WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? TACOS ON THE RIVER

071216beachwalk3On a clear day, views from the deck of  BeachWalk Tiki Bar include the Highlands-Sea Bright bridge.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?A neighbor’s recommendation sent PieHole in search of a well-hidden oasis in Sea Bright.

“You have to try the crabby patty and crabby fries,” Fair Haven native Jeanettje McManus insisted, and the views are spectacular.

You wouldn’t know it looking at the place from Ocean Avenue: you see a modernized motel and parking lot. But tucked behind the BeachWalk Motel is an eatery dubbed the Tiki Bar. And what you get here are jaw-dropping views of both the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers that can go on for miles.
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COOL INSIDE: A JOLT OF COLD JOE AT ROOK

ROOK_070716A New Orleans-Style Cold Brew at Rook in Red Bank. (Photos by Sherri Hall. Click to enlarge.)

By SHERRI HALL

rook 1

This week, PieHole‘s Cool Inside summer series stops into Rook in Red Bank for a cold version of a traditional hot beverage that will cool your innards and wake you up at the same time.

What’s it called?

New Orleans Style Cold Brew

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? A WHOLE MEZZE FLAVORS

070516bayroot5Appetizers, or “mezze,”from Bayroot include falafel, stuffed grape leaves, spinach pies, mouhammara, baba ghanouj and hummus.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?The sleepy little shopping center called Shrewsbury Village in the borough of Shrewsbury has seen a great deal of turnover lately. Rosina’s Ristorante, once an anchor there, is gone, as are the Cypress Café and the short-lived Doco Donuts.

“Looking for the right place at the right price,” Shrewsbury resident Maher Dougan says that he and his wife, Lara, took a leap of faith and decided to open Bayroot Lebanese Restaurant there a few months back.
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RED BANK: ICE CREAM STAND OPENS

gracie dudes 070616 1WhatsGoingOnHereFor the first time in its two-decade history, the snack bar in Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens Park is operating as a regular daily business. 

Gracie and the Dudes Organic Ice Cream of Sea Bright opened in the West Front Street facility without fanfare last weekend under a two-year contract entered with the borough in April following a bid process. For most of its existence, the building was open only sporadically during borough events.

The contract is for two years, with a three-year renewal option. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

COOL INSIDE: WARM AND COLD AT RALPH’S


RALPHS_070116A warmed-over cookie is the centerpiece of this treat from Ralph’s.
(Photos by Sherri Hall. Click to enlarge.)

By SHERRI HALL

ralph's 3Warm meets cold in this week’s installment of PieHole‘s Cool Inside summer series in the form of a sweet treat from a walk-up window in Lincroft.

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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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COOL INSIDE: A COOKIE MONSTER IN A CUP


HOFFMANS_062416Hoffman’s popular “cookie monster” blue ice cream as used in shake, at left, and a banana split.
(Photos by Trish Russoniello and Sherri Hall. Click to enlarge.)

By SHERRI HALL

hoffman's 4Next up in PieHole‘s summer-long Cool Inside quest for cooling summer treats on the Greater Red Bank Green is one named after a childhood icon.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? CREPES WITH A TWIST

062116whippedbites5A savory French crepe served at the charming Whipped Creperie & Dessert Bar.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?Americanized crepes? “Why not?” thought Nick Napoletano, who owns Whipped Creperie and Dessert Bar in Red Bank with Erica Lieberman.

Traditional French crepes are served sweet, with sugar, Nutella, jam or a creamy cheese filling. But Napoletano envisioned “an Americanized, savory version,” he tells PieHole. “I wanted to take familiar foods like turkey and cheese and create a more hearty filling on a whole-wheat crepe.”
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COOL INSIDE: CHIPS ON THE TABLE @LA ROSA’S

LAROSAS_061616
Cannoli chips and frozen cannoli cream from La Rosa’s in Shrewsbury.
(Photos by Trish Russoniello, above, and Sherri Hall, below. Click to enlarge.)

By SHERRI HALL

la rosa's exterior 3The latest stop on PieHole‘s Cool Inside quest for cooling summer treats on the Greater Red Bank Green is La Rosa’s Pastry Shop.

The Shrewsbury desserts emporium is widely known for its cannolis, as well as for its cakes and cookies baked on premises. On this visit, we uncovered the shop’s newest cool cannoli confection.

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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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RUMSON: WHAT’S YOUR REAL BEEF?

whats your beef 061516 1marilyn schlossbach 061516Jersey Shore restaurant maven Marilyn Schlossbach, below, hosted a free-food-and-drink “coming out party” Wednesday night at Rumson’s What’s Your Beef, which she and partners acquired in March.

The event was held, in part, to counteract “negative chatter” among some commenters about the change in ownership to the 47-year-old River Road chophouse, Schlossbach told redbankgreen

“We just wanted people to see that we’re approachable and kind, as well as to highlight some of the new menu items,” Schlossbach said, as a full-house crowd sampled new menu items, such as beef bourguignon, mussels in garlic and white white wine, and pork and shrimp dumplings. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

COOL INSIDE: LIGHTHOUSE “ICESHAKE”

LIGHTHOUSE_061016
The Lighthouse “iceshake.”
 (Photos by Sherri Hall. Click to enlarge.)

By SHERRI HALL

imageIn search of the Greater Red Bank Green’s best cold and frozen treats to help you beat the heat this summer of ’16, PieHole‘s Cool Inside series returns for a third installment  with a with a stop for a chilly treat you can sip through a straw.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? SMOKIN’ NEW BBQ

060716localsmoke6Chopped beef brisket on a roll with sides of collared greens and macaroni and cheese, at Local Smoke. Below, a lunchtime crowd filled the tables.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

localsmokeYes, there’s Lino’s Café on Shrewsbury Avenue, which despite PieHole’s efforts somehow doesn’t get the notice it sorely deserves. And still we heard the mantra, the whine, the plea: “Red Bank needs barbecue.”

Well now, in the space at West Front Street and Rector Place most recently occupied by Delfini’s Gourmet Catering, Local Smoke BBQ slips in with the requested goods.

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COOL INSIDE: GOING FOR FLAVOR AT RYAN’S

RYANS_060316
The cone in question, from Ryan’s Homemade.
 (Photos by Sherri Hall. Click to enlarge.)

By SHERRI HALL

ryan's 5In search of the Greater Red Bank Green’s best cold and frozen treats to help you beat the heat, PieHole‘s Cool Inside series returns for a second installment this not-yet-official summer of ’16 with a visit to a place that makes every one of its 48 flavors of ice cream.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? A LITTLE FRANCESE

060116palumbos8Chicken Francese served with a side salad and plenty of bread at Palumbo’s in Little Silver. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON
060116palumbos5Alongside the tracks of the Little Silver train station in a handsome, stone-facade strip mall with plenty of parking, Palumbo’s Pizza is more than its name implies.

Inside the Ayers Lane restaurant, you’ll first hear quiet strains of Italian background music, setting a tranquil, family friendly atmosphere. The staff behind the counter converses in Italian too. PieHole takes this as a sign to join some other customers in the dining room and make lunch a more leisurely affair.
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COOL INSIDE: SOME CRAZEE WAFFLING HERE…

CRAZEES waffle bowl cool insideA homemade waffle bowl from Crazee’s in Rumson. (Photos by Sherri Hall. Click to enlarge.)

By SHERRI HALL

CRAZEE'S 052516 2With this weekend’s unofficial kickoff of the summer of ’16, a redbankgreen fave from a summer not-so-long-ago is also back: the Cool Inside series.

As we did in the scorching summer of ’10, each week we’ll showcase a signature cold or frozen dessert from a local treatery — something guaranteed to excite the taste buds while cooling down the body’s core.

To start things off, we stopped in at Crazee’s in Rumson.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? CHINA MOON SHINES

051616chinamoon3From the lunch special menu: beef with black bean sauce. The artwork, below, is by the delivery guy. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

051616chinamoon5If it’s not already on your radar, you might never notice China Moon, squished into a corner of a Red Bank strip mall between the Windmill hot dog stand and Crate’s Beverages.

But PieHole is putting the North Bridge Avenue eatery front and center, because when it comes to lunch, China Moon offers an affordable, extensive menu — and the food is delicious.
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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? BODEGA TACOS

051616towncountry2Bistek tacos chosen from the “Spanish” lunch menu at Town and Country Deli, a convenience store selling more than food, seen below. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

051616towncountrypatelInternational cuisine has become ubiquitous in Red Bank, adding to a plentitude of lunch options. But there are still some gems hidden away, and so when PieHole readers tell us about flavors unknown, we listen.

That’s how we wound up at Town and Country Deli in Red Bank.

Tucked away next to a laundromat in a Shrewsbury Avenue strip mall at the corner of Bank Street, this place is more bodega or convenience store than delicatessen, but looks can be deceiving.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? CREATIVE BAGELRY

051016hotbagel7A bacon cheeseburger deluxe on an everything bagel, above, and a chocolate chip bagel with a schmear of Nutella cream cheese, below, at Hot Bagels Brooklyn’s Finest.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

051016hotbagels1James Beard, “the dean of American cookery” according to the New York Times, once said that “too few people understand a really good sandwich.”

Nikos Zaires and Mike Gambale, owners of Hot Bagels Brooklyn’s Finest in Red Bank, understand, and they’re turning that humble sandwich into a higher art, making creative use of quality ingredients layered on fresh baked bagels and other bread varieties in their month-old deli.
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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? MR. PIZZA’S SLICE & DOG

050416mrpizza7An original-recipe pie fresh from the oven. Carlos Rosas tosses dough for a pizza, below. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

050416mrpizza10Self-styled devotees of Mr. Pizza Slice raised quite an uproar when redbankgreen reported the Red Bank stalwart was under new ownership and — heaven forbid — would be updating both the decor and menu.

The beloved Monmouth Street hole-in-the-wall on has now been refurbished with, among other touches, exposed brick walls that replace cheap paneling, giving the room a cozier feel than the laundromat vibe of its predecessor.

More importantly, new owners Nick Napoletano and Tom Cappello had a fantastic idea when they decided to keep a favorite menu item while bringing in plenty of new ones, including impressive sandwiches and gourmet, New York-style pies.
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SEA BRIGHT: RUM RUNNER RESURRECTED

rum runner 050316 2The bar in a glass-walled room one patron called “the aquarium” offers panoramic views of the Shrewsbury River. Below right, restaurant principal Tim McLoone with an opening-night guest. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

tim mcloone 050316Three and a half years after the original was damaged beyond repair by Hurricane Sandy, McLoone’s Rum Runner reopened Tuesday night in the form of dazzling behemoth of a “jewel box” beside the Shrewsbury River in Sea Bright.

Above the river, actually. Unlike its modest predecessor, which sat barely above high-tide, the new one is elevated to keep all but the lowest part of a stairwell dry even during the worst storm surge, and provide parking underneath at other times, said its designers.

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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? GLOBAL CONCEPTS

042616globaleatery5Global Eatery’s mix-and-match international choices include Mexican enchiladas, Korean beef in a cabbage wrap and Italian meatballs. Below, a customer fixes a salad to go.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

042616globaleatery4With a focus on office workers and schoolkids in downtown Red Bank, Mark Arabadjis has gone global.

Araabadjis closed the Sicilia Café on Broad Street late last year, less than six months after he bought it, and has now opened Global Eatery in its place.
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