RED BANK: KEEPING IT ALL UNDER ONE ROOF

Butcher Stew Goldstein is the new owner of 110 Monmouth Street, where Max Olivera and Alberto Bautista, below, plan to open a restaurant called El Azteca Grill next door to Monmouth Meats. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

With a butcher shop, recording studio and, until recently, a restaurant under its roof, 110 Monmouth Street could serve as a neat little microcosm of downtown Red Bank.

Now, with butcher Stew Goldstein‘s recent acquisition of the modest-sized two-story brick building, plus a deal to fill the first-floor restaurant vacancy with a new Mexican-American eatery, the tableau seems to have been secured for the foreseeable future.

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RED BANK: FIRST CUT IS THE BEEFIEST

rib end steak stew monmouth meatsYou’re not likely to find this first cut, bone-in chuck steak shrink-wrapped in your grocer’s meat case. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels mediumAs grilling season heats up, PieHole is checking in with area butchers to see what special cuts they like to set aside for themselves to bring home and put on their grills.

This week’s pick is a chuck steak, but you want to make sure to specify “first cut, bone-in,” says Stew Goldstein of Monmouth Meats in Red Bank.

“At $4.99 a pound, first cut bone-in chuck steak is great for the grill,” says Goldstein.

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RED BANK: HANGER STEAK FOR YOUR GRILL

citarella butcher picksKyle Powell shows of a well-trimmed Hanger Steak at Citarella’s Market in Red Bank. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels mediumAs grilling season heats up, PieHole is checking in with area butchers to see what special cuts they like to set aside for themselves to bring home and put on their grills.

You are not going to find any of these shrink-wrapped in your local grocery store’s meat case. In fact, lesser-known cuts like these are exactly the reason PieHole prefers to shop at the Green’s local butchers: affordable, great tasting cuts that we’ve never heard of before.

This week, PieHole checks in with Kyle Powell at Citarella’s Market in Red Bank. Powell tells PieHole that one of his favorite cuts for the grill, the hanger steak, is a piece of meat that used to be ground up or just tossed aside.

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RED BANK: HEAVEN FOR UNDER $4 A POUND

Stew Goldstein at Monmouth Meats with a special cut of pork loin for the grillMonmouth Street’s man of meats, Stew Goldstein shows off special cut of pork loin for the grill. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge) By JIM WILLIS morsels medium

As grilling season heats up, PieHole is checking in with area butchers to find out what special cuts they like to set aside for themselves for home grilling. You are not going to find any of their selections shrink-wrapped in your local grocery store’s meat case.

In fact, lesser-known cuts like these are exactly the reason PieHole prefers to shop at the Green’s local butchers: affordable, great-tasting cuts that we’ve never heard of before. Read More »

RED BANK: GETTING FRESH WITH TURKEY

turkey

The sign outside Citarella’s Market in Red Bank says it all. If you want a fresh turkey, the clock is ticking. Below, Kristian Bauman, meat manager at Sickles Market in Little Silver. (Photos by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

Kristian BaumanThanksgiving is less than three weeks away, and so now is the time to think about where you’re going to get your turkey for the big day.

If possible, you’re going to want to go with a fresh bird, not one that’s been doing hard, cold time frozen away in some industrial freezer.

“Sometimes those turkeys have been in the supermarket’s freezer for a year or so,” says Stew Goldstein, of Monmouth Meats in Red Bank. “The stores buy when the price is low, and then keep the birds in their freezers ’til it’s time to sell them. Who knows really how long it’s been in there?”

One thing dinner tables around the Red Bank Green can be thankful for is the number of options we have for getting fresh turkeys. Piehole checked in with three shops to talk fresh turkey.

 

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RED BANK: GENERATIONS OF MEATY WISDOM

Fourth-generation butcher Ralph Citarella, right, and long-time employee Kyle Powell carry on more than 113 years of meat-cutting tradition. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

Bites1_SmallJust as in the Middle Ages, when last names like Baker, Taylor and Miller connoted the trade or profession of the family breadwinner, if “Citarella” were an occupation, it would now mean “dude who knows meat.”

In the late 1800s, Andrew Ralph Citarella left Naples, Italy, to settle in Red Bank, and soon began selling meat off of his front porch.

“He learned to cut meat by just doing it,’ says Ralph Citarella, fourth-generation butcher and current owner of Citarella’s Market, on Prospect Avenue. “Then he sent my great-grandmother [Carmela] to the meat houses [in Long Branch]. She learned the proper way, and then she taught him.

“So she taught my great-grandfather, and he taught my grandfather, and my grandfather taught my father, who taught me. It’s like an apprenticeship. It’s just years of a cutting apprenticeship.”

From the front porch, the first Citarellas moved to a store on Bridge Avenue in Red Bank. Sometime later, the shop relocated to Sea Bright, where Ralph’s grandfather and father, Andy, ran the business. The 1962 flood brought another relocation, to the Little Silver Shopping Center, where Andy ran the store. But in 1979, “he had to get out of there, because at that time it was really run-down, and the rent was going up, so he moved the store” to its current location, said Ralph. “He ‘moved a mile north,’ as he used to put it.”

redbankgreen sat down with Ralph at a picnic table beside the store recently to talk about meat, sauce and what makes a 100- plus-year-old family business tick.

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