Wednesday, May 12, 2010
The Embers Restaurant (Ocean City, MD) - Variety
For our final night in Ocean City, Morgan and I decided to treat ourselves to one of the area's famous all-you-can-eat buffets. We had a tough time deciding which place to go to, with our choices including The Bonfire Restaurant, The Embers Restaurant, Hall's Restaurant & Buffet, Phillip's, and many more. All the restaurants were similarly priced, and most of them had comparable menus, but after reading over a few (dozen) reviews, we finally set The Embers Restaurant as our destination.
The Embers Restaurant is conveniently located on Philadelphia Avenue, by 24th Street, and is open a majority of the week during the off-season, and daily during the on-season. Prices might seem a bit high for both their buffet and à la carte menus, but in truth, the prices are competitive to similar restaurants in the area, with a $20 buffet special available every weekend. The Embers is kept clean, well-lit, and is staffed with friendly, helpful employees. The buffet offers an almost overwhelming variety of food, from typical seafood fare, to American diner-style dishes, to freshly-made Italian pizza and pasta, and even Asian-inspired cuisine; one thing is for sure when you dine at The Embers Restaurant - you will get your money's worth. There's even a carving station that offers up prime rib, top round of beef, and ham. For those who still have room in their stomachs after all that food, The Embers also sports a full dessert bar. All the essential food groups, of course.
Me? Well, I couldn't help but sample a little bit of everything. And by "little bit," I mean I tackled this meal with the mindset of a death row inmate.
Let me start off by saying that I have eaten at my fair share of all-you-can-eat buffets: some good, some bad, some so foul that I can only imagine that the chef was attempting to capture the flavor of a make-out session with Satan's armpit; however, after trying the food offered at The Embers Restaurant, I can easily say that it ranks among my favorite buffets of all time. While not every dish was a masterpiece, the food was clearly of a higher caliber than your average smorgasbord. The pastas I tried (including one of my favorites, tortellini alfredo) were cooked to perfection, and served with a variety of bold, flavorful sauces. The fried foods I ate were not suffocating in batter, nor did they taste like they had spent too much time in the oil. The meat from the carving station practically melted in my mouth, each slice served fresh, after being cooked in its own juices. All the crab meat I tried (including some excellent Crab Imperial) embodied that perfect blend of salty-sweet seafood flavor that has established crab as one of my favorite meals of all time.
I could go on and on about the high-quality food, the great staff, and the wonderful atmosphere, but the true reason Morgan and I loved The Embers Restaurant so much was the fact that it felt like it truly represented our time in Ocean City: an eclectic collection of some of the brightest laughter and experiences life has to offer. If you're ever in the area and want an excellent way to wrap up your evening by the ocean, The Embers Restaurant is guaranteed to leave you feeling warm from head to toe - especially your stomach.
Score (out of 10): 9
Location: 2305 Philadelphia Avenue, Ocean City, MD 21842
Phone Number: (410) 289-3322