Intrigued by the rumor of alcoholic milkshakes almost as much as the sudden appearance of this mystery restaurant, Justin and I made a date for Banana Jack Murphy’s to investigate.
The place is gorgeous. It’s spacious with high back booths and outdoor stools covered in faux horse hair. It’s bright, yet intimate with a comfortable ambience. It’s the kind of place you’d expect to find in New York with foie gras on the menu. However, the laid back, casual atmosphere and menu of specialty burgers contradict the decor so it feels like a high class night on the town without the pressure of pronouncing your order correctly.
I had to sample one of the spiked shakes I’d been hearing so much about. It was a difficult decision to make with so many delicious shakes offered up. I ordered a Chocolate Cherry Bomb which consisted of chocolate ice cream, cherry vodka and kahlua. It was delicious. There was just the right amount of alcohol so you could taste it, but it wasn’t overpowering. I can’t wait to try the others at the outdoor milkshake bar.
We started with an order of sweet potato fries with sweet chili dipping sauce. The sauce was tangy with just enough of a bite. I loved the pommes frites presentation and the way the fries were cut balanced the never ending conundrum of crispy vs softer, floppier fries. There wasn’t a bad one in the bunch.
The burger menu was intimidating at first. Not necessarily because of the size, but because the burgers were pretty unique to anything I’d ever seen before. Justin ordered a Top O’ the Morning Jack- a burger topped with American cheese, bacon and a fried egg. It was like breakfast and dinner sandwiched on a bun. The yolk mixing with the bun and burger tasted amazing.
Taking a crazy chance, I ordered the weirdest burger on the menu and, quite possibly, on the planet. The Graceland Jack is a burger topped with crispy smokey bacon and banana slices. The top bun comes slathered with peanut butter. I know! What are these things doing on a hamburger? They’re working! I was skeptical going into it, certain I would find my dinner disgusting. I was stunned. The peanut butter added a nutty flavor to the bacon’s smokiness while the banana provided an interesting texture and just a hint of sweetness. I ate the entire thing and I can never finish a whole burger.
Banana Jack Murphy’s is certainly an exciting, funky addition to the island. With an outdoor milkshake bar and plenty of seating on the patio, it’s is sure to be a destination this summer and a favorite for locals and shoobies alike.
Alison Heller is the Jersey Bites Cape May County Regional Editor. She also writes for Examiner.com and TrendHunter.com. She grew up on the beach in Wildwood Crest and currently works in advertising. After earning her Master of Fine Arts in English and Creative Writing in New York City (a place that was essentially Food Rehab), she stopped putting ketchup on everything and started experimenting with flavors. She loves sushi and cupcakes, sushi that looks like cupcakes, but never cupcakes that look like sushi. www.superalzy.com