Friday, September 3, 2010

My Trip to the Jersey Shore: Labrador Lounge

Yes, I went to the Jersey Shore. No, it wasn't Snookie-esque. I went to celebrate my friend's birthday: Mr. Matzo Ball Soup. It was the kind of Jersey Shore experience that made you want to have a vacation home. It made you think of the easy ways of the old times. It was just good old fashioned fun. We had dinner at the Labrador Lounge. It's a laid back restaurant on Normandy Beach where locals sit back with a bucket of beer and some good food. First and foremost, I'd like to point out that this place is BYOB. Yes, you can save a lot of money by bringing your own beer, wine, or liquor here. They'll even supply a bucket of ice for you. They bring over a load of bread and grissini with some herbed butter and garlic oil. This was nice as we waited for our orders. The birthday boy had the Ono Salad ($10) to start. Lightly dressed with hearts of palm, leafy greens, and other yummy foods. It was a nice light start to the night. Mr. Meat & Potatoes had the lobster mac n cheese $11 as an appetizer. This was definitely not an appetizer side. It was quite large and really filling. However, it was skimpy on the lobster. You can taste the tender meat in every bite but the creaminess of the cheese melted in your mouth. I ordered the Lobster Rolls ($12) which came in 3 small buns. The lobster was mixed with all kinds of other ingredients but lightly dressed in mayo. I didn't enjoy this as much because I'm a lobster purist. The less ingredients, the better. Miss Lollipop had the corn soup. It was creamy and sweet. But way too hot for a summer dinner outdoors. But it doesn't effect some people. However, I can't eat really hot foods in hot weather. It's just uncomfortable for me. It was quite tasty but wrong season for me. For my entree, I had the special which was some chicken over a bed of black lentils and greens. I forgot the name of it. Heck I forgot how it was cooked. What I did remember was that it was freaking delicious. The plate was huge and I was convinced that I wouldn't finish it. But as I ate, I couldn't stop. The black lentils...oh I love black lentils. So delicious. The texture was just perfect. Not mushy but not crunchy. I guess they can be al dente. The chicken was perfectly cooked as well. The large piece would easily overcook and become dry. But it remained tender, juicy, and flavorful. By themselves or all together, the dish just worked and make me very happy. At the bottom of the plate, I was happy that I wore a lose fitting dress. He had the lobster ravioli with shrimp. Look how pretty it looks. At first, I thought this was heavy as well but it really wasn't. Yes the sauce was creamy but it wasn't overly so. It didn't over power the shrimp. And it certainly didn't over power the lobster inside each carefully wrapped ravioli. The seasonal veggies scattered throughout was a nice touch to lighten the meal up. All in all, a good dish. Delicious and well thought out. The birthday boy picked the salmon. It was grilled and sat on top some grilled veggies. Here, I think it's boy choy. A huge bok choy. I didn't try this but I was told that it was delicious. And lastly the crab cakes ($26). Two huge crab cakes sitting on top of some couscous and seasonal veggies. I tried a little bit of the crab and it was light and fluffy. They may look like hockey pucks here but they were far from it. I'm used to loosely packed jumbo lump crab but this was quite tasty. The aioli added the slight creamy moisture that one might crave next to the fried crust. This meal was really great. The food was really nice and tasty. I was happy with the flavor of everything that I tried. I was really happy with my entree with the chicken and black lentils. Everyone else enjoyed their food as well. Also, the service was really nice and friendly. They were more down home than uppity. When you're dining next to the beach, you want that neighborly feeling. And the price was so affordable. The portion sizes were quite big and really filling. I would come back to this place in a heartbeat. Labrador Lounge 3581 Route 35 N Normandy Beach, NJ 08739 (732) 830-5770


  1. Hooray for the lobster inspired dishes.
    I want some lobster mac & cheese.

    *imagines a night of Fist-Pumpin'

  2. Hi there, food lover!
    My name is Jane and I'm with Dwellable.
    I was looking for blogs about Jersey Shore to share on our site and I came across your post...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you soon!


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