A local couple recently threw open the doors to a small new eatery that already has the area buzzing.
The menu -- created by the owner Tim Kohlheim, 30, who grew up in Manahawkin, studied culinary arts and spent eight years in South Florida -- features foods that bring variety to an area that during much of the year, summer excluded, is mostly dominated by diner food, Chinese and Italian, Kohlheim said.
"We loved it," said Kristin Miller, 36, of Manahawkin who brought her family to check out the new eatery on a recent afternoon. "The avocado cream was to die for, and the Mahi-Mahi tacos? Mmmm."
"We'll definitely be back," said Miller's mother, Rosemary Fahey, 63, of Waretown.
When you walk into this place, don't let the plain decor of the room fool you. To accentuate the different feel of their cuisine, the owners and staff serve food in cool, unusual packages: a sandwich on a small wooden cutting board, water in a glass jar.
From steak fires smothered with cheddar, pepper jack and bacon, and pickle chips with alioli, to salmon burgers served with seaweed salad, and chocolate-dipped bacon, the menu offers a list of surprises. Be prepared for fresh, unusual combinations: lots of cucumbers, seafood, avocados, and more.
And when you come to Shore Fire Grill, be sure you don't mind a little spice. Some of the food will put your mouth on fire. At the same time, the menu has an interesting kid-friendly selection of foods like chicken wings, cheesburger sliders and mini pizzas.
Having paid his dues as a server, line cook, and sous chef for a catering company, and having already run a successful catering company in the area, Shore Thing Catering, Kohlheim decided to pour in his creativity into a long-time dream.
"The menu is made up of things I have concocted or conceived throughout my travels, things that have inspired me," he said.
The restaurant is located at 34 South Main Street, on a small plaza with a martial arts school on Route 9 in Barnegat. Catering services are also available.
For more information, visit the Shore Fire Grill website or call 609) 488-5586.