We loved our visit to Long Beach Island a couple weeks ago. We couldn’t have asked for better accommodations than Daddy O Hotel Restaurant and Bar in Brant Beach. We also loved our dinner at Tuckers Tavern in Beach Haven. It was just an overnight stay, but it left a lasting impression we’ll not soon forget.
Upon checking out of Daddy O, we took a cruise up to Barnegat Light to peek at the Barnegat Lighthouse then we made our way to Plantation Restaurant in Harvey Cedars for lunch. This sophisticated restaurant with a breezy, tropical décor is located on the main drag (Long Beach Avenue) in the heart of the borough. The menu is bold, yet approachable American fare with creative twists.
The lunch menu features many classic dishes with gourmet touches, and also some unexpected ones. There’s something for everyone, including those who are vegetarian or gluten-free.
The beverage menu is chock-full of inventive cocktails, craft beers, and wines including a house-made red sangria available by the glass or pitcher. I opted for the “Tikitini” because I’m a sucker for anything described as “tiki” with rum, so it was the logical choice for a lunchtime libation for me.
The Tikitini ($10) is made of Cruzan coconut & pineapple rums, pineapple juice, with a toasted coconut rim. So refreshing and appropriately tropical! This cocktail gets the PG Cocktail Seal of Approval. 😉
The Soup of the Day ($9) on the day of our visit was Crab & Corn Chowder with Coconut Cream. I don’t normally eat chowders because they are typically made with dairy cream, but since this was made with coconut cream — a safe alternative for me — I had to try it. It was perfectly executed, decadent and flavorful. Hubby and I shared it and both agreed that it was a great soup.
The Black Bean & Corn Patty Melt ($14) was really spectacular. A nice veggie option that any vegetarian would find quite tasty. Brilliant combo of black bean and corn with veggies, and oats and rice as a binder. It really held up with great flavor and texture. I would definitely eat this again.
The hand cut fries were very, very good. What can I say? I’m a sucker for a good french fry!
Hubby got the Classic Cuban Sandwich ($14) — fresh roasted pork loin, ham, swiss, pickles, and dijon mustard. A lot of Cuban sandwiches are overstuffed and sloppy to eat, but this was done with a panini grill which kept it together and made it easy to eat. No muss, no fuss. Really good flavor and very satisfying. Really can’t go wrong with this sandwich.
Our friendly server Brielle tried to talk us into dessert, but we just couldn’t do it. I did have a coffee, though.
Overall, lunch at Plantation Restaurant was a fine experience. We were the first ones to enter, but by the time we left the dining room was filled up. I can see why it is a popular dining destination in Harvey Cedars. I’m eager to come back for dinner next year in the pre-season. 🙂
*Special thanks to Jaimi Blackburn of Fearless Restaurants for arranging our visit. Our opinions are our own.
Food enthusiast. Travel lover. Social media maven.
Independent Journalist. Food marketing/PR expert.
Do you ever do reviews that aren’t assisted by public relations people? When I signed on, I hoped to read unbiased news and commentary, but so far I find myself reading about stays and meals that are obviously promoted and comped.
I’m glad you noticed my disclosures. I feel it is my ethical duty to be transparent about any hosted or complimentary meals. It is true, I do get invited to a lot of restaurants, but I actually only go to a handful of the restaurants I’m invited to simply because I don’t do this full-time and couldn’t possibly go out to eat every night of the week. I’m very selective about the restaurants I work with and try to be diverse about the places I go (and time permitting). In addition to doing this blog, I work a full-time day job (not in the food industry). This is a labor of love for me; I do it in my spare time with hardly any advertising. In other words, I make almost no money at this. Not all of the content is as a result of an invitation or “sponsored” in any way; in fact, I publish the majority of the content free of charge.
In any case, as a courtesy for the invitation, the least I can do is write about and share my experience at those restaurants. I am also honest in my features. If I really didn’t like something or had a poor experience, I will absolutely be forthcoming about that. I’m certainly not going to lie – a free meal is not worth coming off inauthentic. However, I’m also not in the business of slamming restaurants. Livelihoods are on the line and it is not my place to give a negative review. If I had an exceptionally bad experience, I will communicate with the restaurant or PR firm and simply not write about it. Since writing a good review or recap takes a lot of time, I tend to share more content on my Instagram profile where I post daily, often places that I pay out of my own pocket or for products that I bought at the store. I’m not even remotely “pay-to-play” – I am very mindful about the kinds of content and places my readers might want to hear about.
Finally, I will NEVER approach any restaurant for a free meal. I think that is gauche. Trust me, there are people who do this and it is obvious what their motivations are — a free meal. If I never get another invitation in my life, I will still be writing about food, I assure you. After nearly ten years of doing this blog, I only started getting invitations about 2 years ago. People with brand new Instagram profiles who have paid for their followers are getting invites. I’d like to think I’m as authentic (and organic) as they come. But I’ll not try to sway your opinion any further.
Again, I appreciate you for noticing the disclosures. This is actually a very important topic to me as many local writers, bloggers, and social media “influencers” DO NOT disclose material relationships with brands and PR firms. I think it is unethical and negligent. I will continue to be transparent about anything comped because it is the right thing to do. I will also continue to be honest with my opinions, too. I hope this helps. Have a great day!
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