Haru (Maplewood/South Orange area)
This was one of those all you could eat sushi spots. Although the 3 people I went with got sushi, I opted to get beef and rice. The beef and rice was pretty good, but the company is what made it fun--plus we brought some wine! I remember the waitress not being so great, but whatever. I probably won't go back, but not a bad spot if your looking for sushi in the maplewood/south orange area.
Sweet Basil Cafe (South Orange)
Normally, probably an awesome place--however, it was a bad day. I'm sure if I went back I'd have good things to say.
Drinking and dancing with friends. This place needs no detailed description. We always have fun here whether grabbing a beer or getting rowdy. They always have live bands in the corner so bring your dancing shoes. Its not a big space, but even more of a reason to grind on that blondie eyeing you down.
Waters Edge (Bayville)
I was down in Tom's River at my buddy AJ's house. His grandparents have a sweet house on the water with a pool and tiki bar. His dad also has a beautiful 36 ft cigarette boat which he takes us on whenever we are down. Waters Edge is a bar on the water that they usually go to while out on the boat. The restaurant/bar is a quick 10-15 minute drive from their house so they usually go there when Tony's Tiki isn't cutting it.
We probably had a good 8 people on board the cigarette, but that didn't slow this boat down as it ripped through the water. You could barely open your eyes when on this thing--next time I have to remember sunglasses. We pulled up to the Waters Edge and were about to dock out on the water, but for some reason they had a new rule regarding cigarette boats being docked by the restaurant. Everyone was pretty confused as they were just here last weekend and had no problems. The Waters Edge employee told us that was the owners new rule so we pulled away as AJ's dad didn't have bumpers to park alongside the wooden dock.
I don't know why the owner made this new rule, but he missed out on a lot of business. Not only did we have 8 people in our boat ready to eat and drink, but AJ's dad had friends coming. We waited for the 2 additional boats to arrive when we all decided to go back to AJ's house and hang out a Tony's Tiki.
We spent the rest of the day lounging around the pool and the tiki bar. I actually had a better time here than at the bar so I'm happy we didn't go. We cooked some delicious food and had some awesome drinks. A perfect way to spend a saturday.
AJ's dad made some banging clams on the BBQ. It was a simple recipe, but they came out so good. It was red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and beer. I would definitely recommend trying that recipe next time you want to fire up some clams.
Jack and Bills (Seaside, NJ)
Seaside, home of Jersey Shore isn't all guidos all the time. Sure, there are some bars that attract more of that crowd like Bamboo or Karma, but I think we know to stay away from them unless you have a blowout and a beater. Seaside isn't all aboutGTL (Gym, Tan, Laundry) as there are actually some pretty cool bars along the boardwalk.
After a day of drinking, we took a taxi from AJ's house in Tom's River to seaside. I can't really go into detail about the night, but it sure was fun. We stayed at Jack and Bills for the majority of the night before getting kicked out. We were playing beer pong with these girls and next thing I know, my friends were having some words with this guy. After going over to mediate, I still can't tell you what this guys problem was. Were we playing beer pong with his girl? Was he jealous of my dance moves? --Soulja boyyyyyyy! I don't really know what caused the fight, but the guy pushed me and the bouncers insisted on kicking both of us out. He told us that it was protocol. Personally, I think its stupid to kick out someone who didn't start the fight plus its even more stupid to kick both parties out as they probably will fight outside.
Our love for cheesesteaks kept us out of a fight. The cheesesteak was delicious and so much better than a bloody lip. We headed back to AJ's for the night where a few hours later I would have one of the biggest hangovers of my life.
I would definitely recommend going to seaside if in the area. There are definitely fun bars around the area as long as you stay away from certain places. Some assholes will penetrate the good bars too, so bringing your boxing gloves to seaside is just as important as an ID.
Bubbakoo's Burritos (Manasquan, NJ)
BubbaKoo's Burritos is a beach version of Chipotle. The guy behind the counter was probably the owner as he was really into helping me out. I let him talk about the process of making the burrito like he was the first one to think of the assembly line structure. I went with the carnitas and added a few other things as I went down the line including rice, cheese, salsa, and hot sauce.
Eating inside the cold air-conditioned QSR (quick serve restaurant) definitely added to the experience, but the burrito itself was pretty good. A bit pricey for the Jersey Shore as I probably spent the same amount as if I was at the Chipotle around the corner from my apartment in Manhattan. The place was empty so I wonder how business is treating them. This is suppose to be their busy season.
I ended my Bubbakoo's Experience with a Chaco Taco on the walk back to the beach. Overall, a decent experience but I probably won't go back.