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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Maynard's and Lucy the Elephant

What is a vacation without a visit to the local attractions?  And yes, if you can take a vacation someplace, it is quite likely that they have their own tourist attraction. Margate, New Jersey has Lucy the Elephant.  Lucy stands 6 stories high and visitors can have guided tours which includes a video about her history, the ability to peer out of all her windows and a climb to the top.

Here's what Lucy sees through her eye portals...a perfect view of the Atlantic Ocean!

Inside Lucy are a number of works of art, a bit more about her history and in this photo board, a photograph of Mr. Rogers.

The view while standing in the howdah (the boxed carriage on Lucy's back):

The Front

The Rear

The spiral stairs may require a bit of negotiation as far as foot placement, but I found the glass skylight structure that was part of the howdah's floor to be a bit intimidating.  I avoided walking across the glass and was surprised at my level of concern that it may break though other guests and our guide, Harry, seemed to have no hesitation.

The 30 minute tour concludes with an opportunity to visit the gift shop.

My mother-in-law had found a coupon for a nearby restaurant that offered a Thursday night prime rib special (in their dining room only) so we set the GPS and were off. Nearby is an understatement as the restaurant was just a few blocks from Lucy. I was sent to scout out the seating before allowing the 84 year old matriarch and her walker out of the car. I peeked in and saw pool tables, game tables, a large bar and just a few tables around the perimeter of the large space.  I returned to the car with a thumbs down.  Upon further investigation, we realized the outside cafe dining was the same restaurant and we decided to give Maynard's a try.  However, they would not honor the prime rib special at the outdoor tables.

We had a lovely server who seemed to feel bad about the special (it must happen often) but was very helpful answering our questions, making sure we had drinks and overall took great care of us.

I tried something new to start; the Atlantic City Chowder, which was a combination of Manhattan and New England.  I thought it could be a colossal failure, but I would never know unless I tried.

It was fine.  Chunks of potatoes and clams in an orangey broth that was mild in flavor. If I were blindfolded I would never have thought it was a blend of 2 chowders, but yet, it really didn't have any defining taste of its own.

The Mr. and his mother each tried the Manhattan Clam Chowder and were happy with their choice.

Mommy had the Caesar salad and when asked how it was, she felt my sister makes a better salad and dressing.  For some reason, I could not resist the croutons though and asked if I could take one from the plate.  Even funnier, my mother-in-law followed suit.  You just haven't lived I guess until people pick toasted bread squares from your salad plate.

A peek at our main courses:

Chicken Saltimboca

The menu description of the Chicken Saltimboca is, "sauteed chicken with prosciutto, spinach and mozzarella in a white wine sauce served with a baked potato and jersey asparagus."  On point for description matching the dish.  Mommy seemed happy.

Fish and Chips for the Mr.'s Mom

The Mr.'s mom sent her dish back because it was not hot.  Whether the food was re-dunked in hot oil or how it happened really doesn't matter, but it seemed more to her liking the second time.

While we were eating, live entertainment was provided in the form of a young man playing a guitar and singing.  He was pleasant and accepted requests (we joked about yelling out, "Freebird") but when I asked if he could play, "Under the Boardwalk," he could not.  Shouldn't that be a mandatory song for anyone who plays within 20 miles of a beach?  Oh well.  He was talented and pleasant.

Absolutely Crabby

I had the "Absolutely Crabby," and I'm sorry to say, the dish was barely warm.  I felt bad sending it back when my mother-in-law had already had to have hers reheated.  The cheese was barely stringy when pulled out of the sauce with the fork.  The crabmeat was good and the pasta was nicely al dente.

Somehow, when preparing this post I realized I had no picture of the Mr.'s soft shell crab (his absolute shore favorite).  He was happy and had no complaints about the dishes temperature.

After our meal we were able to simply cross the street and enjoy a beautiful sunset across the bay.

We were lucky enough to come across a lovely group of strangers who were willing to take a group picture of us in front of the sunset.  Happy and thankful for Lucy, a meal together, a beautiful ending of a great night on a family vacation, we leave feeling Fed Well.

Maynard's Cafe on Urbanspoon

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