It was one of those perfect beach days. My friends and I got an early start, beat the Parkway traffic and reached the beach in plenty of time to enjoy the morning sun…
The five of us hit the sand, which was already hot from the morning sun. We spread our towels, slapped on a coat of sunscreen and began soaking up the rays. The guys headed for the water, while we girls shared gossip. Florida Georgia Line crooned from my portable speakers as I slipped off for a nap.
Does sunbathing make you hungry? It sure works for me. And there’s no better place for an appetite than the boardwalk. We started our beach-cuisine crawl with a 24-inch pie from Three Brothers From Italy. Topped with pepperoni, it was a total winner—perfect for our little family of friends—or any hungry family. Nosey me—I got into a chat with the owner, Stephen Melvin, a true believer in the boardwalk as the perfect place for family fun. “Why go to Disney World,” asks Melvin, “when you can go to Seaside?”
From Three Brothers it was only about 20 steps to Midway Steak House, where we split some of their famous cheese steaks loaded with steaming strips of meat, melted cheese, onions and peppers. That’s my boyfriend Rich biting into the gooey mayhem. We washed it all down with fresh, icy lemonade—a tart exclamation point for our meal. The cold cups were perfect coolers pressed against our foreheads.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: There’s always room for Kohr’s Frozen Custard. On this day, my pick was Raspberry Creme in a cake cone. My friend Nunzio chose the more traditional Orange Creme. The rest of the gang went with vanilla—and lots of sprinkles. Enjoying every lick while guarding against drips isn’t always easy amid the distractions of the boardwalk: big-haired women in loud prints, teenyboppers parading their first bikinis, couples corralling children enticed by the games and prizes. “It’s entertaining,” chimed Jehimi Guevara from behind the Kohr’s counter. “You see a lot of different people and different styles.”
By now, we were thoroughly stuffed. Time to play some games at the Casino Pier. Frog Bog proved to be a group favorite—and a chance to let out any leftover aggression from the work week. Pity the poor frogs. After choosing neon stuffed sharks as our prizes, we moved on to another favorite, Rising Waters. That was great fun, competing against each other to see who could be the first to fill the target with water. Sadly, we all walked away empty-handed.
All those games primed our appetites for a Trenton-style tomato pie from Maruca’s. Travel Channel’s Man vs. Food hit this Seaside hot spot in 2010 and walked away raving about the signature swirled pies. Wow, were they right. At Maruca’s, a blend of cheeses goes right on the dough and is covered by a pinwheel of sauce. The cheese gives the crust an enticing buttery taste. The sauce adds zest and visual appeal. Yum!
Our final dining destination was my personal favorite, Fry Me-Up, a small stand tucked into a corner of the boardwalk. Here, most anything goes into the fryer. We started with the basic fried Oreos, a perfect mash-up of crispy and creamy. Next, we branched out to more savory options, like fried shrimp. I couldn’t resist the creamed-corn nuggets, with their coating of deep-fried batter. They seemed to explode with every bite. We split two more lemonades to cleanse our palates after the fried feast. At least there was some semblance of fruit involved.
What better way to end a sunny afternoon than a romantic spin on the Sky Ride? The ride carried us over the sand parallel the boardwalk. From up here, we had a great view of the beach. Off on the western horizon, the twilight sky was beginning to glow with the coming sunset.
After a quick change of clothes, we hit the rooftop bar at the Beachcomber for some music and something a little more potent than lemonade. Luckily, we were able to commandeer a comfy sofa—the perfect spot to get cozy, enjoy the deejay music and take one final photo of our happy group.