as an example of my innate New Jersey-ness, for my cousin's bday dinner, we went to Bahama Breeze. it is a fact that if you live in NJ, you spend most of your time dining out at chain restaurants e.g. Chili's, Olive Garden, TGIF's, Applebee's, etc.
i've been to Bahama Breeze only 1 other time, and i only heard about this restaurant over the summer. the 1 near me has a nice outdoor seating area, which is usually packed, but we went there on Labor Day so there wasn't a wait. we were a total of 8 ppl so they seated us at a large round table. and when i say large, i mean LARGE. i practically had to shout to say anything to Woof.
kudos to our waitress because we were that annoying party, where 5 ppl sit down first and then don't order anything for 30 mins because they're waiting for the rest of their party. i felt so bad that i broke down and ordered 2 apps before the other 3 ppl arrived. BirthdayCousin picked the Island Onion Rings and Woof chose the Coconut Shrimp. the menu clearly tells you the apps are big enough to share, but that claim is always put to the test when it comes to my fam (the party ranges from 7-13 depending on which cousins are present). however, the Island Onion Rings lived up to its claim as they were a ginormous tower of rings! and delicious at that. they arrived piping hot and crispy, with a hint of coconut in the breading. and i'm a big fan of the chili-horseradish dipping sauce. the Coconut Shrimp weren't as "share-sized" (more appropriate for a party of 4) but they were equally delish.
Hippo was torn between ordering the Wood-Grilled Top Sirloin Steak and the Jerk Chicken Pasta, so i did her a solid and ordered the pasta for my entree. despite the actual size of the menu, the options aren't very extensive and, since i hate ordering the same thing as someone else at the table, once everyone else was done choosing, there weren't many choices left.
Hippo's about to tear into that steak
the menu's bigger than Woof's face!
but it's all drinks on 1 side, food on the other.
the pasta was ok, nothing spectacular. there was definitely a spicy jerk flavor which is presented in a creamy sauce, but the pasta and chicken itself was slightly overcooked/mushy. the same goes for the Pan-Seared Salmon Pasta. you don't often find seafood and cream sauce pairings but Bahama Breeze clearly believes in it. the steak was good, although i've never been a fan of yuca fries (i find them too dry). i've had the fish specials before and they all tend to be pretty good, so that's what i'd recommend getting, aside from the apps.
perhaps a dinner of just appetizers? if only Felicity was real and Sean had opened his concept restaurant Before and After as he'd originally planned...