There’s no doubt that we’re known for our seafood. Ship Bottom Shellfish has built our reputation on the long local tradition of food that comes from out ocean and local bays.
But when we opened our sister restaurant, the Old Causeway, we knew we wanted to offer something more. And a steakhouse was a logical direction.
All of the steaks are cooked on a wood-fired grill, burning 100 percent New Jersey oak from our wood pile out back. The grill was custom built for our the kitchen at the OC. Everyone who comes to our part of the marsh loves the smell.
Of course, it’s a lot of work to maintain the flame, but we strongly believe that the flavor of the natural wood is worth the effort, indicative of our overall philosophy of going the extra yard to separate ourselves.
Part of the success we’ve enjoyed has to do with our relationship with J Vrola, our meat purveyor out of Central Jersey.
Their story started with Constatine Vrola, who came to the US from Naples. He opened a small market called C Vrola and Sons in Jersey City, offering the freshest meats and poultry for customers. It was a family business and they survived tough times during World War II, coming out stronger on the other end.
Slowly the business morphed into larger orders to other butchers and nearby restaurants. Joseph Vrola took the reigns and reached out beyond North Jersey. In the 80s, they moved headquarters to South Amboy becoming “center of the plate specialists.”
“What we sell to Old Causeway and its sister restaurants is all black angus beef from small farms in the midwest. They’re cooperative farms. And all the steaks are hand cut at our cut shop the same day they’re delivered,” says Doug Tucker, the sales rep that we deal directly with.
All steaks are premium grass-fed and grain finish with no hormones or antibiotics. At Mud City, we have our Fliet Mignon, NY Strip, Rib Eye, and Porterhouse. Then we give you your choice of OC Steak Sauce, Red Wine Demi Glace, Chimichurri, Herb Compound Butter, Caramelized Onion & Balsamic Glaze, Black Truffle Butter, Fresh or Horesradish Cream Sauce.
We’re also pretty proud of our Signature Steaks like the OC Carpetbagger, which is a bacon-wrapped 8 oz filet mignon topped with Mushroom Madiera wine, and fresh oysters. Then there’s the Flatiron and the Black Eye, a 14 oz. rubbed down ribeye blackened and smothered in our jumbo crab and gorgonzola cream sauce with roasted sunrise peppers. And we’re also pretty proud of “Rosemary’s Strip,” a rosemary & garlic marinated 12 oz. NY strip atop sourdough crustini and bathed in our toasted mushroom cabernet sauce.
And Chef Jim Moran certainly isn’t afraid to get creative in the kitchen with steak specials.
We’ve always offered the land lovers quality steaks from Ray’s Currituck Porterhouse at the Black Whale Bar and Fish House to Mud City’s Filet Mignon and the Prime Strip and Prime Flat Iron we serve at Parker’s Garage and Oyster Saloon.
“It all starts with the roots of our business. We’re family owned and family run, just like the Magaziner and Nugents’ restaurants,” explains Vrola Sales Manager, Walter Myslinski, “We only want to put our name on the very best steaks. We want to support another family business, restaurants that provide that same kind of quality and won’t settle for anything less. It’s ideal when we have a relationship with the owners of the restaurant. It’s like their baby. We like being in direct contact with the people who own the place. We have similar philosophies.”