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RED BANK: STATION CRAVES DUNKINS

The station at the corner of Newman Springs Road and Shrewsbury Avenue would be razed and rebuilt to include the doughnut shop. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Five years after their plan to add a 7-Eleven to an existing Shell station in Red Bank was shot down, the site’s owners are going back before borough zoners with a new plan: a Dunkin’ Donuts as part of a gas-‘n-go.

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RED BANK: COFFEE CORRAL PLAN OK’D

An exhibit used in the Coffee Corral hearing illustrates the placement of the new building, which would on Shrewsbury Avenue at the corner of Drs. James Parker Boulevard. The existing shop would be used for roasting beans. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s Coffee Corral won approval for an ambitious West Side building plan Monday.

The borough planning board gave a unanimous OK for owners Courtlyn Crosson and her father, business founder Russ Crosson, to transform vacant land at the corner of Shrewsbury Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard into a new home for the coffee shop, plus an adjoining restaurant.

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RED BANK: COFFEE CORRAL LOOKS TO EXPAND

Coffee Corral owner Courtlyn Crosson hopes to build a new, larger coffee shop, and a separate deli, on the empty lot at the corner of Shrewsbury Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Six years after it opened in a tiny West Side construction office, Red Bank’s Coffee Corral is rarin’ for bigger pastures.

Owners Courtlyn Crosson and her father, business founder Russ Crosson, are scheduled to go before the borough planning board next month with an ambitious plan to transform the corner of Shrewsbury Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard into a new home to the coffee shop, plus an adjoining restaurant.

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SEA BRIGHT: BREAKFAST AT RORY’S PUB

The courtyard of Rory’s Pub on a recent Sunday morning. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

A sandwich board on the sidewalk of Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright informs us that Rory’s Pub is open for breakfast at 8:15.

“8:15?” we ask the owner, Tony Maher. In a brogue rooted in his childhood in Waterford, Ireland, he tells PieHole, “Give or take, it could be 8:16 or 8:17.”
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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? GUILT-FREE SWEETNESS

A “Stupid Cupid” from Playa Bowls. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

From the day it opened last month, Playa Bowls in Red Bank has drawn long lines of teens and tweens waiting to get inside, and the after-school and weekend mania hasn’t let up. This might give the impressions that one, it’s a place for kids, and two, that it’s a fad.

Time will tell if the craze lasts, but on the coldest day of the year so far, What’s For Lunch paid its first visit to the West Front Street business and found a full house of mixed-age customers at midday. Manager Robin Krieger tells us that many are employees of Riverview Medical Center, just two blocks east.

 

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? DRINKING TO OUR HEALTH

010417freshicasrb6An eye-catching peppermint-and-spinach-based Grinch Bowl topped with granola at Freshica’s. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?It’s the first week of a new year, which means PieHole is trying to stick to its annual get-fit resolutions. So we headed over to Freshica’s in the Red Bank’s West Side Lofts building on West Front Street for a convenient, quick, and healthy lunch.

Open just six months, Jessica Dalmedo’s second store is already busier at lunchtime than her original spot inside Fairwinds Deli in Fair Haven, opened more than four years ago, she tells us. She and her experienced employee, Lee Ann Caporicci, patiently explained the benefits of some of the new-to-us ingredients in their recipes.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? EUROPA GRILL TAPAS

111916europa3A hot sampler for two from the appetizer/tapas menu at Europa Grill. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?New to the Shrewsbury Village strip mall in Shrewsbury, Europa Grill fills in the storefront left empty by Rosina’s Ristorante. Like its predecessor, it serves Italian food, but that’s where the similarity ends.

Mediterranean-themed frescoes, including an attention-grabbing celestially painted ceiling, brighten the decor. Tables set with linens, comfortable seating, and friendly, helpful service add up to a more formal but lively atmosphere.
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CRAVINGS: A LITTLE DANISH WILL DO

110216danishcafe3August Culbert stops by the Danish Café for lunch, coffee and a danish for dessert. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

piehole_cravings“It wouldn’t be the Danish Café without danish,” says August Culbert, a 25-year-old Fair Haven resident and owner of Apogee Technology Services, a Red Bank information technology business.

“The coffee is the best here, and they offer free refills,” says Culbert, who’s been a regular since about 2013 and has “tried everything on the menu.” But it’s the “soft, flaky European-style pastry” of the Danish’s danish that Culbert says he finds particularly appealing.

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CRAVINGS: SUNDAY PORK ROLL

092516porkroll5Natalie Cozzati takes a bite of the breakfast sandwich she craves. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

piehole_cravings“Do I like pork roll?” Red Bank graphic designer and owner of NMC Design Studio Natalie Cozzati rhetorically asks PieHole. “Am I from Jersey? I’ve got to have my pork roll fix. Gotta satisfy that craving.”

Cozzati is not alone in her uniquely Jersey desire. At the Red Bank Farmers’ Market every Sunday this time of year, you’ll find plenty of customers queuing up at Johnny’s Pork Roll truck, patiently waiting to grab their sandwiches.

And don’t call it Taylor Ham, say Cozzati and others in line in the Galleria parking lot.
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CRAVINGS: A PASSION FOR PUMPKIN

091816rookcrave1Katie Katzgrau satisfies her craving for pumpkin at Rook in Red Bank.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

piehole_cravingsWhat are you craving these days? PieHole‘s asking for a new, occasional feature called Cravings, which we see as a way of shining a quick spotlight on gotta-have culinary yearnings — and, of course, ways to satisfy them right here on the Greater Red Bank Green.

In this one, with pumpkin-flavored everything showing up even before the tree leaves begin turning our world gold and orange, we chat with a woman who dreams of pumpkin flavor all year long.
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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? BRUNCH, AT GAETANO’S

090316gaetanos6French toast garnished with fresh berries from the brunch menu at Gaetano’s. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?Taking a metaphorical broom to the cobwebs left behind in Tom Capello’s old restaurant, Louis Andrianos, the new owner of Gaetano’s on Wallace Street in Red Bank, leaves PieHole gobsmacked by the refreshing updates he’s instituting.

Gone are the stale Sinatra-era infused soundtrack and the granny-style oilcloth-covered tables, replaced with more contemporary stylings. The menu’s also been altered to include a daily brunch.
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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? A RED LIGHT SANDWICH

072616redlight3The Big Tuna, one of only four sandwiches offered at Red Light Coffee and Espresso Bar. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch? Seeking out a caffeine fix, PieHole stopped in at the Red Light Coffee and Espresso Bar in Lincroft’s Acme shopping center on Newman Springs Road.

On a strip that also houses Aleo’s Italian Specialties, this 10-month-old java joint is turning out more than the expected demitasse and cappuccino. The jewel-box-sized, ruby-walled 650-square-foot space is also serving up gourmet sandwiches.
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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? A HEADFUL OF ACAI

062816melonhead8A jam-packed Island Bowl from Melonhead in Sea Bright. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?Ravenous after a recent walk on the beach, PieHole headed to downtown Sea Bright in search of the newest kid on the block: Melonhead, whose menu basis is the acai (pronounced ah-SAH-ee) berry, a super fruit native to the Amazon.

How did partners and Monmouth County natives Nick Frangipane and Steve Barnett come to be acai acolytes on Ocean Avenue? Theirs is a story that begins on a surfing trip in Costa Rica and continues through Brazil, Puerto Rico and other stops on the planet.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? WINDWARD DELI, HO!

061416windward4A seasonal grilled chicken salad and a cup of Rhode Island clam chowder from the Windward Deli.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

061416windward2It’s easy to pass by the Windward Deli, set back alongside the railroad tracks at Drs. James Parker Boulevard and Maple Avenue in Red Bank. So PieHole is doing you a favor by telling you to stop in.

Plenty of parking in front of and behind the building makes it easy to swing by for not-your-usual take out deli grub. A small courtyard with inviting picnic tables surrounded by verdant shrubbery offers an additional reason to grab lunch and eat al fresco.

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RED BANK: STARBUCKS GOES FOR A REFILL

sbux 050316Fear not, Starbucks junkies: the store at Broad and White streets in downtown Red Bank is only closed for renovations, and will reopen May 14, according to a posted notice.

Meantime, there’s no shortage of java in the area, including the locally owned Rook Coffee Roasters store just two doors away on White Street.

Coffee drinkers: what’s your favorite coffee joint, and why? (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? A SUB WITH A SIDE OF JOY

012716butlers6The honey maple turkey sandwich on a roll from Butlers. Below, owner Paul Stout. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

012716butlersmkt1It doesn’t matter if your mood is not so bright when you walk through the doors of Butler’s Market in Rumson. Owner Paul Stout has a warm and friendly smile to greet you and make you feel better.

Reopened last June after two-plus years of unsatisfying retirement for its proprietor, the deli’s food is in some ways as good as it used to be, and in many ways, much better.
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RED BANK: FROM THE SOUTH TO YOUR MOUTH

011516charlestonshop3Clare Destoppelaire, manager of the Charleston Shops in Red Bank, shows off some of the Low Country food she sells.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

011516charlestonstonshop4Filling in the space on Monmouth Street recently vacated by Toad Hollow is Red Bank’s newest purveyor of epicurean delights: the Charleston Shops. And it’s got a Southern accent.

Owners Isa and Peter Hewitt, a couple who live in north Jersey, love visiting the coastal Low Country area of South Carolina, where they have a home. So much so that they now have three Charleston Shops in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, betting that other northerners will enjoy what Charleston has to offer as well.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? WHITEFISH ON BIG BAGEL

121715bagestation4A sesame-seed bagel teeming with whitefish salad, lettuce and tomato from the Bagel Station, seen below. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

121715bagelstation2Red Bank has seen its fair share of restaurants come and go over the years. Loyal customers wax poetic about eateries long gone.

Bagel Station on Monmouth Street, across from the train station, has managed to keep its doors open for 28 years now. Rolling with the times, the breakfast and lunch spot is as relevant as any of the newcomers to town, and more affordable than many.

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ON THE GREEN: HOLIDAY WARMTH BY THE CUP

121715booskerdoo2Coffee beans in a Seinfeld-themed Festivus variety can be found at Booskerdoo. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

PIEHOLE-GIFT_MEDStill searching for the just-right Christmas gift? How about something that’s as quick a grab as a coffee-to-go for the coffee or tea drinker on your list?

Iconoclastic caffeine lovers might appreciate a jar of Festivus, a Columbian blend of coffee beans from Booskerdoo on River Road in Fair Haven ($12 for 12 ounces).

Named for the Seinfeld holiday parody, it’s both useful and whimsical. Pair it with a single-serve porcelain drip cone to make the gift extra special.

We’ve got suggestions for tea and cocoa lovers, too, just around the read more corner. Read More »

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? TOAST TOSSED SALAD

110515toastsaladA Chopped Greek salad with grilled shrimp, above, and a plate of hash and eggs, below. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

103115toast1Peace, Love and Pancakes: How can you go wrong with a slogan like that?

The newest foodie haven in Red Bank, Toast is slinging all three, along with hash and other comfort foods, in a glossy retro-American-meets-Scandinavian style luncheonette in the former home of the Broadway Diner on Monmouth Street.
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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? DANISH PANINI

092915danishcafe2Chicken Douglas, a panini-style sandwich from the Danish Café, a flag-festooned coffee shop. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

092915danishcafe3On any given day at Loni and Claudi Kofod’s Danish Café on Bridge Avenue in Red Bank, you’ll find customers in deep discussion, their open laptops sharing table space with large cups of coffee.

But the wifi, full-bodied, European-style java and original pastries are only part of what brings customers to this light-filled, red-and-white-flag-festooned Galleria space. The lunch menu offers simple, healthy choices, as PieHole rediscovered on a recent business meeting-slash-What’s For Lunch outing.
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CHURN: HOUSEWARES, TRAP DOOR AND MORE

kathleen conlon 081415 2Kathleen Conlon bought the onetime gas station that’s now Welcome Home, her housewares shop on East Front Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallThis installment of redbankgreen’s Retail Churn pops in on a new housewares-and-gifts shop in Red Bank.

We’ve also got an update on an escape-themed entertainment “house” planned downtown; the rebranding of Red restaurant; and a planned move by Red Ginger Home.

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