RED BANK: GOOD EATING AND SHARING

red bank paradiddle 040820Leandro Batista, co-owner of Paradiddle Griddle on West Front Street in Red Bank, awaits customers picking up orders last week.

Here’s some updated information about restaurant operations in town, as well as a way to help feed healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

red bank jrs 040820A reserved parking spot in front of Jr’s on West Front Street, meant to expedite takeout orders. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

• For a complete list of takeout restaurants in town, Red Bank Take Out can’t be beat. Created by borough resident and foodie Scott Broschart, it has evolved from a text list into a handsome webpage that’s regularly updated and has direct links to online ordering systems.

• Downtown promotion agency Red Bank RiverCenter has distributed signs for use by restaurants in the special improvement district to expedite pickups of takeout orders.

While parking isn’t much of a problem these days, with the state’s economy in near-lockdown, the idea is to reserve the “premium spots” immediately in front of restaurants offering takeout for use by their customers, executive director Laura Kirkpatrick told redbankgreen.

The signs were “personalized” for the restaurants that got back to Kirkpatrick by the time she had to place an order, for them, she said.

Additionally, RiverCenter provided a note that the staff could place on the windshields of cars that didn’t get the message. The note reads:

“We are all in this together. The Red Bank Business Community asks your assistance in keep this parking spot clear and available for curbside pickup. The businesses are requesting your assistance in making it easier for those seeking contactless pickup of food and goods from your downtown merchants.”

RiverCenter also maintains a restaurant list, though it’s not as comprehensive as Broschart’s (which covers more than just the central business district that is RiverCenter’s area of responsibility) and lacks links.

• Monmouth County Freeholder Tom Arnone is touting a two-week-old “Take Out in Monmouth” initiative that has links organized by town for some 750 restaurants, breweries, supermarkets, specialty foods stores and more.

For Red Bank, the county simply links to the lists compiled by RiverCenter and Broschart.

• Amy Russo, owner of Toast City Diner on Monmouth Street, has launched a chapter of Front Line Appreciation Group, which links individual donors and Red Bank restaurants to cook and deliver meals to frontline health workers.

The group is focused on helping feed staffers in the ER and ICU units at Riverview Medical Center and Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, “as well as all first responders in Red Bank: police, fire, EMS, DPW etc.,” Russo wrote on a GoFundMe outreach page for the effort.

As of Tuesday morning, FLAG had raised more than $4,500. which helps restaurants stay afloat while feeding heroes.

A recent roster of participating food restaurants and food shops listed Toast, Bistro Red Bank, Jr’s, Temple, and Red Bank Chocolate Shoppe as participants, with more to come.

To donate or learn more, visit the Flag of Red Bank Facebook page. Information about the origins of FLAG can be found here.

Coffee Corral in Red Bank is making it easy for customers to donate coffee and pastries to hospital workers, police and others on the pandemic’s front lines.

Online ordering for Courtlynn Crosson’s shop on Drs. James Parker Boulevard lets customers specify how much coffee (by the box) and other treats they wish to donate, and to a particular police department or to Riverview Medical Center.