Park

Hi everyone! Sorry for the lack of posts lately. Matt and I have both been very busy with work and haven’t had many days off to spend together. However, we were finally off on Wednesday and decided to spend it in Asbury Park doing what we do best: eating.

We slept in before Matt made a little light breakfast of fresh Italian bread, tomatoes, basil, and balsamic. It was just enough to get us going. Although the air was a little brisk, the sun was shining. We hopped in the car and made a shopping pit stop before continuing to Asbury.

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When we got there, it was pretty foggy, but we decided to take a stroll to the boardwalk anyway. There wasn’t much open. Even so, we walked all the down to the Convention Hall to check out the shops. Asbury Park Roastery’s Boardwalk Cafe was open and we got two big cups of cold brew. It was excellent coffee.

After we walked back to Cookman Avenue, Matt and I were a bit peckish, so we stopped in at Brickwall. We ordered the deviled eggs and six middleneck clams (they were only $1 each). I loved how briny the clams were, and adding a little lemon juice made them even better.

Once we were finished, our next stop was Taka, where Matt recently started working as a sushi chef. They have happy hour from 3 to 6. We each got a Sapporo draught for $3 and Matt got a large hot sake for $6 (but I really don’t like sake). For food, we ordered the kara-age (Japanese fried chicken). It was served on a bed of cabbage and the sauce was sweet and spicy. We also decided to get an order of house made chips and guacamole as well as beef negimaki (thinly sliced beef with scallions and teriyaki sauce). Everything was so delicious!

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We walked around town some more, even though it was getting colder out. Matt and I weren’t starving, but we still wanted to have some food at Pascal and Sabine: a European-style brasserie which a few of Matt’s coworkers had recommended. The interior was beautifully decorated – sleek and dark with moody lighting. Our server, Jeff, was knowledgeable and attentive making our dining experience absolutely impeccable.

For cocktails, I had Sabine’s Mimosa and Matt had the Spiced Paloma. We shared some charcuterie: pork pâté en croute and Sainte-Maure goat cheese. It was presented beautifully with honey, jam, candied pecans, apples, tomatoes, cornichons, and pickled mustard seeds. For a small plate, we ordered the pan-seared sea bream with creamed wild mushrooms. The fish was prepared perfectly and the sauce was rich and full of flavor.

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We left feeling incredibly satisfied. What a wonderful day!

What are some of your favorite local restaurants? What do you like to order when you go there?

MOGO Korean Fusion Tacos

Matt and I didn’t know what we wanted to do today. After deliberating, we drove to Long Branch only to discover that the cafe we were planning on visiting didn’t open until 6:30 PM! So, we took a drive and ended up in Asbury Park – one of our favorite places. We thought about where we could go and ultimately decided on MOGO Korean Fusion Tacos after I mentioned “unlimited kimchi bar.”

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MOGO is a casual Korean fusion spot right on Cookman Avenue. Their basic menu boasts tacos, burritos, bowls, and salads plus your choice of protein: beef, chicken, fish, pork, shrimp, or tofu. They also offer a bibimbap burger, boki cheesesteak, and Korean fried chicken, among other selections.

Today, I ordered the bowl with veggie fried rice, pork with citrus mayo slaw, and added the Korean esquites (corn with cotija cheese, lime, and kimchi) for an extra $1. Matt ordered the burrito with bulgogi beef and Asian pico de gallo. The pork was marinated very well – a good mix of salty and spicy. I’m also very happy I added the esquites because the corn/kimchi combo brought some extra flavor. Matt’s burrito was very good, too (he liked it better than my bowl). The beef was very tender and definitely had the sweetness that is so characteristic of bulgogi.

We also sampled the cucumber kimchi, daikon radish kimchi, and traditional cabbage kimchi. The cucumber was my favorite (it wasn’t too spicy). Matt liked the daikon, which was sweet and vinegary. We both agreed that the cabbage kimchi was a little bland.

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The prices were very reasonable (both the burrito and the bowl cost $9) and the portions were a good size. We left feeling very full and would 100% go back again.

After lunch, we took a nice drive through Deal and Spring Lake. Although it was very cold out, we enjoyed looking at all the beautiful houses.

Have you ever been to MOGO? What’s your favorite thing to get?

Hot Empanadas and Cold Drinks: Jersey Shore Edition

There is something beautiful about things wrapped in dough: sweet things, savory things. And they’re usually better when they’re fried. That’s exactly what Matt and I were craving today, so we hopped in the car and went to one of the Empanada Guy food trucks. The one we went to was located on Chambersbridge Road in Brick, NJ, in the parking lot of the Ocean Ice Palace Ice Skating Rink.

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Empanada Guy has nine food trucks in total and one brick and mortar restaurant located in Freehold, NJ.

We ordered the chorizo, pulled pork, and guava and cheese empanadas, and a side order of the sweet corn tamales. The tamales were fresh from the fryer and everything else smelled so good. We grabbed our bags and sat in the car, with the top down (it was 73 degrees today!).

 

First, we unwrapped the tamale from its corn husk. It was soft and steamy, and we poured hot sauce on top. The sweetness of the masa and the acidity of the hot sauce combined perfectly. Next, we tried the chorizo empanada. The filling was bright red and the dough was crispy. It was a little spicy, but not enough to deter me (Matt, on the other hand, loves spicy food). After that was the pulled pork. It was super juicy and meaty. Adding some salsa verde made it even yummier, too. Finally, it was time for the guava and cheese. The guava paste was sweet and tangy, and the mozzarella cheese was oozy and delicious. There was no disappointment with this meal at all.

After lunch, we took a drive up to Asbury Park where we went to Asbury Festhalle and Biergarten. I had the Blanche de Bruxelles and Matt had the Hacker-Pschorr Dunkel. We were able to sit at the roof garden and, although it was a little windy, the sun was shining and got to relax. We spent some time checking out a few shops before stopping in at Bond Street for another drink. Matt had a PBR and I had a cranberry vodka. Bond Street is definitely a local dive, but the atmosphere is chill and the drinks are cheap. We really love going there!

Moving on, we took a walk down to the boardwalk and ventured out onto a jetty. It was so nice being able to put our toes in the sand and being surrounded by beautiful, crashing waves in February. Another day off well spent.

What are some of your favorite food trucks and bars to go to in your area? What makes them great?