Hello Frugalista Friends! It’s great to be back after a long blogging vacation. If you follow me in Instagram, I’m pretty sure you already know what I was up too. If not, don’t worry, I’m posting the experiences so that we can catch up.
For starters, I welcomed the first weekend of June with our family’s yearly trip to the Wildwoods — North Wildwood, Wildwood and Wildwood Crest. Why that early? Well, here’s an insider tip, the room rates for the month of June are way lower than the regular summer rates. The weather is often beautiful and the big crowds aren’t there yet. That means very few lines and lots of space on the boardwalk, shore, swimming pools and even parking.
This year, I am even more excited to go the shore because the small business owners, local restaurants in particular, did their best to open in spite of being greatly affected by Hurricane Sandy. Since my trip will not be complete without having a bite of these yummy vacation treats, I decided to share with you my favorites. Though most aren’t that friendly to my children’s restricted food requirements, I still posted them. After all, I don’t have any food allergies. In those rare times that I do indulge, I make sure it’s worth every bite. As for my kids, I did have a big stash of home cooked meals packed for the trip. What a lifesaver especially when you will eating out.
We arrived around 6 pm so our first stop is the boardwalk. Funnel cakes, pizza, burgers and more are readily available. Since most aren’t exactly gluten, dairy, egg, soy and dairy free, I stick to the Polish Ices which are friendlier to my children’s food allergies. What are those? Well, it is basically identical to the Italian Ices or Slushies that we love so much. Why they call it Polish instead of Italian? Well, I dare not ask. They are quite serious about the difference though as when my kids asked if they can have “Italian” Ice, the servers told them that they don’t have those. A big plus with this treat is that one can ask for samples without any cost. Yup! Free tastings!
My trip to Wildwoods will not be complete without a snack at Maui’s Mad Dog House. This bright yellow hotdog place which has been featured in Dinner, Drive Ins and Dives show is not your typical stand of your ballpark favorite. These are gourmet hotdogs without the high price. My favorite is the Soprano which is hotdog on a bun loaded with sautéed spinach and garlic in olive oil with white wine and parmesan cheese. Yum! Totally not for my food allergy kids. The fries are to die for too. It’s gluten free but is fried in peanut oil. Dining here is an experience so if you don’t have peanut allergy and is not strictly gluten free, this place is a must in your list.
Another specialty restaurant to try is Smoke n Bones BBQ. Only open for dinner Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, this small but friendly place by the water is a real crowd pleaser. If you are fortunate to be in the area on the weekends, I suggest you check their menu online and give them a call ahead of time. We usually call in our order and just pick it up. The place gets really crowded too. What makes their BBQ so special? They do it the old fashioned way which means slow cooked for days. Take note, this place isn’t allergy friendly but the ribs and sides are super yummy and very affordable. Oh, almost forgot, they are open for breakfast everyday.
Last but not the least is Cool Scoops. This retro ice cream place is the “cool” place to go for dessert. Not only are the flavors delectable, the shop itself is one of a kind. It is filled with lots of memorabilia including a larger than life Elvis statue. Even though it’s loaded with museum like collections, the atmosphere remained very friendly. The best part about Cool Scoops is that they offer dairy free, food allergy friendly ice cream which is made with either soy milk or rice milk. They even have gluten free ice cream cones! Since the owner also has food allergies, (yes, she told me so.) they know first hand how to handle items to avoid possible contaminations. A big relief to us with special food requirements.
So friends, that’s it for my Friday Finds this week. I hope I was able to give you a glance at the Wildwoods. If you’re getting hungry so am I. So, what’s for dinner?