May 16, 2015

Restaurant Review :: Nagle's Apothecary Cafe (Ocean Grove, NJ)

Price: $-Not expensive at all considering how expensive some diners can be. My vegetarian omelette was $7.25
Location: It's in the "downtown" area of Ocean Grove, near a lot of other restaurants and bakeries. You can see the ocean from there (about 2 blocks away from the beach).
Ambiance: The name says it all --- apothecary cafe. The restaurant is pretty cozy and once you walk in, you're transported back several decades (I wasn't alive then, so I really don't know the difference between the 70's-80's-90's). The lit up signs, walls full of frames, and counter area are all reminiscent of a classic American diner, but the entire left side of the restaurant is a glass case with pharmaceutical remnants, from tonic jars to signs. Tables seat a maximum of four and the place is very small; luckily we got there early and we didn't have to wait in the long line that ended up stretching outside the restaurant.
Service: Generally speaking, the service was disappointing. The food did arrive quickly, and the guy who went to when we paid the check was really nice, BUT (you were waiting for that, weren't you?) the waitresses were so unfriendly. I tried asking another waitress a question, and she barely stopped and said "I'm not your waitress" and stalked off. Impressive, huh? Our waitress did her job right by being patient and asking how the food was after about 5-10 minutes of eating, but only with a very annoyed look on her face. She never gave me water (and I didn't want to anger her by asking for some so I drank from my bottle) and she was too busy to care for her customers: I asked her if there was cheese in the vegetarian omelette after I tried asking the other waitress, and she too, barely stopped and said "No." when I was in mid-sentence. My friends didn't even realize she had responded to my question. So don't come here for the service, because it's not good. At all.
Food: I ordered the vegetarian omelette (breakfast served all day!) and was surprised by how large the portion was. You see the photo of the omelette? Yeah, it was flipped over itself, so there was basically two layers of what you see. It was big. This was loaded with vegetables too: broccoli (interesting and I liked it), green bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, bell peppers/tomatoes? It was supposed to come with a side of home fries (and toast but I requested to not have the toast --- if it did come with toast, you could've easily split this among 2-3 people...or given it to one very hungry Will) but I got french fries instead. The french fries (yeah, of course I finished those) weren't the greatest: they were cold and kinda hard, but I still ate them ;) I was really surprised by how little salt was in the food (good thing, in my opinion). I typically expect a lot of salt on eggs and potatoes, but I could barely taste it!
Verdict: Yes, the service was not good, but the food wasn't bad and the ambiance of the place was nice. I'd still come back if we went to Ocean Grove again,(this is by no means a justification for poor service!)

xoxo, han

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