By JIM WILLIS
After a long, bacon-wrapped winter for PieHole, spring marks the beginning of bicycling season. But the combined weight of us and our bike seems to have increased since last summer.
Rather than spend thousands of dollars on a super-light, space-age bicycle to make the hill climbs easier, we’ll stick with our trusty steel steed and simply eat a few salads instead. The strategy of course is to take the weight off our torso, and apply the money we’ll save on not buying a new bicycle to wine.
And so it was we ended up at the counter of Red Bank’s Earth Pizza chatting up the counter staff about the pizza restaurant’s salad lineup.
We learned the pear and gorgonzola salad (with arugula, romain and candied walnuts) and the roasted beet and feta salad (with arugula, red onion and candied walnuts) are the big sellers, but were encouraged to try the chicken bruschetta salad.
Rare is the salad that leaves PieHole feeling as if we’ve actually eaten, so we opted for the large one, at $10, rather than the $6 small.
The salad is built with chunks of fresh mozzarella, grilled chicken, several thin slices of crostini and chopped tomatoes over a bed of romaine lettuce and arugula. The menu description indicated basil, but it must have been overlooked in this case, because we couldn’t see, taste or smell any basil.
The salad was certainly large enough to share, and the chicken and mozzarella combination added satisfying flavor and heft. Given that we ordered a tomato-based salad when we’re still months from tomato season, it’s not surprising that the chopped tomato mixture had a bit of a from-the-jar taste.
With it’s outdoor seating overlooking a bustling Broad Street and extensive menu that includes a good selection of salads, Earth Pizza is a tasty way for PieHole to save money on a new bicycle this season.