EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP - Inside the Tilton Inn, everything seems covered in green and light wood, giving the impression of standing just off the fairway on a golf course. The scene on one of several large television screens was similar, a professional golf match from somewhere around the world. Soccer and other professional sports appeared on other screens in the dining room, and all those sporty things can make a couple hungry. Thirsty, too.
We were a little put off when we first entered. We stood at the wait station but no one approached us. Finally, my dining companion walked over to a bar tender, who also seemed to be ignoring us, to ask for help. Directed to sit anywhere we liked, we grabbed two menus and chose a booth. When our server showed up, he was friendly, chatty, and helpful, but a little too quick on firing our orders.
It took us a while to page through the extensive menu. As bar menus go, the one at the Tilton Inn has plenty to choose from. Starters include u-peel shrimp, shrimp in the basket, French fried mushrooms, mozzarella sticks, or a platter with several of the biggest sellers, three types of potato skins, steamers priced three ways, and a combo with chicken tenders, Buffalo wings and Buffalo shrimp. Then there's a selection of super gourmet burgers, plus so many salads they need two sections just to list them all. Luncheon specials, prime rib night and a package goods store complete the picture.
On the assumption the quality of food at a bar/restaurant can be judged by the quality of their wings, we chose the smallest order of Buffalo chicken wings ($7.25) from a section called 'Wings and Things'. At least a dozen of the large, meaty wings with plenty of sauce arrived with a cup of blue cheese dressing and crispy celery strips - maybe the best we have sampled in the area.
The basic nachos ($7.99) was another large portion. Plenty of crispy chips were coated with melted cheddar cheese sauce, sliced jalapeno peppers, diced tomato, onion, and green pepper, and served with sides of salsa, guacamole, and sour cream. Chili could be added for an additional $3; chicken for an additional $4. A house salad which arrived along with the appetizers was composed of sliced cucumbers, tomato wedges, and lettuce, some of which was passed its prime. A cup of creamy Italian was zesty and we used it more as a dipping sauce than dressing.
Our entrees arrived much too quickly; we were barely half-way through our appetizers. The dining room was not packed yet, so we saw no reason for the rush. The fried jumbo Gulf shrimp ($11.50) were breaded, deep fried, and slightly greasy to the touch when we picked them up to dip into the piquant cocktail sauce provided. A big pile of shoestring fries and a side of cole slaw, a balanced sweet and sour, finished the plate. The grilled Cowboy steak ($18.95) came out with heavy grill marks, smokey flavor, and perfectly medium rare. A baked potato with sour cream and butter in packets was good, but the fresh asparagus spears were overcooked and wrinkled.
The appetizers at the Tilton Inn are every bit as big as the entrees, and we needed three boxes to carry our leftovers home.
While the crowd was definitely all adults, there happened to be one guy at the bar spewing profanity loudly enough to make us all uncomfortable. Because the bar takes up the center of the room, we recommend using the side dining room if you come in with a family. The fact this loud conversation was with one of the bartenders suggested to us it is up to the customer to ask for another table.