If you read our recent multi-part story about how, why, and when we ended up being retired in Ocean City, you may remember it said, “We loved being down here, and as we spent more and more time, our Ocean City Family grew. We attended weddings on the beach, parties at neighbor’s houses, Saturday night dinners out, several Pennlyn Place Block Parties, St. Patty’s Day and New Year’s Eve events, and even went to a couple of local fundraisers.” Those Saturday Night dinners I spoke of, are an important part of our Ocean City life. While some weeks it will be 3 or 4 of us going out, some weeks it can be as many as 12 or 14. Some weeks it’s just us, and some weeks, friends will bring friends and relatives and our group expands. While we do go out a lot, many weeks we will get together at another’s house. It can be a planned dinner, a pot luck, or an impromptu “order take out” night. All things being equal, just about every Saturday, some members of our group will be together.
Here’s a selection of some past Saturdays!
Having said that, let me tell you about a recent Saturday, where a number of us headed out to Carmen’s in Sea Isle City, for their last night of the season, and what they call their “Carmen’s Belly Buster”. We’d been there only once, earlier in the year, and our waitress made a point of telling us about the Belly Buster night, and it peaked our interest. Our good friend Denise called and made a reservation, and worked out transportation, and on Saturday October 20th, it was indeed Another Saturday Night…but this time in Sea Isle City!
The funny thing is that the Saturday before, we’d also been with Denise and her husband Chris, and our friends Patti and Meade, but that was in Lake Tahoe, Nevada! It was great having some of our Ocean City Family with us at Kenny and Chris’ wedding, and it was a Saturday night, and yes, we did end up in our room after the close of the wedding! On the side of the Atlantic Ocean, or the shore of Lake Tahoe, a Saturday is a Saturday for our Ocean City Family!!
But let me get back to Carmen’s and The Belly Buster! The place seemed very festive when we got there with large groups of folks at tables on the outside deck. It was a little chilly (Denise wore my jacket) but they did have side curtains and most of us were fine. We started at a tight table, but then asked, and they moved us to a great octagonal table, where we had lots of room and we all could see each other! Lucky they did!
The meal started with a hot crab chowder and a nice salad. Then pass-around fried sea food (shrimp, scallops, clams, etc). Dale and Denise are not seafood eaters, but there were several Chicken dishes in the next round of pass-arounds. Then they lowered the boom on us with the Main Attraction of the evening!!
While we’d seen other tables with big disposable pans of mixed sea food, we somehow got the mother lode, pilled high in a huge fancy bowl! Not quite sure why we got singled out, but we did end up on their web site, so I’m thinking we got the “display” portion! Here’s that picture!
It was loaded with clams, mussels, crab legs, and at least 4 lobsters! Oh My God! By no means did we eat it all, but we tried!
There was lots of laughs that night as we ate and drank our way through dinner (it is a BYOB), but there was still about half left (mostly mussels and clams) when we’d had our fill, and they wanted us to take it with us. Nobody at our table was interested, so we passed it off to a lady at the table behind us! She may still be dining on our leftovers!
It really doesn’t matter what we do, or where we do it. What matters is that we are together, having fun. Family Chosen is a Great Thing!