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ON THE GREEN: ROSH HASHANAH TREATS

090915roshhashana3This week, PieHole shopped the Greater Red Bank Green for Rosh Hashanah eats, and came up with a selection that’s like to appeal to tastebuds of many persuasions. Take it here for the rundown to Sunday’s sundown, when the holiday commences (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

 

JEWISH NEW YEAR: A GOURMET ROUNDUP

090915roshhashana3Three light dessert cakes from Antoinette Boulangerie, above, and a box of honeybee and apple cake pops from Lil Cutie Pops make tasteful gifts.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

090915roshhashana4Delectable and symbolic foods for Rosh Hashanah, a celebration of the Jewish New Year that begins at sundown on Sunday are popping up all around the Greater Green.

Preparing a holiday dinner for a few or many, finding the right ingredients and cooking all day can often take the fun out of the feast. PieHole has done some of the legwork for you, rounding up sources for pre-made dinners, desserts, hostess gifts and basics for a sweet new year.

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RED BANK: WTF? UPS ITS OWN CHALLENGE

unterman orderingJason Unterman keeping the lunch tab low at Jr’s Burgers in Red Bank. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels mediumWhether it’s sticking to locally-sourced produce or trying to avoid gluten, it’s not uncommon for people to set food-related goals.

As previously reported by PieHole, Jason Unterman has imposed another kind of limit on himself: eating at a different lunch spot somewhere on the Greater Red Bank Green every week, and trying to keep the tab under $10. But the developer at Red Bank-based Defined Logic has managed to lead his colleagues on more than 200 such outings, and has the blog to prove it.

Now, with some changes to the endeavor he calls WTF? –  for Where’s the Food? – Unterman met with PieHole at Jr’s Burgers on West Front Street recently to share some of the wisdom he’s gleaned after all those restaurant meals.

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RED BANK: METER PLAN FACES PUSHBACK

rb monmouth 022415 1Merchants along the western stretch of Monmouth Street say paid parking would hurt business. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A proposal to expand paid parking in central Red Bank ran into both expected and unexpected opposition Wednesday.

Expected: The ire of affected store owners.

Unexpected: Democratic Councilman Ed Zipprich joining his frequent sparring partner, Republican Councilwoman Cindy Burnham, in opposing the introduction of a measure to enable the change.

“I’m really infuriated by this pay station business,” David Prown, of Prown’s Home Improvements, told the council. “My experience tells me this is a done deal.”

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RHODE BANK: STUFFIES FOR THE SUPER BOWL

chowdahousePieHole checks in with Rhode Island’s embassy in Red Bank, the Chowda House, to speak with chef Glenn Kovacs about stuffies. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels smallDespite being the smallest of the six states that make up New England, the breadth of unique, hyperlocal culinary contributions from Rhode Island make it a great place to look for inspiration for Super Bowl Sunday’s menu items.

The foods that are sure to make a Rhode Islanders’ mouth water that you’ve probably never heard of include hot wieners, the spinach pie and pizza strips, all polished off with a coffee milk.

But with a nod to the Patriots’ presence in the big game, the one Rhode Island food we’ve got our eyes on for this Super Bowl is the stuffed quahog, aka stuffie.

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BUTCHERS TALK TURKEY BREASTS

turkey The Green’s butchers suggest customers get their Thanksgiving orders in by this Thursday. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels medium

With Thanksgiving just over a week away, ’tis the season to talk turkey with a couple of The Green’s butchers.

PieHole checked in with Red Bank’s Citarella’s Market and Monmouth Meats and came away with a well-rounded education on breasts.

We learned, for one thing, that not everyone needs a whole turkey for Thanksgiving.

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LARDER: FOR TRUE BACON, VISIT A BUTCHER

bacon_kyle_citarellas2 Kyle Powell at Citarella’s Market in Red Bank shows PieHole some real-deal bacon. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

LARDER-270_100414No food is more debased than bacon. Certainly other food crimes abound: eggs are regularly subject to the atrocity of having their yolks forcibly removed before being whipped into the horror known as an egg-white omelet, or an enterprising chef may serve a mid-winter Caprese salad with a mealy, flavorless, pink imposter of a tomato.

But bacon — mankind’s crowing alchemic achievement of pig and smoke; indeed our pinnacle of pork preservation — is subject to a constellation of abuses on flagrant display at grocery stores on the Green and beyond.

Refrigerator cases scream with nightmares like “turkey bacon” or “pre-cooked bacon” (which frankly sounds like an Orwellian conceit to save us from the “trouble” of making bacon — these same hucksters are no doubt working on a way to bring babies into the world without the “trouble” of sex.) Read More »

RED BANK: CHILI WITH A LOT OF SOUL

101114 jbjchili24Stuart Jensen and Vinnie Sarullo of Navesink Hook and Ladder with their potful of chili at JBJ Soul Kitchen’s chili cook-off. Below, Union Beach Fire Company’s entry won first place.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

[See clarification below]

By SUSAN ERICSON

101114 chili6Firetrucks and EMS vehicles crowded the area of the JBJ Soul Kitchen in Red Bank this weekend, but the only thing on fire was taste buds.

Kicking off its three-year anniversary, the pay-what-you-can Monmouth Street restaurant hosted a chili cook-off Saturday, inviting local firefighters and EMS squads to serve up their fiery best.

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RED BANK: BASIE EXCITES THE APPETITE

basie appetite 2013 16Scenes from the 2013 inaugural ‘Appetite’ event, which returns to the patio and stage of the Basie this weekend. (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

basie appetite 2013 10Its famous stage has hosted everything from Hollywood royalty and hall of fame rockers to high school revues — but Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre seems to have hit upon a fresh recipe for success, with the new breed of live shows built around celebrity chefs.

Such culinary cable stars as Bobby Flay, Ina Garten, Robert Irvine and “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro have done boffo box office at the Basie. And with the arrival of this weekend’s ‘Appetite: A Gastronomic Experience,’ casual fans and full-fledged foodies can feast on a two-night/two-day excursion that’s highlighted by two superstars of the video-victuals circuit.

A four-course affair running from Friday night through Sunday afternoon, the second annual edition of Appetite also features tie-ins to the good works of some popular hometown favorites.

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ON PIEHOLE…

mustard 061214And when the Düsseldorf-style mustard’s gone? Well, a little beer might be nice. (Click to enlarge)

PIEHOLE logoredbankgreen’s PieHole is all about local food and drink. If you haven’t liked us on Facebook yet or followed us on Twitter, you may have missed some of these recent stories . . .

• Looking for something different and light? Vietnamese summer rolls at Pho Le in Red Bank may hit the spot.

• Mustard in a mini beer stein? Jawohl!

• “Everything tastes better fried,” says the owner of Jamian’s in Red Bank. He’s serving a deep-fried cheesecake. Not kidding.

What’s for Lunch? A zesty tuna panini says “summer” at Undici.

Follow the links to the stories, and check out PieHole’s Facebook page or follow its Twitter feed @RedBankPieHole for up-to-the-minute postings.

 

 

RED BANK: MUSTARD IN A STEIN? JAWOHL!

mustard 061214Alstertor Düsseldorf Style Mustard comes in a 250-mililiter beer stein.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

morsels medium“Crisp clean and sharp taste, this smooth German mustard is a classic.”

So says the website of – we kid you not – the National Mustard Museum (“Home to the World’s Largest Collection of Mustards and Mustard Memorabilia”) in Middleton, Wisconsin, about Alstertor Düsseldorf Style Mustard.

We found this appealing little curio of a condiment in neither Wisconsin nor Düsseldorf, but atop the meat case at Monmouth Meats in Red Bank.

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RED BANK: FIRST CUT IS THE BEEFIEST

rib end steak stew monmouth meatsYou’re not likely to find this first cut, bone-in chuck steak shrink-wrapped in your grocer’s meat case. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels mediumAs grilling season heats up, PieHole is checking in with area butchers to see what special cuts they like to set aside for themselves to bring home and put on their grills.

This week’s pick is a chuck steak, but you want to make sure to specify “first cut, bone-in,” says Stew Goldstein of Monmouth Meats in Red Bank.

“At $4.99 a pound, first cut bone-in chuck steak is great for the grill,” says Goldstein.

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PIEHOLE: MEAT, VEGANS AND BURRITOS

Stew Goldstein at Monmouth Meats with a special cut of pork loin for the grillPieHole has been checking in with area butchers to learn what they bring home for their grills. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

redbankgreen’s PieHole is all about local food and drink. If you haven’t liked us on Facebook yet or followed us on Twitter, you may have missed some of these recent stories…

 

RED BANK: HEAVEN FOR UNDER $4 A POUND

Stew Goldstein at Monmouth Meats with a special cut of pork loin for the grillMonmouth Street’s man of meats, Stew Goldstein shows off special cut of pork loin for the grill. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge) By JIM WILLIS morsels medium

As grilling season heats up, PieHole is checking in with area butchers to find out what special cuts they like to set aside for themselves for home grilling. You are not going to find any of their selections shrink-wrapped in your local grocery store’s meat case.

In fact, lesser-known cuts like these are exactly the reason PieHole prefers to shop at the Green’s local butchers: affordable, great-tasting cuts that we’ve never heard of before. Read More »

RED BANK: WHAT’S ON THE BUTCHER’S GRILL?

stew_grill_cutsA good butcher can carve out tasty, affordable cuts for the grill, like this well-marbleized cut of boneless short rib from Monmouth Meats in Red Bank. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels medium

PieHole does not abide by the belief that there is a grilling season, per se.

The presence of snow, rain or an arctic blast simply means we adjust our wardrobe along with our cooking time while  monitoring for flare-ups enroute to the perfect 45-degree grill marks.

That said, this weekend’s weather should allow for shorts and t-shirts while manning the grill. And that means it’s as good a time as any to check in with a few of the Green’s butchers about their favorite under-appreciated – and more affordable – cuts of meat for grilling.

We’ll begin with Stew Goldstein of Monmouth Meats in Red Bank.

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RUMSON: CHEFS’ TIPS FOR YOUR CORNED BEEF

corned_beef_okeefe_uragaEddie O’Keefe (left) and Molly Maguire’s chef Alfredo Uraga explain to PieHole why brined beef brisket shrinks when cooking. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels medium

With St. Patrick’s Day less than a week away, the Green is about to go extra-Green. And as is the custom elsewhere, the Irish Diaspora here will celebrate the feast day of this Christian saint by eating…  a nice koshered Jewish brisket?

Well, sort of.

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RED BANK: MEAT AND TATERS IN THE LARDER

crockpotIt’s crockpot season, and the PieHole Larder spotted a meat-and-potatoes deal for this week.  (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

With holiday shopping and decorating for Christmas eating into PieHole‘s precious cooking time, we’re ready for some easy crockpot meals.

This week’s PieHole Larder – yes, this is the first you’re hearing about our new feature about unbeatable food bargains – brings you a pair of specials that go together like meat and potatoes.

Because, well, they are meat and potatoes.

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RED BANK: GETTING FRESH WITH TURKEY

turkey

The sign outside Citarella’s Market in Red Bank says it all. If you want a fresh turkey, the clock is ticking. Below, Kristian Bauman, meat manager at Sickles Market in Little Silver. (Photos by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

Kristian BaumanThanksgiving is less than three weeks away, and so now is the time to think about where you’re going to get your turkey for the big day.

If possible, you’re going to want to go with a fresh bird, not one that’s been doing hard, cold time frozen away in some industrial freezer.

“Sometimes those turkeys have been in the supermarket’s freezer for a year or so,” says Stew Goldstein, of Monmouth Meats in Red Bank. “The stores buy when the price is low, and then keep the birds in their freezers ’til it’s time to sell them. Who knows really how long it’s been in there?”

One thing dinner tables around the Red Bank Green can be thankful for is the number of options we have for getting fresh turkeys. Piehole checked in with three shops to talk fresh turkey.

 

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RED BANK: SOME TRENTON ON THAT BURGER?

trentonburgerStew Goldstein at Monmouth Meats gets ready to slice the “Trenton” for the Trenton Burger. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

Where salty meats are concerned, years – and pounds – of experience have raised your PieHole correspondent’s powers of deduction a few standard deviations above the norm. Still, when Red Bank’s Monmouth Meats ran a lunch special called the “Trenton burger” last month, a visit was in order to verify that it called for the trifecta of beef, pork roll and cheese on a roll.

“Yep, you’re right,” said butcher Stew Goldstein, when asked if the “Trenton” in the Trenton Burger was pork roll. “The Trenton burger is a nine-ounce burger, with two slices of thick American cheese and two slices of thick pork roll, with lettuce, tomato and mayo.”

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TV CHEF VISITS RED BANK BUTCHER

stew-gordonTV’s restaurant hellion Gordon Ramsay showed his softer side when he stopped at Stew Goldstein’s Monmouth Meats in Red Bank Monday to buy steak for his cable show Kitchen Nightmares. Goldstein tells redbankgreen the show’s crew spent about a half hour taping for an episode about a restaurant makeover in Eatontown that will air in the fall. Ramsay was “a real gentleman – he invited me to the opening dinner today,” says Goldstein. “I’ll be eating my own ribeyes.”