If you have been reading my posts in the past, you already know that I LOVE a good deal. Not that I am a cheap skate per say ( I prefer the term conscientious with money), but like the saying popularized by Benjamin Franklin goes, “a dollar saved is a dollar earned”. Actually in Ben’s case, the correct saying was a “penny saved is a penny earned”, but as we need to fast forward 3 centuries, adjusting for inflation, not to mention, what the heck can you buy for a penny these days…well, you get my drift.
Anyway the best deal in the Hampton’s on Tuesdays is at John Scotts Surf Shack located on Dune Road in Westhampton Beach. On Tuesday evenings it is “Kids Night” whereas long as there is at least one adult eating and drinking, all kids they bring with them eat FREE! I saw literally hoards of hungry, beach-weary kids in tow with just one or max, two adults. The place was packed full of toddlers, pre-schoolers and grade school kids noisily munching on french fries, chicken fingers, burgers and hot dogs.
Now in terms of ambiance, there is none. The place is called John Scotts Surf Shack. It is what it says it is. A “Surf Shack” that occupies a road side parking lot that serves inexpensive basic food in huge bowls and tasty cocktails in large 20 oz. plastic tumblers. The place inhabits a run down one story structure with an adjacent “al fresco” dining area. Most of the dining area is covered by a large corrugated metal roof making the dining area look like an expansive metal car-port. Weather worn, rickety picnic tables and benches are haphazardly scattered around, along with a few small round outdoor tables with folding chairs. While the decor, or lack there of, has more to be desired, the view is quite breathtaking. The restaurant is located on Dune road which is a narrow strip of land sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and Moriches Bay. The restaurant is located on the bay side and affords endless open bay and reserve views.
As I was very hungry, I decided to start off the meal with one of my favorite appetizers….a Bloody Mary. Bloody Marys are one of those rare drinks that function as both cocktail and appetizer. One of the main ingredients in this “app-tail” (combo of appetizer and cocktail), is tomato juice. As tomatoes contains lycopene – an antioxidant which is great for your skin, reduces the risk of cancer, fights osteoporosis and diabetes and even increased male fertility, I feel that this choice is a “win-win” all around. I like a big heaping spoonful of spicy horseradish mixed in my drink and John Scotts delivers. Horseradish has many health benefits including acting as an anti-inflamatory, antiparasitic, antibiotic and contains aphrodisiac properties. This spicy, savory and healthy cocktail paired with a nice crispy stalk of celery is the perfect “amuse- bouche”.
I brought along a friend of mine who when queried if she would like a cocktail, responded by asking for the wine list. We, the waiter and myself, looked at her quizzically. Clearly this was NOT the type of place that had a “wine list“. The “wine list” that exists at this dive has only 2 choices – Red or White. As it was very hot and sticky out, she ended up opting for ice water.
Unfortunately when we arrived around dusk, it was cocktail hour not only for us but also for the dozens of mosquitos and flies in the area, making a “Bloody Mary” (or in this case a “Bloody Me”) out of our blood. When the hostess saw us swatting away, she offered us her can of “OFF” bug repellent which we happily doused ourselves with. Nothing better than DEET to chase away those pesky bugs and also your appetite.
As I have been sooooo good on the I LOVE FOOD DIET, I cheated a little and ordered the fried calamari. The hot and crusty little slivers of juicy and chewy cartilage was heaven to my carb starved palette. However, I was very careful to just eat until I was satisfied and quickly buried the rest under my napkin. Remember as I always say, “it is not a waste if it ends up on your waist”.
I finished my meal with a salad bowl size of steamed mussels in garlic and wine sauce (no carbs!).
Bottom line, if you are in the area on Tuesdays, have kids, dont mind eating in a non air-conditioned, bug heavy “dive”, with a breath-taking view and live music, then John Scotts Surf Shack is the place to go.
Chow for now!