Hotel, motel, Mermaid Inn

When it’s below 20 degrees outside and you’ve just stepped in an ankle-deep puddle of frozen sludge disguising itself as normal sidewalk, nothing seems better than an NYC summer.

Fast forward to summer in the city and all we want to do is get out of NYC.

It’s like they say, grass is always greener. That being said, I’ve actually been out of the city more weekends than I’ve been in it this summer and it’s making me kind of sad, especially because there’s something fun about pretending to be on vacation in the place where you live.

On my Staycation Itinerary:

  1. Spend a day wandering around the Metropolitan Museum of Art with no set agenda
  2. Go to Rockaway beach and eat all the fish tacos at Tacoway Beach
  3. On a related note, eat at all the Montauk-style seafood shacks in the city

Item 3 is particularly relevant to this post because it’s good news: even if you can’t get out East every weekend, there are plenty of spots in the city to eat fresh seafood and feel like you’re on the beach. Mary’s Fish Camp, The Clam, North River Lobster Company and Mermaid Inn are a few standouts.

I went to Mermaid Inn for the second time a few weeks ago and it really did make me feel like I had stepped out of the city for a minute. Here’s why:

The place. I’ve only been to the East Village location so I can’t speak for West Village or Upper West Side, but between a handful of tables out front, open windows for a breeze inside and a back patio, there are lots of places for al fresco dining.

There are also lots of framed old pictures I guess to give you the feeling of being on an antique boat?

The food. Last time I went I had oysters and a lobster roll. Both are great options and in my opinion you really shouldn’t go to Mermaid Inn and not order oysters.

The theme is vacation, remember?

This time, I got the gazpacho and a side of grilled Mexican-style corn on the cob. I’m on a big gazpacho kick right now and this one is great, especially because it has big chunks of lobster and avocado in it. It is also $11 compared to the lobster roll’s $29 so if you want to get your lobster fix for less this is a good way.

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The corn was drenched in chipotle mayo. I thought this was a good thing, you might not. Other than that it was a good ear of corn well grilled and that’s about all there is say.

Honestly though, the best thing about dinner at Mermaid Inn is the free chocolate pudding and fortune-telling (plastic) fish they bring you at the end of the meal. It’s a toss up between which is best but  I think it might be the fish. I don’t want to ruin the magic but the way it works is you put the fish in your hand and the way it moves determines your “fortune.”

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Apparently I have a problem with jealousy.

The drinks. Aperol spritz! My Aperol fettish is still going strong so even though I had slightly over-imbibed the night before I made sure to get one.

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Rosé is also, as always, a good decision.

We’ll see if I make it to my other Staycation bucket list items – but at least I can feel good about crossing this one off. In other news, two weeks from tomorrow I’ll be in ALASKA! I’m going for a week to visit one of my best friends and I’m beyond excited.

Salmon stories await.

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