Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Taste of Ocean Grove

Ocean Grove, New Jersey is one of our many beach towns, however, it is one of my favorites. It boasts the quaint serenity of a place tucked snug between the ocean and the rest of the world. With boutiques, bed and breakfasts, cafes, a cheese shop, and in town bakeries, it is all at your fingertips.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of participating in what is called the "Taste of Ocean Grove, " which is a foodies tour of what the little town has to offer. This is my fourth tasting and it is very enjoyable. For $15 you get a list of about 10 local places in town that serve up some of their most delicious bites. From mini crab cakes to apricot poppyseed scones the palette is sure to be satisfied at the end of the evening.

It is a casual affair at which we take the whole family. My parents, in-laws, nephew, great-aunt, husband and the smallest member of our family attend as we stroll the Main Street with baby-in-tow. All of the local shop and restaurant owners are more than generous with helping to fill up each and every belly. My most favorite stop this time was our first one. It is a place called Cheese on Main. We had the most delicious plate of selected cheeses including a fig preserve, which was really teasing my tastebuds!

I love the atmosphere of the whole experience. We toured a restaurant called Bia and were welcomed upstairs to see the guest rooms of those visiting OG. One of the most famous Ice Cream Parlors in town called Nagles offers an ice cream cone as part of the tasting experience. To top if off, we stopped into the Ocean Grove Bakery for a mini cupcake. At that point we were all well satisfied as we walked off while listening to the live band playing on the street corner.

If you are from New Jersey, this is a wonderful stop to make even off season as there is better parking and much to be explored. If you are an out-of-towner,  be sure to visit in the summer to get a glimpse of Tent City, which is a most amazing experience. Tiny little colorful tents with just about enough room to twirl around inside, line the streets. These tents are so popular that there are 10 year waiting lists to get one for the season! Horse-drawn carriage rides and the Great Auditorium are some of the other attractions that make Ocean Grove such a special place.


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