Friday Foodstuffs 2.17.12: BYOB in OC (Yes, This Sh…, erm, Stuff Again)

If you thought the issue over BYOB was resolved in Ocean City last fall, guess again.

A new petition campaign to put the question of ‘bring your own’ on the ballot in time for the municipal elections in May was started last Friday. The petitioners have created their own political action committee, Friends of Shop, Dine and Play in Ocean City, and even have their own website to promote their cause. And, they believe, alterations have been made from their proposal last year that should help it pass: elimination of the specific amount of alcohol that could be brought (a similar issue was facing a legal battle in another part of the state) and that no restaurants on the boardwalk would be BYOB.

Sounds like they should have an easier time of it, right?

Well…

The mayor, while in favor of the issue going to a vote, is not in favor of BYOB. Some of the restaurant owners on the boardwalk don’t like that fact that they are being excluded from having the option to be BYOB. And if you read the comments under these articles (I know, a very small sampling), the issue brings up very strong feelings. Ocean City was established in 1879 as a dry community, and many people want it to stay that way.

What do we think?

We like having the option to bring my own wine or beer. is alcohol a requirement to enjoy an evening’s dining? Of course not, but it’s nice to have the option.

Having said that, we differ on the issue of BYOB in Ocean City. Lisa makes the strong argument that the perception of Ocean City as a family resort would not change as the result of allowing people to bring alcohol to restaurants. Point Pleasant, which is very family-oriented, has the Tiki Bar right on the boardwalk. In addition, Ocean City will most likely not get any fine dining establishments as long as they stay dry. I’m not so sure that their reputation won’t be harmed. Ocean City has created this persona of being so very family-friendly; I can’t imagine that there wouldn’t be some negative consequence. The animosity that this BYOB battle has created within the town itself cannot be good, either.

The reality is that no one knows for sure what the outcome would be if BYOB is given the YES vote on May 8. It will certainly be something to watch as BYOB II: Electric Boogaloo unfolds. Love to hear what you guys think.

Getting to the weekend, there are several options for those of you who like to “wine and dine” or just “wine.” Starting tonight and running all weekend is the big Cape May Wine Weekend ! And starting Saturday and running till Sunday is the Mardi Gras Weekend at Laurita Winery in New Egypt.

On Saturday you have the Hearthside Dinner at the Gibbon House  in Greenwich (something we’ve been trying to get to for a while now!).

But it’s Sunday that has most of the goings on (don’t forget it’s a looong weekend). There’s the President’s Day Brunch at Peter Shields Inn & Restaurant  in Cape May, the Slow Food South Jersey Shore Meeting in  West Cape May, and the Viticcio & I Greppi Wine Dinner at Caffe Aldo Lamberti  in Cherry Hill.

For those  of you who just want to express yourself in the kitchen, here’s your cooking class schedule…

Tonight: Sprinkle, Stir, Boil, Create – Teen Cooking Program at the Ocean County Library, Lakewood Branch (free, but you must register in advance). Cape Cuisine: Chocolate at the Cape May County Library  in  Cape May Court House (again, free admission , but you must register in advance). Surf and Turf Workshop at Viking Cooking School, Harrah’s  in Atlantic City.Spanish Tapas 101 at Sur La Table  in Marlton.

Saturday:  French Dinner Party  and Best of Class: Grilling at Viking Cooking School . 4-Hour Fearless Baking Workshop at Sur La Table . Mardi Gras! at Kitchen Kapers  in Moorestown.

Sunday: Risotto Workshop at Sur La Table. Kids in the Kitchen: Mexican Munchies at Kitchen Kapers. Best of Class: Italian-Inspired Dinner at Viking Cooking School.

Blogging Out Hunger

Lower Twp students recently helped out in packing and delivering food to those in need. Some of those people included their own families.

The recent closing and selling of supermarkets in Atlantic and Ocean counties is creating fears of growing food desserts, where shopping options become more and more limited.

And in the news this week…

The big news was the announcement that Revel would be opening officially Memorial Day weekend – BUT, starting April 2, they would start an eight-week previewing as more and more things open up. Lisa had the privilege of attending a media event in New York to meet the chefs that will be part of the Revel experience, including Chef Michel Richard who will have three eateries in the new resort/casino.

Tony’s Baltimore Grill in AC actually had to close briefly this week. Amazingly, the earth did not stop spinning. Thankfully, the order of the universe was restored quickly.

Pistol Pete’s in Pleasantville had to file for bankruptcy protection.

Latz’s By The Bay in Somers Point has a local art gallery as an added attraction.

Organic food and other products have seen continued growth in our region, even in this economy.

Thinking about your garden already? Want some strawberry plants? The Cumberland County 4-H can hook you up.

…and, wow – I know they weren’t teaching us about food production and sustainability when I was middle school age.

 

Have a great weekend!

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