(Almost) Happy Birthday to Me

Tomorrow is my birthday. That makes me a Capricorn, and yes, I can be an old goat at times.

It is also the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., and sharing a birthday with Dr. King has had its advantages. Back in grade school, the Willingboro school system would be closed on MLK’s birthday, so I always got my birthday off. Pretty cool, huh? Nowadays, of course, I see it as being very cool to share a birthday with such a large figure in the history of this country; back then, though, I just liked having the day off.

My sister was also born in January, and that had its disadvantages. On many occasions, we would end having to share a birthday party. It may have bothered me a bit back then, but now, as a parent of two kids myself, I could see why my folks would do that.

On Monday, my folks and my sister came to visit and to celebrate our collective b-days. And what did we dine on to enjoy the special occasion? Why, Surf Taco, of course! It was fun to introduce Surf Taco, the great Ocean County restaurant chain, to the folks. They liked it a lot, and why not? Surf Taco makes everyone happy. We’ll have to write about Surf Taco down the road, because it is one of the great treasures of the Shore.

Speaking of Martin Luther King Jr: as part of Community Service Day on January 19th, Whole Foods of Marlton is making 500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to donate to area food banks. They will also have PB&J sandwiches available for $1, with 100% of the proceeds being donated as well.

Community Service Day is the day before Inauguration Day, and to get you into the Presidential mood, check out the Favorite Foods and Libations of Presidential Families program at the Manchester branch of the Ocean County Library tomorrow. It’s one of many Festivals of Food taking place this winter. More events are being added, so keep checking the FoF link on the right for updates.

Looking for some lighter fare after the holidays? The Tortilla Press is having its Vegetarian Tapas menu tonight. It’s 5 courses for $30, and seats are limited. Lisa’s taking me to The Tortilla Press for my birthday sometime this weekend, and I’m looking forward to it!

If you’re looking to continue eating big and hearty, look no further than DiPaolo’s Italian Ristorante in Penns Grove. (Actually, you can’t look any further without ending up in the Delaware River!) For groups of six or more, you can have a classic Italian Family Style Dinner for $24.95 a person ($12.95 for kids) on Sundays starting at 2PM.

And one more for the local eatery scene: The Sweet Life Bakery in Vineland was named by Edible Jersey as “One of the Special Places in NJ to Find the Dessert of Your Dreams”. Check out the most recent issue of Edible Jersey for all the details. And by the way, if you do get a copy of the Winter 2008 issue, check out the article written by author (and South Jersey celebrity) Jen Miller on “The Green House”; a certain ‘Lisa’ gets a mention.

On the news front: there’s a bill being introduced that would end the ban on shipping NJ wines directly to your door. If passed, this could be a great thing for smaller wineries throughout the state.

And if you have had enough of Bobby Flay already, you’re going to want to cover your ears: he’s now got a radio show.

– John


6 thoughts on “(Almost) Happy Birthday to Me

  1. you have ruined my day with the Bobby Flay news. dangit!The happiest of birthdays to you tomorrow John! Enjoy!!We have two Surf Tacos within 2 miles of us. Haven’t been there in ages. We will have to go soon before all of the tourists return.

  2. Good for him, I want my own radio show!Happy Birthday to you…and on…to you!My kids birthdays were two months apart and I had their together…oh know now I know my son must hate me, lol…you keep up with so much John and Lisa…and they say I do!

  3. Happy Birthday!I LOVE Surf Taco! I wish we had them up in N. Jersey… I’d be there every week! On 2nd thought, maybe it’s good that we only get to eat there when visiting my in-laws. 😉

  4. Vineland is my hometown, and I’m so glad to see something good happening there. I can’t wait to try their cupcakes on my next visit.When I lived there (I moved in 1995), there were a few bright spots, but it was mostly a sea of mediocrity (i.e. every other place was the same combination of subs/cheesesteaks/pasta). Glad to see that there are still a few gems left.

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