RED BANK: GOOD KARMA AND ELEVATED SOCCA

Good Karma Cafe Gail DohertyGood Karma Cafe’s Gail Doherty walks PieHole through a recipe that will transport you and your tastebuds to the south of France. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

Red Bank’s vegan stronghold, Good Karma Café, ran a dinner special recently that caught PieHole’s eye.

A post on Facebook read: Chickpea Socca, layers of golden chickpea crepes filled with a garlic white bean puree and sautéed dark greens. Topped with caramelized leeks and a zesty marinara sauce.

Socca, for the uninitiated, is a crispy pancake made from a chickpea batter. A common street food hailing from southern France, it’s humble and incredibly easy to make.

In Italy it’s called farinita or cecina. In India you’ll find pudla. Each culture has its own unique spin, and PieHole has tried a lot of them. But never before had we seen it presented in layers, like a lasagna. So we hopped over to East Front Street to sit down with Good Karma owner/chef Gail Doherty to learn a bit more about her unique spin on this dish.

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RED BANK: GOOD OLD VEGAN ‘COMFORT FOOD’

Gail Doherty with a hot tray of “magic cookies,” made with pecans, chocolate chips, carrot and coconut. Below, she and employee Allison Kennedy work quickly to fill orders during the lunch rush. (Photos by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

Nearly three years after opening, Red Bank’s Good Karma Café has put to rest many misconceptions about vegan dining, including that it’s unsatisfying “rabbit food.”

Smaller than many suburban living rooms at just 900 square feet, the cozy East Front Street restaurant caters to a mix of regulars, pilgrims and the just-curious, serving up hearty dishes along with answers to some burning questions:

Is it more expensive to eat vegan? How is protein supplemented? What does tofu taste like?

“We’re not bringing you in with any kind of dogma,” said co-owner Gail Doherty. “There’s no agenda other than serving you some yummy food while maybe squashing some stereotypes.”

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FUNK AND STANDARD HEADS NORTH ON BROAD

Patti Siciliano plans to relocate her 14-year-old store to 7 Broad. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508Funk and Standard, a retailing stalwart through Red Bank’s economic ups and downs, is planning to vacate its longtime home and reopen next month farther north on Broad Street.

Owner Patti Siciliano tells redbankgreen she’ll close the clothing and novelty store, as well as its 18-month-old Yummy Yummy Good Stuff juice bar, on Tuesday in preparation for a move to a below-the-street space at 7 Broad Street, between Red restaurant and Blue Water Seafood.

Hoping to take over the vacated space at 40 Broad is Greene Street Consignment, a high-end clothing consignment shop with seven stores in the Philadelphia area, according to documents on file at borough hall.

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NOW OPEN: GOOD, SAFE KARMA

good-karma1-072810Tiffany Betts, left, and Gail Doherty preparing meals for customers who showed up minutes after Wednesday’s opening. (Click to enlarge)

good-karma2-072810

The much-anticipated return to Red Bank of vegan restaurateurs Gail Doherty and Tiffany Betts is complete.

Months later than they’d hoped, the pair quietly opened the doors to their new eatery, Good Karma Café, at 4p Wednesday, and quickly found themselves hustling up orders for a half-dozen hungry customers.

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GOOD KARMA’S GONNA GET YOU

good-karmaThe gals behind Good Karma: Gail Doherty, left, and Tiffany Betts. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Gail Doherty and Tiffany Betts are back in town. And this time, they’re completely above ground.

As many locals remember, they were in Red Bank for seven years at Down To Earth, Doherty’s award-winning vegetarian restaurant, which operated below street level at 7 Broad Street until 2006.

After Down To Earth went dark, each woman went her own way.

Doherty headed south to Asheville, N.C., where she worked for a vegetarian chain and wrote her second vegan cookbook. Betts, who was Doherty’s kitchen manager, started a family and continued to work in the vegetarian realm at Kaya’s Kitchen in Belmar.

Now the two are back, and in the same vein as Down To Earth, are getting ready to open up Good Karma, a casual café/juice bar/restaurant that will cater to the vegetarian and vegan lifestyle like no other in the area.

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