By Sharon Prudhomme
The Hawk is out, a chill in the air! Hearty homemade soups sound in order don’t you think?
Many of you probably have a favorite go to recipe such as Grandma’s. Her handed down family recipe card is creased, stained, treasured and still in use I bet. Well, how ‘bout a little soup fun? Keep reading and I’ll tell you all about it. Soup, such a great food and ever so versatile. It’s great as a lunch, a snack, an appetizer, or a meal! Millions of styles & flavors to choose from. I decided to go “Soup Hopping”, a “soup cruise” if you will along a stretch of 71. Such a fun chilly afternoon/evening adventure. “Adult Beverages” are optional but with many of the new craft brews and interesting wines, I’d bet many would agree-there are some great pairings.
Each of the following establishments are unique and great local spots. Please like each one on Face Book and check their listings for some great music and activities!
H-A-double R-I-G-A-N spells Harrigan! We started our “Soup Hop” at Harrigan’s, located at 703 Baltimore Ave. (Rt.71), Sea Girt. Their homemade Beef Vegetable was just right & hit the spot with a beefy broth flavor, just right for the chilly weather. Happy Hour at the bar from 3-6pm offers 2.50 domestic pints, $4 craft pints as well as a house wine special. A $5 bar menu is available with several choices to choose from. Kelly and Reggie, two long standing bartenders are cheery and quick with a handshake. Sweet owners, Bill & Casey, along with great staff keep it all moving smoothly. We always enjoy meeting and chatting it up with locals and travelers. http://www.harriganspub.com/
The Spring Lake Tap House, 810 NJ 71, Spring Lake was #2 on the cruise. Happy Hour is all day with well bev’s at $3 and a $5 bar menu also available. A happy greeter as we walked in set the mood! Seated at the bar we decided on the Lobster Bisque, which was thick, creamy and rib stickin’ good. I found a fair amount of lobster meat, upping it with a dash of black pepper. Noise level isn’t as loud as the old Porch, but can be a tad much when seats are full. The bartenders and wait staff alike are upbeat, making it an enjoyable pit stop.
St. Stephens, (same-ownership as Spring Lake Tap House) 2031 NJ 71, Spring Lake, being the 3rd on the “Hop” offered an extra bonus! On Tuesday evenings there are folks who pop in for an Irish Session 7-10pm. (I prefer to sit at the bar, not to take up a table for a cup of soup- more lively conversations too) Again, a happy young greeter at the door! Just one of my little things I find so important. The de jour was a Rustic Tomato Shrimp. Now this was right up my alley. I love a soup that is made with “visible” substantial veggies, meats or seafood. This was nice and thick almost “forkable”. I’d call it a hearty fill up soup. After soup & a zinn it was time to move on. The great atmosphere, attentive, happy bartenders & great sounds made it hard to leave. (By the way I had my spoons in the car and yes,….. yes I threw in a little rhythm!) And, our young greeter didn’t let us leave without a, “have a great night, thanks for coming”. http://www.ssgpub.com/
Heading North on 71 just up the road a piece #4 on the “Soup Hop” was Mr. Shrimp. Eat in, takeout meals, fresh seafood, live lobsters & clams are available at a service counter. Happy greetings from staff as soon as we walk in- always our experience here. It does get busy so call ahead or get in early or later. We sat out front with view of seafood sales and cooks preparing dishes which kept it lively & entertaining. BYOB to dine or enjoy an iced Tea or soft drink. I chose the Lobster Bisque, while my husband went for his favorite-Manhattan Clam Chowder. The bisque was fantastic! It was thick and creamy with generous chunks of lobster. It had a perfect base and flavor, but we prefer to jack it up a tad. A couple shakes Old Bay (available on the table) brought it to life. The Manhattan Clam in its tomato broth, was packed with nice chunks of sweet bell pepper, carrots, potato and celery. On a recent Mr. Shrimp dinner with a neighbor, I had the New England Clam. The flavor was great although I did hit it up with a couple shakes of Old Bay. Loaded with big chunks of potato and plenty of clams it was excellent. Now for the “meat & tater” kind of person it’s wonderful but perhaps not for those of us fighting the Baby Boomer bulges! Phew! The needle is up, I’m registering FULL! Four cups of soup and we were maxed out! Guess we’ll have to do another “Soup Hoppin’ Cruise” soon. http://www.mrshrimp.com/
I must mention, although not on this cruise, two outstanding soup and dining spots we recently checked out. Sweat Tease, Belmar has incredible Mushroom Brie!
The Quarter House, Pt. Pleasant does a great Gumbo as well as a thick and hearty Butternut soup that I love!
Now for the fun part! The “Soup It Up Contest”! Send us your tried and true soup recipe – Granny’s or your own favorite. Get YOUR recipe posted on JerseyShoreScene & WIN a “Stock Pot of Goodies” jam packed with various kitchen necessities!
Send recipes to: Sharon Prudhomme at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tell your friends, neighbors and co-workers! Have fun and Soup It Up! Be sure to like us on Face Book!