Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > New Jersey >
Oct 23, 2011 05:28 PM

John Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen

Has anybody been here yet?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. As I understand it, the purpose of the restaurant is to support those in the community who have fallen on hard times by allowing diners to pay what they are able to, with a suggested (but not required) minimum donation of $10 per meal. What a fantastic and generous way to give something back. Kuods to Mr. Bon Jovi for doing this. The only problem I can see is that it's a small place and reservations are needed to secure a table. Which makes me wonder, how many people who can't afford a meal are going to call ahead to make reservations at a restaurant?

    19 Replies
    1. re: creamfinger

      I'm hoping that the ones who can't afford a meal gets priority seating.

      1. re: wench31

        From the website:

        Soul Kitchen serves a 3-course meal based on American Regional cuisine, starting with your choice of salad or soup, followed by a choice of a fish dish, a meat dish or a vegetarian selection. The meal is finished with a fresh baked dessert. All of the dishes are made with fresh, local (and when possible) organic ingredients.

        For $10, that's a heck of a bargain. Even more so, considering it's in Red Bank. :)

        Think I will talk the wife into going soon.. before it gets really cold.

        Funny that there's no menu on the website.. I guess they have a reason for that.

        1. re: MarlboroMan

          I agree Creamfinger, the point of this place is that the more fortunate will pay way more than the required $10 so those less fortunate can dine with dignity. Great Idea, unfortunatly I fear most will go there for a $10 night and hopefully a Bon Jovi sighting!

          1. re: austinuk

            I plan to go there this weekend and that's what I'm hoping for! A Bon Jovi sighting! LOL! I don't think he's going to show up.

            MarlboroMan, I went to visit the restaurant and took a picture of the menu. Hope it comes out:

            1. re: wench31

              Oops! The menu didn't come out clear. Here's what it says:

              Monmouth St. Mixed Green Salad with Soul Kitchen Garden herb vinaigrette

              Rainbow Beet Salad- beets, apples, carrots and spinach. High Point honey dressing

              Garden State Gumbo- hearty soup with chicken and pork sausage and Jersey Fresh Kale

              3 Bean Vegetarian Chili w/handmade chips

              Main Course:

              Terrence Fall Off the Bone Roasted Chicken w/down home gravy, sweet potato mash, sauteed veggies

              Grilled Chicken Breast w/homemade basil mayo with rice and grilled veggies

              Grilled Pork Chops w/apple and cranberry chutney and crispy red spuds

              Cornmean Crusted Catfish w/red beans and rice and hush puppies

              BBQ Grilled Salmon Fillet w/Soul Seasonings, sweet potato mash, and sauteed veggies


              Homemade Carrot Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

              Reservations are suggested. Call 732-842-0900

              The hours of operation are:

              Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 5 pm to 7pm and Sunday from 12 pm to 3 pm.

              From what I read online, they get their food supplied by Whole Foods.

              It's a small restaurant and looks really nice. I think a homeless person would be intimidated going there. :) It's also located right next to the train station. Not in the best of neighborhoods of Red Bank, but still doable.

              1. re: wench31

                I like that the menu isn't too over-the-top fancy, but is definitely something people wouldn't necessarily easily prepare at home. And it's healthy!

                1. re: wench31

                  wench31, have you gotten a res yet?

                  I thought your comment about "that side" of RB making homeless people uncomfortable pretty ironic. Some of the restaurants who've been on the westside of RB for years still struggle with that stigma by customers who can afford to pay good $$$ for dinner. I don't think that's the point of SK anyway..but, I did find your take interesting.

                  1. re: HillJ

                    Not yet. But, I am thinking about it.

                  2. re: wench31

                    I've actually been dining more in the west side of Red Bank over the last 5 years than the Broadway area, but that's where the good Mexican food is. I don't see how a homeless person would be intimidated dining in that part of town, excepting for the need to make reservations. Do they need to reserve under a credit card number?

              2. re: MarlboroMan

                I'm sure the menu changes on a very regular basis, which is why it's unlikely that you'll find a copy online. If he's potentially charging $10 for a three-course menu you better believe that his chefs will be preparing whatever items were specially priced that day from the vendors.

                  1. re: equal_Mark

                    ? the link is right in the OP, equal_M.

                    1. re: HillJ

                      Yeah, I just saw that... Oops...

                1. re: wench31

                  I hate to sound too cynical, but I think once the buzz dies down and the fortunate ones who want to feel good and give back get tired of going, there will be more opportunities for the rest of the community to enjoy it.

                  1. re: aklein

                    If we can get someone to answer the restaurant phone, I'd like to prove you wrong, aklein! So far the phone just keeps ringing.

                    1. re: HillJ

                      I didn't mean any disrespect, but I have a feeling a lot of people want to go there right now for the feel-good celebrity aspect, not because they can't afford it... that will fade, I'm sure

                      1. re: aklein

                        Oh I didn't feel any disrespect. I'm sure you're not alone in your observation. But, someone like the BJ's are damned if they do and damned if they don't, so why focus on it. The concept employs people, provides a needed resource in the community, encourages do-gooding and HOPEFULLY offers a lovely menu for all of us to enjoy. Whatever the perspective on high profile projects, I hope the mission is embraced.


                        This is the original concept from CO.

                  2. re: wench31

                    "I'm hoping that the ones who can't afford a meal gets priority seating." -wench31

                    That's a nice sentiment, but how would the restaurant accomplish that without humiliating people?

                  3. re: creamfinger

                    I think word of mouth and the community partners are going to be all that SK needs to serve the people it hopes to help and attract the diners who can afford to pay 3x's the dinner price.

                  4. Removing myself from the charitable aspects of the discussion, I'd like to make one comment on the chef. Zete Peabody, was the owner of Bistro Zeeto in Atlantic Highlands. When he closed his bistro, he became the personal chef for the Bon Jovi family. Now I don't think a critique of the food would hardly be fair in a restaurant that is undertaking such a noble cause, however, i used to love Bistro Zeeto, and selfishly look forward to trying the food!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Herm

                      second on Zeet's cooking that i've had the good fortune to taste. It's such a good idea of giving back in these hard times. i hope it becomes viral and we have one in every city.

                      1. re: Herm

                        We discovered Bistro Zeeto about 6 months before it closed but for that 6 months it was a favorite of ours. Simple but innovative cooking.

                      2. definite kudos to the bon jovis. He does a lot of good charitable work for the area.

                        1. Soul Kitchen does have a relationship with Lunch Break and the Parker Family Health Clinic. I understand the model for this idea coordinated by JBJ's wife originated in Colorado. The Soul Kitchen def require reservations because as someone else mentioned it is a very small restaurant. The recommended donation for a freshly prepared 3-course meal is listed at $10.00 on their website but I've also seen a price of $20.00 listed in another media review.

                          A number of friends have had a difficult time catching a live person to answer the restaurant phone to make a reservation. It's suppose to be a place where everyone can come and enjoy a nice meal. I hope that's exactly what it remains.

                          1. This is good news for Alec John Such.