When I was a kid my family would spend five days almost every summer in Atlantic City, NJ. This was the pre-gambling, family friendly beach town with the famous boardwalk, wicker pushcarts for vacationers to travel the boards in, the Steel Pier, and the Miss America pageant. One of the treats we always looked forward to when visiting Atlantic City was a dinner at the restaurant Zaberers. Zaberers was at least a half hour outside Atlantic City, possibly more, but since I was a passenger in the car and just a kid, I don’t recall exactly how far it was. I do recall that at first glimpse, it seemed very much like a big brown barn with day glow trim and a bunch of googahs and doodads sticking out of the roof and walls. Inside, it was fabulous. The restaurant was somewhat dark inside with lots of rooms whose doorways were outlined with Christmas lights. The wait for a table was usually a half hour to two hours depending on when you got there and what day of the week it was, but the wait for a table was part of the charm. Zaberers maintained a few stands of munchies for waiting diners that served olives, cheese, crackers, sausages, gefilte fish, and what not. It also had an arcade area. And a wonderful little gift shop where I first discovered lava lamps (we are talking ancient history here). Once seated, the waitstaff would bring out a series of freebies, compliments of Mr. Zaberer – relish trays, shrimp, etc. Adults could order their cocktails Zabererized – upsized to fill a small pitcher. The entrees were mostly American and Italian fare, fairly tasty, and were served in huge portions. After dinner, diners were given little pastries (and in later years a flaming rum concoction in which to stick melon balls and other fruit), again compliments of Mr. Zaberer. Sadly, Zaberers is gone these many years, but I still have my fond memories of pleasant hours spent within the eclectic restaurant.

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