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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? MR. PIZZA’S SLICE & DOG

050416mrpizza7An original-recipe pie fresh from the oven. Carlos Rosas tosses dough for a pizza, below. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

050416mrpizza10Self-styled devotees of Mr. Pizza Slice raised quite an uproar when redbankgreen reported the Red Bank stalwart was under new ownership and — heaven forbid — would be updating both the decor and menu.

The beloved Monmouth Street hole-in-the-wall on has now been refurbished with, among other touches, exposed brick walls that replace cheap paneling, giving the room a cozier feel than the laundromat vibe of its predecessor.

More importantly, new owners Nick Napoletano and Tom Cappello had a fantastic idea when they decided to keep a favorite menu item while bringing in plenty of new ones, including impressive sandwiches and gourmet, New York-style pies.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? A SONNY’S SANDWICH

020616sonnys1The Greenwich Village, a Sonny’s sub filled with Italian ingredients. Below, Kenny Gambella. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

020616sonnys4Just days after opening its doors without fanfare, Sonny’s Sandwich Shop on Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright was bustling last Friday.

Owners Kenny and Kelly Gambella bring a little of their Staten Island culinary roots to the Jersey shore, naming their new “baby” after their year-old son, Santino, known as Sonny.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? CHICKEN FROM PAT’S

121215patsmkt2A  festive holiday display of stuffed breads at Pat’s Market, above, and the chicken parm, below. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

121215patsmkt3 Pat’s Market, a butcher shop and deli on Newman Springs Road in Lincroft, sells only Bell and Evans chickens.

Because they’re raised organically, and antibiotic-free, on farms in Pennsylvania, that was all the bait PieHole needed for a quick and, maybe, healthier lunch option.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? GAETANO’S MAKES IT EASY

073015gaetanos2A sizable eggplant parmigiana sandwich on foccacia bread served in the open-kitchen dining room at Gaetano’s. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

073015gaetanos1When your day is filled with decisions and you get to that point where all you’re craving is a simple, easy, and effortless lunch, Gaetano’s on Wallace Street in Red Bank is a breath of stress-free fresh air.

Owner Tom Capello’s style of cuisine is what he calls regional Italian, offering familiar dishes and large portions. Oilcloth-covered tables, tile floors, and a kitchen open to the dining room in customary trattoria fashion keep the restaurant casual and comfortable. That homey sense of eating in someones kitchen comes to mind —if that kitchen happened to have an enormous pizza oven dominating the room.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? MEETUP AT DELFINI

071715delfinis3A Buffalo shrimp salad from Delfini, above. The Big Lou sandwich shown, below. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

071715delfinis6Keeping lunch hour social, PieHole joined Red Bank Lunch Meet at Delfini Gourmet Catering, at the corner of West Front Street and Bridge Avenue in Red Bank, on a recent outing.

What’s Lunch Meet? Created by borough resident and redbankgreen webmaster Kenny Katzgrau, it’s a loose assemblage of epicures in which any member can suggest a get-together, whether it be for lunch, happy hour or dinner. It’s all coordinated through the group’s Facebook page.

This meetup was called by another Red Banker, Tom Musumeci. No one attending had eaten at Delfini before, but everyone came away impressed by the fresh ingredients and array of choices.

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RED BANK: VEHICLE HITS STOREFRONT

rb crash 102114Glass littered the floor at Jersey Mike’s Subs in the City Centre strip mall on Water Street in Red Bank after a vehicle jumped the curb and crashed into the storefront at about 8 a.m. Tuesday. Store manager Steve LaCicero was inside at the time, but the store wasn’t yet open. “If he hadn’t hit the pillar, he would have driven into the store,” LaCicero said. Information on the identity and condition of the driver was not immediately available.

In 2009, a customer at the Cluck U Chicken shop a few doors away was injured when an SUV crashed through the facade.

 

PIEHOLE: TWO OPENINGS, A RETURN & A MOVE

RB san remo 011514 1Long the home of the Little Kraut, the building at the corner of Bridge Avenue and Oakland Street in Red Bank now hosts a two-story version of the relocated San Remo. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

redbankgreen‘s PieHole is all about local food and drink. Of course, you’re probably hip enough to have already “likedPieHole on Facebook. Still, you’re only getting an amuse-bouche portion of local food and drink news if you rely on Facebook alone for your fix. So if you didn’t have time to fire up PieHole in your browser every day this week, you may have missed these recent stories:

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RED BANK: WHO’S MAKING YOUR NEXT SUB?

subs5Now open in Red Bank’s City Centre Plaza: Jersey Mike’s. Yeah, a chain. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

Does Red Bank need another sub shop?

The folks at the Jersey Mike’s chain clearly think so. They opened a store in City Centre Plaza on Water Street Wednesday, adding to an already deep bench of sub shops in town.

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SPICING UP RED BANK, MEDITERRANEAN STYLE

Mohamed Elbery shows his son, Karim, how to chop parsley finely enough to make tabouli, a salad featuring onion and garlic. (Photos by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

By STACIE FANELLI and DANIELLE TEPPER

If you’ve never tried baba ghanoush, Mohamed Elbery will hook you up. If you don’t like it, don’t worry – there won’t be any hard feelings. He’ll just be pleased to have been able to offer you a bite of his culture.

Mediterranean food is an acquired taste, Elbery admits, but Café28, on White Street in Red Bank, has enough loyal regulars to keep him in business and able to afford to give out the occasional free sample. He said it’s the unequalled, exotic dishes that keep people coming back – and keep him fearless in the face of Red Bank’s reputation for quick turnarounds in business.

“You are now in my house. You are most welcome to try it,” he said.

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