I’ve been in love with Wildwood my entire life…it’s an island in itself, a five-mile island of wonderfulness. It stretches from North Wildwood, through Wildwood, and down to Wildwood Crest (where I am). The Crest is far-removed from the noise and bustle of the rest of the island, where there is a larger concentration of people and a lot of bars, restaurants, diners, liquor stores, and the almighty boardwalk. Might I add that the folks in the “Crest” tend to go out of their way to point out that there are no bars or liquor stores in their part of the island, in order to maintain a “family atmosphere.” Well, I’m not sure what they consider the Crest Tavern…
…since its website refers to itself as the “best bar in town,” (that’s a bar pictured above, right?) and boasts a “full-service liquor store.”
That looks like a liquor store, right? Yeah, I thought so.
Don’t think I’m talking smack on the Crest Tavern because, dear Lord, I so am not. It’s one of my favorite places on the island…and when it comes to places to watch Phillies games/places to drink good beer/places to good good food, the Crest Tavern is IT. And, they’re one of the few places where I can grab a Delaware County Daily Times in the morning (that’s part of my daily ritual; coffee at Tommy’s Market and a Daily Times from the Crest). They’re not even open then; they leave a cigar box out with the papers, and let their customers operate within the honor system. (For the record, yes, I always leave the precise amount.)
But let’s get back to the Crest Tavern. They have sixteen — sixteen — beers on tap. That’s nice. Real nice. And, their menu is just as nice. Of course, I steer clear of most of it since I’m working Nutrisystem but for some, it’s out of this world. Seafood, burgers, sandwiches, apps, salads…you can’t go wrong with anything on their menu. Only problem? The place is so darn good and popular, you might find yourself waiting a while for a table. However, odds are, you will wait, willingly.
There’s also the Bayview, which has the luxury of sitting directly on the bay at Sunset Lake, allowing for a truly unbelievable view (through those huge windows that run the length of the dining room, on the left of the photo). It’s a delightful place with a whole lot to offer…drinks (from two bars, mind you…), appetizers, great food, and outdoor patios. And — this is a real catch — during happy hour, you can order any “starters” for $3 off the menu price. Soooo…that means my kids ordered chicken fingers for all of $2.99 a basket and I got bruschetta for $2.99. Ridiculous! As in, ridiculously wonderful. They have something for everyone; 20 buffalo wings for $8.99 or shrimp poppers for $3.99…outrageous, right? Yeah.
And, if you want Italian food…well, Carini’s Ristorante and Pizzeria is IT. Carini’s has pizza and sandwiches and such goodies for easy and delicious take-out, and a delightful menu for the restaurant side, which is BYOB! How about the Sirloin Maria, a grilled sirloin topped with crabmeat in a brandy and mushroom sauce? Um, yum? But, you can always treat yourself to a stromboli or pizza, especially since Carini’s uses Grande cheese, that which is considered the finest, most exquisite cheese around. Good stuff, folks, good stuff. The Crest is not only my favorite place to vacation…it’s home to some of the finest gems on the entire island, when it comes to good eats.