Volunteering at the Strauss Mansion Museum over the last few years has caused me to fall in love with Atlantic Highlands. It’s a beautiful small town that I could easily see myself living in one day. But considering its square mileage, there is no shortage of restaurants. There’s two pizzerias, two diners, two Chinese takeout joints, sub shops, multiple bars, and fine-dining establishments. The most famous of all is no doubt the Memphis Pig Out. Open since 1985, they became one of the groundbreaking barbecue restaurants in New Jersey, mainly because barbecue was nowhere to be found in the Garden State at that time. They have fans from all over, but the adoration of course comes from the locals. So it was with sadness that I read of the restaurant’s soon-to-be closing at the end of May this year. After 32 years in the business, the owners are moving on.
I’ve dined at the Memphis Pig Out a couple of times over the years (the last visit predates this blog). The ribs were worthy of their praise, but I also thought they grilled up a great steak. Then there was the cinnamon applesauce, which was to die for. They have a cute, old-fashioned salad bar, and an actual bar right out of the days of prohibition. Local stories hold that the location was used as a speakeasy back in the day. Pig decor is all over the restaurant, lending to its theme. We would like to congratulate the owners on a fantastic run! Go give the Pig Out a try before it is too late.
As one business leaves, another moves on in. Opening this Saturday, April 29th is TeaScapes. They too will be located on First Avenue, at Suite K. It’s more of a tea bar and shop than a restaurant, but I wanted to include them here anyway. With craft coffee popping up all over the place, I’ve long thought that New Jersey needs more tea houses. I definitely want to give it a try sometime soon, especially after awesome experiences with tea in Wayne, Pennsylvania and Berlin, Maryland.
In addition to tea and baked goods, TeaScapes is also offering “on-site tea education classes, tea tasting classes, tea parties and promotional opportunities for your own business in our relaxed space.” I wish them the best of luck with their business, and like I said before, this area of our state could use more tea!