The trick isn’t always choosing the fanciest or the most locally sourced restaurant – sometimes, those aren’t even possibilities. If you are, say, in an oceanside resort town in the beginning of fall, many places may be closed for the season. If you are there with a huge group of people, your choices get even fewer. You may need to improvise, and this is where the trick turns from choosing the best menu to choosing the best item on the menu.
Greenhouse Cafe is a little eatery in the quaint seaside town of Ship Bottom, New Jersey. Think fudge stores, carousels, and lazy days of picnicking on the beach. This restaurant caters to the local family-oriented crowd and is thus casual, sunny, and leans to an all American bill of fare.
Let’s get one thing straight – this AIN’T Rhode Island clam chowder. This is a mixture of Manhattan and New England chowder. What it misses in proper moniker, though, it makes up for it taste. This is one of my favorite chowders in recent memory! Thinner than many clam chowders and a dusky rose color, this soup has the best of both worlds. It has the buttery base and creamy potatoes of New England clam chowder and the gentle heat, aromatic celery, and juicy tomatoes of Manhattan clam chowder.
Even better, the clams themselves are fantastic – large and tender, with the salty-sweet taste that only fresh clams have. The small size of this is a very hearty appetizer, but it is light enough to not be a total gut bomb.
if you are looking for the greatest burger since foie gras, this isn’t it. However, if you are looking for a very ordinary turkey burger served under a blanket of gooey cheddar cheese, with Jersey fresh vegetables, atop a crusty yet supple bun, here is your man! The burger is a little dense and dry, but hey; it’s not the speciality of the house. It is cheap, it is hot, and it is very serviceable when doused in ketchup.
This is what the Greenhouse Cafe is – very serviceable. The service is a bit brusque, but the prices are cheap, the place is clean, and the food is fine. In fact, the soup is sensational – trip worthy for sure. This is the whole point of this post – don’t order the prime rib at the Greenhouse Cafe. Don’t get the Cajun Chicken Pasta. Get the local seafood, a reliable sandwich or salad, and enjoy being with your loved ones.
Come to think of it…eating with loved ones is actually the best tip for enjoying any meal.