RED BANK: EATING ‘CLEAN’ TO SAVE HER LIFE

Amie Valpone returns Monday to Red Bank’s Front St. Trattoria, where she once waited tables, to promote “Eating Clean,” her memoir and cookbook. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Valpone_EatingCleanAmie Valpone was a healthy woman in her early 20’s when a cascade of ailments began, taking her to the brink of death.

Battling numerous diseases and beyond the help of conventional medicine, Valpone said she spent most of the following decade curing herself through better eating — and clearing her body of toxins.

Now 33, she’s chronicled her journey in a new book, titled “Eating Clean,” which tells the the story of “how food saved my life,” Valpone told PieHole last week. Read More »

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? A SALAD FROM DEAN’S

041316deansmkt1Dean’s Market grab n’ go harvest salad with a cheerful raspberry vinaigrette. Jenna Rae Alexy, manager, seen below, has lost 100 pounds while working at the store… just saying. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

041316deansmkt4Popping into Dean’s Natural Food Market on Broad Street in Shrewsbury, PieHole finds the place swamped with hungry customers and a young but experienced staff hustling to fill juice orders and answer questions.

Attentive to her customers as well as the surfer-dude-healthy guys working the juice counter, manager Jenna Rae Alexy seems to know many of her customers by name. She also knows what they will order.  Read More »

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? MEDITERRANEAN FUSION

021716greekamole1A Mediterranean chicken salad platter from Greekamolé, which is owned by Jimmy Elenis, below. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

021716greekamoleElenisThree months after the debut of Greek Eats, a fast-food restaurant modeled on Chipotle Mexican Grill, Shrewsbury has a second entry in the market for quick Greek eats.

But the latest addition, Greekamolé at 1130 Broad Street, takes a broader international view, commingling Greek, Moroccan, Israeli and Latino flavors.

“I wanted to do something that wasn’t done,” owner Dimitrios ‘Jimmy’ Elenis tells PieHole. “I wanted to do greens and grains. That’s what you find people eating in the Mediterranean countries.”
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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? FAST FOOD, GREEK STYLE

112715greekeats1A plate of rotisserie chicken at Greek Eats comes with pita bread and a variety of  sides. A gyro, below, loaded with fillings, including french fries.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

112715greekeats6That old line about having fast food “your way” can definitely be applied to the newest restaurant on Newman Springs Road on the Shrewsbury-Red Bank border.

Greek Eats, located in a high-ceilinged, industrially-styled space on the former site of Memory Bowling, is the brainchild of George, Charlie and Taso Lyristis, brothers and owners of Teak and the Bistro in Red Bank.

But if decor and the fun, blue-eyed logo — a protector against the evil eye —  don’t pull you in, the opportunity to grab some authentic Greek grub certainly should.

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RED BANK: LITTLE KITCH ORGANIC DREAMS BIG

kitch 092815 8Kitch Organic partners Rick Ivone, left, and Joe Durso beneath the pyramidal skylight in their new Leighton Avenue eatery, which features its own garden along Catherine Street, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

kitch 092815 3With a skylight reminiscent of the Louvre illuminating the impeccable interior and a design-conscious herb-and-vegetable garden out back, the new Kitch Organic restaurant on Red Bank’s West Side would stand out in any town.

But the fact that it replaces a liquor store remembered without fondness for serving minors while the occasional hooker milled about outside adds a dimension of change to a project that its owner hope will have all kinds of reach: social, economic, and more than anything else, nutritional.

Yeah, Rick Ivone and Joe Durso are thinking big. And they’ve put their money on the table to make it happen.

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FAIR HAVEN: NOW CRAVIN’ SPROUTS

071615seedtosprout4Vegan pastries, grab ‘n go salads, kale wraps and smoothies are a few of the items customers line up for. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

071615seedtosprout5In a space formerly home to a luncheonette inspired by the “grease trucks” of the Rutgers campus in New Brunswick, customers looking like models in a Lululemon fashion show lined up recently for grilled avocado sandwiches, seed salads and millet-and-flax toast with coconut butter.

Yes, there’s been a complete 180 at the former Cravin Haven in Fair Haven, a beef-heavy luncheonette that closed in January after just a year of operation. The space, in the River Road shopping center anchored by an Acme supermarket, is now a strictly vegan restaurant and juice bar called Seed to Sprout.

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RED BANK: HEALTH FOOD RETAILER RETURNS

khalid channa 060914Khalid Channa at Healthy Habits on Monday. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508The paper came off the windows and a six-year vacancy in downtown Red Bank ended with the opening of the Kahalid Channa’s long-awaited Healthy Habits Natural Foods store Monday.

Channa has been here before.

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LANDLORD: HEALTH FOOD SHOP COMING

65-broadThe chic pre-rusted sign of Chic Optique still hangs on the storefront three years after the eyewear shop departed. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508Is the brown paper about to come down off the windows at 65 Broad Street in Red Bank?

The former home to pricey eyewear purveyor Chic Optique has been vacant for more than three years, and actually, the paper’s falling all by itself, without any human intervention.

But building owner Bob Chen tells redbankgreen he’s finally got a new tenant – a health food store he can’t recall the name of.

Chen’s been down this road before. Still warm in the files at the borough hall are aborted plans for a Thai restaurant at that location.

Read More »