By SUSAN ERICSON
You need a cheap lunch, and time is limited. For many residents and worker bees on the Greater Green, Red Bank’s Foodtown supermarket is a veritable oasis of grab n’ go options.
Open since 1977, the store, at Broad Street and Maple Avenue, added a new-to-the-area salad bar as part of a renovation in 1996. Several other quick-lunch features have been added over the years, expanding the range of choices.
Lauren Bellero grabs a salad bar lunch, as well as dinner, at SuperFoodtown. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)
A dreary, rainy day this week found PieHole roaming the aisles of the supermarket in search of lunch. But what to choose?
There are plenty of options, including a soup station with at least five varieties on any given day. A perky looking, bright green split pea soup was being ladled into a small container ($3.49) by a customer as we walked by.
The salad bar ($6.99 per pound) stocks more than 30 items, running the gamut from mayonnaise-based tuna, chicken and shrimp salads to marinated mushrooms and an artichoke salad. When you figure in the run-of-the-mill lettuce, tomato, cucumber, shredded carrots, olives, assorted beans and pasta salad options, restraint is recommended.
Putting together lunch from the salad bar, Red Bank resident Lauren Bellero told PieHole that she stopped in to grab lunch for herself after a workout, and while there, picked up a prepared dinner, made in the Foodtown kitchen, for her husband. “It’s convenient and time-saving,” she said.
If you’re not into making a salad for yourself, the employees at the soup station and adjacent sandwich counter have put together some typical salads. A ready-to-go chef’s salad ($4.99) for instance, had the expected lettuce, tomatoes and hard boiled egg topped with pinwheels of turkey, cheese and ham. Ready-made sandwiches are made all day long, we’re told, but customers will often ask to have a sandwich created while they wait.
A whole sub will cost about $10, depending on ingredients, but there’s the option of buying half or even a quarter-sized sandwich. The damages on a half-sized sub of Boar’s Head ham, salami, provolone and cappicola will run you $7.95.
PieHole went with the Americanized sushi rainbow roll for our lunch du jour. At $7.99, the container holds 10 pieces of cooked shrimp, surimi (faux crab), and avocado over sticky rice. Everything we needed was included in the plastic lunch box: a packet of soy sauce, pickled ginger and a small mound of wasabi.
The salad bar at Super Foodtown is open every day from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. except for Wednesday and Saturday when it closes at 7 p.m.