The Atlantic City Seafood Festival is an event that we’ve attended every year since we moved to the area. Live music, activities for the kids, and tons of delicious seafood keep bringing us back year after year. This year, I was able to participate in the Chowder Cook-Off that they held, which meant that for a mere $5, I was able to try soups from many different restaurants. Being the food consuming enthusiast I am (I had to be specific, I wouldn’t want you to think that I enjoy making food!), I took notes on all of the soups and came up with a list of my top five favorites. There were places for which I had written things like, “tastes like tomato sauce”, “went straight into the trash”, and “this is cream with giant chunks in it” but the following were all of my rave reviews, the places I would visit just to have more chowder. I figure that if you’re coming to our neck of the woods, one of the things you’re expecting from us is good seafood chowder so without further ado, here are the BEST!
The Hi Point Pub in Absecon, NJ: This delightful Crab Bisque is a bit spicy but the good kind of spicy where you can’t get enough of it, not the kind where you’re running for water. The texture is creamy and magnificent. It’s not surprise to me that this won the cook-off. You’ll understand when you try it. I also have to add that all of the people working there were sweet as pie.
Olón in Atlantic City, NJ: A unique and original Coconut Seafood Chowder had me skeptical when I first saw it. “Coconut in my chowder?” I thought. Not to mention, this was a red chowder and every other red chowder at the cook-off had failed miserably. They ranged from watery to straight up tomato sauce. The Coconut Seafood Chowder was absolutely wonderful and tied for my favorite chowder there. It was made perfectly and I thought they deserved bonus points for trying –and mastering– a red chowder!
Breadsticks Cafe & Grill in Atlantic City, NJ – I was afraid of the Flying Crab Seafood Chowder. The garnish was a tiny crab and I know that I wasn’t the only one who couldn’t figure out if I was supposed to eat it or not. (The answer ended up being “yes, all garnishes should be edible!” but I went with an emphatic no because it was a tiny crab and did not look like fun to chew!) It certainly made for a beautiful presentation, so much so that I had taken a picture which you can find at the top of this post. The taste was to quote my notes “really awesome” and had a good amount of seafood and broth!
Rainforest Cafe in Atlantic City, NJ – From restaurants I can find all of the country, I never expect much so I was surprised that we all enjoyed the Seaside Clam Chowder. It was pretty good and had some nice-sized chunks of seafood. Not huge, not miniscule, just right. I’m willing to go to Rainforest Cafe to have more of it!
Caesar’s Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill in Atlantic City, NJ – I wanted to include Chef Ed’s Corn and Crab Chowder because, to quote me, it had a “really, really great flavor”. It didn’t have a ton of seafood but I think that that can be good for those of you who like a little bit of seafood but not overkill, you know? Some days, that’s me.
Am I missing any? Where else can I get some spectacular seafood chowders?!
*The Quirky Mom Next Door was not compensated in any way for this post. All thoughts and opinions are those of our own.