WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? BEST OF 2016

091316redrock3Duck confit tater tots from Red Rock Tap + Grill. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?Soul-satisfying soups, beefy burgers, crusty pizzas…

From a year’s worth of lunches good, bad and inedible, PieHole‘s What’s For Lunch? feature picks the Top 10 of 2016.

Click to restaurant names to see complete individual reviews.
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RED BANK: LOCAL SMOKE SET TO WAFT

local smoke 051816 1Steve Raab, right, with partners Loren Raab, his wife, and Eric Keating, left, outside their new restaurant Thursday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallEntering a crowded Red Bank restaurant field that seems to grow more packed each week, Local Smoke BBQ stands out.

Why? In part because Steve Raab’s new place is at a highly-trafficked corner, making for a convenient stop. Partly because it has its own parking lot, without a meter in sight.

But mainly because it will be the first purely-barbecue restaurant in Red Bank proper, and is run by a pitmaster with an avid following.

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RED BANK: BACKYARD BBQ GRILL EXPLODES

rb fire 122215 1A pair of explosions audible from blocks away brought out the Red Bank Volunteer Fire Department shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday night. Deputy fire chief Pete DeFazio, responding to a report of an explosion in a propane-fueled barbecue grill at 95 South Street, witnessed the second explosion, which he said sent a flame about 15 feet into the air. He put the resulting fire out with an extinguisher, he said.

The owner of the home, Tim Carr, told firefighters he had shut the grill down about two hours earlier, authorities said. An investigation into the cause was underway. 

No one was injured and there was no structural damage, said Chief Joe Lauterwasser. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

SANDY HOOK: TRUCK IT HERE FOR LUNCH

imageDavid and Rose Rivera of Elizabeth have the right idea: stopping for a bit of barbecue after a bike ride at Sandy Hook. Below, a map showing food truck locations in the park. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

Sh truck mapThe food concessions at Sandy Hook have remained closed since being wiped out by Hurricane Sandy. But food trucks have been filling the void, and the stomachs of park visitors.

A recent Facebook post by Gateway Nation Recreation Area touts 10 food trucks at the national park, peddling everything from brain-freezing ice-cream to “naked empanadas” at the clothing-optional Gunnison Beach, naturally.

Parking Lot D, the largest on the hook, is home to four of these trucks. PieHole stopped by to check out the menus.

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RED BANK: BRISKET SMOKED TO THE HEAVENS

broschart smoking meat 6Scott Broschart preps a 15-pound beef brisket for the smoker as his wife, Gina Roselle-Broschart, looks on. Below, PieHole enjoyed a late afternoon lunch of brisket in Broschart’s backyard. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

broschart smoking meat 2Scott Broschart dropped PieHole an email recently saying he was going to put a big piece of meat in the smoker out behind his house in Red Bank. Would we care to stop by?

Texas-style  barbecue isn’t often successful here on the Green, but we’d heard from several eaters around town about Broschart’s skills. So a few minutes later, we were making plans to meet up at Broschart’s house on Hudson Avenue.

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FAIR HAVEN: MOM’S RECIPE LAUNCHES BIZ

072214 4thcreek2Fourth Creek’s red pepper relish, made by Fair Haven resident Andrew Shiavetti. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

morsels mediumWith deep roots in Fair Haven, Andrew Schiavetti started a food company with a recipe his mother, Barbara, made for barbecues, and named it after a stream that cuts through town.

The sweet red pepper relish was so popular that family members were expected to bring it with them every time they received an invitation to a Fourth of July party or BBQ.

“This is my tether back to when I was a kid,” says Schiavetti, a Rumson Country Day and RFH alum. Fourth Creek Food Company‘s products provide him “a connection to not just the good times, but remembering family and friends.”

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BBQ JOINT EYES WEST SIDE; TEMPLE EXPANDS

The former home of Red Bank Pizza, on North Bridge Avenue, has been vacant for nearly two years. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Is it just wishful thinking, or is the tangy aroma of mesquite and beef about to join the pizza-dominated food scene in Red Bank?

Pit Boss Pure Barbecue, which has a restaurant on Route 35 in Middletown, is hoping to take over the former home of Red Bank Pizza on North Bridge Avenue, according to a representative of the landlord.

And in other Retail Churn news, Temple Gourmet Chinese has completed its doubling-down on Broad Street; another Chinese restaurant runs into a snafu; Hip & Humble Home finds a new, humble and possibly hip home, and an antiques business clears out.

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