Rooney's Long Branch, NJ

Was in the mood for some seafood Saturday night and now that the post labor day crowds at the shore have calmed down I figured I would give an old favorite a try. This being my first and only time going here this season I held out hopes that the mediocrity that has become Rooney’s in recent years would have subsided and there would have been something exceptional here again.

I first started going to Rooney’s 20 years ago, before Pier Village, before revitalization of Long Branch…pretty much Rooney’s and The Reef Club were the only real games in town. Back then you could get very good food at Rooney’s in an awesome beach front atmosphere…but that all changed many years ago and I rarely go here anymore…maybe once a year just to see if anything has in fact changed.

Nope…if anything my meal was pretty bad. I got the broiled seafood combo…which included stuffed flounder. First the serving size…3 scallops, 3 medium shrimp and one very small rolled/stuffed flounder filet was on the small-ish side. The real problem was the “crab meat” stuff was just mush. Totally tasteless, perhaps the equivilant to a tea spoon sized serving and it had the consistency and flavor of a wet piece of white bread. Horrible. The scallops and shrimp were fine, how far wrong can you go with broiled scallops and or fried shrimp, but the stuffed flounder was what I was looking forward to and it sucked.

Interestingly my wife got the Crab Stuffed Scorpion Prawn (very big shrimp) and the crab meat stuffing in that, was pretty good and had actual lump crab meat in it. I don’t know why the difference.

Bottom Line…Rooney’s still sucks. Go enjoy cocktails and items from the raw bar enjoy the ocean vista and breeze then go somewhere else for a good meal.

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Thanks for taking one for the team! We used to love going to Rooney’s during the warm weather months – weekdays only – to sit in the back room with the doors wide open to the magnificent ocean view. That was way back at a time when the food while not screamingly delicious was at least more than passable. But as you said, slowly it declined to where for us the only decent thing to order was the shrimp cocktail. As we’re not into sitting at the bar, that wasn’t enough to keep us going there, and it’s now been more than ten years since our last visit.

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