Grubbing out island style
Written by: NICK
It’s lunchtime and your stomach is growling.. but what to eat? While the island life is typically slow-paced and laid back, for the more active adventurers it can be hard to find time to eat between various activities. You may notice an absence of the usual fast-food franchises, but Avalon provides a multitude of quick eats at affordable prices. I decided to share some knowledge and opinions based off some of my favorite places around town where I eat on my lunch breaks.
Erics on the Pier is, as the name implies, on the Green Pleasure Pier. It’s central location makes it a convenient stop from almost anywhere in town. Their regular fries are nicely seasoned and, with the fish, make for a great fish and chips entree. While I like the fries as they are, I decided on a whim (living large, whoo hoo!) to get the cheese fries one day. For me, this was a mistake, as they used nacho cheese. While this is good with chili, I was expecting shredded cheese and ended throwing away most of my fries. The next time I went to Erics was much better, as their breakfast burritos (a weakness of mine) are some of the best on the island. They even serve beer!
If you’re in the mood for Chinese food, Mr. Ning’s Chinese Garden offers delicious Mandarin and Szechwan cuisine. I go about once a week, it is just so good. My favorite dish is the Kung Pao Chicken, but they also make a mean Chicken Lo Mein as well. You can dine-in or take-out. Just make sure they are open, because they do close for an hour and a half between lunch and dinner.
Coney Island West is the most affordable sidewalk fast food on the island. A cash-only establishment similar to Erics, they offer a variety of burgers, hot dogs and sandwiches at low costs. Coney Island also serves beer in an outdoor seating area on the corner of Metropole, a busy intersection at the end of our street, great for people-watching. Fries are large portions, seasoned just right, and delicious. For the money, Coney Island West is the most bang for your buck.
My personal and a local favorite, The Lobster Trap excels in seafood (mostly all locally caught): fish filets, crab legs and whole lobster, of course! I strongly recommend getting the clam chowder, which is very hearty. Not just limited to good seafood, however, the Lobster Trap serves sandwiches, pasta, and a great chicken parmesan. The casual atmosphere is noticeable as soon as you walk in the door. A half of a boat parked in the dining room and a covered functional pool table are both utilized for dining space during lunch and dinner time.
The newest healthy alternative lunch place, Cafe Metropole, is certainly the most unique. Its menu, written on a large sheet of butcher paper hung on the wall, consists of sandwiches, seafood and salads. Cafe Metropole also offers the most diverse range of vegetarian and vegan options on the island. However, they are most known for their juice: cold pressed and different every morning, to give you the boost you need to get through your day. For more exotic palates, shots of dandelion juice and other health drinks make sure you can provide your body the nutrients it needs.
In truth, it doesn’t really matter where you go, there’s something for everyone. Each restaurant has enough variety to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters, myself included. So live a little, pop in somewhere new for a bite, and fall in love with our island’s exceptional charm.