Now that they’ve been open 6 months, I’m willing to let the cat out of the bag about this (not-so) hidden gem in Asbury Park… Cardinal is the product of Smith alums (Porta, Pascal and Sabine, etc.) and holy crap are we lucky to have them here in AP!
Background: I was at a holiday market at then Beirgarten and one of the (two female) partners at the Cardinal booth recognized me from Porta…I relayed the story (b/c it was RANDOM–I’m not that regular at Porta!) to my friend, and told him all about how they were getting Cardinal ready. Fast forward to late January; I was having a major bday and my folks had contacted my friend for catering ideas for a surprise party…he suggested Cardinal. At that point they had been doing a lot of catering, but the restaurant opened a week before my party, so the fact that they were able to come through with food that people are still talking about (a mushroom strata, their fantastic sage sausage patties, and an octopus salad amongst the offerings) was pretty impressive, imo.
This past weekend I met a couple of friends there for brunch (hard to do, as these guys love The Buttered Biscuit in Bradley Beach and I do too).
I had heard the rumors about Cardinal’s chicken and waffles being out of this world, so that’s what I ordered–and to be clear, that’s not a dish I’d normally get. HOLY. SH*T. Seriously. The spicy and flavorful sauce (maple poblano relish, herbed yogurt, Texas Pete) on top of 2 perfectly cooked pieces of boneless (THANK YOU) organic chicken and a light, perfect pearl sugar waffle. My friends had the waffle special and the silver dollar pancakes (not your typical pancakes but trust me, you want these too) and we all shared, but I haven’t stopped thinking about the chicken and waffles.
They’re only open for breakfast and lunch, which is why it took me so damn long to get in, but they’re also doing pop-up dinners, which I fully intend to get to. GO. Just don’t tell too many people about it yet, please…?
Wow…thanks for the tip. I occasionally like to find an alternative to the normal NJ Diner option for breakfast. I’ve never been to the Buttered Biscuit but my daughter has and is a big fan. I was less than impressed with Toast (Red Bank) and also Mema’s(?) In Wall.
YW! For the record, I found Toast to be completely average in Montclair and don’t bother with it down here. When I was at Cardinal on Sunday there must have been 30 people waiting to get in to Toast–which you can see from Cardinal’s front door! We were talking about it…but those aren’t the people I want knowing about the GOOD eats…
Thanks to Curlz, hit up Cardinal Provisions today. Wow!! Arrived to a 15 minute wait, so popped around the corner and pregamed with some Purple Glaze donuts. Once seated, we ordered a couple of the chicken and waffles (ordered one with the optional fried egg ordered extra runny). This is a terrific dish (described in detail by Curlz). Also had an order of the silver dollar pancakes (unlike any silver dollar pancakes you’ve had before) with a hint of lemon and ricotta. Even the kids mac n cheese was quality stuff. Great service to boot. Nice to have such a good breakfast/brunch/lunch option. They are having a 6 course garlic pop up dinner tonight. Would like to catch this one day.
Pearl sugar waffle and maple poblano relish. Thank you Curlz, we were patrons of Toast (if only for the corned beef hash) but this dish is on a whole new level, and C.P. is our new Asbury go to. Chicken and waffles for breakfast, and the octopus at Porta for a late lunch, Saturday was a good day.
Hey coldbeer!! Nice to see you here, I notice you’ve been a member since Nov’ don’t know why this is the first time I’m noticing. Welcome!!
I’ve got to tell you I’ve given Toast about 3 tries (Red Bank Location) and I just don’t “get it”. I’m sure it’s me, but I haven’t been able to get very motivated about it. Glad you enjoyed CP I’ve got to give it a try.
As I was looking for a dinner destination for tonight, I came across that Cardinal Provisions is now open for dinner on Fridays & Saturdays. A quick peek at the online menu shows that the options are pretty much limited to burgers (there are quite a few varieties). Anyone been?
Their dinner themes change every week, as this is a more permanent version of the pop-up concept they had been doing on a monthly (or so) basis prior to this month. I think they’ve done Mexican, Vegan, and now this weekend the theme is Burgers (all kinds–meat, veg, vegan).
I just don’t think you can go wrong with anything they’re cooking…the food is always fresh and creative!
Love this place. I went there for dinner a few weeks back and it was fantastic. That weekend didn’t have a particular theme; standout dishes were the octopus appetizer (very tender and well-seasoned) and the ribeye entree. The meal was on the more expensive side for a casual dinner out (our bill came to about $100 for an appetizer, 2 entrees, dessert, and hot tea) but the quality justified the price. I really enjoy Cardinal’s creative flavor combinations and laidback atmosphere. I’d go back for dinner (or any meal) in a heartbeat!
They just announced their theme/menu for this coming weekend: Pasta Party
Note that they also mention this is their last weekend before closing “for winter break” but they don’t say how long that is. Iirc, they usually take a couple of weeks off, but def call or check their site if you plan to go after this weekend.