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Chowing Down at Red Bank’s The Chowda House

matthew_mikolay_120This is New Jersey.

Sometimes, a man cannot survive on pork roll alone.

Sometimes, a deeper hunger arises far within a man’s stomach.

Sometimes, a man craves a bowl of New England clam chowder…but when that man’s in the middle of Monmouth County, what can he do?

The Chowda House in Red Bank is conveniently located across from the train station at 78 Bridge Avenue. The little restaurant opened its doors three months ago and specializes in fresh seafood, including (you guessed it!) clam chowder.

The Chowda House’s nautical themed interior transports you to a charming seaside New England eatery, the ideal environment for enjoying some quality seafood. When the weather is agreeable, the House offers outdoor seating for patrons. From their tables, diners can glance into the nearby fish tank to admire the restaurant’s mascot, “Chowda”, a bubbly little puffer fish.

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The Chowda House offers both New England and Manhattan clam chowders in either a cup ($2.95) or bowl ($4.95), as well as a “land lubber soup” for those diners wishing to forgo seafood. During my visit, I decided to try the New England chowder. I must admit, I held very high expectations for the chowder as I sat down to dine. After all, your chowder better be on point if it’s mentioned in your restaurant’s name! Fortunately, I was not disappointed.

chowda_house_puffer

The generous portion of chowder was hot and creamy, chock full of potatoes and clams in a perfect balance floating in a light cream base. Too often, chowders are thick and heavy on the stomach, but The Chowda House has perfected its recipe. Furthermore, the clams were cooked exceptionally, providing a pleasant chewiness, as opposed to the toughness that can result from overcooking. The accompanying oyster crackers offered a satisfying way to finish off my bowl after I quickly devoured each and every clam and potato. No doubt, The Chowda House is the place to go in Red Bank for a bowl of New England clam chowder.

chowda_house_chowder

In addition to their superb chowder, The Chowda House offers a variety of signature dishes. I tried the fish and chips ($9.99), golden-brown strips of beer battered pollock resting atop a mountain of thin cut French fries. Above all, I noticed the delicate, buttery interior of white fish surrounded by the light batter coating. Unfortunately, the fish itself seemed to be a bit lacking in flavor — perhaps due to underseasoning. The texture was spot-on, but the fish itself needed some TLC. A healthy dose of tartar sauce was needed to provide the appropriate flavor kick.

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Aside from their fish and chips, The Chowda House’s signature dishes include buttermilk fried shrimp ($12.25), mussels marinara with linguini ($14.00), and sauteed dry scallops ($17.50).

The Chowda House

78 Bridge Ave

Red Bank, NJ 07701

Tuesday through Thursday: 11AM to 9PM

Friday & Saturday: 11AM to 10PM

Sunday: 3PM to 8PM

http://www.thechowdahouse.com/

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