Shore Report

Cruz Bay Café Brings Tastes of the Caribbean to Belmar Beach

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Cruz Bay Café is the open-air oceanfront concession at Belmar’s new Taylor Pavilion, located at Ocean and Fifth Avenues.
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Located at the new Taylor Pavilion, Cruz Bay Café is the first and only eatery on the Belmar boardwalk to offer a menu with an island-inspired twist.
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Get a taste and feel of the Caribbean while enjoying a meal on Cruz Bay Café’s deck overlooking the Fifth Avenue beach in Belmar.
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It’s picnic time at Cruz Bay Café, the oceanfront concession in the Taylor Pavilion, where there is a full menu of beach favorites (of course, there are hot dogs) and selections with a Caribbean kick.
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BELMAR, NJ — The flavors and flair of the Caribbean have come to the Belmar beachfront.

Located at the new Taylor Pavilion, Cruz Bay Café is the first and only eatery on the boardwalk to offer a menu with an island-inspired twist — an idea that originated with Rick Bott, CEO of Merri-Makers Caterers, which operates the open-air oceanfront concession at Ocean and Fifth Avenues.

“I wanted to bring the Caribbean feel to Belmar,” he said.  “With good, quality beach food enjoyed on our large deck and picnic area, you’ll certainly find that special kind of atmosphere right here at Cruz Bay Café.”

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In fact, Bott named the café after Cruz Bay, a quaint, picturesque town on the island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where he and his wife, Cindy, were married 28 years ago.

“It’s the most relaxing, beautiful places you can ever visit,” said Bott, who along with his wife operate Edison-based Merri-Makers — New Jersey’s premier catering company, known for its commitment to creating outstanding culinary experiences.

At Cruz Bay Café, you’ll find that same dedication to high-quality food, served up by friendly staff from a full-view kitchen. From one-third pound hamburgers and the classic South Jersey cheesesteak sandwich to beer-battered fish tacos and grilled chicken Caesar wraps, there’s a touch of savor and spice that makes Caribbean cuisine so distinctive.

For those looking for a meal with a bit more “life of the islands” kick, Cruz Bay Café hits the mark with a host of offerings, including jerk rubbed chicken with red curry sauce served with lettuce, tomato, onion and sweet Jamaican pepper relish, and fried chicken breast topped with Caribbean spicy jerk sauce, tomatoes and lettuce in a hoagie roll.

And, of course, no boardwalk concession menu would be complete without hot dogs — in this case, extra-jumbo, slow cooked with a snap, topped with any combination of shredded sauerkraut, sautéed onions or Isa’s five-alarm chili.

In addition to dining on the palm tree-lined deck or at the picnic tables in the sand, there is an express takeout and the café deploys a crew of food runners on the beach and boardwalk. There’s nothing more convenient than that — because you’re on Cruz Bay time.

Click here for a look at Cruz Bay Café’s full menu. pdf To place an order or for more information, call 732-280-1990 or 732-280-1999.

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