Vach’s Longboard Café Looks To Expand Off ‘Outstanding’ Summer

Vach’s Longboard Café Looks To Expand Off ‘Outstanding’ Summer

OCEAN CITY – A long-time Ocean City local has found a place to shine as the Longboard Café has taken off in the new Town Center development with its Southern California influenced menu gaining popularity.
Longboard Café located in the Town Center on 67th Street, is owned by a familiar face in the Ocean City area, Rick Vach, who has lived in Ocean City since 1966 and has surfed since he was 8 years old. He grew up in the Ocean City restaurant business while his parents owned and operated Wild Goose Chase and the Quarterdeck.
Vach officially entered the local food industry on his own when he opened a gourmet food store, Avalon Market, on Route 50 in West Ocean City that operated from 2005-2007, and in 2007 he opened the Island Time Café in Sunset Island in Ocean City.
Vach has been contemplating opening a second year-round restaurant while the Island Time Café was a seasonal operation. He also looked to offer his creative menu to Ocean City as a whole since Island Time Café was based within the private community of Sunset Island.
When the Town Center was announced, he couldn’t help but jump on the opportunity and moved the restaurant all together along with its popular menu to the new shopping center, calling it the Longboard Café.
“We got really popular and a lot of locals were trying to get in but they couldn’t, so we thought it would be a good move to bring it out to the real world,” he said.
The Town Center is exactly what Ocean City needed, Vach said, and was happy to be able to work in conjunction with project’s architect to design the interior of the restaurant.
Longboard Cafe, of course, features a surf theme décor from the ground floor seating to the loft seating upstairs, and a tin roof bar outlined in bamboo and illuminated with Mexican lanterns. It seats 75 indoor plus outdoor seating on the front deck.
“The idea was to have a very approachable menu with really good food,” Vach said. “A lot of these items here are proven popular good sellers from my previous food selling endeavors.”
Vach lived in Southern California for about 10 years, so he couldn’t help but add a Mexican twist to his menu concept.
He pointed out the Baja Fish Tacos have become the most popular menu item, stemming from a traditional recipe from South California/Mexico with beer-battered fresh cod, shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, Mexican white sauce, roasted tomato salsa and lime wedges.
Vach1   Vach also pointed out the gourmet burgers that are made of half pound of CBS (chuck, brisket and short rib meat) blend of meat on a toasted brioche bun. There is a variety of 10 burgers in all from their own Longboard burger with spicy-sweet bacon, horseradish cheddar cheese, lettuce, onion and a medium fried egg to the Short Board burger with simply lettuce, tomato and onion.
Additionally, Vach was quick to point out a couple hot selling salads, which Vach said included the Baja salad made of chopped greens, cheddar jack, pico de gallo, roasted corn, black beans, grilled flat-iron steak or chicken, crumbled tortilla chips and chipotle ranch dressing. Also, the St. Croix Chopped salad is made of chopped greens, grilled chicken, tomatoes, blue cheese, bacon, Granny Smith apples, roasted corn, macadamia nuts, and honey-lime vinaigrette.
Vach2  “One of the things that have really taken off is our Veggie Side Menu,” he said. “People talk about it a lot. Everybody comes in asking about the wrinkled green beans.”
Longboard’s Wrinkled Green Beans are fresh beans flash fried and tossed with our secret sweet sauce. There is also the Asparagus Addiction that is beer batter tempura spears with sweet-hot dipping sauce. The Mexican Street Corn features grilled corn on the cob with Mexican aioli, spices, cotija cheese and lime wedges, and the Grilled Artichoke is half of a whole artichoke steamed then grilled, served with lemon-mayo dip sauce.
About half way through the summer, a dinner menu was added to the mix, offering higher end entrees that are always changing. Moving into the fall season, Vach said the dinner menu will be expanded.
The proprietor pointed out the Pan Seared Ahi made with a Thai chile glaze, pineapple chutney, and Asian slaw. Also, the Grilled Lamb Chop Lollypops made with premium chops, rosemary and garlic rubbed and a sweet cilantro-pesto. He added there is also two fresh catches offered that are purchased locally and prepared in different styles.
As winter approaches, Longboard Café will be having specials on different nights of the week, such as a comfort food night, $2 taco night and a burger and beer night.
Starting mid- to late-September, a Sunday brunch will be added with a full Bloody Mary bar. Additionally, business express lunch menu will be introduced offering items with a short prep time for those who eat lunch on the go.
The most recent addition that started on Monday is a daily happy hour special from 5-6 p.m. where you can buy one drink and get one free.
“The summer has been outstanding,” Vach said. “We were so popular at Sunset Island we got a lot of support from there to start off and now the word is around town. We are getting really good reviews, people are coming and sending others back, so I am really happy with the product and I am optimistic for the winter time once more locals learn about us … I figure if the food is good, people will come.”
On Wednesday, Sept. 25, Longboard Café will be throwing a local’s grand opening party starting at 5 p.m. with free hors d’oeuvres, menu samples, and reduced drink prices, plus live entertainment.