They may be oldies, but Food Network's Guy Fieri thought two South Jersey restaurant staples were good enough to make it on Friday night's newest "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" episode.
Brigantine's Ernest & Son Meat Market and the Oyster Creek Inn Restaurant and Boat Bar in Leeds Point, both of them with decades of culinary tradition, took up half of the 30-minute episode, starting at 10 p.m.
Mel Cortellessa, owner of Ernest & Son, showed old-time butcher prowess, drying out homemade beef jerky. Fieri and Cortellessa, who said on the episode that he started working in the shop since he was 13, snacked on the the dried beef, seasoned with Jamaican jerk paste, curry and ginger.
The butcher also revealed his secrets on the shop's sausage sandwich, the Tailgater.
"That's really good sausage, man," Fieri told Cortellessa in the back of the kitchen.
The Oyster Creek Inn, the classic seafood restaurant that opened in 1938, closed up the episode.
Owner Bill Kuppel showcased the restaurant, where his sons Jason and Scott manage the bar and kitchen, respectively. Clams Mexicali -- which Scott Kuppel said harkened back to his time in the military in California -- whet Fieri's whistle. Next came spicy Jersey Devil shrimp, on the menu for $3 a piece.
"I'm telling you something man, I'll be back," Fieri said, looking out on to the Great Bay.
That's true, at least in part. Fieri toured several South Jersey restaurants back in November. Soul food-centric Kelsey & Kim's in Atlantic City will be shown at 10 p.m. on Jan. 16 in an episode titled, "Fish, Fries and Feet."
Other restaurants Fieri visited and expected to be on the network in the future include the Anchorage Tavern Restaurant and the Grilled Cheese & Crab Cake Co., both in Somers Point; and Carluccio's Coal Fired Pizza in Northfield.
He's also got another reason to come back, at least to Atlantic City. He's got his namesake Chophouse in Bally's, which opened over the summer, to look after.