There are innumerable reasons why I chose Cape May as my home nearly 20 years ago, but let’s be real: one of them was food. Any visitor here is well acquainted with our plethora of dining options: everything from tacos on the fly, to cut-above bar food, to truly top-notch sit-down dining.
When the stay-at-home order went into effect, local restaurants shifted into takeout/delivery mode. The first to cross my social media dashboards was George’s Place—already a go-to for me—offering buy one, get one dinner entrees. Two Chicken Santorini dinners for the price of one? SOLD. The only drawback: social distancing meant no hug from owner Yiannis Karapanagiotis when I picked it up. The entrée, which is a chicken breast topped with spinach and kasseri, a sharp, salty Greek cheese, was excellent, and It came with an equally excellent side salad.
As the stay-at-home order stretched on, getting takeout became more routine, and even included a trip to Wildwood to pick up Primo Hoagies on Easter Sunday. One evening when my son and I had a craving for cheesesteaks, but my daughter wanted chicken tenders: boom, C-View Inn to the rescue, which is within walking distance from our house. (We witnessed quite a long line of cars queued up for to-go food last Saturday night.) A recent hankering for Mexican food was satisfied with a tasty to-go order of tacos, quesadillas, and Mexican sodas from Big Wave Burrito. The Dry Dock recently opened for takeout, and we ordered dinner there the first night—a chicken cheesesteak for me and wings for the kids—but saved our ice cream calories for to-go pints of Bassett’s from Fine Fellows Creamery on Beach Avenue.
And yes, I cook proper dinners regularly (these kids expect three meals a day, every day, apparently). A baguette from Chez Michel dresses up our repast, and I buy a couple of butter buns to have with our coffee and tea the next morning.
I’m grateful for the luxury of being able to work from home, but having a full-time job and being a full-time mom to two kids while we navigate these circumstances is . . . a lot. It’s wonderful to have a break from cooking with more exciting options than ordering a pizza. Unless, of course, it’s from Mack’s Pizza on the Wildwood Boardwalk, which opened for takeout-only late last week. Although there are plenty of excellent pizza options in Cape May, I spent a large chunk of my childhood in Wildwood, and few things remind me of being a kid more than Mack’s, so I will make the short trek there a few times per season.
I miss dining out, something I typically do at least once a week—but Cape May restaurants have stepped in to make sure that we all still have access to our favorite foods until it’s safe to reconvene in our favorite spots. As I write this, Instagram is letting me know that both Harry’s at the Montreal and Oyster Bay are starting takeout, which is a day-brightener.
So fear not, Cape May visitors: your favorite restaurants are staying on their A game. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have pancakes to pick up from the Mad Batter.