I'm sitting here typing and watching the angry Atlantic crash against the beach and roll almost all the way up to the slippery boardwalk on this stormy fall night. This is such different scenery from the Midwestern suburbia backyard backdrop that I am accustomed to taking in as I look up from the laptop screen when I write a post. My husband and I are vacationing in Atlantic City, NJ. It's a little like Vegas...you know, because of the casinos. But in my opinion, that's where the similarities end. For example, rather than being smack in the middle of a desert, Atlantic City is a beach town. Instead of the strip, there's a boardwalk. Instead of taxis, there are push carts (kind of like a rickshaw). I haven't taken any pictures yet, but I found this post about Atlantic City on Littleviews travel blog that shows pics of the pushcarts and other Atlantic City Boardwalk scenery.
Luckily, Atlantic City lends itself to a good deal of walking (much needed exercise after the amount of junk that I have consumed in the past 24 hours!) My husband and I slapped on our running shoes and hit the beach and boardwalk for almost 2 hours yesterday afternoon (while the weather was still beautiful here). Of course, we reversed the benefits of all of that healthy activity as we split a GIANT slice of Buffalo Chicken pizza and an order of cheesy fries from the food stand next to our hotel. This may be the least healthy dinner that I have ever consumed. Unless you can count the hot peppers used to make the wing sauce for the pizza, there wasn't a veggie or fruit in sight!
After a late night out, we rolled out of bed and headed for a breakfast buffet. Actually, we strategically planned our buffet visit, showing up just as breakfast was ending and lunch was beginning, thus enjoying both meals in one sitting. Aren't we savvy? My husband loves a buffet and I do not. In my opinion, quality loses out to quantity on most buffet lines. Still, we each got to choose one "big" meal for this trip and this was his, so I didn't complain for a second. I have to say that Caesar's casino does the buffet right. Sure, I could find fault with the powdered eggs and over-salted gravy, but with most selections on their expansive buffet, Caesar's has found a way to achieve quality AND quantity. Kudos to them. Here is my (first) plate. Mostly breakfast stuff, plus some sesame noodles and fried chicken. Subsequent plates included a variety of seafood, lamb with a rosemary gravy, veal, and Asian selections- everything from steamed dumplings and shumai to fried rice. Serious gluttony.
The highlight of the buffet for me was the visually tantalizing dessert bar. The display was well done and absolutely decadent!
Just check out these cupcakes and pastries!
I might be proud that I exercised some restraint when it came to dessert, settling for a tiny scoop of bread pudding, a shot glass of tiramisu, a lovely little pistachio pound cake with pistachio frosting, and a black forest chocolate mousse, but the truth is, I just didn't have room in my belly for more. In fact, after a bite or two of each, I wastefully pushed my plate aside and considered unbuttoning my jeans to create room for the ol' muffin top.
After a miserable walk back to our room, I fell into bed for 3 whole hours! Food coma. Then I got up and hit the gym. Actually, I first attempted to walk the beach, but after I fought my way through the blasting wind and the driving rain and stood at the edge of the beach, I realized that the water was so high that there was no place for me to walk. I gladly hit the warm, dry fitness room.
It's hard to believe it, after the massive quantity of food I consumed at the buffet, but I was hungry again at dinner time. Last night, my husband and I discovered an Irish pub, right next to our hotel. It's warm and cozy and friendly. The food is really good and fairly cheap. I had their meatloaf special with caramelized onion gravy for dinner and I was both impressed and stuffed when I waddled out the door. Two of us ate and drank for about 20 bucks tonight! Can't beat that for good food, service, and atmosphere. They also have a really nice patio with a bistro menu. If you're ever in Atlantic City, The Irish Pub gets my recommendation. They also have an inn above the pub. During the week, you can stay for just $55 a night. Not too shabby!
Tomorrow we're heading in to Philadelphia, so look for my quest for the best of those notorious Philly Cheesesteaks coming soon!