WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? BEST OF 2016

091316redrock3Duck confit tater tots from Red Rock Tap + Grill. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?Soul-satisfying soups, beefy burgers, crusty pizzas…

From a year’s worth of lunches good, bad and inedible, PieHole‘s What’s For Lunch? feature picks the Top 10 of 2016.

Click to restaurant names to see complete individual reviews.
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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? GRAB ‘N GO VARIETY

022416foodtownwfl1While another customer ladled hot soup into a container, below, PieHole opted for a rainbow roll all packed up and ready to go at SuperFoodtown. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

022416foodtownwfl2You need a cheap lunch, and time is limited. For many residents and worker bees on the Greater Green, Red Bank’s Foodtown supermarket is a veritable oasis of grab n’ go options.

Open since 1977, the store, at Broad Street and Maple Avenue, added a new-to-the-area salad bar as part of a renovation in 1996. Several other quick-lunch features have been added over the years, expanding the range of choices.
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FOR LUNCH: SUPER GOLDEN TO THE RESCUE

021015 supergolden2Soups delivered by Super Golden Chinese Restaurant saved lunchtime for a hungry group of women at the Jon Lori Salon, including Pam Guzzo, below.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

021015 supergolden1Eyeing the cookie jar in the coffee station at Jon Lori Salon in Fair Haven, stomach rumbling, PieHole realized that scheduling back-to-back appointments left no time for lunch.

Pam Guzzo, a brilliant hair stylist and friend with supersonic hearing, handed me a folder full of menus.

“We’re ordering lunch,” she said, “what are you in the mood for?”

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A BOWL OF SOUP HEATS IT UP FOR LUNCH

121814 phole1Pho Le’s “S1” soup packs a spicy punch. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

pho le 1 102813In Vietnamese, “pho” means soup. On Broad Street in Red Bank, the enormous bowls of soup at Pho Le are just what you want for lunch in this freezing winter weather.

Wood paneling and artwork on the walls add a level of comfort to the space, where you can grab a quick lunch at the counter or take your time at a table.

When it’s zero degrees outside, sitting down to a steaming bowl of soup has some appeal. At Pho Le, there are 14 varieties of pho on the menu, some bringing serious spicy heat to the bowl.
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SOUP’S ON, AND GOOD TO GO

111014 zaitooni 2Laudy Hage of Zaitooni Deli with a quart of her popular lentil soup. Below, the vegan Mediterranean eggplant soup from Healthy Habits Natural Foods. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

111014 soup healthSoup is hot this time of year, as a go-to meal for dinner, a spicy, flavorful lunch, or a soul-warming remedy for what ails you.

It’s also an affordable takeout item to grab when that holiday rush kicks in.

PieHole is here to give you a round-up of restaurants and delis on the Green that have soup simmering and ready to be ladled into containers just for you. Carnivore, vegetarian or vegan, we’ve got you covered.

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RED BANK: NEVER-ENDING SOUP SEASON

102914 soupmeisterGary Sable wraps up a lunch-to-go order for one of the many customers who wait patiently in line. Below, the 32-ounce Portuguese sausage and kale soup. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

102914 soupmeister2Twenty years ago, Red Bank was a veritable desert for takeout food. For this PieHole correspondent, then plying a different trade, there were maybe two or three delis in town to choose from for lunch.

Enter Gary Sable with his unique idea for a quick lunch: of hot dogs to go. Many of us were delighted to have a new option.

That Hot Dog Place, located off Monmouth Street in a little alley next to the Dublin House, was a convenient two-minute walk away, and appreciated, especially when the weather got colder. The only problem with that we soon tired of hot dogs.

One chilly autumn day, we sniffled our way over to Sable’s nook and told him how much we would prefer a hot cup of soup. It took him all of one day to add chicken noodle and tomato basil bisque to his menu. We have been grateful customers ever since.

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WHATS FOR LUNCH: SOUP’S ON

090114 cjmcloones1The oversized Reuben lunch platter with  fries, above, and French onion soup, below, from CJ McLoone’s.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

090114 cjmcloones2The calendar flips to September, and just like that, thoughts of bathing suits and salads are gone, replaced by hankerings for sweaters, coats and heartier lunches.

A soup-and-sandwich pairing is a favorite for many who want a little more than just a quick bite, and to this soup lover, it doesn’t matter that it’s still hot outside: September is the start of soup season.

CJ McLoone’s on Shrewsbury Avenue in Tinton Falls offers a soup of the day, oversized burgers, and many typical sandwich options.

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PIEHOLE: VALENTINE’S TIPS, DISH AND PHO

cocktailPieHole checks in with area bartenders for some Valentine’s Day cocktail suggestions. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

PIEHOLE logoredbankgreen’s PieHole is all about local food and drink. If you haven’t liked us on Facebook yet or followed us on Twitter, you may have missed some of these recent stories . . .

• Ladies, if your date starts looking for cheap beer and Redheaded Sluts, that’s a bit of a red flag. Bartenders from Jamian’s, David Burke Fromagerie and Murphy’s Tavern share dating insights and favorite Valentine’s Day cocktails.

• We note the positive flu-recovery benefits of a diet high in pho, from Red Bank’s Phol Le.

PieHole caught up with Dish chef Anthony Ferrando to talk about his short ribs and his favorite pizza place in town.

Follow the links to the stories, and check out PieHole’s Facebook page or follow its Twitter feed @RedBankPieHole for up-to-the-minute postings.

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? PHO-BIOTICS FOR FLU

Takeout Chicken Pho from Pho Le in Red Bank.  (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

Last week found PieHole in the grip of the grippe. When we finally emerged from the covers, we needed something not only restorative but with flavor that would agree with our still-finicky tastebuds.

Enter Red Bank’s only Vietnamese restaurant, Pho Le, and it’s $8 Chicken Pho.

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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: 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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