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


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.”

Goldstein doesn’t take credit for inventing the combo.

“Off Route 1 in Edison there was a tavern. I stopped in for a beer, and they had it on the menu,” he said. The tavern’s gone, but the combo lives on as a popular special at his Monmouth Street shop.

Most of his customers like pork roll as a breakfast sandwich, Goldstein said, “but we get one guy who likes to come in and get grilled pork roll with cheese and sautéed onions on hero bread.”

Asked where he stands on the Taylor Pork Roll versus Trenton Brand Pork Roll divide – both are made by Taylor Provisions, based in Trenton, natch – Goldstein prefers the latter, which is a bit more tangy.

“I like the Jersey-Made or Trenton kind,” he said. “I think it’s a better piece of pork roll.”

Weigh in, pork roll aficionados…