By SUSAN ERICSON
It’s an old New York City tradition to name delicatessen sandwiches after celebrities. Both the Carnegie and Stage delis are famous for it. Never complacent, Tom Fishkin, owner of Readies Fine Foods, an old-style eat-in deli on Broad Street in Red Bank, has a menu filled with local flavor and favorites that show his loyalty to patrons by cleverly naming sandwiches for their businesses.
Newly immortalized on the menu is redbankgreen, the eight-year-old parent to PieHole, which is now a panini as well as a pixelated source of news and entertainment. This PieHole correspondent and the Red Bank Greenman himself thought it was time to give the namesake a try.
An appealing, gut warming cream of mushroom soup was the starter for a business lunch on this frigid day. Although there is some cream in the soup, the big chunks of mushroom and carrot gave this spoon-dipping combination a nice, thick consistency and a savory earthiness. Fishkin later confirmed that the soup was indeed vegetable-based and therefore vegetarian friendly. At $3.75 for this-larger-than-average cupful, served with bread and butter on the side, it is a bargain lunch on its own.
Our order of a “Red Bank Green” turned out to be a good-sized panini, filled with a grilled chicken breast, sweet roasted red peppers, gooey melted mozzarella and a light drizzle of balsamic vinegar on properly crisped ciabatta bread.
Served with a choice of sides such as fries, potato or macaroni salad or onion rings, the $11.50 panini is a big lunch, and can easily be shared. Our expectation is that this tasty sandwich will be as popular as the site it is named for.