Shut Up and Eat
290 W. Water Street, Toms River
Hours: Sun-Fri 7 am to 2 pm
Style: A friendly, converted deli whose staff serves breakfast and lunch in their pajamas. Everything is purposefully mismatched—the tables, chairs, plastic birthday and holiday tablecloths, even the silverware, plates and cups. From the roller blade on the wall to the denture-shaped salt shaker on the table and plastic skeleton in the old deli counter, Shut Up and Eat is kitschy fun.
Don’t Miss: The quirky humor is sprinkled throughout the menu. Instead of French toast, indulge in “Le toast francais” in petite ($4.22) or le grande ($7.88). Instead of Canadian bacon, order a side of “bacon from Canada” ($2.68). Other sides include classics such as “Joisey’s own pork roll” ($2.46) or “Yep, it’s scrapple” ($2.51). Got a sweet tooth at breakfast? Try the house specialty: strawberry chocolate chip cream cheese, or get a Rice Krispie treat for just $1.03. Shut Up and Eat’s three-egg omelets come with toast and home fries, and can be stuffed with an array of fillings, including zucchini, black beans, bacon, feta, Spam, scallions, and squash (starting at $3.89; 88 cents per extra item). Be sure to check out the pancake section titled “I don’t want eggs today, what else do you have for me?” The pumpkin pancakes are not to be missed. For lunch, head to the “bread filled with stuff section” of the menu. There’s the “I don’t eat meat burger” ($7.11), the “Oy Vey” corned beef on rye ($8.44), and “the day after Thanksgiving (or after everybody else goes home)” sandwich, which combines sliced turkey breast, cranberry sauce, and stuffing on white bread ($8.13). If you’re feeling nostalgic, try “the mystery lunch box deal”—a throwback to the days when Mom packed your lunch and you didn’t know what you had until you opened it (the price changes according to the sandwich).
Heads Up: Come in decked out for a slumber party like the wait staff, and you’ll receive a 13 percent discount on your meal. Bring in a coffee mug for owner Ann Gauthier to keep and you get a free cup of coffee. Leave behind a dinner plate and you get a free pancake.
The Scoop: Check out the Calendar of Events—the restaurant’s own array of special occasions, such as Funny Hat Day, Free Dessert with Lunch Day, or Bring in a Scented Candle and Get a Free Can of Soda Day.