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: METER PLAN FACES PUSHBACK

rb monmouth 022415 1Merchants along the western stretch of Monmouth Street say paid parking would hurt business. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A proposal to expand paid parking in central Red Bank ran into both expected and unexpected opposition Wednesday.

Expected: The ire of affected store owners.

Unexpected: Democratic Councilman Ed Zipprich joining his frequent sparring partner, Republican Councilwoman Cindy Burnham, in opposing the introduction of a measure to enable the change.

“I’m really infuriated by this pay station business,” David Prown, of Prown’s Home Improvements, told the council. “My experience tells me this is a done deal.”

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BUTCHERS TALK TURKEY BREASTS

turkey The Green’s butchers suggest customers get their Thanksgiving orders in by this Thursday. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels medium

With Thanksgiving just over a week away, ’tis the season to talk turkey with a couple of The Green’s butchers.

PieHole checked in with Red Bank’s Citarella’s Market and Monmouth Meats and came away with a well-rounded education on breasts.

We learned, for one thing, that not everyone needs a whole turkey for Thanksgiving.

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LARDER: FOR TRUE BACON, VISIT A BUTCHER

bacon_kyle_citarellas2 Kyle Powell at Citarella’s Market in Red Bank shows PieHole some real-deal bacon. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

LARDER-270_100414No food is more debased than bacon. Certainly other food crimes abound: eggs are regularly subject to the atrocity of having their yolks forcibly removed before being whipped into the horror known as an egg-white omelet, or an enterprising chef may serve a mid-winter Caprese salad with a mealy, flavorless, pink imposter of a tomato.

But bacon — mankind’s crowing alchemic achievement of pig and smoke; indeed our pinnacle of pork preservation — is subject to a constellation of abuses on flagrant display at grocery stores on the Green and beyond.

Refrigerator cases scream with nightmares like “turkey bacon” or “pre-cooked bacon” (which frankly sounds like an Orwellian conceit to save us from the “trouble” of making bacon — these same hucksters are no doubt working on a way to bring babies into the world without the “trouble” of sex.) Read More »

RED BANK: BRISKET SMOKED TO THE HEAVENS

broschart smoking meat 6Scott Broschart preps a 15-pound beef brisket for the smoker as his wife, Gina Roselle-Broschart, looks on. Below, PieHole enjoyed a late afternoon lunch of brisket in Broschart’s backyard. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

broschart smoking meat 2Scott Broschart dropped PieHole an email recently saying he was going to put a big piece of meat in the smoker out behind his house in Red Bank. Would we care to stop by?

Texas-style  barbecue isn’t often successful here on the Green, but we’d heard from several eaters around town about Broschart’s skills. So a few minutes later, we were making plans to meet up at Broschart’s house on Hudson Avenue.

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RED BANK: BASIE EXCITES THE APPETITE

basie appetite 2013 16Scenes from the 2013 inaugural ‘Appetite’ event, which returns to the patio and stage of the Basie this weekend. (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

basie appetite 2013 10Its famous stage has hosted everything from Hollywood royalty and hall of fame rockers to high school revues — but Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre seems to have hit upon a fresh recipe for success, with the new breed of live shows built around celebrity chefs.

Such culinary cable stars as Bobby Flay, Ina Garten, Robert Irvine and “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro have done boffo box office at the Basie. And with the arrival of this weekend’s ‘Appetite: A Gastronomic Experience,’ casual fans and full-fledged foodies can feast on a two-night/two-day excursion that’s highlighted by two superstars of the video-victuals circuit.

A four-course affair running from Friday night through Sunday afternoon, the second annual edition of Appetite also features tie-ins to the good works of some popular hometown favorites.

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RED BANK: MUSTARD IN A STEIN? JAWOHL!

mustard 061214Alstertor Düsseldorf Style Mustard comes in a 250-mililiter beer stein.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

morsels medium“Crisp clean and sharp taste, this smooth German mustard is a classic.”

So says the website of – we kid you not – the National Mustard Museum (“Home to the World’s Largest Collection of Mustards and Mustard Memorabilia”) in Middleton, Wisconsin, about Alstertor Düsseldorf Style Mustard.

We found this appealing little curio of a condiment in neither Wisconsin nor Düsseldorf, but atop the meat case at Monmouth Meats in Red Bank.

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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: 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: WHAT’S ON THE BUTCHER’S GRILL?

stew_grill_cutsA good butcher can carve out tasty, affordable cuts for the grill, like this well-marbleized cut of boneless short rib from Monmouth Meats in Red Bank. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels medium

PieHole does not abide by the belief that there is a grilling season, per se.

The presence of snow, rain or an arctic blast simply means we adjust our wardrobe along with our cooking time while  monitoring for flare-ups enroute to the perfect 45-degree grill marks.

That said, this weekend’s weather should allow for shorts and t-shirts while manning the grill. And that means it’s as good a time as any to check in with a few of the Green’s butchers about their favorite under-appreciated – and more affordable – cuts of meat for grilling.

We’ll begin with Stew Goldstein of Monmouth Meats in Red Bank.

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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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TV CHEF VISITS RED BANK BUTCHER

stew-gordonTV’s restaurant hellion Gordon Ramsay showed his softer side when he stopped at Stew Goldstein’s Monmouth Meats in Red Bank Monday to buy steak for his cable show Kitchen Nightmares. Goldstein tells redbankgreen the show’s crew spent about a half hour taping for an episode about a restaurant makeover in Eatontown that will air in the fall. Ramsay was “a real gentleman – he invited me to the opening dinner today,” says Goldstein. “I’ll be eating my own ribeyes.”