Saturday, October 16, 2021

A Night Dedicated to Jersey



By Natalie Strom

Sandy Franchino has owned Cafe de Marco in Historic Olde Marco for 30 years, but her childhood belongs to New Jersey. “All my memories come from Seaside Heights and the Jersey Boardwalk,” she states. “Especially in the summer.” Seeing those childhood memories wash away during Superstorm Sandy last year inspired her to help her old neighbors and friends.

“I am a native New Jersian,” Sandy states proudly. “So when the storm first happened, I, of course gave a donation personally.” With ties to Avalon, Ortley Beach, Lavalette and many other towns that are still facing utter devastation, Franchino jumped on board immediately when she heard about National Dine Out Day.

“Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey has declared Wednesday, June 19, as National Dine Out Day,” adds Franchino. Restaurants that participate will donate all proceeds from the day to benefit the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund. And on that day, Cafe



de Marco will be one of many across the country encouraging patrons to, “Dine out. Make a difference,” as the mission’s motto states.

To make the event a success, Franchino formed a committee of three: Phyllis Gentile, Mike Chojnowski and Samantha Scheeler, to help work out the details of the evening. Because when you’re eating out Jersey style, it’s a whole world away from many of Cafe de Marco’s signature entrees.

While the signature choices will all be available the evening of the 19th, there will also be a special “Jersey Girl Menu” featuring specialty food items from every corner of the small in stature but large in character state. Options will include Barnegat Bay blue point crabs, The Clam Broth House in Hoboken’s clams oreganato, pork osso bucco via Seacacous, New Jersey and “pencil points pasta” (aka penne pasta) from Trenton.

Then it’s time for a little dessert. Atlantic City salt water taffy and



cookies from Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken will be on the menu along with Seaside Heights waffle sandwiches. Square waffles are toasted, topped with ice cream and smushed together for a delicious treat straight from the Jersey Shore.

CBN_A4-10There will also be music; lots of music, but only if the singer is from New Jersey. Think Frank Sinatra, Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen and more. Even a little Count Basie may be thrown into the mix.

By dining with Cafe de Marco on June 19, patrons will be a part of the rebuilding of New Jersey… because it still continues. This is a chance to help the communities hit the hardest find a new beginning. Cafe de Marco is located at 244 Palm Street and may be reached at 239-394-6262 for a reservation. Visit its website at

To learn more about National Dine Out Day, visit


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