Woot Woot Here Comes Summer


I bet you’re curious…  Yes, this summer at the Jersey Shore is shaping up to be fantastic!  Schools are letting out in the upcoming days and it is time to think Summer Thoughts, namely Firework Displays.

Kaboom is still on the kabash for this year in Red Bank due to organizational and financial issues, but there are still plenty of nearby towns planning on providing spectacular visual entertainment for you and your family.

The longest running event during the Independence Day holiday at the Jersey Shore is the Atlantic Highlands Fireman Fair.  This unique town offers tremendous water views, great restaurants, a marina and fishing boats available to charter throughout the year.  The fair will be going on from July 2-July 6 at Municipal Harbor on Simon Lake Drive.  Circle your calendar for Fireworks on Friday, July 5th with a rain date of Saturday July 7th.

Hazlet is always a winner with fireworks.  Start your holiday weekend early by watching the Wednesday July 3rd display.  Get to Veterans Park, grab a prime spot and wait patiently for the sun to set. (Rain date Friday, July 5th)

Spend the day in Keansburg at the amusement and water parks.  Spend your night ooooing and aaahhhing at the colors exploding across the black canvas of the night sky.   They offer a double feature – Wednesday and Thursday July 3rd and July 4th at dusk – Fishing Pier and Boardwalk

Long Branch proudly presents Oceanfest on Thursday July 4th – all day free family fun can be found.  This annual festival is a crowd pleaser “for shore” with activities happening all day long starting at 10am.  What can be better than good old fashioned family fun at the Promenade in Long Branch!?!  Don’t forget to stop at Strollo’s Lighthouse and cool off or celebrate with an authentic Italian ice or delicious homemade soft serve ice cream.

Union Beach, one of the most devastated Monmouth County communities from Sandy’s wrath, did not have any plans to conduct their annual fireworks display.  Those residents have spent the last 210 days rebuilding their town and their spirits.  One resident entered a contest for a free community fireworks display and Won!  They have not yet posted a date for this wonderful gift that has been bestowed upon them.   Be sure to come and celebrate their victory in determination.  You will never meet a more deserving bunch of people.

So pack up the car and the kiddos – shoot, we’re pet friendly at the Comfort Inn Middletown, so bring the family pet too – and head on down the shore to Exit 117.  There is something to do every day here and we look forward to creating Summer 2013 memories with you!

Advertisements

Great News for Foodies!


Jersey Shore Restaurant Week is coming back April 13-22, 2012! 

Participating restaurants are gearing up to dish out the deliciousness you are craving.  The participating restaurants will offer a three course menu for $20.12 or $30.12 per meal.  You will be able to choose from three appetizers, three entrees and three desserts.   There is “shore” to be something for everyone.

So far some great restaurants are on board to serve up their dinner specialties.  In Red Bank, which is right around the corner from the Middletown Comfort Inn; Basil T’s, Pazzo and Temple Gourmet Chinese will be available for your dining pleasure.  If you go a bit to the east of us in Rumson, you can enjoy the scrumptious meals served at David Burke Fromagerie, Salt Creek Grille, and Undici Taverna Rustica.  There are plenty more restaurants to choose from along the shore.  I dare you to not cook all that week!

Did you miss Restaurant Week in the past because you couldn’t make it out for dinner?  Great News, this year select restaurants will offer Lunch Menus during this special week!  So mark your calendars, or iPhones or Blackberries – don’t miss out!

NJ Marathon Weekend & Other Jersey Shore Events


It’s been one crazy week, I apologize for the lack of posts this week.  Guilt is the main reason I’m sitting at my lap top while the Mets are playing and the NFL Draft is on TV but I digress. The weather report is looking pretty darn excellent for both Saturday and Sunday and that alone would make for a great weekend at the Jersey Shore. The bonus is there’s a bunch of fun events going on so there’s even more of a reason to plan a weekend getaway.  Here’s the scoop:

New Jersey Marathon and Long Branch Half Marathon in Long Branch, NJThe annual New Jersey Marathon and Long Branch Half Marathon will take place in Long Branch, NJ this weekend. For full details on the events surrounding Marathon weekend, visit the New Jersey Marathon website.

The New Jersey Marathon Festival has something for everyone, with a Marathon, Half Marathon, Half Marathon Relay, and Saturday Kids and Family Events, plus world-class courses designed for speed, great area restaurants and attractions, and amazing oceanfront scenery.

Friday and Saturday will feature and Health and Fitness Expo at Monmouth Park. The running related expo will be free, and open to the public, as well as to all participants in The New Jersey Marathon Festival.  Last-minute race applications will be accepted during the expo (no registration on race day). The prices are as follows: Full Marathon: $135.00 and Half Marathon: $115.00. The Expo Hours: 1:00pm to 8:00pm on Friday (4/29), and 9:00am to 6:00pm on Saturday (4/30).

There will be a special New Jersey Marathon Train from NYC Penn Station to Long Branch to ease your travel worries and traffic. Click here for the race day schedule.

Not into running for hours? No worries, there’s plenty more to do like see a show or dine in some really great restaurants.

Saturday April 30th 11:00am  to 5:00pm is Taste of Asbury Park. Over 16 Asbury Park Restaurants will be participating. It will be an event to appeal to everyone with children’s face painting, stilt walker, games, craft vendors and local artists. Rock on with three bands playing  jazz, classic rock and reggae. Discover what Asbury Park restaurant have to offer with food for $3 or $5 from every participating restaurant. Beer, wine and other beverages will be available as well. This year a VIP wine tasting tent  has been added.  Entrance to the event is only $5. Click here for complete information on Taste of Asbury Park.

Brian Regan will be treating audiences to two shows Saturday evening, April 30th at Count Basie Theatre. Show times are 7:00pm and 9:30pm. From Count Basie Theatre website on Brian Regan’s comedic style:

His observational humor about everyday events like shipping a package, visiting the optometrist, little league baseball, spelling bees and science projects are relatively “clean” and profanity-free, and resonate with a fan base ranging from young taste makers to middle-aged adults.

Middletown Arts Center will host “An Evening With Billy Van Zandt” at 7:30pm on Saturday, April 30th to benefit Middletown Township Cultural & Arts Council. Enjoy an exciting evening with actor/writer/producer Billy Van Zandt as he provides an inside look at his life and career. The evening will be moderated by actor Jeff Babey. Ticket price is $100. Purchase tickets early for preferred seating. Event is followed by a wine and cheese reception in the MAC gallery. Tickets are available online here.

Saturday is the start of the week-long “Paint The Town Pink” in Red Bank to raise awareness for breast cancer. Red Bank turns into Pink Bank for this annual event sponsored by Riverview Medical Center. Pink (Monmouth) Beach and Pink (Fair) Haven will also host events in their respective towns. There are a number of events occurring throughout the 3 towns from April 30 to May 7, 2011. Visit pinkbank.org for a full listing of events, details and to donate.

**Update 4/29*** I forgot about Red Bank’s the first Only One Red Bank Home Event. Like a Home Improvement Show, this event spotlights design, appliance, furniture and other businesses in Red Bank’s wonderful business district to help you plan your Spring cleaning and home improvement projects. Consult with design professionals and specialty merchants to bring your home improvement dreams to life! And… Visit 10 businesses to be entered to win a $500 Red Bank Gift Card, great prize packages and more!. So, enjoy your Saturday shopping and planning while indulging in special treatment of entertainment and refreshments at our great participating businesses, and fulfill your home improvement dreams! Then, stop for dinner at one of Red Bank’s great restaurants!

We hope to see you in our neck of the woods shore this weekend.  There’s a lot of fun things to do and see.  If you can’t make it this weekend, watch for next weeks post on: More Pink Bank, the start of Atlantic Highlands Farmers Market (a sure sign of warmer weather), First Saturday in Asbury Park, New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Remembrance Day Ceremony and Taste of Sea Bright. Whatever you do, have a fabulous and relaxing weekend.

Middletown NJ Outback Steakhouse Renovations Nearing Completion – Picture Post


One  of the selling points of  Comfort Inn Middletown is our proximity to the neighboring Outback Steakhouse. With the restaurant renovation nearly complete, I snuck over there (well, not really) with Spiro today to have a look-see.

In speaking with someone working the floor, this the first Outback in the region to be updated with this most recent package and the staff and management are very pleased with the changes.

I only had my iPhone with me so the quality of the pictures are of the iPhone 3Gs variety. It’s a sneak peek nonetheless. To be honest, you don’t have to sneak over there to see it, they are open for business and have been throughout the duration of the facelift.

Starting from the top and working left to right:

1. Outback themed sign outside the restaurant placed at the  entrance closest to the hotel.

2. The “17 Signature Spices” used to season the steaks on display near the front entrance hostess area.

3. Some booths were removed from the dining area to make room for more tables and a more open seating space.

4. The bar area has been updated with new decor, lighting and back bar.  Warm wood tones and festive pictures surround the section.  There is also a new waiting area with a flat screen TV and leather seating by the door.

5. “Great Barrier Rita” and “Bloomin’ Onion displays. (In case you didn’t know already, here’s a hotel secret: If you check-in for the first time at the Comfort Inn Middletown on Foursquare and show the Front Desk Agent, we’ll gladly give you a voucher for a FREE Bloomin’ Onion!)

6. New booths separated from the bar area.

Is a nearby restaurant important to you when making your overnight plans? Comfort Inn Middletown and Outback Steakhouse are a great combo. A comfortable hotel with friendly people and a highly popular restaurant are hard to beat when looking to meet lodging needs.  We look forward to welcoming you.

A Picture of My Giant Burger: Jersey Shore Restaurant Week Continues


On our way to run in the April Fool Race in Atlantic City, Bridget and I incorporated a stop at Harpoon Willy’s Saturday afternoon for Jersey Shore Restaurant Week‘s Burgers, Bloodies and Brews.  It. Was. Awesome. It smelled delicious the second we stepped out of the car. The atmosphere inside was very festive; everyone seemed to be having a great time.   We ordered up our bloody mary’s while we waited for our two top to be ready. I always love to see what bartenders use to garnish bloodies with and the 3 giant olives and lemon wedge were no disappointment.

Once seated, our hungry eyes stared at the burger menu unable to decide which delicious choice to actually eat. I went with the Crabby Burger which is pictured at left. It consisted of a gi-normous burger topped with a crab cake and a creamy sauce (I forgot what exactly it was.).  Bridget went with the gi-normous burger topped with pineapple, bacon and I think honey mustard. We both cleaned our plates and completely stuffed ourselves.  The only bummer is that I missed seeing Jennifer Flynn, I have no idea how I missed her!

There are number of Jersey Shore Restaurant Week events coming up this week:

On Monday, April 4th, The Barclay Hotel in Belmar hosts “The Dream Dinner”.  Executive Chefs from Brandl, David Burke Fromagerie, Doris & Ed’s and Shipwreck Grill each prepare a course and pair them with wines. **Tickets Required

Enjoy “Shellfish and Chardonnay” all day Wednesday, the 6th at Rooney’s Oceanfront Restaurant in Long Branch. $5 chardonnay, $1 shrimp and oysters, .50 clams.

Get to the Point” on Saturday, April 9th at The Elks in Point Pleasant. Beat the winter blues with BBQ and Microbrews. Food courtesy of Prime Market. Live music by RetroJunk.

Restaurant Week ends with “Sunday Soiree-A Taste of St. Tropez” on the ocean in Long Branch at Avenue. Sample delicious Mediterranean foods and wines. Live music  Participating restaurants, Special Event details and ticket purchase available atwww.jerseyshorerestaurantweek.com.  Contact Jim Flynn via email or at 732-859-5643. Some of the special events will require ticket purchase be sure to check out the site for more information.

Four our Comfort Inn Middletown guests, I’ve created a map for the local restaurants participating in Jersey Shore Restaurant Week. The link will open in Google Maps.

Did you attend any of the restaurant week festivities that have happened so far? What are your thoughts?  Leave me a note in the comments below.

Jersey Shore Restaurant Week Starts Friday!


We at Comfort Inn Middletown love Jersey Shore Restaurant Week as it gives us the extra excuse to recommend our favorite restaurants to our guests at a great deal.  The kick off party is actually planned for this Thursday evening at the Dauphin Grille in the Berkeley Hotel in Asbury Park. The area’s top chefs will be preparing their favorite appetizers. Personally, I love making a meal out of appetizers.   Additionally, there will be a wine bar, pate station, cheese booth and a dessert room.

There are nearly 70 restaurants at the Jersey Shore that will offer three course meals on a prix fixe menu for either $20.11 or $30.11. There are a number of special events that will happen throughout restaurant week at the shore.  Saturday, April 2nd, Harpoon Willy’s in Manasquan will host “Burgers, Bloodies and Brews” and Sunday, April 3rd  The Mill, Spring Lake Heights, will present “The Great Jersey Shore Martini Contest” where area bartenders compete for the “Best Martini at the Shore”.

On Monday, April 4th, The Barclay Hotel in Belmar hosts “The Dream Dinner”.  Executive Chefs from Brandl, David Burke Fromagerie, Doris & Ed’s and Shipwreck Grill each prepare a course and pair them with wines.  Enjoy “Shellfish and Chardonnay” all day Wednesday, the 6th at Rooney’s Oceanfront Restaurant in Long Branch. $5 chardonnay, $1 shrimp and oysters, .50 clams.

Get to the Point” on Saturday, April 9th at The Elks in Point Pleasant. Beat the winter blues with BBQ and Microbrews. Food courtesy of Prime Market. Live music by RetroJunk.  Restaurant Week ends with “Sunday Soiree-A Taste of St. Tropez” on the ocean in Long Branch at Avenue. Sample delicious Mediterranean foods and wines. Live music  Participating restaurants, Special Event details and ticket purchase available at www.jerseyshorerestaurantweek.com.  Contact Jim Flynn via email or at 732-859-5643. Some of the special events will require ticket purchase be sure to check out the site for more information.

There are a lot of restaurants very close to the hotel participating so I made a Jersey Shore Restaurant Week map in Google Maps so you can easily locate the nearby restaurants and get directions.  The list includes:

David Burke Fromagerie

Doris and Ed’s Restaurant

Gaetano’s Red Bank

Raven & the Peach

Buona Sera Ristorante & Bar

Nauvoo Grill Club

Bahrs landing Seafood Restaurant and Marina

Basil T’s Brewery and Italian Restaurant

Danny’s Steakhouse, Seafood and Sushi Bar

Via 45

Murray MacGregor’s Publik House

Salt Creek Grille

Undici

Dockside

Jersey Shore Restaurant Week is a great reason to get out and try a new place, re-visit an old hangout or just plain have a night on the town. If you’ve been to a restaurant week event of have had any experiences to share, please fo in the comments section.  I’d appreciate it.  Happy feasting!

*Header Photo Credit

Middletown, NJ: Sometimes YouTube Makes a Blog Post Just A Copy/Paste Away


Not to sound like the laziest blogger alive or anything but I kind of didn’t feel like writing a blog post today. I did want to post something though.  Usually when I feel like this You Tube comes in super handy!  A simple search for Middletown, NJ surfaced this tour of Middletown put together by Weichert Realtors. Watch and see all Middletown, #89 on CNN Money.com’s 100 Best Places To Live, has to offer. Interesting fact: our all volunteer fire department is the largest in the world.  Who knew? I know I didn’t.  Attractions like Sandy Hook and the Twin Lights Lighthouses and restaurants like On The Deck, Talercio’s and Midtown are highlighted too. The Evil Clown of Middletown even makes a cameo appearance. When you come and visit, be sure stay with us at Comfort Inn Middletown, your home away from home.

What’s your “Go To” source for blogging tidbits?

Photo Credits From Left to Right: 1, 2, 3