Red Bank Guinness and Oyster Festival 2013..

Sunday, September 22, 2013 was the Red Bank Guinness and Oyster Festival 2013. We went. Did you?  If you recall, I posted a review about the Asbury Park Oyster Festival here about two weeks ago.  We stopped in Red Bank driving home from Scranton and parents weekend. Traffic getting to festival from the Garden State Parkway was a challenge. We were lucky to find a parking spot right next to the festival. The traffic jam made a 10 minute ride last about 40 minutes. That should have been a clue. It was a clue, we just ignored the  clue.

No parking cost, that beat Asbury Park. The entrance fee was 5 dollars per person. Asbury Park was 3 dollars, advantage Asbury.  The Red Bank festival was packed. They could have had twice the space and still they would have been packed. There were bands playing at each end of the parking lot/festival grounds. Food vendors, three beer trucks and two business shucking clams and oysters. We walked around the festival, a lap around, if you will. I like to see what the choices are before spending my money. Within five minutes of fighting through the crowd, the person in front of me stopped short and the walker behind me, ran into my back spilling their beer on my leg and camera.  Yum. And gave me a dirty look for causing him to spill his beer!

People in the crowd were not friendly. There is no other way to describe the festival. Advantage Asbury Park. Maybe if there was more room, people would have been nicer to each other. Other observations would be that this was a younger, “hipper” crowd.  I would expect to see a crowd like this in Brooklyn on a sunny and warm September afternoon.  There were many more people drinking at this festival. I’m sure they were drinking at the Asbury Festival, but they seemed more noticeable in Red Bank. And strollers.. we got run over by strollers.

I had my Guinness and half-dozen oysters. My DW had a cup of clam chowder. Both were real good. We grabbed a hot dog from the Wind Mill and headed home. The festival was just too intense of us.  There were more food trucks at the Asbury Festival.

Here are few pictures from the festival.  Will we go back? Probably not.

Namaste

Parents Weekend – University of Scranton 2013..

Last weekend was the Parents Weekend for the University of Scranton. DS3 is a junior there this year.  I would guess that as students move up in their years, that the parents might visit less. Sorry boys, that is not the case with us. As you may know we have two college children in Scranton along with my parents and a bevy of relatives.   We did not see any of the relatives this past weekend.  Visiting time was short and probably will be again this week. Maybe we could all meet at Coney Island Hot Lunch for a dog or two around 1 pm on Saturday.  Anybody interested?  Buhler, Buhler?

Saturday morning started early for us. We were on the road at 6:30 am to arrive in Scranton by 9:30 am. The University of Scranton athletics department was holding the Second Annual Royals 5k run/walk. We did this last year with DS3. This is my 5k for the year. And no, we don’t run. We are in the walking group. DS3 was in the running group and finished in 8 th place with a time of 24.21. Since his entry form (or the translation of that form into the computer) was incorrect, he as listed as 0 age and without a name. He was unknown runner 800.  He would have gotten the first place trophy in the 20/29 age group. My DW and I finished in 54.04. I came is second to last in the runners (I was a walker) and she came in 8 th place of the walkers.  I beat her by .01 yet her finish looks better on paper.  No big deal. The person running the timing was having technical problems Saturday.  A link to the results can be found here.

Lunch was at the Coney Island Hot Lunch. DS3’s GF was in town for the weekend. We ordered her a hot dog with everything, she would not even taste it. Her loss. She wound up having a hamburger. Business was slow so we did not feel too bad sitting and talking with both boys after finishing our lunch. We took take home for DS1 when we left. The afternoon was spent visiting my parents, getting DS3 a new cell phone and throwing around a lacrosse ball on a field at Marywood University. Dinner was at Kildare’s Irish Pub. A full accounting of that meal can be found here. It rained Saturday night in Scranton, surprise!

Sunday morning we went to Marywood University to attend mass and watch DS2 play his trumpet with the choir. After mass we all went the Bucktown Diner for brunch. Then it was time for the boys to do some school work and the old folks to head back to New Jersey. We had a nice weekend visiting the boys.  We stopped in Red Bank, NJ on the way home for the Guinness and Oyster Festival. I will detail that in a different blog.

Thanks for reading

Namaste

 

Kildare’s Irish Pub – What do we do with you?

What do we do with you? The following is a restaurant review and a “modest” rant about Kildare’s Irish Pub in Scranton, PA.

An open letter to the Dave Magrogan Restaurant Group,

They say you only get one chance to make a good impression. Saturday night (09/21/2013) your Kildare’s Irish Pub in Scranton gets an D in first impressions. Harsh? Not really considering the evening we spent there.  Last weekend was Parents Weekend for the University of Scranton.  If you are not sure about the location of your restaurant in relation to the university, they are a walking distance apart. This weekend was an excellent chance to show off to the parents and entice them to return over the next four years as their children go through their studies at the university. This coming weekend is the Parents Weekend for Marywood University. Your 3 – 4 mile distance across town should limit your exposure to these parents.

We are parents of two college students. One is a senior at Marywood and the other a junior at the University of Scranton.  We visit Scranton often and have eaten at Kildare’s and the Doc Magrogan’s Fish Market many times. And I have the credit card slips to prove it!  My expectation for Saturday night was a moderate wait since Kildare’s does not take reservations and for the service once seated to be reasonable. Not speedy, but certainly not death valley slow.

Low points of the night:

  • Girl working the front desk was clueless. People were milling around, some on the list, some not, nobody in charge. Moderate chaos would be my best description.
  • Once people were seated, nobody liked the barrel tables. Three different parties were seated there and then moved when another table opened up. We took the barrel tables as better than nothing.
  • We sat down around 8 pm. We had a party of six. We ordered three appetizers and everyone ordered an entre. The appetizers came out one at a time over the next hour. If we had each ordered an appetizer, we still might be waiting for our dinners to arrive.
  • The dinners came out at 9:30 pm.  We watched an entire half of college football between ordering and eating!
  • We had no silverware. I asked a waitress for silverware as she walked by, she smiled and said sure and never came back.
  • Our waiter returned when I walked up to the bar to ask for silverware and provided forks from the front and after walking somewhere else, he brought knives.
  • One person in our party ordered the corned beef and cabbage. The corned beef was cut incorrectly and really thick. Anyone with any experience in the restaurant business would not have cut the corned beef that way.
  • Where was the manager?  Maybe she was working in the kitchen.
  • They ran out of wings. On a Saturday night at 8 pm, out of wings, really?

 

High points of the night:

  • Other than the silverware gaffe, the waiter did a great job with what he had to work with
  • The food was hot and other than noted above, good
  • LSU won the football game

We will go back and eat there since this meal was an anomaly based on previous visits.  The other parents/patrons that may have been there for the first time? Probably not. Your loss, Coopers and the rest of the cities restaurants gain.  You only get one chance to  make a good impression.

Namaste

Family Plus!