New Jerseyans love two things: our cars and food. Road trips to interesting restaurants and food related shops are on our must do list especially with fall here. Monmouth County , a beautiful blend of farmland and waterfront provides that It's a great day trip to take, and it's only forty minutes south of Manhattan Island.
One of my favorite places to go in Monmouth is the beach front. The county has some of the loveliest beaches in the state.Not too far from the historic and windswept state park Sandy Hook is Bahr's and Moby's These are owned by the Bahr family and have been since 1917 when the family switched from manufacturing neck ties to running a seaside eatery. A great grandson opened up the outdoor deck Moby's Outside deck a few years ago. Moby's is my summer and early fall hangout (it's closing for the season on October 18th)The clam chowder is the original recipe that Jack Bahr first made and it is a rich stew of huge clam chunks, potatoes and tomatoes. Bahr's the restaurant also features this and I recommend starting every meal with it.Both places also have delicious boiled lobsters served with homemade coleslaw. Octoberfest is big here thanks to the family being German and they serve weiner schnitzel and sauerbrauten along with potato pancakes and pretzel soup! For quick fare try The Windmill in Long Branch. It's part of a family owned chain and known for it's roasted to perfection foot long hot dogs as well as overflowing baskets of hot , crispy French fries..
Some of the best bakeries in the state are located here too. A fave, with a statewide reputation is Atlantic Highlands' The Flaky Tart. It is truly the best bakery in the metro area with perfectly buttery croissants and mouthwatering chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies. Cups and Cakes, of the tony town of Rumson also has some yummy treats plus a juice bar. You can buy sweet little tarts and fresh made carrot juice in one shot. Away from the shore front is western Monmouth county, This is horse and farm country, being charmingly reminiscent of the English countryside. Sadly there is no clotted cream but happily there are acres of pick it yourself apple , pear and peach farms. One of the most known is Delicious Orchards. This is a must see no matter what time of the year. They have the best baked goods, from apple pies to brownies to English muffin breads. This is also the place to go for gourmet meats such as Serrano ham and all sorts of veggies like Brussels sprouts on the stalk and huge wedding bouquet sized cauliflowers.Other farms like the nearby Eastmont is know for their various pies made with their own fruit, and they also have pick your own peach and apple trees when in season.
Visit Monmouth County not just for the beautiful windswept beaches but also for their eateries, bakeries and farms The county has an amazing array of homemade and fresh baked foods. Spend a day or even a weekend there to experience them.