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Coconuts Beach Bar & Grill
Written By: Jenny Samuels
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Coconuts Beach Bar & Grill
Coconuts Beach Bar & Grill
Dine and listen to great music every day on the beautiful beach-side patio of the Castle In The Sand’s Coconuts Beach Bar & Grill.
Coconuts Beach Bar & Grill
Hey John - better hurry and get a patent on that cup holder on the umbrella!
Coconuts Beach Bar & Grill
Bethany, Lyndsey, Nigazi, Anastasiia & Victor are just a few of the fun & friendly staff at Coconuts Beach Bar & Grill.
    Ah, Ocean City in the summertime where life is good and the living is easy!  Anyone who has read my column knows how much I enjoy live music. If you’ve met me, you know I also love to eat. So here’s your quiz for the day. What do you get when you cross great outdoor beach atmosphere with good food and wonderful live entertainment? You’re correct if you guessed Coconuts Beach Bar and Grill located at the Castle in the Sand, direct oceanfront between 36th and 37th streets
    Palm trees, beautiful yellow and orange Hibiscus adorn this dune-side patio setting. If you enjoy playing or just watching volleyball, Coconuts is the place for you. Built in 1959, Coconuts is one of only two places in Ocean City where you can be served meals and drinks right under your own umbrella on the beach. thanks to a “grandfathered in” liquor license.
    The Castle in the Sand is owned by Adam Showell who is pleased with the mix of locals and hotel guests and that business is booming at the Beach Bar and Grill, even in a down economy. Not surprising - when you provide the right mix of food and entertainment in a beautiful setting, it’s a winning situation in any economy!
    Dew Maisel and I had a delicious dinner at Coconuts last week as we listened to Chest Pains. We arrived at happy hour to find all the tables filled. Fortunately for us, friends Heidi and Liz had a front row table and asked us to join them and their friends Erica and Joe.
    Let me give you a little background on Chest Pains. This was a super popular group in the ‘80s with Michael Tracy White (then known as Bam Bam) playing drums. Michael died almost five years ago.  At his viewing, former Chest Pains members Jeff Davis (bass) and Byron Anthony (lead vocals and guitar) were talking with musicians Joe Mama (drums) and Chris Button (guitar and vocals) about how much fun the Chest Pains days were, and so last year this foursome reformed the band and were an instant success.These well-seasoned musicians captivated us all at their first show delivering their high energy performance with every note simply sheer perfection! Coconuts  manager Joe Koziol was at this show and said how much he would love to see Chest Pains play at his establishment. Well, Joe and the rest of us finally got to see that happen.
    Shortly after the band started, it began raining so they had to stop but no one left; we were all having too much fun to let a bit of rain spoil the party. The band came back and gave us an extra half hour or so at the end. One of the highlights of the evening was seeing Byron’s seventeen year old daughter, Gabrielle Anthony, sing “No Rain.” Such an attractive young woman with such an amazing voice!
    This is part of the reason I so love coming to Coconuts. There is music every day and the locals know this is the spot to be for great food and music. Many local musicians come to Coconuts to hang out on their day off and guest appearances make for a party atmosphere. It’s always a good and friendly crowd at Coconuts; especially packed between 5 and 6 when drinks are priced 2 for 1.
    Our server was Marta from Moldavia; guess what - it was her 22nd Birthday.  Well, a big Happy Birthday and thanks, Marta, for the wonderful service with a smile! Dew and I shared the Crab Bites for an appetizer. There were six large fried crab balls served with tartar sauce. Yum - the Crab Bites were seasoned perfectly and contained hearty size lumps of crab. We also had the chicken fingers and they were so crisp and delicious. I usually order the Blackened Fresh Tuna Caesar Salad. This is my favorite meal at Coconuts and I highly recommend it - be sure to tell your server how well done you want the Tuna; I prefer it cooked a lovely pink medium rare.  Another favorite of mine is the Jamaican Grilled Mahi sandwich; the fish is always delicious and cooked to perfection. The Mahi comes with a Wallkerswood Jamaican mayo and just so enhances the flavor of the fish. Today I thought I’d try something different and ordered the homemade chicken salad served on top of a garden salad which included cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, radishes and Bermuda onion. Heidi, Erica and Liz highly recommended the chicken salad and they were right! It had a lovely coral color from the seasoning and there were lots of dried cranberries in the salad - excellent! Dew ordered the California Turkey Wrap which in addition to tender sliced turkey included sprouts, tomato, and avocado ranch dressing on the side. I must say Dew was certainly a happy camper with his meal selections. Did you know Coconuts now has an Ice Cream shop in the basement of the Castle? It’s new this year and we really enjoyed our sundaes with lots of fun toppings. There were lots of choices for ice cream, but they were out of the double fudge chocolate that night. Guess I’ll just have to get that flavor next time.
    Erica Remington’s favorite meal is the Happy Hippy Veggie Pocket of crisp diced veggies in a key west seasoning blend served in a warm pita pocket with avocado ranch dressing on the side. Heidi Vanderhook recommends the Buffalo Shrimp Basket as an appetizer followed by the Spicy Black Bean Burger with sliced avocado, sprouts, pepperjack cheese and tomato; both items are new this year.  Judith Carter’s and Bobby Wilkinson’s favorite is the Pepperjack Chicken Wrap which is grilled chicken and pepperjack cheese rolled in a wrap with bacon, lettuce, tomato and served with a side of ranch dressing. I have to break my diet every so often to order the Mega Dog  – a 1/4-pound all beef hot dog served with all the fixings. Joe Smooth and other musicians play in front of the grill and I can see why the Mega Dog is so popular with them - the dogs smell divine on the grill! Of course the hamburgers cooked to order with that fresh outdoor charcoal grill taste is always a favorite as well.  
    There are six delicious choices for kids 10 and under for just $5.99 which includes beverage and Smiley Fries. Coconuts is a very family oriented place and the childrens’ menu certainly supports this mission. I also love to see how the musicians interact with the kiddies and make them feel a part of the show.
    I rarely drink alcohol but here are some recommendations from friends. Coconut Crush (coconut rum, fresh orange juice, guava juice and a splash of piña colada), Ruby Red Crush (grapefruit vodka, fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, sprite and triple sec), and Tipsy Turtle (voted best rum punch by “Esquire” magazine). If you order a Tipsy Turtle on Tuesday, you can enter to win a five-day vacation at the Green Turtle Club in the Bahamas.
    Crowded Outhouse (John LaMere, Chris Button and Joe Mama) play every Sunday from 2-6; they are  the 2006 Coconut Times Entertainer of the Year.  Bob Wilkinson & Joe Smooth play on Mondays. Joe Smooth is the 2005 Coconut Times Entertainer of the Year. Bobby Wilkinson and Darin Engh of Opposite Directions won Coconut Times Entertainers of the Year a while back. Allow me to tell you about the great music the rest of the week. On Tuesdays you’ll be well entertained by the Randy Lee Ashcraft Duo (2008 Entertainers of the year). Come for lunch on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays and check your current Coconut Times to see who is playing as the great lineup varies from week to week. Darin Engh, owner of Beach Music, will delight you with his awesome guitar playing on Fridays. Darin can sing and play just about any song you like.
    Coconuts definitely provides the best in music (some Sat. evenings) as well as great food and fabulous setting.  Swing by Coconuts some afternoon and you just might find yourself saying, “it doesn’t get any better than this.”
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