Elias and Eleacer Ayala in their Red Bank take-out restaurant, La Esquina. The Ayalas came to Red Bank from Mexico City via Brooklyn. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)
By JIM WILLIS
In the middle of our lunch at Red Bank’s La Esquina, a regular customer walks in to pick up his order and tells PieHole that he often suggests to the owners that they hang a sign in the window that reads, “We Speak English.”
If attracting non-Spanish-speaking customers to the corner of Bridge Avenue and Oakland Street is part of the business plan, we’d second that advice. Taco Bell regulars won’t find any Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos Supreme here, and the large menu hanging behind the counter ranges from confusing to unintelligible to a non-Spanish speaking customer. Fortunately for us, owner Elias Ayala is not only fluent in English, but clearly enjoys deconstructing the menu items for his customers.
“The menu is authentic Mexican,” he says. “We have everything from tongue to carnitas – the real carnitas, with cheeks, ears and pork skin.”