Hot dogs from the cart of Frances Rooney, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
It’s noontime on a gorgeous, late-summer day in beautiful downtown Sea Bright, and PieHole is hungry.
What’s for Lunch? Plenty, and more to choose from every month, it seems, on this back-from-the-brink spit of sand. You’ve got pizza, seafood, Japanese and more, at places ranging from beachware casual to near elegance, all within a one-mile stretch of Ocean Avenue.
But it’s not just food we’re craving. We’re nursing a palpable, please-don’t-ever-end yearning to make this day of blue skies and soft breezes just keep going and going. Sitting down indoors just seems… criminal.
To Sea Brighters and other passersby, the idea that Frances Rooney, the hardy weiner merchant who sometimes defies the pleas of her children not to go out in arctic weather, would no longer ply her trade in the elements might seem unnatural.
But with the planning board’s approval Tuesday night of a four-story, mixed-used structure on her gravel lot at Ocean Avenue and Surf Street, it may happen, she told redbankgreen.
Hot dog seller Frances Rooney poses for a photo with admirers, including Councilwoman Peggy Bills, at right above. Below, Pat Trama in his restored restaurant. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)
By WIL FULTON
One of Sea Bright’s oldest food businesses reopened this week, and one of its newest was scheduled to do so Friday night, two signs that the storm-battered town is cooking up a recovery.
Frances Rooney, affectionately known as Grandma Hot Dog,” fired up the gas on her cart this week and was soon attracting lines of hungry and loyal customers.
My son was the one who really encouraged me to come back out here and start serving people again sooner rather than later, she told redbankgreen, He thought it would be a comforting sight for everyone to see me back in business, up on my feet.
12:00 p.m.: Going by the thermostat in George Laboussis’ hand, the temperature inside the G&G Hot Dog Truck in Red Bank had already edged past 95 degrees by noontime and that was with the air conditioner running.
Laboussis has been manning the truck for the past three months with his wife, Dimi, for his father-in-law, Gus Tangalos, who’s owned the Shrewsbury Avenue institution-on-wheels for 40 years and is recovering from a triple bypass operation. (Click to enlarge)
In honor of National Hot Dog Month, redbankgreen tips its trucker’s cap today to the men and women of the The Green who work the roller grills and ‘dirty water’ pots to provide us with a favorite culinary indulgence.