Remember when I told you that a meal at The Lady & Sons in Savannah was the truest Southern meal I have ever eaten?
And remember how we made a second trip there in order to enjoy their fried chicken* and other comfort foods one last time before being forced to return to everyday life in New Jersey?
*Let’s forget the fact that we were also returning to replace peach stained cookbooks.
I might have let the in-your-face-Southerness of Savannah make me forget another spot with some of the best Southern cooking I have ever had, right here in New Jersey.
While in Asbury Park one summer day, we were hot, we were hungry, and we wanted fried chicken. After a few minutes Googling, Yelping, and Trip Advising, we found At The Table.
At The Table is one of those restaurants I might shy away from upon first entry. It is a small, local spot, seating around 50 people. On our first visit, there were a handful of people there with a few empty tables to spare. It was also during their Sunday buffet and foolishly we ordered off the menu instead of partaking in the buffet. We ate the same food as at the buffet, but without the wide variety and endless options a buffet holds.
So, point number one regarding At The Table: If you go on a Sunday, order the buffet!
Other times, when we craved their crispy, perfectly seasoned fried chicken, we learned the hard way that we need to have their hours committed to memory. As with most family run restaurants, they aren’t open endless hours. They are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays (though their Facebook page states they are open on Tuesdays) and their average hours are during dinner hours.* However, their Facebook page also states they are now serving breakfast, too.
*Except Sundays, when they are open from 2:00 pm til 7:00 pm.
On our most recent visit this past Saturday night, we learned the importance of making reservations. The other times we have gone right around the time they opened and the place has been near empty.
A Saturday night at 5:00 pm is a completely different story.
We arrived and the restaurant was near full. By the time we left there wasn’t an empty table in the restaurant.*
Except ours, of course.
This is serious Southern cooking with an at home vibe. Every table starts with fresh cornbread muffins that are crisp on top while sweet and dense inside.
I could make a meal on the muffins alone.*
*And if I ever get around to coming for the buffet, I just might.
We have tried a few of their appetizers including their Tilapia Fingers and Lovell’s Wings. On Saturday, we enjoyed their Collard Greens Bacon Dip. Picture above was the small–I can’t imagine the size of the large.
We had to call upon our willpower not to devour the entire dip because, having previously experienced the masterpiece that is their fried chicken and also knowing their serving size, we wanted to have room to eat our meals.
As long as we have been coming to At The Table, we have ordered the same exact dinner: Southern Fried Chicken. Each meal includes half a chicken, coated with magic, and deep fried to perfection.
The mac and cheese is the best restaurant mac and cheese I have ever enjoyed, and I have enjoyed quite a few. It isn’t sopping with liquid, which I hate, instead the noodles have a blanket of creamy cheese surrounding them, and the occasional crunchy piece, which I love, mixed throughout.
If you are looking for serious Southern cooking away from the South, At The Table is the place to go.
At The Table
311 Bond St
Asbury Park, NJ 07712