By JIM WILLIS
This week’s warm weather found PieHole once again putting the top down on the convertible and zipping east towards Sea Bright for lunch. We noticed progress in the clearing and preparation of the town’s public beach parking lot. Last week‘s mountains of sand gave way to cement curbs and the semblance of a parking lot.
The lunch crowd at Alice’s is a mix of tradespeople and lunching ladies with lilting Irish accents. Many of the counter seats were filled, but we were able to grab a table without a wait.
The lunch menu is a crowdpleaser, with options from sandwiches to burgers to salads, and the daily specials are surprisingly diverse. On our visit, the lunch specials included an avocado and beet salad with grilled chicken, meat lasagna and — as you would expect once you hear Alice’s accent — a shepherd’s pie.
We had the Boar’s Head brand turkey club on white toast ($7.95) and the Gaelic corned beef with sautéed onions, mushrooms and peppers ($9.95). Both came with shoestring fries. Both were quite good: the club wasn’t light on bacon or turkey, and the corned beef came grilled on rye with thick slices of corned beef.
Aside from the extensive menu and almost shockingly reasonable prices – not having to pay extra for fries was a pleasant surprise – Alice’s Kitchen has something else going on. The atmosphere and the food have a pleasant, homey feel – the hearth may have something to do with that. For us, on our first visit, lunch at Alice’s Kitchen feels a lot like being a kid, eating over at your friend’s house where the mom or dad is a good and caring cook, who in this case has a really thick Irish accent.