RED BANK: STREETS TAKE ON ETHNIC FLAVOR

john street block party 2014An antipasto, above, went with this year’s food from your heritage” theme at John Street’s annual block party. Below, plating up some southern fried chicken on Elm Place. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

elm place block party 2014 3The ritual end-of-summer block party is more than just a great excuse to hang out in the middle of the street, catching up with neighbors you’ve been too busy to see all summer. For many hungry Red Bankers, it’s an opportunity to sample a smorgasbord of eats from their neighbors’ kitchens.

Take Elm Place, which has been throwing an annual block party for at least 14 years now, according to resident Tom Labetti. For the latest edition, held Saturday, a 30-foot buffet table was laden with heaping plates of fried chicken, pulled pork, buffalo wings and other potluck  staples. But many of the neighbors PieHole spoke with seemed to be mulling around just waiting for Margaret Ilarraza to bring out the Puerto Rican chicken she makes every year.

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