(Sigh) Summer is deep in the process of winding down, and with Labor Day upon us, another season of Shackin’ Up for the Summer comes to a close. While that in itself may be sad, I can’t help but look back and smile with satisfaction, knowing how much great seafood we’ve uncovered at the small beachside shacks of the Jersey Shore. To the readers, I thank you for joining me on this ride once again and for all of your emails and suggestions of shacks to try. I know I didn’t get to all of them, but that’s what next year is for.
Oar House Pub, 318 42nd Place, Sea Isle City; Go to OarHouseSeaisle.com
For our final Shackin’ Up of 2019, I headed back down to Fish Alley in Sea Isle City, to the recently re-monikered Oar House Pub. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, that’s because you may remember when it was Lobster Loft, the famous rustic powder blue building sitting on the water with the giant red lobster out front. (Fact: Anytime I see a giant red lobster it makes the shackin’ at least 10-15% better). It’s been givin a bit of a polish since the old days, which I must admit does take down the interior shack vibe just a bit, but the saltwater air, fresh seafood and laid-back atmosphere do a nice job making up for that.
It’s nice to see a spot try something a little different with calamari, and this version which was fried and then finished with a kick of sriracha made for a pleasant start to the meal.
Applewood Bacon-Wrapped scallops
The general rule of thumb that bacon makes everything better held true here, as these freshly caught scallops were certainly boosted by the salty crunch of the crispy bacon. A sun dried tomato pesto sauce helped make this a memorable app.
Fried Jumbo Gulf Shrimp
Serving fried shrimp butterflied should be standard practice at every restaurant. Oar House Pub did just that and coated the crustaceans in a crunchy breading that added both flavor and texture.
Snow Crab Clusters
Simple, yet almost always perfect, these steamed treats came with the standard butter and lemon wedges and were a crowd pleaser. But the $32 price tag seemed outrageously high for snow crab.
Throw it back:
Don’t assume that everyone wants a side of steamed broccoli with their fried shrimp. It’s an odd pairing to begin with.
Flounder Po Boy
Anyone who has been to New Orleans knows what a po boy is. And this ain’t it. Flounder with lettuce, tomato and onion inexplicably served on a sesame seed hamburger-style bun, nothing about this sandwich reminded me or anyone else of the Big Easy. Just call it what it is — a flounder sandwich.
Applewood bacon-wrapped scallops