Back in the days when I was still young, wealthy, and living out in the big, bad world, we used to come up for brief, booze-fueled getaways. On a few occasions, my best friend from law school would tag along. Phat Dave, as he was affectionately known, was a six foot five, near-three hundred pound former UWV offensive guard turned K-Street lobbyist, who used to grow legendary weed. Old Dave, as you might imagine, had an amazing appetite - so bottomless, in fact, that he and I were actually once asked to leave a Baltimore, “all you can eat sushi” joint, after being scolded, “No, no, you eat enough. No more. No more.”
Well, with a guy like that, you tend to steer your dining out choices towards spots that offered up the monster fare. Consequently, we eventually assembled a list of bigger-than-the-average-bear favorites. Among those that still stand out would be:
- The full reuben at Kelly’s in Neptune.
- Bagels from the Bagel Station in Red Bank.
- The extra-extra large pizza at Pete & Elda’s (at one point, there were nine XL t-shirts hung like trophies in a guest room closet.
Moreover, there were two offerings in Belmar that I’m not sure are still available. The old McCann’s (as opposed to the mostly filth-free incarnation of the restaurant that is still there) used to offer a half-pound, cooked-behind-the-bar burger. For an extra three-fifty, they’d double it up for you and serve if on half a toasted sub roll. Additionally, there was a place called Three Brothers pizza (I think) that would deliver a twenty-four inch pie until two in the morning (three in July & August).
It’s bittersweet, to think back on it now. At the time, Dave dubbed the area, The Land of Big Foods. Although my buddy passed away a few years ago, the name he awarded, reinforced then through the re-tellings of our ludicrous escapades, actually kinda stuck. Well, at least stuck enough that I’ll still occasionally be asked by others, “So, how’s life treating you in The Land of Big Foods?”