We all have a couple of restaurants that are our go-to's. You know, the places where you pretty much know the menu front to back and have never had a bad meal or less than stellar experience. Now imagine if one of those spots just disappeared. It would be heartbreaking, right?

The pandemic has not been kind to Jersey Shore eateries. Many of our faves have had to close their doors.

I think that's what prompted Esquire to release their list of the "100 Restaurants America Can't Afford To Lose."

I'm happy to tell you that New Jersey took five spots on the rundown of 100, and two of the restaurants are right here at the Jersey Shore.

THE SHRIMP BOX - POINT PLEASANT BEACH

The only thing that could be better than the food at The Shrimp Box is the view. Here's what 'JG' at Esquire had to say:

The Shrimp Box is so important to my family that on one crazy summer afternoon, when our twins were still newborns, my wife and I suddenly put the babies in the car and drove three hours on the Jersey Turnpike because I had determined, in my sleep-deprived fog, that I needed some fried seafood and the kids needed to be exposed to the Jersey Shore air in the beach town that my dad’s people had originally come from. This was a stupid thing to do. When we arrived at the Shrimp Box, there was a two-hour wait for a table, and we were stuck there, hours from home, holding two weary, smelly babies. Did I perhaps let it slip that my grandmother was the late Thelma Gordinier, who in her time was the empress of the Shrimp Box? Did a table happen to materialize within minutes? When you’re a father, you do what you must.

Beautifully said!

SQUAN TAVERN - MANASQUAN

Squan Tavern has won multiple "Best Pizza at the Jersey Shore" awards from 94.3 The Point listeners. It wasn't a surprise to see The Squan on Esquire's list. 'JK' raved:

The best red-sauce joint on the Jersey Shore has been serving since the sixties. Packed every night, naturally. This right here—this East Coast alchemy of tomatoes and cheese, sausage and pasta and crust, oregano and olive oil and mouthfuls of bright Chianti—this is why we keep going back for Italian American food on Friday night.

Congrats to The Shrimp Box and Squan Tavern for the national spotlight! 2021 is going to be a great year for our Jersey Shore restaurants, I can feel it!

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