Thursday, October 4, 2012

Top 10 Casting Your Vote Politics Aside Soup for You!

There was an  Annual Chowderfest in LBI this weekend aka Long Beach Island, New Jersey to anyone who does not already know about this gem of a seashore retreat.  This year marked the 24th year for the competition.

1. You do not need a Photo ID to cast your vote, just a wrist band. After you pay the $20,you are in. Sample all the chowder you want, just don't forget to vote. You must select one from each category. VIP tickets are permitted to enter early at 10AM, those tickets also included a t-shirt and an early bird taste. My ticket was a gift, that I graciously accepted. 

2. Once inside you have to stake the place out. In under two minutes, you can get the lay of the land. The tents with the flags will be your initial target and where business is conducted.

3. The "White Flag" tent is the New England Clam Chowder hotspot.  I always head there first, it is my favorite and chowder is a must do every time I come to this island.

4. There were nine contestants vying for Best of New England Clam Chowder on Long Beach Island, 2012.  Howard's Restaurant was the winner of the White Chowda, Country Kettle Chowda, where I usually get my fix was the first runner up and third place Four C Sons was my absolute favorite this year. I went back for seconds just to make sure.

Critic's Choice and Grand Prize Winner (White) Howard's Restaurant

My choice in best taste Four C Sons.  I also like their clever name.
5. The Red Flag Tent was Manhattan Clam Chowder.  I always go for the white but this year I decided to branch out and taste the red as well.

6. I tasted all eight red on top of the white participants. A lotta soup! I am still not a huge fan of the red but I would have chosen the Chicken and the Egg, they came in as third runner up. Stefano's Seafood and Pasta took top prize as critic's choice and Grand Prize.
Critic's Choice and Grand Prize Winner (Red) Stefano's

Third Place Runner Up and My Choice (Red) Chicken and the Egg.

7. Rookies know enough to take at least one sample and you could politely take the spoon offered and daintily taste each one or you could gulp it down and hurry on to the next line.  It's crowded and it could take at least 2 -3 minutes up to 5 until you have the next sample size chowder in your hands. Each restaurant does a remarkable job of keeping the soup flowing and the crowd appeased.

8. Of course, the pros come with functioning contraptions or I think they actually sell the handy container pictured that looks like a artist pallet.  You can place several samples in there but I must admit I saw some pretty ingenious ready made do it yourself.  I was highly impressed and as a quick study, I will know better next year and come prepared to carry many.

Possibly the official carrier.

How many samples can you fit into an egg carton?  Pure Genius.  Top prize from me.

I can't discount this one either, it certainly has it's high points. You can lift this cupcake tray high above the crowd and never spill a drop.

9. Live music also entertained the crowd.  Hawkins Road had the place rocking and created a festive scenario.

10.  Hats also seem to play a significant role. Since I relatively a newcomer, I am not sure exactly how they fit in but I will say hats off to all participants, I enjoyed every last drop.

The very best part of this voting process.  I got to make my own choice without flack or pressure from a nasty ads dragging somebody down or a slamming the other candidate.

 Did you watch the debate last night?
Who was you soup du jour?
I'm going with the chowder and turning down the chatter.
Let them eat soup!

This weekend on LBI the 40th Annual 18 Mile Run will take place.  It is dedicated to the 11 Israeli athletes slain by terrorists at the 1972 Munich Olympics, and the thousands who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.

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