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? A TABLEFUL AT TEMPLE

082616temple1Chicken with broccoli and Kung Pao chicken, two dishes on the lunch menu at Temple Gourmet Chinese. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?Lunchtime seems to be a tough draw for Red Bank’s dine-in restaurants. While customers might find it difficult to get a table in the evening, some eateries do what they can in the form of specials to attract afternoon clients.

So when a member of the Red Bank Lunch Meet group suggested a meeting at Temple Gourmet Chinese on Broad Street, throwing in the incentive of an $11 price point, PieHole was intrigued.

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RED BANK: CHINESE EATERY DOUBLES DOWN

Victor Kuo’s Temple Gourmet Chinese won approval Monday night to take over half the storefront used by Jonathan Salon, which has consolidated into lesser space. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Barely more than a year after Victor Kuo gambled that Red Bank needed a linen-napkin, gourmet Chinese restaurant, he’s found himself overwhelmed by the reception.

On Saturday nights, the wait for a table at Temple Gourmet Chinese, on Broad Street, can be more than an hour long. “We’re turning 20, 30 people away on weekends,” a slightly astonished Kuo tells redbankgreen.

So with sales exceeding his forecasts, Kuo is already busting out, nearly doubling the size of his restaurant and shopping around for the ticket to yet another level on the dining-out ladder: a liquor license.

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DOWNTOWN, THE YEAR CHURNS TO AN END

rb-dinerVacant since May, the former East Side Cafe is getting set to reopen as the Red Bank Diner. (Click to enlarge)

rcsm2_010508By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The last time redbankgreen published a rundown of Red Bank’s downtown economy, it was a rather dour picture sprinkled with a sense of optimism.

While clusters of storefronts worked better as mirrors than as shopping destinations, RiverCenter Executive Director Nancy Adams was bullish on the borough’s economy, saying the large number of vacancies in town could be parlayed into new, exciting ventures for businesses to infuse new blood into the heart of Red Bank.

Seems Adams had a bead on the future.

Nearly a dozen new businesses have either moved in or are set to open their doors in the next couple of months, Adams said.

“There’s stuff going on. It’s kind of nice,” she said.

Here’s what’s churning in Red Bank:

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CHINESE, VIETNAMESE AND TATS ON TAP

temple1Temple, a Chinese restaurant, is expected to open in the former home of Torcello by the end of December. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Tired of Italian and pizza yet?

Soon enough, if plans hold, culinary options will broaden in Red Bank, with Chinese and Vietnamese eateries competing for customers on opposite sides of Broad Street.

And after dinner, if you’re up to it, maybe you can skip dessert and head across town for a tattoo.

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