At the Table opened two years ago on Bond Street in Asbury Park, where the vegetarian friendly Trinidadian Restaurant, Sister Sue's, used to be. It is across the street from the current Cajun Restaurant, Trinity & The Pope.
Although for some the location could be far (for me it's 5 minutes), it is definitely worth the trek for traditional homemade (they use NOTHING canned!) southern cooking. Granted it's not the most healthy dinner option, but sometimes there is absolutely nothing better than comfort food like this. You will always leave full, happy, and with leftovers. I went there a few times last year, and then again this past Tuesday after I realized it had been awhile since I visted. I have both sat down for dinner and ordered takeout, as the food is always good and always affordable.
I usually go there during the week. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, At the Table offers a 2 for $20 deal for those that want to eat well while on a budget. I have to say, I will go there anyway without the deal, but this is what often draws me here when I am looking for dinner during the work week. Each person gets a choice of either fried, BBQ or roasted chicken, meatloaf, or salmon cakes, and a choice of two sides. There are many of these sides to choose from, so whenever my date and I order the 2 for $20, we opt to not duplicate our selections to allow variety.
Just this past week we ordered the BBQ chicken with a side of macaroni and cheese and grilled asparagus, and meatloaf with a side of grits and collared greens. The BBQ sauce was absolutely amazing, and makes me wants to try the ribs as well. The meat is crispy while also slightly falling off the bone (a great sign). The mac and cheese is a staple (aka I order it every time I go) because it is served in a crock and baked, so the cheese on top is crispy. This is my favorite way to eat mac and cheese, and you can't get it like this anywhere else.
The grilled asparagus had lovely seasonings and a fresh counterpart to the heavy dishes. The meatloaf is delicious too, and I am not normally a meatloaf lover. The grits were buttery and delicious (although I tried them when they were too hot!) and the collared greens, a classic side dish, was cooked perfectly. Even the complimentary cornbread is the best you can get around here, served with what I believe was maple butter.
Now of course, the first thing I ever ate when I first went to At the Table was the fried chicken, I had just chose to try something different this past time. As a fried chicken lover, I believe this rivals a lot of the other fried chicken places in this area. It's crispy and wonderful -- really no other way to put it. If you order this, you will not regret it, and you will just want more. Other sides on their special menu include sweet potatoes, sweet potato fries, mashed potatoes, black eyed peas, etc.
Fish lovers would enjoy their blackened or sweet potato tilapia, or even the shrimp. I have also tried their collared green and bacon cheese dip. It is a bit much if you do the 2 for $20, but at an affordable price like this, you just have awesome amounts of leftovers.
When I go back, I will plan to try the ribs, and perhaps sample their vegetarian menu. Vegetarian friendly is definiltey a plus, as they offer dishes like curry and tofu nuggets. Their desserts are also to die for; I have tried the carrot cake and the red velvet cake. I have always wanted to try the sweet potato cheesecake, but they sell out of it fast!
At the Table also has an all you can eat buffet on Sundays at 12PM, but don't delay getting there because often the line is out the door. There is no alcohol served and customers are not allowed to BYOB. This does not bother me in the slightest, as the food is too good to even worry about it. I do enjoy my happy hour and post dinner drinks, however, so I had one cocktail before I went and had a night cap at a bar across the street before I went home.
While they do not have a menu online, you may call 732-455-5093 if you have any inquiries, or even visit their Facebook page. Really, the best way to experience this family owned restaurant is to go in and have dinner. You will not regret it. The cook, Janice Murphy, and her family give you that comforting mom-and-pop restaurant feel, and she often tries to get to know her frequenting customers. All around, this is a win. Please go. You will thank me!