Three More OC Restaurants: Hula Grill, OC Surf Cafe, Sticks N Noodles

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Beside Manco & Manco, I think I only frequented one other sit-down place on the boardwalk in Ocean City NJ — the Hula Grill. The kids were skeptical about getting anything other than typical heart-failure-boardwalk-food, but consented when they realized this place has hamburgers, hot dogs, and fries just like everyplace else. There isn’t much room inside, and the waitstaff seemed to a little deer-in-the-headlights with our party of eight at first, but the weather was fine, there was plenty of outdoors seating, and the food was more than serviceable. I had the Fire Cracker Shrimp and Shrimp Cakes, Heather got some Coconut Shrimp (I think), and K1 adventurously ordered Hawaiian Chicken. All of the Hawaiian meals came with a heaping side of salad that was really quite yummy. The sauces could be dominating, so I might advise you to get most of them on the side and apply lightly.

I also took out Biggie and K3 for breakfast in-town one time at the OC Surf Cafe, one of the finer places I’ve been to at Ocean City. Nice decor, friendly staff; it just felt nicely kept-up and not surrendering to entropy the way a lot of local places incline to. The food was also done right, and the kids enjoyed their pancakes, breakfast burritos, and whatnot. I had “The Gesler,” sort of a California-twist on an Eggs Benedict, with avocado, crabmeat, and lemon basil hollandaise. Recommended.

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On our last day at Ocean City the boys rallied for a return visit to OC Surf Cafe, but it was packed with an anticipated 45 minute wait for our party. I had been eyeing Sticks N Noodles all trip because there just isn’t a lot of Filipino places around, and I somehow managed to convince everybody to have brunch there. It was empty, and the single waitress was clearly inexperienced, but everybody was eager to please. Again with the generic stuff for most of the kids, but Dana and I tried the pineapple and jalapeño fried rice + bbq chicken-on-a-stick + spring roll combo. Great. You can always make a snap judgment of a South Asian place by whether they use fresh pineapples in their stir fry. The bubble tea was also made with real fruit, not just powders. It must be tough to start an ethnic place off-boardwalk in a shore town; I wish them the best of luck.

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