The Buck Tavern – Corbin, NJ
Website: Buck Tavern Website
Corbin City is a small town in Atlantic County, and in a state that is a “pass through” itself, travelers going or coming from Cape May or Atlantic City might not think much about it. At one time early in the 20th century it was part of Weymouth Township but a legislative act in 1922 allowed for its own incorporation as a “city”. Well, I guess “city” is a relative term for the less than 500 folks who call it home. Your reviewer and companion have passed this way before, enjoying a fine meal at The Buck Tavern. It wouldn’t take long for the proprietor of the “Tavern” to tell you that this has been a family establishment for over 60 years. As the name implies at one time it was a central meeting point for hunters as well as travelers. The building itself might seem more disposed to the Pocono’s, what with its log cabin type vernacular. Inside it’s more of the same with knotty pine type paneling and a certain leaning of the half dozen or so booths. The long bar is what you will immediately notice upon entering, and to the left is a capacious dining room complete with fire place.
The staff is pretty informal and friendly. On the first visit a large party in the dining room kept the help very busy. The most recent visit didn’t have the dining room full at all, but it would appear that someone may have called out since there was just one waitress handling the booths and tables in the bar area where we sat. The only seating option was a tall “table” as the booths were spoken for. It did have a pronounced “list to port” if you will. After taking our drink orders, iced tea and a diet soda ($1.50 each) we had plenty of time to peruse the menu. You will find a Soup du Jour at $2.95 for the cup or $3.50 a bowl; it is sure to be freshly made. Ceasar Salads, with a couple of options, can start at $8 and then range to $13.50 if served with crab meat. About 9 Appetizers are on offer including Clams on the half shell at $5.95 ranging up to $17.50 for a bucket o’ wings. Your reviewer and companion chose the Appetizer Combo for $9.95 consisting of Mozzarella Sticks, Chicken Fingers and Onion Rings. There was a bit of a wait until they arrived, but it was a good choice and nice and hot.
For the entrée your reviewer chose a New England Combo of Fried Flounder and Scallops at $19.95. The “combo” can be had for the same price with shrimp. My companion chose the Buck Burger Deluxe priced at $7.95. That is a half-pound burger topped with bacon, cheddar, lettuce & tomato on a Kaiser roll. On the side are French Fries, Pickles and Cole Slaw. There are a total of 13 Sandwiches & Platters including Fried Shrimp & Oysters at $8.95 or Roast Pork at $6.95. There are about 5 house pasta specialties all with a sea food theme ranging from $18.85 to $19.95 and involve wither shrimp, crab, scallops and clams. Entrees include Filet Mignon at $24.95, Chicken Picatta at $16.95 or Prime Rib (Friday and Saturday only) starting at $22.95.
With the short staff we had plenty of time to enjoy our appetizers and converse. I must admit to have being hungry for the seafood as the wait seemed similar to airport security. However once the plates were put down the conversation ebbed and the eating starting in earnest. The burger was described as being extremely close to what one would make at home, and it looked rather tall from my “perch”. The seafood “combo” consisted of two generous filets of flounder and about a half dozen medium sized scallops. Fries added yet more to the mix. While frying is not to be had on an every day basis, I would say that my meal wasn’t greasy or had any bad aftertaste. The fish was flaky and moist, and the scallops were firm and not watery. Although I was not lacking for food, I thought it was surprising that my entrée did not come with at least a small dinner roll. I did struggle to finish all of my meal I can tell you that.
Curiosity, rather than caloric deficit, caused us to enquire as to the Desserts. The waitress advised that they had Tiramisu, Pecan Pie, Peanut Butter Cheesecake and a Chocolate Mousse Cake. All sounded a bit “over the top” so again we passed on this. Having had two visits under our belt, I would rate the “tavern” at 3.5 Chews and would come back again. One of the “novel” things that the “tavern” management is doing in light of the gas prices is to give a $5 gas credit. You have to print the website page saying “Five for the Drive”. This “credit” has a few legitimate parameters, and a $20 minimum food and beverage charge applies; there is no cash redemption and it is one for the “table” only. So, I would say the food is worth the drive and you’ll now save a bit on the cost of gas as well. What a great deal is that! Enjoy.
Pop Pop’s Score: 3.5 Chews
Subjective rating: We’re fans.
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