Red Bank unveiled a new, two-day summer event called Sippin’ on the River over the weekend. redbankgreen was there the first night to capture the sights as thousands flocked to Marine Park for great food, a little beer or wine, and good company beside our beautiful Navesink River. Were you there? See who you might know in our 50 photos.
Adam Sobel, in striped bandana, says, “I want to get people excited about vegan. Its not all brown rice and steamed vegetables.” (Photos by Jim Willis.)
By JIM WILLIS
Adam Sobel, owner of the popular vegan food truck the Cinnamon Snail, doesnt get all preachy about being a vegan. Instead of sermons about the evils of the standard American diet or the darker side of factory-farmed animals, the 30-year-old Red Bank resident lets his food speak for itself, and hopes his cooking will get non-vegan customers to connect the dots on their own.
Since hitting the road three years ago, the Cinnamon Snail has become a Red Bank Farmers Market staple while amassing a considerable following in Manhattan, where it has won multiple awards. Mobile Cuisine Magazine, for example, named the Snail “America’s Favorite Vegan Food Truck” in 2012.
redbankgreen sat down with Sobel on the front porch of his home over a cup of chai and some yerba mate to discuss the trials and tribulations of a kitchen on wheels and whats next for the Cinnamon Snail.
Jim Scavone, left, rockin’ promotional sunglasses at a Red Bank Flavour event last month with RiverCenter program director Amanda Lynn, center, and Visitors Center director Margaret Mass. (Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Red Bank RiverCenter kept it local, choosing interim director and borough resident Jim Scavone to lead the downtown promotion agency, the organization announced Tuesday night.
The selection of Scavone, who was RiverCenter’s operations manager prior to the April departure of Nancy Adams as executive director, marks a win for members of the search committee who urged their store-and-restaurant-owning colleagues to stick with in-house talent rather than bring in someone unfamiliar, people involved in the selection process told redbankgreen.
“The best man won,” said Tom Fishkin, RiverCenter’s vice chairman and owner of Readies Fine Foods on Broad Street.
They liked it so much in their town’s centennial year that they decided to do it again. The residents of Fair Haven threw themselves a townwide picnic Saturday, a day of food, music and community under the sun that ended with a smashing fireworks show. redbankgreen was there, natch. Recognize any faces?
For the third consecutive year, after a decade-long layover, Riverfest returns to the banks of the Navesink River in Marine Park Friday night for a stay that extends into Sunday night.
And what this event be without a touch of sultry-bordering-on-threatening weather?
By WIL FULTON
In the minds of Sea Brighters, each business that reopens in this storm-walloped town is another step toward their goal of getting the beach community back to normal in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Late last week another longstanding establishment was able to open its doors again.
Everything about Sea Bright was great before, and hopefully the town remains that way now that we are all starting to come back, said Amanda Zheng, who owns the 20-year old New Super Golden Chinese restaurant with her husband, Ming.
Does Red Bank know how to eat or whut?
Mais oui! As proof, thousands of visitors jammed the White Street parking lot Sunday for the second annual Red Bank International Flavour Festival, bringing appetites not only for food, served up by two dozen of the town’s restaurants and food stores, but for dancing and general bonhomie.
redbankgreen was there with its point-and-shoot. Were you? Check out our collection of 75 snaps if you’re unsure.
Up next: Sippin’ on the River, in June.
It’s one of the inarguable upsides of immigration: the tickling of America’s taste buds. And visitors to Red Bank are among the beneficiaries this Sunday as the White Street parking lot morphs into a smorgasbord of border-crossing cuisines for the second annual International Flavour Festival. Sponsored by Red Bank RiverCenter, the event highlights the output of grilles, ovens and stoves of two dozen Red Bank restaurants and food retailers, with live entertainment and thousands of friendly faces from noon to 7 p.m. Rain date: May 5. (Click to enlarge)
Red Bank debuted a spring version of its annual September Street Fair on Sunday in bright sunshine and cool weather, and thousands of visitors turned out to peruse crafts and taste the food. Proceeds benefitted the borough Police Benevolent Association, which plans to donate some to the Red Bank branch of the Boys and Girls Club of Monmouth County, said Patrolman Jorge Torres.
By JOHN T. WARD
Restaurant-crazy Red Bank’s ethnic pot is getting stirred again.
For Francophiles, the news is bad, as Bienvenue, the only French restaurant for miles around, has closed.
Those hankering for another Thai choice, though, will get their wish, as one moves into the space Bienvenue vacated last month, at the corner of East Front Street and Wharf Avenue.
Bienvenue’s chef, Marc Fontaine, meantime, plans to open a pastries and crepes café at 8 Monmouth Street.
Farther west on Monmouth, work has resumed on yet-to-open Peruvian restaurant after months of inactivity.
And, for dessert, a homemade ice cream shop plans to open before summer begins on White Street, in the space held by the short-lived Nina’s Waffles.
Keeping it local, the sandwiches at Locals Creative Fresh Takeout are named for local places, heroes and legends. Below, returnable baskets customers can use to tote lunches to the beach. (Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Locals Creative Fresh Takeout soft-launched January 7, offering a menu of sandwiches to-go in a space where Rumsonites lined up for decades at Butler’s Deli, which closed in October.
The logo for next summer’s Sippin’ on the River two-day food-and-drink fest, to be held in Marine Park. The event joins a seasonal roster that also includes the International Flavour Fest, held in the White Street municipal lot, as seen below. (Click to enlarge)
By WIL FULTON
Sponsored by the culinary alliance Red Bank Flavour, the two-day ‘Sippin on the River’ chowdown won clearance from the borough council Wednesday night to set up its tents in Marine Park on Saturday, June 29 and Sunday, June 30, in Marine Park.
In addition to the charity aspect, which all our festivals have, said Flavour founder and restaurateur George Lyristis, this festival is designed to give people a great reason to come down to Red Bank to try out some of the best local food around, and have some wine or beer.”
By WIL FULTON
Eight weeks after the hurricane, a grassroots effort to provide necessities to residents of neighborhoods damaged by Sandy is still going strong, and plans to morph into a permanent relief operation, its founders say.
Created by six twentysomething friends who wanted to provide aid on their own terms, Red Bank-based RebuildRecover quickly became one of the Shore areas most visible and influential nonprofit charities, attracting the attention of The Daily Show host Jon Stewart, who lives in town, and hundreds of lesser-known donors.
After three days of working with another, really well-known charity organization that will not be named, my co-founders and I decided to take matters in our own hands,” said vice president David Cruse. The idea, he said, was to “create an organization that would provide those in need with direct, immediate help.”
By REBECCA DESFOSSE
For Karen Schnitzspahn, food isnt just about textures, tastes and smells it also has deep cultural and historical aspects to it.
The Little Silver writer explores these facets of food in her latest book, Jersey Shore Food History: Victorian Feasts to Boardwalk Treats.
Complete with recipes such as Mrs. Mulfords Clam Fritters and Jesse Eigenrauchs Butterscotch Pudding, and chock full of photographs, the book dishes on food from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s, all along the coast from Sandy Hook to Cape May.
Its not just about the pizza, the hot dogs, and the saltwater taffy,” says Schnitzspahn. “Its the whole cultural thing the cultural influence and how certain foods became popular.
By DAN NATALE
Jrs., the first expansion of the popular Jr.’s West End burger place owned by Mike DeSimone, opened a few days before Hurricane Sandy hit, becoming the fourth downtown eatery to keep late hours, staying open until 4 a.m. every day.
With a number of bars just steps away, the tiny West Front Street restaurant immediately attracted a colorful crowd at closing time.
There’s just enough room to squeeze between the rides and booths that pack the grounds of the Fire Haven firehouse for the annual Firemen’s Fair, touted as the largest such event in New Jersey. On Tuesday, volunteers oiled gears on a truck-themed merry-go-round and hosed down each car of the ferris wheel, which can be seen from far down River Road.
The fair kicks off Friday at 6 p.m. and runs nightly through September 1, except on Sundays. (Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge.)
By JOHN T. WARD
Funk 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.
By JOHN T. WARD
Production of the second, full season of Comic Book Men got underway Monday, giving a prominent vacancy in downtown Red Bank something to do for the next 10 weeks while its owners continue trying to attract a more permanent tenant.
The reality show, which had a limited run earlier this year on AMC, is set in Jay and Silent Bobs Secret Stash, owned by filmmaker Kevin Smith, and follows the jostlings of the shop’s employees and customers.
Additional footage, featuring Smith and an Algonquin Rectangular Table of comic book aficionads shooting the breeze, is to be recorded on a sound stage built across the street from the store, at 28 Broad.
That’s the former home of Prima’s Home Café, a furnishings store that vacated back in January, when the building changed hands for $1.175 million, according to property records.
By STACIE FANELLI and DANIELLE TEPPER
If you’ve never tried baba ghanoush, Mohamed Elbery will hook you up. If you don’t like it, don’t worry there won’t be any hard feelings. He’ll just be pleased to have been able to offer you a bite of his culture.
Mediterranean food is an acquired taste, Elbery admits, but Café28, on White Street in Red Bank, has enough loyal regulars to keep him in business and able to afford to give out the occasional free sample. He said it’s the unequalled, exotic dishes that keep people coming back and keep him fearless in the face of Red Bank’s reputation for quick turnarounds in business.
“You are now in my house. You are most welcome to try it,” he said.
Scenes from the opening night of the three-day Riverfest food and music festival in Red Bank’s Marine Park Friday. (Photos by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)
The National Weather Service forecast for days two and three is encouraging:
Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 74. West wind between 11 and 14 mph.
Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 58. West wind between 6 and 13 mph.
Sunday: A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 78. West wind between 11 and 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
We’ve got the fifth Red Bank Townwide Yard Sale, this one making a migration from fall to spring.
We’ve got one of the inaugural events of this year’s weeklong Paint the Town Pink festivities to raise awareness about breast cancer and the importance of early detection.
And capping it all off, rain or shine, is the first-ever Red Bank International Flavour Fest, an outdoor celebration of the wide variety of cuisines available year-round at Red Bank restaurants.
And Mother Nature appears to be in a mood to cooperate.
Details, as they used to say when that was still a two-syllable word, are just below.
Several hundred visitors packed the lobby of the Two River Theater to sample the culinary offerings of more than a dozen Red Bank restaurants as the appetizer to a buffet selection of Broadway show offerings Monday night. Restaurant-promotion group Red Bank Flavour organized the event, which was billed as Broadway in Red Bank. (Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Three months after opening, Soul Kitchen, the pay-what-you-can-or-work-it-off restaurant on Red Bank’s West Side, is progresssing toward its goal of feeding the haves and have-nots in equal numbers, new manager Ryan Timmons tells redbankgreen.
About 30 percent of the restaurant’s patrons pay with vouchers earned through volunteer work at Soul Kitchen or a growing roster of other non-profits, Timmons said. The goal is a 50-50 mix among diners, and “the voucher-to-payment ratio is going up,” he said.
Meanwhile, paying customers are being generous when settling up bills via the discreet donation envelopes that servers present to them at the end of their three-course dinners, he said. The suggested donation is $10, but “very few” customers leave just that amount, he said, and instead pay more to help subsidize meals for others.
Despite a one-week rain delay, the 2011 edition of the Oysterfest was packed most of the day. Proceeds help pay for downtown holiday lights, seen below being installed on Broad Street Thursday. (Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Red Bank RiverCenter, having pulled off two annual Guinness Oyster Festivals that each drew tens of thousands of visitors downtown, plans to add an International Food Festival to the same location the White Street municipal parking lot next spring.
The tentative date for the one-day event is Saturday, May 6, and as with Oysterfest, the event will serve as a showcase for Red Bank restaurants, says RiverCenter executive director Nancy Adams.