What's Cookin'? DIVE! Buns n' Cheese

DIVE in Sea Bright offers great $5 food deals at Happy Hour, including pretzel bun sliders, nachos with homemade cheese sauce, fish tacos with mango salsa, "angry" burgers ...


So, what’s cookin’ in the way of casual dining when the surf’s up and the sun’s going down? Some signature beachy snacks at DIVE!, right across from, yes, the beach in .

Shake the sand out of your shoes for some shore favorites in food and company.

Unique menu items that we heard about and owners Steve Graniero and Christina Dilorio (former ) tell us are hot: sliders (mini burgers) on pretzel buns, slow baked hot wings (the way the pros make them), fish tacos, empanadas, angry burgers and a special homemade cheese sauce (for nachos and more).

OK, the price is more than right, too. They also have a happy hour menu Mondays through Fridays (see attached) that features $5 food (including the sliders) and discounted drinks.

If you’ve never had a burger on a pretzel bun, now’s the time. They’re made of real pretzel dough, and, you guessed it, they look like pretzels, too.

Not only are they the cutest things you’ll ever see, they’re tasty. DIVE used to have full-sized burgers on the buns, but we heard that some customers couldn’t get past the fact that they really look like pretzels and were sore sports when (on the larger ones) the ketchup tended to squirt out of the holes in the top of the pretzel bun. The tiny buns are more functional, since their size kind of forces the open crevices shut when baked. We were just happy to find out that they still had them. Never tried them until now.

Nothing twisted about it. It’s just a pretzel with a burger — tasty!

Speaking of burgers, Diorio tells us that the Angry Burger is a very popular item on the menu. It’s special spice and size offer a “bite” for which people come back daily, Dilorio said. If you see the staff walking by with one, it’s difficult not to stare and try to grab a good whiff.

Also on the $5 happy hour menu are wings that are actually baked. Any wing connoisseur will tell you that this is the right way to do it. And they do it right at DIVE! Complemented by a "just right" zing in the hot sauce, they're those wings you no longer have to travel to Buffalo to find.

The calamari is tasty, crispy and light. And one of Dilorio’s regulars gives thumbs up at a nearby table on the empanadas.

Fish tacos are very popular, too, Diorio said. “They come with a mango salsa,” she said. “People love them.”

But, the cheese sauce, like the pretzel buns, is another signature item you won’t find anywhere else around here. “It does NOT come out of a can,” Dilorio said. “It’s our own homemade recipe. People can tell right away and they love it.” It really is delicious: a creamy blend with just enough sharpness. And there's nothing synthetic about it.

It’s all a good deal, especially when throwing the towel in after a beach day. And that was the owners’ intent when they opened DIVE nearly a year ago.

“We wanted to make this a place where people feel at home and can pop in on a regular basis,” Dilorio said. “We wanted to have good specials for them so it’s affordable and a place you want to come back to just to say ‘Hi’ and grab something to eat and drink.”

Oops, forgot the special nights: Sunday is brunch day, offering brunch and bloody Marys from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Reggae and Red Stripe beer specials come later, from 5 to 8); Mexican Mondays offer $1 tacos, $5 taco salads, $5 cheese quesadillas and $5 margaritas; ½ Price Tuesdays offer ½ price burgers and bomb shots; then there’s karaoke on Thursdays and live music on Saturdays. For more, check out the website at www.divecoastalbar.com/

Looks like Graniero and Dilorio have attained their good company, good food goal. Pretty much everyone was greeted with a hug, the food is good, the deals are good and they give you a reason to want to come back.

DIVE in! OK, couldn't resist that one.

Shannon K. Winning June 12, 2012 at 01:10 PM
I have shied away from the place because someone told it was really loud on weekends, too hard to hear your tablemates. But for a pretzel burger I would happily eat amid any kind of noise.


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