The 25th annual Somers Point festival took place on Saturday, April 27. The daylong event has grown to now stretch over 14 blocks along historic Bay Avenue, and includes live music in four different locations, more than 120 crafters, and many people come from all around New Jersey to celebrate.
Bayfest began 25 years ago as an Earth Day celebration, and organizers still maintain that tradition by hosting environmental groups to help inform the public about topics including water conservation and recycling. Bayfest contributes to the city at large, with profits from the festival funding projects that enhance and benefit the city. Some of the past projects Bayfest has supported include improvements to the Bud Kern Field, the installation of a new playground on the public beach, new banners lining Historic Bay Avenue and donations to the Mainland Regional High School Commutation Arts Department.
Now let’s talk about the food. My guy and I did a crabcake sandwich review of all the vendors and we had to say hands down. CJ’s Corner Grill was the clear, undisputed winner.
One of the first things I loved about their crabcake sandwich was the presentation. In the hurried atmosphere of Bayfest, the grill chef knew how to make a crabcake that was appealing to the eyes. It was on a nice kaiser roll instead of the usually potato rolls many vendors were using. This crab cake had a nice crab smell to it, so it was so nice that what you wanted to devour it from the aroma alone. The crab meat contained within was sweet, with some taste of Old Bay and a little Dijon, I think. It had a subtle kick that made you want to take the next bite.
CJ’s crabcake was top shelf, with a decent amount of moisture to it. The cake was mostly crab, which had a really nice, robust flavor to it. The cake itself had lots of lumps of crab meat with only a few broken pieces mixed in. The binder had a great flavor to it, although it is just right amount to let you know it's there without overwhelming you. The crab meat was plentiful in each bite, which is the main reason I wanted this sandwich in the first place! The fresh tomatoes and lettuce added to the satisfaction of the sandwich, instead of taking away from it. I topped my sandwich with cocktail sauce and was happy with each bite.
I also got to try CJ's lobster bisque and it was the best I have ever had. It was full of lobster and the creamy sauce is extraordinary, definitely five star. It was quite yummy and buttery but definitely not on the salty side like some other vendors. It seemed to have just a touch of cayenne pepper and I’m not sure but I think I tasted just a hint of sherry. It was wonderful. You need to visit CJ’s Corner Grill whenever you’re in the Somers Point, NJ Area. (see their Facebook page for more information) It was a great surprise to discover this vendor during a wonderful Bayfest celebration.
Below are photos of the vendors I visited at Bayfest and the other crabcake sandwich joints that tied for second place.
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