Review: Caffrey’s Tavern {Forked River, New Jersey}

by Cate on January 22, 2013

This morning when we left the house, dutifully bundled in scarves and hats and big winter coats, the temperature was 16 degrees.

When I got to the block where my office is, there were five police cars and three ambulances. And there was a man lying on the ground in the street, being strapped into a neck brace. I think it was a pedestrian hit by a car.

So seeing how his day got started (yikes!), I will not complain about the weather.

Not one bit.

But I will still wish for warmer days ahead.

They’re just not happening this week as we bear down on temperatures in the teens and a bunch of snow forecasted for Friday.

So yay.

How about a restaurant review that the kids and I visited last Spring break?

You know, when it was warmer?

When we head down the shore to stay at my parents’ house, we rarely eat out. Mostly because I’ve always felt like cooking for everyone once there was my contribution for the generosity of having a room to bunk in while there.

So because of that, we’re super late to the game when it comes to discovering restaurants in the area. I’ve actually only eaten at them in the last two years.

When the kids and I went down for Spring break last year, I didn’t cook at all. We spent our days exploring (places like the Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum, the Cape May County Zoo, Joey Tomato’s pizza, and Jenkinson’s aquarium), and early evenings chowing down.

Caffrey’s Tavern is a big, busy restaurant in Forked River. Although there is plenty of parking, it is a popular place that fills up quickly. Nightly specials and happy hours do their thing to bring a decent and loud bar crowd to one side of the place, the other side is more restaurant-only. Our waitress was friendly and affable, but pretty forgetful. During our visit, we had to keep reminding her of items we ordered that never arrived.
caffreys - popcorn-001

Upon being seated, guests are given free popcorn to munch on while perusing the menu and waiting for their meal. Which is pretty awesome if you have kids, buying you a bit of extra time before the “I’m hungry” whines kick in. The popcorn is a bit on the salty side. As a confirmed saltaholic, this doesn’t bother me, but you’ve been warned.

The menu is huge. Big enough that once you spot something you like, you’d do best to close the menu and stop looking, lest you change your mind over and over and over again. They have a big selection of burgers, but oddly no bleu cheese burgers (just seems like a standard burger offering to me, but since I gravitate towards them sometimes, I might be biased).

This is a Coke joint, and they offer free soda refills. When I gave up Diet Coke last year, it had been a few weeks of doing without when the kids and I visited this restaurant. Although a fun day, it had been a bit of a trying day, and I caved and had a Diet Coke. I rationalized that it was vacation and I needed the caffeine and one wasn’t going to kill me.

It was then that I realized that I had finally kicked the habit. Because the taste no longer did anything for me.

And that’s when the heavens parted because I’ve been drinking Diet Coke forever, and although I’ve tried to give it up before, I had never been successful. Now that it’s been almost a year (!!) without, it’s been so long that I can’t even stand the taste anymore.

So that’s for those of you that are trying … there’s hope.
Caffreys - Inside-001

The kids menu has your usual suspects, is super reasonably priced, with decent portions and free ice cream. Which is pretty much a home run combination.

The restaurant also offers sushi items. Although I do eat some sushi, I thought it was a little weird to offer it alongside burgers and Chicken Parmigiana.

The hamburgers are char-broiled, which is pretty much my favorite kind of burger. Delicious, juicy, and with that teensy little bit of crust.

I wouldn’t say any of the menu items we tried were “wows,” but it was a good meal that didn’t leave our wallet hurting at the end of the night.

If you’re looking for a quick meal that is reasonably priced, check out Caffrey’s Tavern the next time you’re swinging through the Jersey Shore area. And now that businesses are rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy, and gearing up for (hopefully) a strong summer season, the shore businesses could use your dollars now more than ever.

Caffrey’s Tavern
440 Route 9 South
Forked River, NJ
609-693-6613

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Tomorrow? Eat.Live.Be!
Thursday? Embracing the camera
Friday? Bagster review

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne January 23, 2013 at 7:37 am

I love that they give popcorn instead of bread. What a cute idea!
Joanne recently posted..Recipe: Smoky Sweet Potato Burgers with Roasted Garlic Cream and Avocado on Whole Wheat Sliders

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patsy January 23, 2013 at 10:32 am

Popcorn could be my youngest son’s meal! ;) When we head down to the shore this summer, I’ll add this to our list of possible evening dining options with the kids.
patsy recently posted..#EatLiveBe – Preparation {Recipe: Warm Barley Salad}

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