Search Results for: Gary Sable

HOT RED BANK SOUP IN THE SLEDGER

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‘That Hot Dog Man’ Gary Sable sweats another day’s soup production in his tiny Monmouth Street takeout joint.

Let’s get our bias right out on the crumb-littered table: nobody writing about food for large New Jersey audiences is more in tune with his readership than ‘Eat With Pete’ columnist (and Munchmobile maven) Pete Genovese of the Star-Ledger.

Genovese, who’s logged several million odometer miles for columns and books about the oddities and backroads of his home state (and has probably eaten in every one of its diners), brings an average-person approach to approachable food.

Unlike too many food writers, he doesn’t set unattainable ideals of perfection just to knock down a dish or a restaurant for failing to live up to them. He looks for, and often finds, well-made food that satisfies the gut, the brain, and — if this is physiologically possible — the heart.

He’s also a friend of redbankgreen, so we’re doubly biased, having previously worked at two newspapers with him. But readers who know his byline are, we suspect, willing to forgive our somewhat over-the-top intro to this piece because they know he’s on their side in the never-ending search for good eats.

The point of the foregoing is that when Genovese comes to town to check out the local fare, we take notice.

Today’s installment of ‘Eat with Pete’ does a roundup of great soup joints, and includes Gary Sable’s 175-square-foot takeout spot in downtown Red Bank called That Hot Dog Man.

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SOUP, SAUSAGE AND STAYING POWER

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Ten quick questions for Gary Sable, owner and sole employee of That Hot Dog Place, 30 Monmouth Street (next to the Dublin House). Gary’s 54, married, lives in Hazlet and has two grown daughters.

Did you have another career before you started this business?
Yeah. Before this, I had bar & restaurant in Perth Amboy called The Triangle Café with my brother, Scott, for 23 years. It was a family business. My father bought it in ’66, and then he started getting sick. I went in in’73, and my brother came in two years later.

The bar business is good when you’re young, but once you get past 35, you don’t want to be in that business anymore. The hours will kill you. Absolutely kill you.

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RED BANK: NEVER-ENDING SOUP SEASON

102914 soupmeisterGary Sable wraps up a lunch-to-go order for one of the many customers who wait patiently in line. Below, the 32-ounce Portuguese sausage and kale soup. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

102914 soupmeister2Twenty years ago, Red Bank was a veritable desert for takeout food. For this PieHole correspondent, then plying a different trade, there were maybe two or three delis in town to choose from for lunch.

Enter Gary Sable with his unique idea for a quick lunch: of hot dogs to go. Many of us were delighted to have a new option.

That Hot Dog Place, located off Monmouth Street in a little alley next to the Dublin House, was a convenient two-minute walk away, and appreciated, especially when the weather got colder. The only problem with that we soon tired of hot dogs.

One chilly autumn day, we sniffled our way over to Sable’s nook and told him how much we would prefer a hot cup of soup. It took him all of one day to add chicken noodle and tomato basil bisque to his menu. We have been grateful customers ever since.

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RED BANK: SOUP’S ON

soupmeister alternate Soupmeister Gary Sable, right, unveils new additions to this season’s soup lineup for PieHole. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

PIEHOLE logoDespite the name, it’s the soups that are the real draw at That Hot Dog Place, the diminutive shop tucked away beside the Dublin House in Red Bank.

With colder weather upon us and a yen for hot, satisfying soup, Piehole headed over to see Soupmeister, Gary Sable

Read all about what Sable’s been cooking up here on PieHole, redbankgreen‘s food page.

RED BANK: THE SEASON’S NEW SOUPS

soupmeister Soupmeister Gary Sable unveils new additions to this season’s soup lineup for PieHole. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

With colder weather upon us and soup on our minds, PieHole headed over to see Red Bank’s Soupmeister, Gary Sable at That Hot Dog Place.

Despite the name of the diminutive shop, tucked away beside the Dublin House, it’s the soup that’s the real draw, and naturally, this is the time of year when things heat up for Sable. Ever since he opened the place back in 1995, October has marked beginning of soup season.

But as usual, Sable didn’t go cold during the warmer months. He was cooking up some new recipes for this year.

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ANOTHER STORM DAMPENS BUSINESS

broadFew pedestrians were out on Broad Street in downtown Red Bank late Wednesday morning. (Click to enlarge)

Not to belabor the obvious, but the snowy winter of 2010-’11 is putting a tight squeeze on Red Bank stores and restaurants, owners say.

“It’s killing us,” says Gary Sable, of That Hot Dog Place on Monmouth Street. Motioning to the municipal parking lot on White Street, he says” “Look, it’s empty.”

Empty of everything but white stuff, that is. And the outlook is for more than previously expected.

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LOCALS WEIGH IN ON PARKING DECK

dscf3003The White Street municipal lot will be discussed as the site for a revamped parking area. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Earlier this week, Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna said he would “stick his neck out” and restart talks on the possibility of a new parking deck getting built downtown, an idea that has proven highly divisive in the past.

More specifically, he talked about appointing a committee to examine alteratives to “surface parking” at the White Street municipal lot, as well as new metering technologies and green initiatives.

What that all means isn’t quite clear yet. But redbankgreen responded by sticking its notebook and camera out to ask people what they think of the suggestion.

On the official front, Red Bank RiverCenter Executive Director Nancy Adams said the borough needs to address the parking shortage while adding much-needed revenue.

“Of course, we would be supportive and work with the borough to achieve that long-awaited parking garage,” she said. “We want it to be something that would be a benefit to the business community, but also the residents.”

Responses from locals and business owners after the jump.

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MAN BITES TUBE STEAK

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In honor of National Hot Dog Month, redbankgreen tips its trucker’s cap today to the men and women of the The Green who work the roller grills and ‘dirty water’ pots to provide us with a favorite culinary indulgence.

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RESTAURATEURS LAY IT ALL ON THE TABLE

Lyristis_george_2The Bistro’s George Lyristis: “You can’t always ask somebody else to fix the problem.”

Business is tough these days for many Red Bank restaurants. And it’s not simply a matter of the winter blahs.

The economy has soured. Would-be patrons are turned off by the perception of aggressive ticketing by the borough Parking Authority, and by real or perceived parking shortages. Competition from Pier Village in Long Branch and even downtown Asbury Park is siphoning off business.

And that’s just the out-of-towner trade. Then there are closings of retail stores and — less noticed — second- and third-floor businesses that supply a steady flow of weekly customers. A doubling of taxes last year after a revaluation has added to the burdens of premium-priced leases.

“You know what it is? It’s the two-, four-, six-person offices,” says Gary Sable, who owns That Hot Dog Place off Monmouth Street. “It’s the parking, it’s the rents. They’re moving out to Tinton Falls, moving out to Wall Township.”

As Zebu Forno owner Andrew Gennusa sees it, the problem is a borough administration that is indifferent to the impacts that soaring taxes and picayune code enforcement have on downtown businesses. “They have a heavy hand in this town,” Gennusa tells redbankgreen.

Conditions, in other words, are widely thought to be less than ideal for businesses that require big capital investments and daily purchases of large amounts of perishable inventory.

So roughly a dozen owners of restaurants, delis and takeout businesses from throughout Red Bank — not just the downtown — have decided to put their heads together to see what they might do collectively for themselves.

At this point, it’s little more than a concept, but they think they may have gotten the ball rolling on forming a restaurant association, an organization that will cater (pardon) specifically to their needs.

“Restaurants bring a lot of business into this town,” says George Lyristis, who owns The Bistro at Red Bank on Broad Street with his brothers Charlie and Tasso. “But we don’t have a voice.”

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RED BANK: SANTA BASIE, HURRY DOWN

Tim Kirk Love BobClockwise from top left: Jinglebell fundraiser concerts featuring Tim McLoone’s Holiday Express (December 18), Brian Kirk and the Jirks (December 20), Darlene Love (December 21) and Bobby Bandiera (December 22) provide the driving soundtrack to the holiday homestretch in the nights ahead.

The countdown to Christmas 2015 represents anything but a wind-down at Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre, where a fast-moving flurry of high-profile benefit concerts promises to keep the place buzzing like Santa’s workshop-slash-fulfillment center during the holiday homestretch.

From the most big-hearted of local music mainstays, to the vintage hitmakers whose records landed on many a Boomer-era wish list — and on into the next generation of Shore scene stalwarts — the Basie boards will resound with a Wall of seasonal Sound, every note of it dedicated to a great cause and an all-’round generosity of spirit.

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PARKING KIOSKS PROMPT GRUMBLES, TWEAKS

Parking director Gary Watson, left, guides Lou Gaspari of Lakewood through his first encounter with Red Bank’s new parking meter system in the English Plaza lot. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Day One of Red Bank’s new system of collecting parking fees was a learning and, sometimes, patience-burning experience.

Visitors to some of the five locations where centralized pay stations replaced traditional meters queued up while waiting for those ahead of them to follow computer-screen prompts leading them through the payment process Monday.

“Well, first of all, there’s a line,” one woman quipped when redbankgreen showed up to solicit feedback.

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PARK IT: SIDEWALK PARKER GETS A BREAK

catherine-0322112A motorist parked a car atop the sidewalk on Leighton Avenue near Catherine Street in Red Bank late Tuesday morning and then vanished for hours, a reader tells redbankgreen.

The reader, who supplied the photo and asked not to be identified, says he notified the borough’s parking enforcement department, which sent a couple of officers around.

But the they left without issuing a ticket.

redbankgreen put in a call to parking utility director Gary Watson for an explanation.

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ABANDONED VEHICLES A ‘SEVERE’ PROBLEM

bridge-blockAmong the three vehicles left abandoned on the Red Bank end of the Cooper Bridge were these two, still there at 9:30a Monday. Below, a motorist left a car at West Front Street and Riverside Avenue. (Click to enlarge)

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Officials in Red Bank and nearby towns are asking motorists to stay off the streets while plow crews dig out from the blizzard that socked the region with at least two feet of snow Sunday and early Monday.

Abandoned vehicles and pedestrians walking in streets slowed the start of snow removal efforts, Red Bank officials say. Now, cars mired in deep drifts continue to hamper plowing.

“It’s a severe problem,” said Gary Watson, who heads up the borough’s public utilities department.

Numerous cars left stuck at intersections could still be found at daylight Monday, including three caught in deep snow on Bridge Avenue at the foot of the Cooper Bridge.

“We’re working on getting towtrucks out,” police Captain Darren McConnell told redbankgreen. “They’ve become a hinderance to the plows.”

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POLICE REPORT: MORE VEHICLE BREAK-INS

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Unedited entries from the Red Bank Police Department crime blotter for the week of October 3 to October 10.

Theft occurring between 10-5-08 and 10-6-08 at Count Basie Field. Victim reported that his cell phone T Mobile Sidekick Slide, color black and purple was stolen from coat pocket which was on the side of the playing area. Ptl. Jorge Torres.

Criminal Mischief occurring at Broad St. on 10-7-08. Victim reported that unknown person(s) damaged a wooden sign by breaking same in half. Ptl. Dawn Shields.

Stolen Vehicle reported on 10-7-08 from Catherine St. Victim reported that vehicle has been missing for approx. one week. Description: Mercury Sable, brown in color. Ptl. Jorge Torres.

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COUNCIL RUNDOWN: BOATS, AWNINGS…

Img_8646Councilwoman Grace Cangemi says residents should have warnings before nearby hydrants are flushed, resulting in discolored water flowing through taps.

Some highlights from last night’s bimonthly meeting of the Red Bank council:

TEACHERS OF THE YEAR: In addition to primary school teacher Pat Moss, who was spotlighted here yesterday, this year’s honorees were middle school third-grade teacher Stacy Curcio; third-grade teacher Matt Strippoli of the Red Bank Charter School, and social studies teacher (and Red Bank native) Steve Johnson of Red Bank Regional.

AUDIT: Independent auditor Dave Kaplan gave his annual assessment of the borough’s finances and record-keeping, both of which he finds in good shape, though with four “relatively minor” cautions, one of which centers on the timely approval of council minutes. (Until last night, the borough clerk’s office was more than a year behind in getting the minutes of meetings together; now, the most recent minutes approved are from the July 9, 2007 session.)

Kaplan noted also that tax collections last year slipped a tad, to 97.09 percent from 97.99 percent, which he attributed to economic conditions. “People are just a little slower in paying their taxes,” he said.

BOATS AND CARS: There was a discussion of a request regarding parking on Union Street from the Monmouth Boat Club. As is somewhat common at council meetings, the agenda gave no hint of what the boat club had asked for, and nobody on the council bothered to fill the audience in, but it seemed to involve the removal of or deactivation of parking meters.

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PARKS & REC DUO BACK IN SWING

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The top two people at the Red Bank Parks & Recreation Department, whose names were curiously absent from the borough council reappointments list on Jan. 1, have gotten the seal of approval to remain in their positions.

Director Bob Evans and Assistant Director Tomora Young were reappointed by the council last week, following an oral report by Councilman John Curley on efforts to address issues raised by a recent audit of the department.

Citing personnel policies, borough officials are still rather vague about what the holdup was.

But redbankgreen has learned that the audit, completed in October, turned up some bookkeeping mismanagement issues in the department.

There was no suggestion of any type of malfeasance, Curley said.

“There were difficult problems of accounting procedures, and that’s about all I can say,” Curley told redbankgreen.

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