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Jul 9, 2007 05:33 AM

Willy's Steaks Red Bank Yesterday

Caio hounds.

After two weeks in Italy I was in need of a cheesesteak yesterday and once again, Willy's did not let me down. I confess to eating a large all by myself and loving every wiz-drenched bite.

My wife had the buffalo chicken sandwich for the first time and I tried a bite as well. This was a bit disappointing. The white meat chicken was fine, but the sandwich lacked any big flavor and paled in comparison to my steak.

Afterwards we walked over to the farmer's market and bought some tomatoes, corn, and a cantaloupe. Can you believe that out of those three things not one was even decent?? After I spent many hours bragging in italian about our local NJ produce I was let down in the worst way. Mushy corn, overripe inedible melon and one good tomato out of three. Wha happened?

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  1. seal,
    RE the Red Bank Farmers Market... I find the produce quality varies from vendor to vendor. Weather and soil conditions will affect the produce from year to year. Also, it pays to ask the vendor if the tomatoes, corn, etc, are good tasting. If the vendor can't answer the question convincingly, don't buy that item.

    Yesterday, I got some good corn, mediocre tomatoes, excellent peaches, superb spring onions, tasty carrots, and lots of other good stuff. I'm sure tomato quality will greatly improve as more varieties will come to market. It's early yet.

    I'll bet I can guess which vendor you bought from. It was all the same vendor, right? Sorry you were disappointed.

    Overall, my favorite Red Bank market vendors are:
    -- Farmer Ed (ER & Sons) He's been organic-farming for decades. Very knowledgeable. Consistent great quality and taste. Ask him to recommend his best items.
    -- Tammy & Bill (I forget the name of the farm. They have a white umbrella.) This is an enthusiastic young couple who started farming several years ago. Recently got their organic certification. They grow unusual varieties. Their produce may look puny and wilted, but has excellent taste and texture. They don't refrigerate -- they harvest as late as possible. Get there early. Their best stuff sells out fast.
    -- Hauser Hill. Family farm in Old Bridge. Big variety, generally good quality. Get there early for fresh eggs! In the Fall they have 8 great varieties of apples.

    1. The only and only time I've been able to go to the Farmers Market I was not impressed with the selection of fresh produce. I posted about this on my blog and took some pics I've been meaning to go back and hopefully find more of what I was looking for. I guess it pays to go a bit early. Anyways, I haven't given up hope and I'm certainly not bashing it. I'm glad it's there, and I hope to check it out again soon.

      Now, to keep it on topic here.. as I have said in another thread that talks about Willy's, I'm glad to see a little piece of Philly here in Red Bank. Unfortunately, I am unable to partake in the cheesesteaks due to the lactose issues. And what fun is a plain steak sandwich??? No fun! Though I guess I could bring my own "fake cheese" as I call it and slap that on. lol

      Reviews have been hit and miss. But they are new, so hopefully in time they'll improve. ;) If not, run not walk to Jim's or Tony Luke's in Philly for the real thing. =)

      2 Replies
      1. re: DJMarilyn

        I think the steak sandwich without cheese would be quite good if you add fried onions, peppers, or mushrooms. Willy's has a good selection of toppings.

        I had to chuckle a bit when I read your blog-post about the Red Bank Farmers Market. You were looking for avocados and grapefruits... The community farmers markets in New Jersey are meant specifically for locally-grown produce in season. Farmers aren't allowed to sell stuff they didn't grow themselves. So you won't find an avocado. Tomatoes don't appear until July. I hope you return to the market in August or September when there's a huge variety of fresh Jersey produce!

        NJ Farmers Market info:

        1. re: val ann c

          I need to get passed not having cheese on my steak. It's very depressing because I certainly love cheese. It just kills me.

          Yeah I guess I was expecting too much out of the farmers market. Then again I'm new to "Jersey produce" and what's in season and whatnot. However, that link has provided much insight, so thank you very much! I can't wait to see what they have in August and September. I love fresh produce! lol

      2. Hey, seal, Welcome back!

        Sorry to hear the farmer's market let you down. I bought their own bi-color corn at Battleview Orchards on Saturday, and they were crisp and sweet. Also bought some of their own peaches. Excellent! You can pick-your-own peaches there now, so we'll probably be doing that sometime this week.

        Haven't bought any melons yet, but I bought a couple of Jersey tomatoes at Wegman's yesterday ($1.99/lb). We had them for lunch today with fresh mozzarella lightly dressed with balsamic, xtra virgin o.o., & shredded basil (99 cents/bunch at Wegmans). The tomatoes were nice and juicy. The perfect light lunch on a hot day! We ate al fresco on our patio, which is shaded and cooled by lots of trees. :-)

        When it comes to farmers' markets, I generally stick to the only two local farmstands remaining in my immediate area. While one sells their own corn, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and zucchini, the other has now whittled things down to just corn and tomatoes. Unfortunately, the Jersey Fresh program in supermarkets has had a disastrous effect on two other farmstands which I patronized regularly for many years. The owners have stopped growing and selling produce altogether. :-(

        1. I picked up NJ blueberries at Butterfly Blue and they were good. I didnt try the corn or peaches but much of their other stuff didnt look fresh.
          I did buy one of their homemade rasberry lemon pies. Delicious.