CJ’s Corner Grill: A Shore Thing for your Appetite
Sep 01, 2018 08:57AM
● By Karen Kovacs
I grew up spending my summers at many of the Jersey Shore points. My husband shares similar experiences, and we are now recreating our vacation memories with our own children. As a child, I always looked forward to the cloudy morning when my parents would take us out to an overpriced pancake house. As an adult, I search hard to fuel my family up with real food that is crafted with love, attention, and fresh ingredients. My husband and I have stumbled upon the breakfast spot we want our children to look forward to dining at year after year.
CJ’s Corner Grill in Somers Point, NJ boasts a menu with way more to offer than 25 varieties of a pancake. After meeting with the owner, Christian Raucci, it is obvious why the food is so spectacular. Being a graduate of Johnson and Wales University, a love for food has always been his thing and working in the restaurant business was naturally part of the plan. A decade ago Raucci and his high school buddy, Joseph Koch, decided to become business partners. Together they opened CJ’s, which has maintained a packed dining room ever since.
Choosing a name for our son took less time than it did to select our breakfast, but we finally agreed on the South Philly Bennie and Mexican Frittata. My husband cringes because I am simple and always ask for ketchup with my eggs. Although, I didn’t reach for it once with either of these dishes. Both items were layered with the perfect blend of ingredients. The Mexican Frittata was packed with flawless flavor from the sausage, peppers, onions, black beans, cheddar, avocado and homemade tomatillo salsa. The South Philly Bennie came served on a crostini with Italian sausage, roasted red peppers, broccoli rabe, sharp provolone, and of course a poached egg. Homemade home fries accompanied both dishes and were out of this world.
Not that we had room for it, but it would have been wrong to leave without trying something sweet and sinful. My husband was drooling over the Cinnamon Bun Pancakes, but having won a round of “Rock, Paper, Scissors”, I ruled that we were having the Capt’n Crunch French Toast. Yes, you read that correctly. French Toast combined with a classic childhood sugary breakfast cereal. Have you seen the movie Julia and Julia? In this moment I was Meryl Streep as Julia Childs in the scene when her sister is visiting her in France. Together the two characters were exchanging grunts of satisfaction as they chowed down on bread and brie... “Is that not the most wonderful cheese you ever had in your life?” I am a French Toast lover, 6 months pregnant, and couldn’t get enough of this gluttonous goodness. This was the most insanely marvelous mash up for diners of all ages.
I recommend chasing down your meal with a cup of Green Mountain Coconut coffee, or one of CJ’s signature mason jar ice teas. Personally, I have never been nuts for iced tea. In fact, I never drink it. Feeling adventurous and trusting our servers recommendation, I tried both the cucumber watermelon and mango ice tea, and was instantly in love. Each were served with chunks of fresh fruit and were perfectly refreshing for a hot summer day.
If you’re visiting CJ’s for lunch, you have plenty to choose from. Salads, burgers, hot and cold sandwiches, and soups… there truly is something for everyones taste buds. Although, you will most likely end up ordering the fish tacos. Made with fresh grilled mahi and served on blue corn tortillas, these tacos are a favorite that both locals and tourists come back in for time and time again. Freshness is the driving force of every meal at CJ’s; Produce is purchased from local markets, meats are cooked and sliced in house, and fish comes fresh every other day- never frozen.
Christian Raucci appears to be one of those lucky people that has found his niche in life and loves what he is doing. I don’t know about you, but when the person in charge radiates enthusiasm and passion, that alone makes me want to go back to an establishment time and time again. I had felt like family before we ordered. I knew that nothing less than perfection was going to come out on my plate because this guy cared about food, his staff, and most importantly- the customers that walked through his door. My only regret was trying CJ’s Corner Grill on the last day of my vacation. I would have liked to squeeze a few more visits in before heading back to PA. But you know pregnant gals and their cravings… my husband and I might be taking a long road trip for breakfast sometime soon.
CJ’s Corner Grill is located at 701 Shore Road, Somers Point, NJ. They are open Monday-Saturday from 7am-4pm and on Sunday’s from 7am-3pm. If you live locally, they deliver to Somers Point, Linwood, and Northfield. CJ’s offers catering for special events.
www.cjscornergrilll.com (609) 927 - 4701