WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? GREEK FARE IN LINCROFT

091816stamna3The two-souvlaki-sticks lunch at Stamna Greek Taverna. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?Originally Santorini Greek Cuisine, then replaced last summer by Melody’s Café, another Greek restaurant has taken over the same spot in a strip mall on Newman Springs Road in Lincroft.

Stamna Greek Taverna opened about three weeks ago, and PieHole has a feeling that this one might be here to stay. Maybe the third time will be the charm.
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RED BANK: OYSTERFEST IS A PEARL OF A PARTY

rb oysterfest 092715 10The Guinness Oyster Festival returns Sunday for a “shuck and awe” day of food, beverage and entertainment that includes Tinton Falls pop singer Taylor Tote and band, below. (Top photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

taylor_tote_band_-_social_media_low_res_dsc_7778c-2As open-air diversions go in Red Bank, it’s the undisputed pearl of the season. And making its seventh annual stand, the Red Bank Guinness Oyster Festival returns to the White Street municipal parking lot Sunday for an event that, as the name suggests, pairs the fabled allure of the briny bivalve and dozens of other culinary seductions with the “Irish aphrodisiac” known as —Guinness.

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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? RED ROCK STANDS OUT

091316redrock2Ahi tuna salad served in a stainless steel pan at Red Rock Tap + Grill. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?Step into the new Red Rock Tap + Grill  in Red Bank and the effect is instant: this isn’t the Brannigan’s we all knew and, ahem, shared a fondness for.

The single-story Wharf Avenue bar has been replaced by a rustic-contemporary structure offering stellar views of downtown Red Bank and the Navesink River from its multiple open-air decks. But PieHole was equally blown away by the menu. Could the food possibly be as tasty as the architectural eyecandy here?

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LINCROFT: HISTORIC INN CLOSES

032115 lincroftinn1lincroft-innThe Lincroft Inn, a watering hole for travelers for more than three centuries, served its final meal Monday. No reason for the closing was given on the Facebook page of the Newman Springs Road establishment, where chef and owner Terry Daverio announced the end, and where dozens of patrons are sharing memories. 

Known as the Leedsville Hotel in the 1800s, the inn was in continuous operation since 1697, according to a 1953 article in the Red Bank Register. It’s been owned and operated by the Daverio family since 1927. Terry Daverio could not be reached for immediate comment. (Photo above by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge).

 

CRAVINGS: A BUSHEL IN A BURRITO

90516calientecantina1A fried sweet apple burrito covered in two sauces and ice cream. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

piehole_cravingsSeasonal changes can induce all sorts of fresh cravings, and with September screaming “apple season,” PieHole stumbles on a dessert so tasty, and in such an unlikely place, that sharing our bonanza is all we can do.

Read on to see where you can feast on this crave-able cinnamon-scented apple burrito.
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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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COOL INSIDE: SUMMER FLOATS AWAY

TOAST_082816A Root Beer Float from Toast City Diner. (Photo by Sherri Hall. Click to enlarge.)

By SHERRI HALL

toast 082716Is it really over already? No! Say it isn’t so!

As the summer of 2016 fades into history, it is with great reluctance that PieHole‘s Cool Inside series closes out (sniff!) with a simple classic: a root beer float.

It’s the 15th entry in the series that has served up everything from a waffle bowl to an egg cream, with lots of variety in between. Each was carefully selected to deliver maximum mouthfuls of flavor and bone-cooling effect on a hot summer’s day.

But remember, dear reader: summer doesn’t actually end until September 22. So if you missed any of our stops, there’s a complete list at the bottom of this article to help you keep cool in the interim —and beyond. Because really, if you think about it, does summer actually have to end?

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SEA BRIGHT RISING SAYS ‘MISSION COMPLETE’

Ilene Winters and Chris Wood reviewing requests for  from Sea Bright Rising in January, 2013, three months after Hurricane Sandy devastated the town. On Friday, Winters and Woods announced that the nonprofit organization was dissolved, having completed its mission after giving out $1.6 million in donated funds to 300 families, 20 businesses and the borough itself.

From the announcement: Read More »

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? A TABLEFUL AT TEMPLE

082616temple1Chicken with broccoli and Kung Pao chicken, two dishes on the lunch menu at Temple Gourmet Chinese. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?Lunchtime seems to be a tough draw for Red Bank’s dine-in restaurants. While customers might find it difficult to get a table in the evening, some eateries do what they can in the form of specials to attract afternoon clients.

So when a member of the Red Bank Lunch Meet group suggested a meeting at Temple Gourmet Chinese on Broad Street, throwing in the incentive of an $11 price point, PieHole was intrigued.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? BOLI KNOTS AND PASTA

082216mangia6‘Boli knots,’ or bite-sized strombolis, served with a side of marinara sauce at Mangia. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?Open just two weeks in the Shrewsbury shopping mall that’s home to Trader Joe’s, Mangia Brick Oven Pizza at first appears to be a tiny pizza joint squeezed into a small store front. In this case, looks are deceiving.

After scanning cases filled with several varieties of pizza, our eyes settle on a large, open kitchen with a massive brick oven before taking in the rustic barn wood-style tables and crafty decor. Not immediately apparent is a dining room with a lovely upscale vibe tucked to the right of the kitchen.

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COOL INSIDE: TALL AND COOL IN THE SADDLE

CoffeeCorral_081816The Peanut Butter Protein Blast from the Coffee Corral. (Photo by Sherri Hall. Click to enlarge.)

By SHERRI HALL

coffee corral extThis week, PieHole‘s Cool Inside summer series gets its recommended daily allowance of the primary food groups — caffeine, peanut butter and chocolate —all in one cold cupful at a popular Red Bank coffee stop. Read More »

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? BURGERS, FRIES & A VIEW

081216barnacles5Attentive diners can keep a watchful eye on the burgers as they’re grilled at the end of the bar. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?In the shadow of Rumson’s 75-year-old Navesink-River-spanning Oceanic Bridge, Barnacle Bill’s is packed on a Friday afternoon.

“You know it used to be on the pier?” an octogenarian customer who’s been coming to the Rumson perennial asks PieHole.

We do, and locals know also that the waterfront restaurant is the place to go when you’re craving a burger — and that it’s open for lunch from Friday through Sunday only.

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RED BANK: OLD-TIME SODA SHOP PLANNED

FIZZ 081916Fizz Soda Fountain, featuring burgers, shakes and a 1940’s-era soda dispenser, is to replace the Red Bank Sub Shop, at 8 Monmouth Street. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallThrowing in the towel on the increasingly competitive market for subs, a Red Bank eatery is going old-school.

Canio Paradiso’s Red Bank Sub Shop, at 8 Monmouth Street, which closed for renovations earlier this summer, plans to reopen next month as Fizz Soda Fountain.

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COOL INSIDE: A ‘BOMBA’ OF SUBTLE FLAVORS

BOMBA_081116A Juanito’s ‘Bomba,’ packed with flavor and texture. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

juanito's bakery 081116This week, PieHole‘s Cool Inside summer series sinks a straw into a thick, cold beverage that’s kind of a mash-up of a fruit smoothie and a chocolate milkshake.

It’s called a “Bomba,” and the guy who made it for us swears it’s a great way to start your day. Yes, for breakfast. And we found it delivers a payload of satisfying flavors and textures while cooling us to the core on a sweltering August afternoon.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? SHRIMP, WITH BIG VIEWS

080916rumrunner5The roofed deck at McLoone’s Rum Runner. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?On a clear day, Tim McLoone‘s newly rebuilt Rum Runner restaurant in Sea Bright offers bird’s-eye views south along the Shrewsbury River past the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge, north toward Sandy Hook Bay, and to the east, beach clubs, interspersed with peeks of the Atlantic Ocean.

Stunning eye-candy aside, PieHole finds another reason to appreciate this back-from-the dead Sandy survivor.
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COOL INSIDE: PARTY IN A CUP

CHOCO-WORKS_080416Presenting the Candy Wonderland Shake. (Photos by Sherri Hall. Click to enlarge.)

SHERRI HALL

chocolate works 080516 1This week, PieHole‘s Cool Inside summer series spotlights what may just be the eye-poppingest drinkable treat you’ll ever lay eyes on.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? SUSHI DELIGHTS

072616sakura3A specialty at Sakura Sushi is the Floating Island appetizer. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?In what might be the tiniest sushi bar on the Greater Red Bank Green, PieHole finds a lively, amusing, and loyal customer base.

And at Sakura Sushi, located in in the Acme shopping center on Newman Springs Road in Lincroft, it’s easy to strike up conversation with fellow diners, with just four sushi bar seats and four small tables occupying the diminutive space.
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COOL INSIDE: INSIDE THE BUBBLE

CHILL_072816A Lemon-Strawberry Ice Bubble from Chill Bubble Tea in Red Bank. (Photos by Sherri Hall. Click to enlarge.)

SHERRI HALL

chill bubble tea 5This week, PieHole‘s Cool Inside summer series gets a little bubbly and fruity with a cold drink that pops in your mouth.
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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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COOL INSIDE: A RIVERSIDE MILKSHAKE

GRACIE-DUDES_072216A chocolate milkshake from Gracie and the Dudes in Red Bank. (Photo by Sherri Hall. Click to enlarge.)

SHERRI HALL

gracie dudes 071916 1This week, PieHole‘s Cool Inside summer series features an old fatithful cold drink you can now enjoy overlooking our beautiful Navesink River from Riverside Gardens Park in Red Bank.

For those who missed the news: the snack stand in the park, which has barely been used over its two-decade existence, is now operating as a third location for Gracie and the Dudes Homemade Ice Cream. Read More »

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? A BODEGA SPECIAL

071916linares5Chuleta de puerco en salsa pasilla, or pork chops in a spicy gravy with cactus, is a daily special at Linares Grocery and Restaurant. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?PieHole‘s endless quest for reasonably priced lunches hit the jackpot this week at Linares Grocery and Restaurant on Monmouth Street opposite the Red Bank train station.

Don’t let the market facade and absence of restaurant signage fool you. Selling fruits and vegetables, fresh meat from a butcher’s case, Mexican grocery staples and a mindboggling array of household items, Linares also offers a takeout menu filled with traditional Mexican food prepared in-house.

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COOL INSIDE: FRUITY AND FLYIN’ AT KITCH

KITCH-ORGANIC_071516The Flyin’ Hawaiian  at Kitch Organic in Red Bank. (Photo by Sherri Hall. Click to enlarge.)

By SHERRI HALL

This week, PieHole‘s Cool Inside summer series features a healthy way to beat the heat with a vitamin-packed smoothie from a 100-percent gluten-free establishment. Read More »