RED BANK: MEMORIES OF MOM ON T-DAY

thanksgiving barber 42Dye4 Salon. Chair: Katherine Plosica, Stylist/Owner: Crystal Diebold. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

morsels mediumTo get a sense of how folks around the greater Red Bank Green will be celebrating Thanksgiving next week, PieHole checked in with a few area barbers and hair stylists. Here’s number two in the series.

2Dye4 Salon, Monmouth Street, Red Bank

Katherine Plosica, in the chair: I’m going to my brother’s house in Pine Beach. He does all the cooking and makes a fabulous turkey. We have a lot of fun. All the cousins get to play; all the kids get together. We have about 15 people.

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RED BANK: FOR LUNCH? SOUP WITH BITE

readie's 111513Vegetable barley soup, with a kick. We had it with turkey on a roll. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

morsels mediumThe vegetable barley soup PieHole ordered at Readie’s Deli in Red Bank last week delivered a surprising spicy jolt.

Turns out that was the first time Readie’s had ever made the soup, owner Tom Fishkin told PieHole.

“I said, ‘Hey, why don’t we make some vegetable barley soup today?'” he recalled saying to his cook, Elid Cruz, that morning. “Elid said, “Ok, what’s in it?’ I said, “Well, start with some vegetables… and barley.'”

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RED BANK: WHERE THEY’LL EAT ON T-DAY

morsels largethanksgiving barber 7You don’t need a PhD in sociology – or a masters in journalism – to know that the best and most scientific demographic sampling takes place in barbershops.

So to get a sense of how folks around the greater Red Bank Green would be celebrating Thanksgiving this year, PieHole, redbankgreen‘s food page, checked in with a few area barbers and hair stylists – and the people in their chairs – to find out what’s for dinner and where.

This is the first entry in a series of quick bites we’re calling ‘Morsels.’ Check them out today and in coming days at PieHole.

RED BANK: GETTING READY TO GOBBLE @ GUS’S

thanksgiving barber 7

Carl Bowles in the chair at Gus’s Barbershop in Red Bank as barber Augusta Carter works the trimmer. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels mediumYou don’t need a PhD in sociology – or even a BA in journalism – to know that the best and most scientific demographic sampling takes place in barbershops.

So to get a sense of how folks around the greater Red Bank Green will be celebrating Thanksgiving next week, PieHole, redbankgreen‘s food page, checked in with a few area barbers and hair stylists – and the people in their chairs – to find out what’s for dinner on T-Day.

This is the first entry in a series of quick bites we’re calling ‘Morsels.’ Watch for more in coming days at PieHole.

Gus’s Barbershop, Shrewsbury Avenue, Red Bank.

Carl Bowles, in the chair: We have a family get-together in Tinton Falls. My four brothers and four sisters and my dad, my dad’s 83 and still with us. Maybe another dozen or so grandkids around.

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RED BANK: PRE-BIRD APPETIZERS, CHEESEWISE

alternate thanksgiving cheeseMike Vaccaro and Stephen Catania of The Cheese Cave prepare a customer’s platter. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

PIEHOLE logoFor the Thanksgiving host, there’s always the question of what snacks to put out for guests while they wait for the big meal – something that won’t spoil their appetites but will keep them conscious enough to feign interest in a Lions or Cowboys game.

PieHole checked in with some cheesemongers from the Green to see if perhaps they could come up with an alternative to the ubiquitous Chex Mix or chips and veggies with sour cream and onion dip combo.

Read their recommendations here at PieHole, redbankgreen‘s food page.

RED BANK: THE SEASON’S NEW SOUPS

soupmeister Soupmeister Gary Sable unveils new additions to this season’s soup lineup for PieHole. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

With colder weather upon us and soup on our minds, PieHole headed over to see Red Bank’s Soupmeister, Gary Sable at That Hot Dog Place.

Despite the name of the diminutive shop, tucked away beside the Dublin House, it’s the soup that’s the real draw, and naturally, this is the time of year when things heat up for Sable. Ever since he opened the place back in 1995, October has marked beginning of soup season.

But as usual, Sable didn’t go cold during the warmer months. He was cooking up some new recipes for this year.

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RED BANK: TRANSITION TO A GREENER FUTURE

transition monmouth (2)Transition Monmouth organizer Sarah Klepner discusses local food with a group of gardeners at Earth Pizza. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

PIEHOLE logoWith winter edging nearer, a dozen or so area residents of the Green got together at Earth Pizza in Red Bank last week to discuss this past season’s gardening and brainstorm ways to encourage local food production and consumption.

During the discussion, organized by Transition Monmouth, participants shared their recent gardening experiences, noting what grew well and what didn’t.

Read all about this meetup on PieHole, redbankgreen‘s food page.

RED BANK: NO JOE’S CAFÉ FLAKES OUT

nojoes (4)Mike Tierney and Michael Finehirsch are taking No Joe’s back to basics with not-so-basic pastry. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

Calling his expansion into the burger business “the biggest business blunder” of his life, Mike Tierney is bringing No Joe’s Café in Red Bank back to its roots.

The owner of the pioneering Broad Street coffeehouse – which opened in depths of the ‘Dead Bank’ days of empty stores and a couple of years ago added ‘Beasty Burgers to the operation – says with burgers no longer in the picture, he wants No Joe’s to return to basics. He’s brought on pastry chef Michael Finehirsch to help him get there.

Tierney says coffee and pastries are a much better fit, and Finehirsch, who studied pastry in France and London and spent time at New York’s Daniel and Bouley before answering an ad from Tierney, is the guy to make it happen.

“We’re building what I like to call a French/American pastry shop,” Finehirsch tells redbangreen’s PieHole. ““If I had my own shop I’d want it to be something like this, so when I saw Mike’s ad we got together.”

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RED BANK: WTF’S FOR LUNCH?

unterman (2)Jason Unterman, right, leads his coworkers into Gaetano’s for last week’s ‘WTF’ lunch adventure. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

Last Wednesday morning, Defined Logic developer Jason Unterman sat behind the computer in his Red Bank office and thought, “Ok, WTF?”

No, he’s not crude – or not that Piehole knows, anyway. Rather, WTF’ Is Unterman’s acronym for “Where’s the Food?” a loosely organized weekly lunch outing with his coworkers that aims to stay local and – get this – never hit the same lunch spot twice. And they’ve managed to keep their string going for two years.

WTF, indeed.

The answer last week? Gaetano’s, on Wallace Street. So that’s where Piehole met up with Unterman and a few of his coworkers to learn more about the WTF challenge and get some of his favorite lunch picks.

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RED BANK: SQUASH FOR CHRISTMAS & BEYOND

farmersmarket7Laura Dardi and Lisa Bagwell explain how to store winter squashes and other vegetables. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

With the Red Bank Farmer’s Market 2013 season heading into the home stretch, the last of the year’s opportunities to shop for fresh produce at the Galleria are now on the early-dimming horizon.

Piehole checked in with Lisa Bagwell and Laura Dardi from E.R. And Sons Farm, an organic farm out of Monroe, to get the lowdown on what we can buy now and how best to store it so we can enjoy local produce through the winter.

“Right now we’ve got all types of winter squash: butternut, acorn, spaghetti and pumpkins,” said Bagwell. “Also the potatoes, sweet potatoes, cabbages, beets, leeks and apples — these can all be put away.”

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RED BANK: PIZZA ALL FIRED UP AT BIAGIO

biagio 2Anthony “Tito” Vega stokes the fire at Biagio Wood Fired Pizza. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

With at least a half-dozen places to grab a pizza in downtown Red Bank, a pizzeria has to differentiate itself if it’s going to stand out.

Step inside Biagio Wood Fired Pizza on Broad Street and you get a sense right away that there’s something different going on. An enormous red oven stands in the center, glowing with flaming logs.

Biagio initially stoked our interest with its arugula-topped pizza, which helped redefine for us the universe of appropriate pizza toppings. To get the lowdown on the fire-breathing oven, Piehole caught up with Biagio pizzaiolo, Alberto “Tito” Vega.

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RED BANK: SOME TRENTON ON THAT BURGER?

trentonburgerStew Goldstein at Monmouth Meats gets ready to slice the “Trenton” for the Trenton Burger. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

Where salty meats are concerned, years – and pounds – of experience have raised your PieHole correspondent’s powers of deduction a few standard deviations above the norm. Still, when Red Bank’s Monmouth Meats ran a lunch special called the “Trenton burger” last month, a visit was in order to verify that it called for the trifecta of beef, pork roll and cheese on a roll.

“Yep, you’re right,” said butcher Stew Goldstein, when asked if the “Trenton” in the Trenton Burger was pork roll. “The Trenton burger is a nine-ounce burger, with two slices of thick American cheese and two slices of thick pork roll, with lettuce, tomato and mayo.”

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SHREWSBURY: D’JEET HARVESTS THE GROVE

djeet 5Chef/owner of d’jeet Casey Pesce harvesting greens at the Grove. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

When Casey Pesce, chef/owner of d’jeet in the Grove was studying in Italy, he learned about the harmony that eating local brings to food.

“The air you breathe, the water you drink – there’s a harmony with the local food,” he says. “If you drink a Chianti in Chianti, you’re getting everything– you’re breathing the air that the grapes were breathing, the climate. You have a harmony.”

Pesce wants his customers to experience that same harmony when they dine on the kale and herbs that he serves from the gardens at the Grove.

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RED BANK: VENISON TACOS FOR LUNCH

huntfishfeed Volunteers served up a game-meat lunch that included venison tacos at Lunch Break on Tuesday. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

The Sportsman Channel’s Hunt.Fish.Feed outreach program volunteers were at Red Bank’s Lunch Break on Tuesday serving up deer meat.

Scott Leysath, chef and host of the channel’s “Dead Meat” program, prepared ground-venison tacos from game meat donated by hunters.

“A lot of people have misconceptions about what deer meat tastes like,” but tacos are good way to get people to try it because it’s a very forgiving dish, Leysath told redbankgreen‘s PieHole.

“They love it,” he said of the room full of diners, “and if they don’t they haven’t told me.”

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RED BANK: GETTIN’ FIGGY WITH IT

dostieChristina Dostie examines the last figs of the season picked from her Italian fig tree, seen to the left in background. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

A recent tweet from Tom Labetti over on Elm Place alerted us to the possibility of a profusion of figs in the Red Bank area.

With senses on high alert for neighbors who might be willing to part with some of their figgy bounty, we came across Christina Dostie over on Mori Place, who is picking some of the last figs of the season off the tree in her backyard.

It turns out her tree is no ordinary black bucket special from Lowe’s, either.

“This tree was a birthday gift from my mother and my sister,” she tells PieHole. They got it from “an Italian guy in Manalapan who grafts them from fig trees from Italy, and they’re sweet as pie.”

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RED BANK: SMALL BUT AIRY SUB SHOP OPENS

rb sub shop 1 091613

rb sub shop 3 091613Canio Paradiso, center, and crew at the Red Bank Sub Shop, which opened Monday morning at 8A Monmouth Street more than two years after Paradiso first filed plans for the business. (He promises redbankgreen the scoop on what took so long.)

At right, a view of the unusual air-shaft seating area we wrote about in July 2011. (Click to enlarge)

NEW LOOK, NEW FEATURES, RIGHT HERE…

PieHole All Good headers

Welcome to redbankgreen 3.0.

The newest version of this seven-year-old authentically local news and information site comes with changes both cosmetic – as you’ve probably already noticed – and substantive.

The cosmetic is self-evident. The substance is hinted at above: PieHole and All Good are the names of new pages that we hope will satisfy particular needs in your life. And there’s some new fun stuff, too.

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