Ship Bottom Catching Surf Taco Wave By Summer

Dated: 03/21/2014

Views: 4304

Bringing “a good vibe” along with good food, Surf Taco coastal cuisine is coming to Ship Bottom by summer, at the site of the former Captain John’s Mr. Breakfast, at 1915 Long Beach Blvd. This is great news to fans who have had a taste at one of the restaurant’s other nine locations in northern Ocean and Monmouth counties – and Surf Taco caters to the Lakewood BlueClaws stadium as well.Owner Rob Nagle launched Surf Taco in Point Pleasant Beach in 2000, quickly found a loyal following and rode the wave from there. He’s looking forward to opening the Ship Bottom site sometime in May.“I’m just really excited to be a part of Long Beach Island and Ship Bottom, and I’m looking forward to meeting the community and new customers,” Nagle said in a phone interview Friday. “I love Long Beach Island; my family and I have been going there for years, since I moved back from California,” he said. “It’s beautiful down there, and people are super-friendly.“I always thought that would be a good spot for us to offer fish tacos, wraps, and smoothies. Beach culture is in our blood, and going there just reminded me of why I got into this business.”Part of the Surf Taco philosophy is “If it’s not fun, why do it?” and that extends to making the dining experience a good time. The website goes on to explain, “We believe in the goodness of the world and giving each and every person that walks through our doors the ultimate dining experience. Good Food, Good People, Good Vibe.”Good food means fresh, healthful and tasty. Good people are “a key ingredient in our success,” and that counts in employees, vendors and customers.The coastal cuisine menu features a unique blend of Surf-Mex tacos, burritos, wraps, salads, smoothies, and a kids menu – “something for everyone.”The Mahi Taco is just one example: “fresh mahi mahi coated in blacken seasoning then grilled, topped with homemade avocado lime sauce, shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, a slice of fresh avocado, chopped pineapple & a squeeze of lime in a double corn tortilla,” the menu describes. Beef, chicken and shrimp choices are among others.The tortilla chips are homemade, the marinades have been perfected from tastes of exotic locales, and customers can customize their own item with a stop at the “Almost Famous Salsa Bar.”As for serving up good vibes – “we promote an active lifestyle and a love for fresh food, the ocean, music and art,” the website says.In fact, murals inside the restaurants are part of the beach culture experience, and Ship Bottom will be no different, once the artist returns from Costa Rica in mid-May and starts the process.Overall, though, the new owners of the building won’t be making structural changes to the building that was Ray’s Diner before it was Captain John’s.“Just new floor, new paint – we’re kind of just setting it up to ‘Surf-Taco-ize’ it,” Nagle said. “As we all know, Captain John’s has been there for 40 years … we’re looking to turn it around pretty quickly and open sometime in May.”They’ll be hiring starting in mid-April.How much of the year they’ll be open will depend. Although “Ship Bottom is in a pretty busy location,” Nagle said, “we’re just going to play it by ear.”LBI locals and vacationers will find Surf Taco in time for summer.“I’m really excited for summer 2014, especially after this winter; I think everybody is!” Nagle said. Courtesy of — Maria Scandalemariascandale@thesandpaper.net 

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