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It's time to reassess the Red Bank dining scene.

b
BernieMSY Oct 30, 2011 08:53 AM

There has been lots of turnover in ownership and several new openings in recent years. The prior threads are a bit stale, so I think it is time for us to chime in with our opinions of the Red Bank dining scene circa late-2011. Where have you been lately and where did you have a good experience? Almost as importantly, are there places that you would like to warn your fellow hounds away from?

Please post your top 5 list as part of your reply.

  1. seal Oct 30, 2011 09:51 AM

    It's no secret that I love Red Bank. I love the river, the town, the theatres, the shops and, of course, the food. But there is still the good and the bad. Btw - does Nicholas count as a Red Bank restaurant? If so, well, 'nuff said.

    The Good

    Best Cheap Eats - El Norte De La Frontera continues to put out top quality mexican food with everything I've tried there getting at least a "yummy" from my whole family. Honorable mention to The Hot Dog Guy. After all these years he still makes great soups and nice dogs.

    Best Dinner - With a good start and constant improvement, Via45 just keeps getting better. I have never had a bad meal there and the ones we've had lately have all verged on greatness. Fresh ingredients and a great chef to use them along with their new prix fixe menu make me want to eat there waaay too often for my expanding waistline.

    Most Consistant - Red. Give me their filet mignon appetizer and a few sushi rolls and I am a happy guy. Nice drink specials and my son's favorite chicken sandwich round out our evenings there and as long as we remember not to go on Monday when the susho chef is off, it is always just right.

    Best New Additions - Temple is my new guilty pleasure. A tad expensive and not even close to the authenticity of Shanghai Bun or Westlake, nonetheless I really enjoy the food at Temple. They do what they do very well. And, I usually stop across the street for some fried vietnamese spring rolls and maybe something else to take home for the next day. I'm also a big fan of The Cheese Cave and that cupcake place that is inside Ricky's.

    I also eat at:
    InBetween
    Willy's
    Eurasian Eatery
    Good Karma
    Boondocks

    The Bad

    Worst Downhill Slide - Globe Tavern. OMG! I used to enjoy a burger there now and then, but they have totally lost me as a customer. The details still make me cringe, but sufice to say I will never go back. On a whole other (read - much much milder) decline is Dish. They just haven't hit on all cylinders like they used to, both in food and service and I can't ignore the noise like I used to.

    Most Overrated/Overblown/Overhyped just over - Pazzo. Did I forget to mention overpriced? The only nice thing I can say about them is that I love the space.

    7 Replies
    1. re: seal
      JerzeyShore Oct 30, 2011 11:26 AM

      Although it's still on our RADAR screen Dish has failed to deliver as of late. We ate there bi weekly for over a year and now are going a lot less often as we too see a decline overall. Your comments regarding the other restaurants listed above are right on the money.

      1. re: seal
        m
        Mr. Bingley Oct 31, 2011 05:06 AM

        I agree Pazzo is just awful.

        I also agree that Red is consistently good.

        Our default is Basil's: excellent beer (my mug gets a lot of use), the homemade pastas are often outstanding and their scarpariello is the best I've ever had.

        A place that we've really grown to like on the byob front is Gaetanos (on Wallace Street). Every meal we've had there has been quite good.

        1. re: Mr. Bingley
          The Professor Sep 11, 2012 09:39 AM

          The food at Basil's has always been good, and a decent value...but I think the beer has unfortunately slipped a bit in the last couple years.

          1. re: The Professor
            m
            Mr. Bingley Sep 11, 2012 11:28 AM

            They have a new brewer, and the seasonal summer beer was this fruity mess this summer. The stout is still quite good.

        2. re: seal
          j
          jsfein Jan 11, 2012 12:32 PM

          I must check out Via45...wish the website or Facebook page provided a menu (or at least a sample menu if it changes frequently). I never made it to Willy's, but on a visit to the new Yestercades retro arcade a couple of weeks ago, I thought I walked by the space occupied by Willy's but which seemed vacant....I could be wrong. Also saw those awesome cupcakes inside Ricky's, but didn't stop to sample...next time. Looking at the menu for Temple, it incredibly resembles the menu at Peking Pavilion in Manalapan. Any relation? And, although its been there for quite some time and doesn't get much word of mouth, I'm a sucker for the stuffed pizza at Front Street Trattoria.

          1. re: jsfein
            JerzeyShore Jan 11, 2012 01:31 PM

            Yes there is a connection with Peking Pavilion in Manalapan, the son I believe.

            1. re: jsfein
              seal Jan 12, 2012 12:15 PM

              jsfein - sorry to confirm that Willy's is indeed gone. With all the good options in Red Bank I must admit that I hadn't been back there in quite a while and I guess I missed them closing.
              I also like Peking Pavillion a lot for the same reasons I like Temple and as confirmed already, it is the same family. Now I have to get to the Trattoria for that pizza ;o)

          2. b
            BernieMSY Jan 11, 2012 12:04 PM

            You guys can do better than this. Where are the hounds?

            1. MGZ Jan 11, 2012 01:44 PM

              In order, my Best of Red Bank for 'hounds goes :

              North of the Border
              Bagel Oven
              Elsie's

              1. angelo04 Jan 12, 2012 05:59 AM

                I second Seals praise for VIA 45. Never had a bad meal there. Claudette is an awesome chef.

                1. i
                  ivrygrl320 Jul 24, 2012 11:48 AM

                  Cheapies:
                  I prefer Senor Pepper's at the train station for good cheap Mexican eats. Plus, nothing comes covered in a sloppy mix of frijoles and dry rice. Fresh and tasty, wicked cheap, efficient service and a BYOB. I love the pork and pineapple tacos with fresh lime, cilantro and red onion. All in pretty little hand made tortillas.
                  Also a fan of Pho Le on Broad, across the street from Temple. Cheap Vietnamese. It used to be called Saigon II and was in Lincroft. The banh mi is only "eh", but some of the apps( try the crepe and the vegetable rice paper roll) and all of the noodle bowls are great. Sitting at the counter with a spicy bowl of goodness is a little bit of heaven.
                  While I am in no way a vegan. Or even a vegetarian... Good Kharma Cafe on East Front is pretty darn tasty. I will go there with friends who do not enjoy eating a face and can always find something to keep me pleased.

                  Something Finer:
                  VIA 45 on Broad consistently keeps getting better. Those ladies are pumping out quality, on point, fresh and tasty dinners.
                  Bienvenue on Front- had a complete menu and talent overhaul in the past few years. Gone are the fuddy duddy cream sauces and in with the deliciousness. There is a hidden gem of a jardin tucked away in a little outdoor courtyard as well. Bring a few bottles of champs and have a beautiful night.
                  Red- ignore the beautiful, young thangs and sit in the dining room. Chef Daryl is great. There are always a few risks on the menu and it is updated almost entirely each season. The servers are friendly and competent and it is one of the only places in town that have a liquor license that I will frequent for food.

                  Some odds and ends:
                  Boondocks- a seafood place down at Marine Park. It is expensive and hell and not prepared well enough to demand those prices. But I get it, you are a BYOB and have some prime real estate, so you have to be pricey to pay the bills. And the view is really quite great. I go on Tuesday nights when $25 gets you two 1lb+ lobsters with corn on the cob and potato. Add my favourite bottle of rose from the Wine Cellar and a sinking sunset and this native Mainer is in heaven. COuld do without the Jimmy Buffet tho. Just sayin!
                  the Cheese Cave- $5 Fridays. do it! dont even ask what it is, just go at 6pm and bring a bottle of wine or maybe a chimay.
                  Nina's Waffles- you might catch Diabetes, but you will die happy
                  That Hot Dog Guy- every once in a while a gal needs a dog. And he satisfies.

                  And now, the funnerest part:
                  Places I avoid like the Plague:
                  Pazzo- the owner actually told the entire room once to " Shut the F**k Up' becauae their ad was coming on the tv. The service is the worst in town, assuming you can find a water in the empty place. PEOPLE WHO THINK THEY ARE IN THE SOPRANOS- PART 1
                  Buena Sera- for cougars or jailbait and the men that love them. and 2 pounds of overcooked, over salted linguini with the mozzarellllllllllllll ( no a) and the proscuit( no to). PEOPLE WHO THINK THEY ARE IN THE SOPRANOS- PART 2
                  Taste- bad service, outrageous prices. THIS AINT TAPAS PEOPLE.
                  The Melting Pot- same owners as Taste. See also the TGIFridays of cheese dip. The one time I was there the white wine storage was in the boiler room. Nice!

                  and now a drum roll for my absolute least fave........Blue Water Seafood on Broad Street. It is barely a resto. Ive nver had a bowl of steamers or musels that was more than 70% open. The ac drips on you. Fine peives of fish taste like nothing. Hope you like scales. and bones!. And the owner is more concerned about saving spots outside for his exotic car collection then feeding his guests. They actually use cones to save spots ( illegal) so that his valets can flash his stuff. Priorities speak volumes, and his suck. Which is a real shame bc the location in the New Brunswick area is ahmahzing and I had such hopes.

                  Ahhhhh Red Bank.
                  Can we play this game for Asbury Park too?

                  HAPPY EATING!

                  18 Replies
                  1. re: ivrygrl320
                    m
                    Mr. Bingley Jul 24, 2012 03:41 PM

                    "Red- ignore the beautiful, young thangs and sit in the dining room."

                    Red has food?

                    ;)

                    1. re: Mr. Bingley
                      corvette johnny Jul 25, 2012 06:36 AM

                      Red is filled with a select few people that have a ton of money, and a ton of people who would like to think they have a ton of money. LOL

                      Nothing in Red Bank blows me away but here are some of my spots ranging from dollar hot dogs to some finer fare....

                      bagel station....good bagels and a decent pork roll, egg and cheese.

                      Gus' hot dogs...the hot dog nazi has been serving up cheap dirty water dogs for decades.

                      Basils: as mentioned, a great chick scarpiello and anti pasto.

                      Siam Garden: Over priced thai food but real tasty stuff. I think I have had about every dish there and they are all good but expensive. Tom Kha Gai is superb. BYOB

                      Pasteria....not amazing but the bread there is wonderful. BYOB.

                      Tommys: a good selection of craft brews including dogfish on tap. The wings are real good too. The pizza is ok but very overpriced is my eyes. I just like the beer and wings.

                      The quasi diner/fast food style Broadway grill makes a decent cheeseburger when you need a quick bite to eat. I love the boneless buffalo wings there.

                      NJ classic....windmill cheese fries : )

                      PS, Senor peppers was good a while back. I have not been in a while. I like being the only gringo in there!

                      1. re: corvette johnny
                        corvette johnny Jul 25, 2012 06:49 AM

                        bienvenue and Pho Le are both on my radar too. I have heard good things about both of them.

                        1. re: corvette johnny
                          MGZ Jul 25, 2012 07:25 AM

                          I've got a lot of RB posts around here lately, as I have family that moved (back) to the area a couple years ago. Total agreement about the Bagel Oven bagel (been a fan since '83) and Tommy's draft beer (proximity to the train station adds points). I will reinforce your inclination to try Bienvenue and Pho Le - both worth a taste (ivrygrl is right about the Bahn Mi, not the best thing available - bread's not right to me). Also, Red's cool for a southern Monmouth guy like me between 4 and 5 in the bar. After that my dirty khakis, flip flops and plain tee shirts don't seem to belong . . . .

                          Also, ivrygrl, go ahead and start the game for AP - a "State of Chow in Asbury - Summer '12" is not a bad idea. Hell, I'll offer you my two pennies - the beef at Ivan and Andy's is the only thing truly worth going there for in the Summer (though a well respected chef/'hound I know is a "Korean tacos on the Boardwalk" fan).

                          1. re: MGZ
                            jrvedivici Jul 25, 2012 08:57 AM

                            Unfortunately you have to eat that beef at Ivan and Andy’s. I have only been there 1 time and the miscues in service and other items BESIDES the steak are enough to keep me from wanting to go back.

                            1. re: jrvedivici
                              i
                              ivrygrl320 Jul 25, 2012 09:04 AM

                              1 million percent agree. what a waste!

                              1. re: jrvedivici
                                MGZ Jul 25, 2012 09:35 AM

                                I've got a couple posts, including that one, only lauding the beef there. And, you may know from other discussions, they sell their steaks by the pound to go.

                      2. re: ivrygrl320
                        JustJake Jul 25, 2012 07:22 AM

                        IvoryGirl, you're right on the money as to your asessment. My comment on the Red Bank dining scene is that nothing much has changed on the upper end. It's typically overpriced and undelivers on the food side. Btw, I nearly spit out my coffee on your Pazzo-Buena Suera-Melting Pot troika of comments. Boondocks - no thanks, even the lobster special you cite.

                        The Mexican take out at the RR station, Pho Le is typically what draws me to Red Bank. Red is still a vg place, though I avoid it during the summer as I do many spots here and in AP. Typically will dine out on a Thursday nite, and do the low end of the dining scale on the weekends with the 'real peeps' who dig food and not the pretentiousness of BWSF for example. Walked by there last Thursday nite and what a scene from hell. And yes, by all means the same raking over the coals should be done sometime soon for AP

                        1. re: ivrygrl320
                          jrvedivici Jul 25, 2012 09:06 AM

                          If it's possible to fall in love with someone via a food review I think this is love at first sight!!
                          {{ assuming that is the “grl” in your name does stand for girl. If not I apologize and take back my previously asserted love for you…..not that there is anything wrong with that!!}}

                          SPOT ON with all of your assessment for the locations I have visited in Red Bank. Having lived in the area for close to 20 years my complete frustration with the on again off again level of food and dining in Red Bank has completely turned me off. I anxiously await the opening of Char (at the old Ashes location) because I frequently travel to their Raritan, NJ location for their steaks and excellent ambiance and service.

                          Boondocks is actually the only restaurant I have not dined at on your list and I will be sure to give it a shot next time I have my lobster hankering. Where exactly is it located and how long has it been there……I’m surprised it was never on my radar.

                          I also concur with the other posters in support of you doing a AP post. Very enjoyable post/review thank you for sharing.

                          1. re: jrvedivici
                            i
                            ivrygrl320 Jul 25, 2012 09:24 AM

                            aw shucks!

                            1. re: ivrygrl320
                              m
                              Mr. Bingley Jul 25, 2012 09:30 AM

                              and i'm going to AP in a week or two so pretty please!

                              1. re: Mr. Bingley
                                i
                                ivrygrl320 Jul 25, 2012 09:41 AM

                                will post something on AP early next week for you then.

                                1. re: ivrygrl320
                                  m
                                  Mr. Bingley Jul 25, 2012 09:49 AM

                                  thanks!

                            2. re: jrvedivici
                              equal_Mark Jul 25, 2012 10:33 AM

                              Boondocks is located in Irwin's marina off of Marine Park. With a few exceptions it is mediocre snack bar food at linen tablecloth and silverware prices. A seafood place with no shellfish or crab selections? Not even a simple shrimp cocktail? The only vegetable matter on the menu is cole slaw (and that is served in those tiny 2 oz. plastic containers). Iced tea is bottled, meals are served on paper plates with a handful of potato chips.

                              It's a shame as the view is excellent. Still miss Navesink Cafe and Osaka Sushi which previously occupied this location.

                              1. re: equal_Mark
                                i
                                ivrygrl320 Jul 25, 2012 10:40 AM

                                thats why I will only go for lobster night. I can pay $12.50 for a lobster dinner that someone else is cooking. And even they dont screw up a steamed lobster and corn on the cobb ( so far)

                                1. re: equal_Mark
                                  jrvedivici Jul 25, 2012 10:59 AM

                                  Ok yes I stand corrected I know exactly where you are talking about. I always thought it was just a snack bar for the marina it sits behind the marina's main gate.....I believe there is or was a marina pool close to it as well I had no idea they were open to the public.

                              2. re: ivrygrl320
                                RobertinRedBank Aug 11, 2012 08:23 AM

                                Right on about the Blue Water Seafood! Takes balls to cone parking spaces for his business when downtown merchants are always crying about the lack of parking.

                                1. re: RobertinRedBank
                                  e
                                  eatinman Nov 26, 2012 10:24 AM

                                  Blue Water =

                                  Bad food

                                  So So Service

                                  Terrible Owner - has no idea of how to treat customers and it comes no surprise to me that he'd be blazen enough to 'cone off' parking spaces. Can the police put a stop to this practice?

                              3. corvette johnny Jul 25, 2012 07:45 AM

                                Mgz, tommys has a nice bottle selection as well.

                                Best red bank steak?

                                65 Replies
                                1. re: corvette johnny
                                  i
                                  ivrygrl320 Jul 25, 2012 07:53 AM

                                  i dont think there is one. Red used to have an hangar steak frites with a little bit of blue cheese butter compound and a side of grilled pencil asparagus that this gal loved. Add a perfect Hendricks martini. But alas, no more. (but I am partial to a perfect piece of cheap meat myself)

                                  1. re: ivrygrl320
                                    MGZ Jul 25, 2012 07:59 AM

                                    Red does make their own tonic.

                                    1. re: MGZ
                                      i
                                      ivrygrl320 Jul 25, 2012 08:24 AM

                                      Yeah, they've got a new bar manager that take his stuff seriously. Maybe a little too seriously IMHO. Think that guy Marcel from early Top Chef, the one that looked like a Thundercat and put foam on everything. Way into the molecular gastronomy approach to cocktails. Call me no fun, but I judge my booze based on its taste. not whether everything is covered in little caviar bursts of pomegranate essence or has a trompe l'oeil fried egg that is really mango puree on top. I dont want dry ice anywhere near my mouth. And I don't want to wait 14 minutes either.

                                      1. re: ivrygrl320
                                        m
                                        Mr. Bingley Jul 25, 2012 08:26 AM

                                        i don't need a bar 'stylist'; i need a bar tender

                                    2. re: ivrygrl320
                                      m
                                      Mr. Bingley Jul 25, 2012 08:20 AM

                                      oh no! that hanger was excellent! and i always got the hendricks...are we related?

                                    3. re: corvette johnny
                                      MGZ Jul 25, 2012 07:56 AM

                                      Don't think I've ever resorted to bottles at Tommy's - always found something interesting on tap. I'll keep it in mind, however, for future "waits."

                                      As to steak in RB, I don't think I've had one since the Spring of '87 after a track meat (I know - shotputter spelling). It was at Danny's. It's been a long time since I've been there . . . .

                                      1. re: MGZ
                                        i
                                        ivrygrl320 Jul 25, 2012 08:26 AM

                                        Danny's steak (shudder). Though, his bar pies are a tasty late night snack.

                                        1. re: ivrygrl320
                                          m
                                          Mr. Bingley Jul 25, 2012 08:29 AM

                                          10 years ago danny's was good. now, not above average.

                                          1. re: ivrygrl320
                                            JustJake Jul 25, 2012 10:23 AM

                                            Don't overlook the sushi (@ Danny's) that comes from the station near the bar. It's excellent.

                                            1. re: JustJake
                                              i
                                              ivrygrl320 Jul 25, 2012 10:30 AM

                                              I don't normally go for the rolls with sauces so much, more of a straight up fish gal, so I don't end up there very often. But for that style, I agree, they do it very well.

                                              1. re: ivrygrl320
                                                JustJake Jul 26, 2012 07:23 AM

                                                Ivry, I'm very ecumenical and non discriminating. Sashimi and/or rolls and vice versa.

                                          2. re: MGZ
                                            c
                                            coldsolderjoint Jul 25, 2012 08:27 AM

                                            Beasty Burger
                                            Cupcake Magician
                                            Broadway Diner for Pancakes

                                            Where is Gus's Hotdogs? I remember a few years ago reading a post about a guy in an alley serving food, is that the same guy?

                                            1. re: coldsolderjoint
                                              i
                                              ivrygrl320 Jul 25, 2012 08:35 AM

                                              what is Beasty Burger?
                                              Gus is the hot dog truck parked by the tracks on Shrewsbury Avenue, kinda behind the Galleria. And he is wonderful.

                                              1. re: ivrygrl320
                                                m
                                                MiddletownB Nov 17, 2012 01:10 PM

                                                Beasty Burger = No Ordinary Joe, Broad Street

                                                1. re: ivrygrl320
                                                  m
                                                  MiddletownB Nov 17, 2012 01:10 PM

                                                  Gus has the BEST sausage and peppers sub. Excellent food, Excellent $ value !

                                                2. re: coldsolderjoint
                                                  corvette johnny Jul 25, 2012 08:43 AM

                                                  Gus has some tasty chili dogs....try them out.

                                                  Beasty burger....this name has me intrigued. Please elaborate....

                                                  1. re: corvette johnny
                                                    j
                                                    jsfein Jul 25, 2012 09:16 AM

                                                    I was also intrigued by Beasty Burger...been following them on Facebook and they have some great posts. Made it in this past weekend and the burgers were a disappointment. They weren't bad, but nothing about them stood out. Some creative combinations on the menu...I had the Jersey Burger which included cheese, pork roll and a fried egg. Others had bacon burgers, plain cheeseburgers. All burgers came with an au jus dipping sauce which came in handy for the dry, toasted rolls they were served on. My kid said the mac and cheese was outstanding. Skip.

                                                    1. re: jsfein
                                                      i
                                                      ivrygrl320 Jul 25, 2012 09:26 AM

                                                      oooooh- differing opinions. now I HAVE to go.

                                                      1. re: jsfein
                                                        i
                                                        ivrygrl320 Jul 27, 2012 10:57 AM

                                                        Went today for lunch. Was so excited I named it Burger Friday on my calendar. NOOOOOOOOOOOO! a gf and I each went with the original- a patty with GSC(their signature Guinness sharp cheddar/shallot/garlic cheese concoction), a side of jus. Well, I guess they were cooked to temp. But both tasted like they were ground with Lipton's onion soup mix. I know they pride themselves on having au jus in the meat too, but to me it still managed to be dry and wet, way too salty.
                                                        She ordered an app of their tortilla soup and I ordered a side of the brussel sprouts with applewood smoked bacon. the soup was just a standard stock chicken veg( like chicken noodle w no noodle) with chips scattered on a plate. Fine, but not at all what 99% of people expect when ordering a tortilla soup. She actually sent it back, which is big for her. My brussels came out 3/4 of the way thru the burger. They were harder than al dente and someone had just sprinkled almost full sized slices of bacon on top. I took them to go so I can go home and properly cook them for dinner tomorrow night. Throw in 2 fountain drinks and a soup refund and we still spent $30 before tip. The servers were friendly but scattered.
                                                        Any random place makes just as good a product. :(

                                                        1. re: ivrygrl320
                                                          jrvedivici Jul 27, 2012 12:12 PM

                                                          I'm not a big burger guy.....I never order them out and rarely eat them at home....but just the name "Beasty Burger" I find a bit odd. It seems this place is hit or miss with people either loving it or hating it. I'm not even sure how a burger manages to be "dry and wet"?

                                                          1. re: jrvedivici
                                                            i
                                                            ivrygrl320 Jul 27, 2012 12:21 PM

                                                            It had juice all over the place, but once you bit it, it was crumbly and grey. I dot know, very weird sensation. I do love a PERFECT not quite medium rare burger from time to time. Plus, their sides were unconventional, so I though- hey, these people could be awesome. But alas, no dice.

                                                            1. re: ivrygrl320
                                                              jrvedivici Jul 27, 2012 12:23 PM

                                                              Grey? Ehhh I hope you ordered it well done? Other wise I wouldn't want a wet/dry crumbly grey burger. Maybe you should go to Riverview........lol

                                                      2. re: corvette johnny
                                                        c
                                                        coldsolderjoint Jul 25, 2012 09:16 AM

                                                        http://www.beastyburgers.com/#!home/m...

                                                        Its actually located in the back of No-Joe's Cafe on Broad Street.. like across from Restoration Hardware..

                                                        Great Burgers.. They cook them in Au-Jus and have a variety of cool toppings.

                                                    2. re: MGZ
                                                      jrvedivici Jul 25, 2012 09:09 AM

                                                      The only thing worth while at Danny's is the sushi if you ask me. It should be Danny's sushi house and drop the steak house aspect he hasn't served quality steaks in 10+ years.

                                                      1. re: jrvedivici
                                                        MGZ Jul 25, 2012 09:35 AM

                                                        As I noted, my experience is 25 years old. Moreover, as I tried to imply, it was after spending an afternoon shotputting ( and discus throwing).

                                                    3. re: corvette johnny
                                                      jrvedivici Jul 25, 2012 08:59 AM

                                                      The best Red Bank Steak will be CHAR moving into the old Ashes location. Other than that there is no "Best" steak in Red Bank they are all mediocer at best.

                                                      1. re: jrvedivici
                                                        i
                                                        ivrygrl320 Jul 25, 2012 09:06 AM

                                                        do we know when that will finally happen? I remember discussing their eminent opening this time LAST year. It is bad for town to have such a flagship space vacant for so long.

                                                        1. re: ivrygrl320
                                                          jrvedivici Jul 25, 2012 09:28 AM

                                                          It was "originally" slated for Oct./Nov. 2011 but there was a legal mess left in the "Ashes" and even after this entire time they were having problems getting the liquor license transfer approved. Now they are saying late August 2012......I use to drive by daily taking my kids to school but now that it's summer I haven't been by in awhile but there was significant progress/work being done as of the end of June so I imagine the Aug. 2012 should be accurate. I can't wait !!!!!!

                                                          1. re: jrvedivici
                                                            i
                                                            ivrygrl320 Jul 25, 2012 09:40 AM

                                                            yeah, they are playing a game of musical liquor licenses after that debacle closed.

                                                            1. re: ivrygrl320
                                                              MGZ Jul 25, 2012 09:46 AM

                                                              Having represented a few applicants for liquor licenses, my experience has been that trouble is usually caused by the buyer's background.

                                                              1. re: MGZ
                                                                i
                                                                ivrygrl320 Jul 25, 2012 09:59 AM

                                                                you are completely correct. the former "owners" had so many problems amongst them. Plus, there were a ton of under age drinkers caught over the years, and rumours of "working girls" and more than one non mutual hookup. I hope Char does well there and chooses to serve the entire dining community not just the fancy lemmings who dont actually enjoy good food, just a scene.

                                                                1. re: MGZ
                                                                  corvette johnny Jul 25, 2012 10:35 AM

                                                                  Isnt that what happened with 4th quarter in atlantic highlands?

                                                                  1. re: corvette johnny
                                                                    i
                                                                    ivrygrl320 Jul 25, 2012 10:41 AM

                                                                    was that the place in that gorgeous brick building on the corner?

                                                                    1. re: ivrygrl320
                                                                      corvette johnny Jul 25, 2012 10:46 AM

                                                                      Yes, the old joey miles and bobo 33. I think the owner had some issues and they finally found out his past. They yanked the license I heard.

                                                                      That is a prime location. I find it hard to believe it has been vacant so long. It is a shame to see that nice building vacant. The Quay is also sitting there wasting away. That is a nice piece of land there with a decent view.

                                                                      1. re: corvette johnny
                                                                        i
                                                                        ivrygrl320 Jul 25, 2012 11:06 AM

                                                                        Ive always fantasized about opening a place there. I went to Bobo a few times and would hopehopehope that something great would happen and it never did. But it is truly a gorgeous place.
                                                                        I think the Quay would need a significant overhaul and the North end of SB is hard.But the bare bones are awesome. Hell, not many of the places in the heart of town are thriving. People blame it on the police presence, but I dont know....I feel like there is something more to it

                                                                        1. re: ivrygrl320
                                                                          jrvedivici Jul 25, 2012 11:27 AM

                                                                          The Quay needs a significant amount of work to it and to be perfectly honest nobody is going to move into there under the landlords terms.

                                                                          SB police are known for being very aggresive with their DUI checks during the summer it is a HUGE revenue producer for them. If you take a look at the Cove with it's location it has been closed two seasons as well. (Liquor License issue's as well) and now word on the street is Ross's Docksider is going to become available as well.

                                                                          1. re: jrvedivici
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                                                                            ivrygrl320 Jul 25, 2012 11:31 AM

                                                                            The Dockside has a lot of issues, front and back of the house.
                                                                            But yeah, Sea Bright man, no bueno. ('cept Yumi!)

                                                                            1. re: jrvedivici
                                                                              corvette johnny Jul 25, 2012 01:40 PM

                                                                              I heard AMA is moving to the cove (upstairs)

                                                                              is that right?

                                                                              How about cheese steaks? Anything decent in red bank? I still need to hit that place Phillys in Atlantic highlands. Red Bank needs a place like pats or genos. That would be a hit...undoubtedly.

                                                                              1. re: corvette johnny
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                                                                                ivrygrl320 Jul 25, 2012 01:42 PM

                                                                                They had a Willy's Cheesesteaks and it closed. Right across from the Dublin House and near the diner too too. They never capitalized on the post drinking rush.

                                                                                1. re: corvette johnny
                                                                                  jrvedivici Jul 25, 2012 01:50 PM

                                                                                  Close......AMA is moving to the Driftwood Beach Club after walking away from their previous location. No info on cheesesteaks I save that for the boardwalk.

                                                                                  1. re: jrvedivici
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                                                                                    coldsolderjoint Jul 25, 2012 09:19 PM

                                                                                    Philly's Cheese steaks in Atlantic Highlands wasn't bad the last couple times I was there. A bit on the greasy side.. but that's not necessarily a bad thing with a Cheese Steak..

                                                                                    Next Closest place I know is Steakzilla's in woodbridge

                                                                        2. re: corvette johnny
                                                                          jrvedivici Jul 25, 2012 10:55 AM

                                                                          The 4th quarter in the Atlantic Highlands was owned by Christian Peters of Fromagerie and New York Giants fame. I believe it was just poor business that caused it's closure nothing to do with him.

                                                                          1. re: jrvedivici
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                                                                            ivrygrl320 Jul 25, 2012 11:07 AM

                                                                            AH is a hard town. Inconsistent.

                                                                            1. re: jrvedivici
                                                                              corvette johnny Jul 25, 2012 11:16 AM

                                                                              yes i know who owned it : ) I didn't want to publicly say it. You seem like you know your way around a steak. Is shipwreck any good?

                                                                              I am rooting for Char too!

                                                                              ivrygrl320 , I can believe the police hype. Sea bright police really have nothing to do when you think about it. Lets rephrase that ..."very little" to do.

                                                                              There is no real crime except for the poor guy that had 3 beers and gets yanked for doing 42 in their new 35mph stretch. I see people pulled out of cars a lot on ocean ave.

                                                                              1. re: corvette johnny
                                                                                MGZ Jul 25, 2012 11:23 AM

                                                                                Shipwreck Point is very good. I liked the steaks better at Ivan & Andy's, but SP is a significantly better restaurant overall.

                                                                                1. re: MGZ
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                                                                                  ivrygrl320 Jul 25, 2012 11:34 AM

                                                                                  i never get down that way. Will note Shipewreck Point as a place to visit, if I ever decide to head down.

                                                                                2. re: corvette johnny
                                                                                  jrvedivici Jul 25, 2012 11:31 AM

                                                                                  "You can get a good look at a steak by sticking your head up the butcher's ass" (sorry favorite quote from Tommy Boy)

                                                                                  Yes I know a little about steak.....I have never been to Shipwrecked to tell you anything about it, sorry.

                                                                                  1. re: jrvedivici
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                                                                                    ivrygrl320 Jul 25, 2012 11:35 AM

                                                                                    ok, might be opening Pandora's box here, but... Fromagerie. How are their steaks? I know he prides himself on the house aged beef.....

                                                                                    1. re: ivrygrl320
                                                                                      jrvedivici Jul 25, 2012 11:46 AM

                                                                                      If you are asking about David Burke's Fromagerie ...... I have only dined there 2 or 3 times. Being a "local" I didn't like the changes....I liked the old "stuffy" Fromagerie....so after trying it a couple of times I haven't been back. None of my times there did I order steak so I can't judge fairly.

                                                                                      One of my old favorite places though is right up the road "What's Your Beef"...it's a decent steakhouse where you walk up to a deli style counter with the meat displayed on the case and you tell them the size of a cut you want "Give me a two inch thick Sirloin" and they cut it place it on a scale and you pay by the weight of the steak. The steaks are very good......not Prime Aged but good but what I like the most is the salad bar. Good old fashioned salad bar with metal plates stuck in ice when you walk up....and a bread warmer with all assortments of breads to choose from. It's a neat place to have a good steak.

                                                                                      1. re: jrvedivici
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                                                                                        ivrygrl320 Jul 25, 2012 11:52 AM

                                                                                        I agree on Whats Your Beef? and the Barnacle's burger of course. How did I forget about that? Oh, right. Cause this is the RB thread. We are waaaaaaaaaaay off topic I guess :)
                                                                                        I am hungry now.

                                                                                        1. re: ivrygrl320
                                                                                          jrvedivici Jul 25, 2012 12:00 PM

                                                                                          For as much as I LOVE steak I'm not a burger guy, strange I know. lol

                                                                                          Yes you are correct we have strayed a bit on topic I have a feeling by tomorrow when the Mod's get a hold of this the topic count will be back to 12 instead of the 70+ posts there are currently. To make sure this comment stay's let me add......

                                                                                          Buena Sera is the most over rated restaurant in Red Bank in my opinion. It use to be good back when it first opened but now with the expansion(s) over the years now you just get banquet quality food in my opinion. But hey...Chris has himself a gold mine there so I guess it really doesn't matter.

                                                                                          1. re: ivrygrl320
                                                                                            corvette johnny Jul 25, 2012 01:18 PM

                                                                                            man, a medium rare barnacle cheddar burger might be part of my evening tonight! That sounds great.

                                                                                            How about Elsie's in red bank? is that still open? I recall they had a half decent sub but I haven't been in ages....I guess mainly due to parking there.

                                                                                            I hear buena sera is cougar fest on thursday night LOL

                                                                                            1. re: corvette johnny
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                                                                                              ivrygrl320 Jul 25, 2012 01:22 PM

                                                                                              Elsie's has a great classic sub. It aint fancy, but if you are looking for the good ole #1 or #2, it hits the spot beautifully.

                                                                                          2. re: jrvedivici
                                                                                            MGZ Jul 25, 2012 12:05 PM

                                                                                            I was going to mention What's Your Beef. Good spot for the area indeed.

                                                                                3. re: MGZ
                                                                                  jrvedivici Jul 25, 2012 10:50 AM

                                                                                  {{@ MGZ as I re-read this post I apologize if my opening line sounds arrogant it wasn't my intention...just stating I have plenty of first hand history with liquor licenses}}

                                                                                  Having bought and sold and currently holding a liquor license the biggest problem is generally with taxes and or liquor company liens on a license. The background check on individuals can cause a problem but to be perfectly honest I’ve sold a license to an individual who had a felony conviction in his past and yet somehow he got approved. If people go bad like in Ashes case it’s generally the IRS/State taxes and or liquor company liens on the license which need to be cleared up for transfer.

                                                                                  Not claiming to have been on the “inside” of this transaction I do know the license had some marks against it. The landlord Jack of Jack’s music was the holder of the license once Ashes folded I’m assuming he was waiting for the next person to sign a lease before he settled the license issues.

                                                                                  1. re: jrvedivici
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                                                                                    ivrygrl320 Jul 25, 2012 11:02 AM

                                                                                    i heard talks of some shuffling around of licenses. there were a few more on the market at the time and i think they had to basically separate the license from the property and then reattach another free one to get it to go.
                                                                                    RB can be beyond difficult to deal with sometimes. It seems like they make decisions on some small business out of pure whimsy.

                                                                                    All i know is that I hope that Char becomes a positive and successful place as they have a large and significantly located property on their hands.

                                                                                    1. re: ivrygrl320
                                                                                      jrvedivici Jul 25, 2012 11:10 AM

                                                                                      I can tell you this much about Char........the Raritan location was originally called Aqua (Or something similar) and it was an excellent restaurant for many years. One day the owners got bored with it closed it remodled the place and created the new identity of Char Steakhouse. A very "ballsy" move to take something that wasn't broken and fix it and make it better than it was. They are savvy business people and excellent retauranteurs I firmly believe they are EXACTLY what that location needs.

                                                                                      1. re: jrvedivici
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                                                                                        MarlboroMan Jul 25, 2012 08:54 PM

                                                                                        That's pretty much what happened to Nonna's in Marlboro. Great family style place.. redone to "upscale" except I'm not sure they're doing so well these days. Passed by one day recently at prime dinner time and there were 4 cars in the parking lot.

                                                                                        1. re: MarlboroMan
                                                                                          jrvedivici Jul 26, 2012 07:12 AM

                                                                                          If and this is an "IF" memory serves me correctly Nona's got involved with (either as an investor or partner etc.) David Findel who was Monmouth County's very own version of Bernie Maddoff and he (Findel) was the one who changed it to an "upscale" place. For obvious reasons this relationship between Nona's and Findel didn't last long and what you see today is what is left from that relationship.

                                                                                          MGZ I am just stating facts about Findel he is convicted and currently serving his sentence of 6/7 years I believe.

                                                                                          1. re: jrvedivici
                                                                                            MGZ Jul 26, 2012 07:45 AM

                                                                                            Interesting, though I only consider legal generalities (here).

                                                                                    2. re: jrvedivici
                                                                                      MGZ Jul 25, 2012 11:28 AM

                                                                                      From a legal perspective, I can see several potential issues latent in things posted on this thread.

                                                                                      1. re: MGZ
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                                                                                        ivrygrl320 Jul 25, 2012 11:36 AM

                                                                                        just discussing the same things that bartenders and waiters do when they get together. Will stop it now.

                                                                                        1. re: ivrygrl320
                                                                                          MGZ Jul 25, 2012 11:45 AM

                                                                                          So do food geeks and lawyers, especially those food geeks who are lawyers.

                                                                                  2. re: ivrygrl320
                                                                                    jrvedivici Jul 25, 2012 09:47 AM

                                                                                    I was an original Cigar Club member of Ashes and for the first 2/3 years and the place was alright. Never a great kitchen...but decent steaks and one fantastic raw bar. But the place became a victim of it's own success and once Telly started bringing in partners (besides his original Dr. friends) everyone’s hands were in the cookie jar and the place just became a “club” rather than a restaurant. If it was there for 10 years I patronized them for maybe the first 5 and avoided it like the plague for the last 5.

                                                                                    1. re: jrvedivici
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                                                                                      ivrygrl320 Jul 25, 2012 09:57 AM

                                                                                      oh yeah, once every guy with $20k became a "partner" the place became a complete shit show. What a pity. Such a beautiful space. So much potential.

                                                                          2. jrvedivici Jul 26, 2012 07:17 AM

                                                                            Since I have mentioined the coming of Char Steakhouse in a few of my posts in this topic I decided to take a drive by there this morning and check on the progress.

                                                                            You can pretty much forget about a late Aug. 2012 opening from what I can tell. Mind you I am not a construction specialist however I cannot believe the extent of the work they are doing. They have removed an entire portion of the 2nd and 3rd floor exterior brick wall making what I assume is going to be a 2 story window over looking downtown Red Bank? Anyway the work is far more extensive than I ever imagined and doesn't look anywhere near complete.

                                                                            Maybe they will have it finished by the Red Bank Holiday Fesitivities..........Good Luck to them!!

                                                                            49 Replies
                                                                            1. re: jrvedivici
                                                                              corvette johnny Jul 26, 2012 07:23 AM

                                                                              Yeah I really hope this place is all about good STEAK and not about being trendy. I heard they are dumping over 2 mill into restoring it. I guess they have some high hopes. I wish them luck too.

                                                                              JR, have you ever had actual Kobe beef before in japan? It is unreal! The way those poor cows are raised would make the people at PETA do back flips LOL

                                                                              1. re: corvette johnny
                                                                                jrvedivici Jul 26, 2012 07:47 AM

                                                                                I read an interesting article not too long ago (might have been on here) regarding Kobe Beef recently. The summation of the article was that because of international Patent / Trademark laws Kobe Beef in the US really has nothing to do with genuine Kobe Beef in Japan. More or less saying all Kobe Beef in the US is bogus just using the trade name but having NOTHING to do with the true Kobe Beef in Japan. So after reading this article I guess while I thought I had eaten Kobe Beef domestically it seems as if that has nothing to do with the Kobe Beef as you specifically state “In Japan”. My long winded answer then is no. lol

                                                                                Perhaps I’m mistaken but I thought the treatment of the Kobe cows was actually of a high regard. That they were very well cared for and kept “stress free” and pampered more or less till the time of their slaughter. In my opinion milk fed veal from calves is probably the most inhumane way of treating an animal. It’s my understanding from birth they are suspended so their feet never touch the ground thus their legs never building any muscle form at all to keep the meat as tender and soft as possible. That’s some messed up circumstances but it does provide one hell of a delicious product.

                                                                                Unrelated topic alert**** In 1989 I owned a 1986 C4 Canary Yellow Vette. At 6’4 and 250lbs back then I barely fit in the thing but boy did I love that car. I had to get an automatic because I didn’t have enough knee clearance to pop a clutch. The car proved to be too much for me at that age (19) and it found it’s way around a utility pole at which point I could no longer afford the insurance. Once you have owned a Vette you are addicted to life.

                                                                                A couple friends have had the C5’s and I was amazed at how much better designed they are and now still at 6’4 but 300+lbs I was able to get in and be comfortable with even just a little bit of elbow room. I have not had the pleasure of getting into the C6’s.

                                                                                1. re: jrvedivici
                                                                                  corvette johnny Jul 26, 2012 08:14 AM

                                                                                  The common thought is that they are treated well. That is the farthest thing from the truth. They are hung and even but have their tendons sliced so they don't kick while suspended. Veal cows live much better lives.

                                                                                  And yes, anything with the name Kobe in it is 100% BS here. They can't export real Kobe beef here so its all a gimmick in America. Check out the attached picture. I took that in Japan....amazing stuff.

                                                                                  Yeah the C6 is a wild car. I have a z06 and its nuts. You can't drive it to its potential on the street though.

                                                                                  Darn the picture was scaled down.I wanted to show you the marbling in fine detail. well I tried LOL

                                                                                   
                                                                                  1. re: corvette johnny
                                                                                    jrvedivici Jul 26, 2012 08:24 AM

                                                                                    Wow even at this size you can see the wonderful marbling of the meat. Those look like Strips/Sirloin and they have the marbling of a Rib Eye. The only thing that I don’t like is it seems like you are at a hibachi place!! What a waste!! Cutting those wonderful steaks up into little bit sized pieces drowned in butter and garlic etc. Those baby’s need a good sea salt and pepper rub and thrown on a 1000 degree grill/broiler.

                                                                                    1. re: jrvedivici
                                                                                      angelo04 Jul 28, 2012 07:29 AM

                                                                                      Beautiful picture. I have never had Kobe and sounds like from your post it wouldn't be the real thing anyway. I have had Waygu which is supposedly a domestic version of Kobe and it was ridiculously good, it was roughly a $60 ribeye and each bite was worth every penny.

                                                                                      Off topic Alert - jrvedivici - sounds like you need a C6. Then you, Johhny and I can go for a chow worthy cruise. Over on the corvette forum, they do this all the time. Johnny's Z06 will smoke my beloved '08 Jet Stream Blue C6. Love that car. There isn't a vette I don't love.

                                                                                  2. re: jrvedivici
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                                                                                    ivrygrl320 Jul 26, 2012 08:26 AM

                                                                                    I have a couple Japanese friends....if you ever want to see them get hopped up, mention that a local place has Kobe beef. Holy guacamole!
                                                                                    And, this is going to sound horrible, but with me, I am either all in or all out when it comes to animals. Veal and fois gras will probably send me to hell, but once or twice a year I cannot resist.

                                                                                2. re: jrvedivici
                                                                                  MGZ Jul 26, 2012 07:46 AM

                                                                                  Wow, quite impressive - I wonder how they're going to pay for that??

                                                                                  1. re: MGZ
                                                                                    jrvedivici Jul 26, 2012 07:52 AM

                                                                                    MGZ…..Good Point !!! I plan on doing my part to contribute to the cause however if they succumb to the Red Bank “crowd” I’m not sure how long I can say I could stomach it. For any and all of you who enjoy dining in Red Bank I mean no offense but to me there is a “Red Bank Crowd” that moves into places and just ruins the ambiance for me.

                                                                                    1. re: jrvedivici
                                                                                      MGZ Jul 26, 2012 07:57 AM

                                                                                      Me too. That's why I leave Red by 5.

                                                                                      1. re: jrvedivici
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                                                                                        ivrygrl320 Jul 26, 2012 08:24 AM

                                                                                        The Real Housewives of Red Bank :)

                                                                                        1. re: ivrygrl320
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                                                                                          Mr. Bingley Jul 27, 2012 11:06 AM

                                                                                          with "Femme by Ashley" two doors down the block...

                                                                                          1. re: Mr. Bingley
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                                                                                            ivrygrl320 Jul 27, 2012 11:14 AM

                                                                                            THAT dosen't even bother me. Spitzer got his owned damned show. I don't care if she plays shop. Its mostly $400 bathing suits anyway. Like everything else like that in this town, I give her 2 years.

                                                                                            1. re: ivrygrl320
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                                                                                              Mr. Bingley Jul 27, 2012 11:25 AM

                                                                                              doesn't bother me either, just thought it was a fitting addendum for your RHoRB comment :)

                                                                                              1. re: Mr. Bingley
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                                                                                                ivrygrl320 Jul 27, 2012 11:37 AM

                                                                                                gotcha :)

                                                                                              2. re: ivrygrl320
                                                                                                jrvedivici Jul 27, 2012 11:49 AM

                                                                                                I ran into Ashley Dupree with her mother about 2/3 years ago at Bouno Sera. Although I knew the name I didn't think it was her even though my friends were insisting that it was.....well we found out for sure when one of my buddies started to take a cell phone video of her!!

                                                                                                Does she have a store or shop in town now? "Femme by Ashley"?

                                                                                                {{Added after initial post}}

                                                                                                Hahahahahaha nevermind I just googled it. lmao God Bless America !!!

                                                                                      2. re: jrvedivici
                                                                                        jrvedivici Sep 11, 2012 07:12 AM

                                                                                        Update on Char......Over the weekend I went to the Red Bank Street Festival (a complete void of any culinary delights) however I did get to wtalk up and take a close look at the progress of Char.

                                                                                        Good news they finally have their sign up outside notifying people the place is going to be Char. The bad news......holy crap the place is still pretty much gutted. They did put in the 3 story windows I expected over looking downtown red bank and they have a row of doors which will open to side walk seating I'm sure......but as you look inside (luckily I'm tall so I could see over the ply wood they have up to block the street view).......the whole interior is still gutted. And by gutted I mean no floors yet for what was the 2nd and third floors. It blows my mind that they have completely gutted the old Ashes.....which had a decent floor plan.......and are creating a completely new enviroment for the new Char.

                                                                                        Based on the time vs. progress of the work being completed I can't even guestimate when they might actually open. Till then I will keep schlepping out to Raritan when I get a hankering for one of their steaks!!

                                                                                        1. re: jrvedivici
                                                                                          JustJake Sep 11, 2012 09:01 AM

                                                                                          Jr, rather than driving to Raritan, one could also get a pretty good steak at Four Winds in Manasquan or Brennan's Steakhouse in Neptune.

                                                                                          1. re: JustJake
                                                                                            jrvedivici Sep 11, 2012 09:08 AM

                                                                                            Four Winds I am not familiar with but maybe if in the area I will give it a try. I have written Brennan's off a looooonnnnggg time ago.

                                                                                            I apologize for the potential snotty or snobishness of this comment but I'm not a fan of a pretty good steak.........I'm a fan of VERY good or excellent steaks. Brennan's is far from that.

                                                                                            If in an a code blue steak emergency I would return to Ivan and Andy's in Asbury Park just for a steak and nothing else (as I find most everything else there is sub-par) but their steaks are excellent.

                                                                                            Thank you for the Four Winds suggestion I will look into it.

                                                                                            (FYI I prefer the drive to Raritan over that to NY where I routinely go once or twice a month for my favorite steak(s) at Ben and Jacks Steakhouse).

                                                                                            1. re: JustJake
                                                                                              MGZ Sep 11, 2012 09:24 AM

                                                                                              I have been to Four Winds a couple times - Happy Hour at the bar, maybe a snack, but never had a steak. Are they in a league with, say, Ivan & Andy's, Shipwreck Point, or Massuto's? What types of cuts? Grades? Aging?

                                                                                              1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                JustJake Sep 11, 2012 09:49 AM

                                                                                                Can't help you out here MGZ. I thought that Char was a 'high end' chain like McCormicks, Sullivans or Capitol Grille. I have friends/acquaintences who either worked or were food (meat) vendors to both places. They commented and recommended a few years back and that's the extent of my experience - I'm not a carnivore, so I really can't help you out. In looking at the yelping for the Raritan location, I'd probably say, either of my recs would not be on the same level. Ivan & Andy's may be. The other ones further south, I have no experience with either but I recall favorable reviews- I'm primarily a fish guy, and ethnic foods when dining out.

                                                                                                1. re: JustJake
                                                                                                  jrvedivici Sep 11, 2012 10:02 AM

                                                                                                  Char is a single location high end steakhouse. The Red Bank location will be only their second. For "central" NJ they are what I would consider to be the best game in town. Outside of NY or AC you aren't getting the quality steak or steakhouse enviroment you are getting at Char. The funny thing about the place is it was a very succesful seafood restaurant called Aqua for many years prior to the owners getting tired of the theme.....closing it....and constructing what is now Char. A very daring move on their behalf which certainly turned out to be a good one. I'm telling you all right now........with all the work they are putting into the old Ashes location be prepared to be WOW'd.

                                                                                                  MGZ I checked out your "new" Red Bank spot. Dare I ask you how the heck did you discover that place? Needless to say that entire area is really supported by the latin/mexican locals of the area and I would NEVER have decided to just stop and give a place like that a try out of nowhere. How did you hear/learn of it?

                                                                                                  1. re: jrvedivici
                                                                                                    MGZ Sep 12, 2012 02:56 AM

                                                                                                    "How did you hear/learn of it?"

                                                                                                    Just the 'hound in me.

                                                                                                    Seriously, though, it smelled good when we drove by, so I stopped when we drove back. As I said, I have had only one experience,* so we'll see how it pans out, but it has some funky potential for hole in the wall stuff. Besides the interesting barbecue, the menu offers the usual Mexican fare plus pizza - which seems odd, but a couple of the "fusion" pies sounded good . . . .

                                                                                                    *By comparison, I don't think I mentioned anything about North of the Border to anyone until after a few visits.

                                                                                                    1. re: MGZ
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                                                                                                      ivrygrl320 Sep 12, 2012 08:57 AM

                                                                                                      I am friendly with a lot of the kitchen help and bus kids i town. I sure do chat it up with just about anyone about food. And I ran into one of the boys I know at Senor Peppers, which I adore. And he mentioned Lino's, knowing that I love to try ethnic food.

                                                                                                      1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                        jrvedivici Sep 22, 2012 07:28 AM

                                                                                                        We were running late for the RBC game last night and were trying to come up with a place to eat that would be fast and good.....but certainly not fast food. This thread cane to mind so I suggested it and off we went. Although it was 6:30 on a Friday night we were the only table.

                                                                                                        The menu is the same as the one posted however when we walked in the large grill behind the counter was not on thus nothing roasting so none of those wonderful smells filing the air which drew MGZ there to begin with. They gave us a complimentary chips and salsa which we enjoyed. I prefer this salsa far more than the chared salsa at Copper Canyon, this was a much sweeter flavor. In addition we ordered guacamole which was fresh and very good as well.

                                                                                                        Entrees my son had the two mini burritos one chicken and one beef. It was a platter served with a side salad and some rice. Even for mini's they were nice size and he enjoyed them. I had a bite as well and I love fresh non processed found the flavors were very pleading including the cheese which I'm not sure what kind it was but it was excellent tasting.

                                                                                                        My wife had a chicken enchilada which was HUGE. I'm not a very sophisticated Mexican cuisine person but her dish was impressive. Served with a full plate of rice and beans on the side. Hers too was excellent!

                                                                                                        I ordered the Lino's Trio which was a combination of BBQ chicken, beef ribs and pork ribs. Also served with rice and beans fresh sliced avocado and diced tomato bruschetta type side. I guess since the grill wasn't on when we arrived all my trio had been previously grilled. It was awful.......the chicken was old and very very dry.....and the same with the ribs. The beef ribs were 75% fat and 25% edible meat. All the sides were great and tasty but the meats were not freshly cooked and very dry and rubber ish.

                                                                                                        I joked with the family I went with the reviewed items and got skunked they ventured on their own and were very happily surprised. Given the fact I really have no use for Mexican food and my meal, chicken specially was so bad I will probably have no reason to ever venture back.

                                                                                                        $49. For everything mentioned with 3 beverages as well. The service was fine/good and as described somewhere above the place is a hole in the wall. Other than us one other table for 2 came in and maybe 2 or 3 to go orders. Not to jumping for a Friday night. We were out by 7:15 and only missed the first 1/4 of the RBC game! Go Casseys!!!!*****this was done on my iPhone sorry for typo's it's far to cumbersome to correct under edit so please forgive I think you can still get the overall review.***

                                                                                                        1. re: jrvedivici
                                                                                                          MGZ Sep 22, 2012 07:57 AM

                                                                                                          Almost went to that game last night as it was my part of my 25th Reunion. Played on that field and wore the green and gold a quarter century ago (Loved that they beat Manasquan, though - tough growing up here, living here now, and having played for RBC). BTW - If they switch the RFH game to Thanksgiving Day, maybe you'll see me there . . . .

                                                                                                          1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                            jrvedivici Sep 24, 2012 01:09 PM

                                                                                                            Oh an RBC alumni! I played for Bishop Ahr up in Edison 23 years ago....not to give away my age. lol My daughter is a Sr. and son a Freshman... he is playing on the freshman squad.

                                                                                                            I can't stress to you enough though how miserable the chicken and ribs were at Lino's. lol.....

                                                                                                            1. re: jrvedivici
                                                                                                              MGZ Sep 25, 2012 05:57 AM

                                                                                                              Sorry about the barbecued items. As I said originally (which is way down below now), I usually don't suggest anyplace after a first visit, but Lino's seemed to have a chance and I thought other 'hounds might want to examine it for themselves. Oh well, I guess you gotta kiss a lot of frogs . . . right? The way I see it, at least your family enjoyed your choice for dining - better than you loving it and them pissed about how lousy it was. (Come to think of it, given the money your laying out for their education, your kids should put on a happy face about anywhere you take 'em! For your sake, however, I hope they don't turn out like me!)

                                                                                                      2. re: jrvedivici
                                                                                                        equal_Mark Sep 12, 2012 08:35 AM

                                                                                                        "MGZ I checked out your "new" Red Bank spot."

                                                                                                        What new spot is this? Can't see any reference in the above posts. Does it have a name or location?

                                                                                                        1. re: equal_Mark
                                                                                                          jrvedivici Sep 12, 2012 08:38 AM

                                                                                                          That's ok equal_Mark I'll do the heavy lifting for you on this one.

                                                                                                          http://www.linosmexicancafe.com/Welco...

                                                                                                          By the way by checked it out I just meant I looked at the web site and figured out where exactly it was located, I have not been there in person nor tried the food.

                                                                                                          1. re: jrvedivici
                                                                                                            equal_Mark Sep 12, 2012 10:31 AM

                                                                                                            A highly detailed website that offers several ordering options but provides no information! You can link to their online menus, but there are no menus listed online. They have the option to order online, but there are no online menus. They even offer a 10% discount for ordering online (see previous sentence). They also offer off premiss catering... Wait for it... No catering menu is available. You can even bring up an online summary of your order so far...........

                                                                                                            Perhaps I'll stop by and see if they have any paper takeout menus I can scan and post...

                                                                                                            1. re: equal_Mark
                                                                                                              jrvedivici Sep 12, 2012 10:39 AM

                                                                                                              Hey don't shoot the messenger I didn't say the web-site was going to be informative. I'm actually more facinated by the fact MGZ discovered the place by "smell".

                                                                                                              1. re: equal_Mark
                                                                                                                MGZ Sep 12, 2012 10:42 AM

                                                                                                                There are paper menus on the counter.

                                                                                                                1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                  equal_Mark Sep 12, 2012 12:59 PM

                                                                                                                  Lino's Menu:

                                                                                                                  http://www.exit109.com/~mstevens/Take...

                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                  1. re: equal_Mark
                                                                                                                    jrvedivici Sep 12, 2012 01:06 PM

                                                                                                                    Kudos to you Mr. equal_Mark!! Did you really just run out there to get this and post it? Too funny.............but sincerely thanks!! Looks pretty intersting and based on MGZ and ivrygrl320 comments it might be worth a try next time the family is in the mood for Boston Market to give this place a try.

                                                                                                                    1. re: jrvedivici
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                                                                                                                      ivrygrl320 Sep 12, 2012 01:09 PM

                                                                                                                      Boston Market dosen't offer a mariachi chicken in a sombrero!

                                                                                                                      1. re: jrvedivici
                                                                                                                        equal_Mark Sep 12, 2012 03:24 PM

                                                                                                                        No biggie, Red Bank is only 5 or 10 minutes from my house depending on traffic. I may check out the takeout, but I'm not sure I could handle eating in if the thudding Hip-Hop music on their sound system is part of their regular atmosphere.

                                                                                                                  2. re: equal_Mark
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                                                                                                                    ivrygrl320 Sep 12, 2012 10:46 AM

                                                                                                                    I work around the corner and this weather is great. I will stroll over tomorrow and pick something up for you guys. SHould have one in the menu drawer anyway. I agree, the website is funny. So courteous and eager to please, but with absolutely no information.

                                                                                                                    1. re: ivrygrl320
                                                                                                                      jrvedivici Sep 12, 2012 12:46 PM

                                                                                                                      Ok so let me ask you this since you work in that immediate area. Coffee Corral? Have you been there? This place completely confuses me......it looks like they spend some decent money to clean that place up but I can't see the location for a stand alone Coffee joint. Have you been?? Anytime I pass I never see anyone there are they doing any morning business?

                                                                                                                      1. re: jrvedivici
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                                                                                                                        ivrygrl320 Sep 12, 2012 01:09 PM

                                                                                                                        ok, so they know their coffee. They invested the money and roast their own. Those machines, even used cost a fortune.And while I would love to say I go all the time, I dont. A- the location is horrible. I am at that intersection a few times a week, and I never can be bothered to cross OVER Shrewsbury Avenue.
                                                                                                                        B- it isn't really set up to service a grab and go clientele. They prefer to individually brew for each cup. And that is great, but come on. On a work day momma needs her coffee and she needs it now. I used to manage a place a while back that tried this. But people don't want to wait 4 minutes for a French press of coffee when they have places to be.
                                                                                                                        The owners complain that people don't want to pay for quality product, and to some extent I agree. But good coffee is a luxury item and they opened in what I affectionately refer to as "Spanish- Harlem". The problem is that their product is not accessible. But I respect their effort, it just seems like a bad business plan.

                                                                                                                        1. re: ivrygrl320
                                                                                                                          MGZ Sep 21, 2012 06:30 AM

                                                                                                                          It's funny. You're comments have actually got me intending to try the place. I am not a daily coffee drinker anymore, so when I do I try to have nothing but the best.* At home, that means grinding beans and a French Press. Out, it means I'm generally trying to find something a notch above Starbucks. This place sounds right up my alley. Bonus is, I usually come down Dr. James Parker in order to get into town.

                                                                                                                          A quick look didn't turn up a website. Can you tell me if they sell their roasted beans? Or, for that matter anything more about what they offer?

                                                                                                                          *I approach steaks the same way. If you're only having beef sporadically, man, you gotta make it count. (Way I see it, sometimes things should be "luxury items".)

                                                                                                                          1. re: MGZ
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                                                                                                                            ivrygrl320 Sep 21, 2012 07:11 AM

                                                                                                                            I am fairly confident they do sell their beans. Like I said- while I would love to support them more, my weekday schedule does not allow it. I am consistently 6 minutes late to everything in my life. sigh. But you should go. I live on "bad" side of Middletown, so for me, that is Jersey Shore Coffee roasters on 36. I live near there and when i have a nothing filled Sat or Sun ahead of me, a nice bike ride over to spend an hour over a french press and pastries from The Flaky Tart is just about heaven. The ritual adds to the flavor! If you can turn the Corral into your lazy, quality spot do it. Better than Starf**ks!

                                                                                                                            1. re: ivrygrl320
                                                                                                                              MGZ Sep 21, 2012 07:13 AM

                                                                                                                              "The ritual adds to the flavor!"

                                                                                                                              Well put.

                                                                                                                              1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                jrvedivici Sep 21, 2012 08:16 AM

                                                                                                                                MGZ do I recall reading somewhere you were of the legal profession (or is that just an assumption I’ve made) if so can you draw up some kind of referral commission agreement for me since I brought Coffee Coral up and now they are getting all this attention. Jr needs to get paid!!

                                                                                                                                Maybe I too will have to try this place although I am not the coffee connoisseur that you are….I’m a daily Dunkin Donut’s iced coffee guy myself….but I’ll stop by and try them out when I drop off my commission agreement.

                                                                                                                                On another side note to this thread I did see/hear that Char is starting the interviewing process for Red Bank so maybe they are making quick progress on the inside of the place. Now that my daughter is driving herself and my son to school I don’t have the need to be in downtown Red Bank as much to check on the progress first hand.

                                                                                                                                If it’s quality steak your enjoy MGZ I assure you will be pleased when Char opens. If ya play your cards right….maybe I’ll buy your first drink there in trade for my commission agreement!

                                                                                                                                1. re: jrvedivici
                                                                                                                                  MGZ Sep 21, 2012 08:37 AM

                                                                                                                                  You are correct that I have the degree and the licenses to ply the trade in a few jurisdictions. Nonetheless, I gleefully gave up the glamour of spending my time and mental ability to make/save money for people who probably already had enough, as well as the noose of a necktie and the thrill of looking at hotel room phones in the morning to remember what city I was in. Subsequently, I have chosen to live a much simpler life back here on the Shores of the Atlantic.

                                                                                                                                  As to steak and coffee, being that I've crossed over to the downhill side of 40, they have become indulgences that I cherish and approach thoughtfully - regardless of where I find myself. Thus, I enjoy the idea of stopping for a better than average example either when I find myself in Red Bank. Perhaps, soon I will have a chance to do both.

                                                                                                                            2. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                              m
                                                                                                                              Mr. Bingley Sep 21, 2012 08:05 AM

                                                                                                                              I found a website but it wasn't terribly informative. Maybe I'll stop by tomorrow and see what they're about.

                                                                                                        2. re: jrvedivici
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                                                                                                          Mr. Bingley Sep 11, 2012 11:31 AM

                                                                                                          I wonder if part of the reason they got rid of everything was to completely get rid of the cigar smell?

                                                                                                          1. re: jrvedivici
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                                                                                                            ivrygrl320 Sep 11, 2012 11:56 AM

                                                                                                            JRV-This makes me very happy! I agree that they are NOwhere near ready to open, but I am really hoping that they can make Christmas for my ritual of a gin martini, then a glass of red wine and an awesome meal by all by myself the week before Christmas at a bar. I am putting all my hopes and wishes into Char this year. I have eaten at their other location only once and the food was delish. I do not pretend to be a steak expert, but if it has barely stopped bleeding and melts in my mouth, I am a customer for life. And that they did. The overall experience was not the best, but I think i can blame some of my fellow diners for that :)
                                                                                                            I also recently tried Lino's at the recommendation of an old resto co-worker and it was divine! I took a first date and a 6 pack. The food, moreso than the date,more than met my carnivorous hankerings. Looking forward to going again soon. I love me a hole in the wall that makes a few things and makes them well. Also, the staff was friendly and straight forward and made us feel comfortable.

                                                                                                            1. re: ivrygrl320
                                                                                                              jrvedivici Sep 11, 2012 12:11 PM

                                                                                                              Due tell why the overall exerience wasn't the best......?? I have eaten at the Raritan location dozens of times over the past 3/4 years since first trying it and I have not had one bad experience....which is very rare for me because I tend to be very critical of restaurants, especially steakhouses. I love everything about the place right from the pretzel rolls they serve. (one option of a few variety they carry).

                                                                                                              I can't believe this place Lino is on the radar. I'm going to look for it during my travels the next few days as I'm in that area frequently. Sadly their menu option on their web site isn't functioning.

                                                                                                              1. re: jrvedivici
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                                                                                                                ivrygrl320 Sep 11, 2012 12:32 PM

                                                                                                                Any negativity was 100% not related to the food. I had several dining companions that were holding up our ordering then were pains in the asses and our waitress wasn't very experienced and the courses/service all kinda fell apart. And while we did not make life easier for the girl, nothing was done to really fix it. Certainly, we were not a dream table, but no worse than say 20% of diners on a Saturday night. you know , THOSE people.....Ive worked in hospitality a lot and when things go wrong, i feel bad for all the parties, which just makes me want to forget dinner and hide in the car or march into the kitchen and fix it myself. ANd at those prices, it wasn't ultimately worth it for me. But, still, my tail wags with excitement in anticipation of their arrival. And, I no longer dine out with those friends. As I get older, the people I am willing to eat out with dwindle into a smaller and smaller group.

                                                                                                        3. MGZ Sep 11, 2012 09:23 AM

                                                                                                          I have a potentially "new" Red Bank spot. Lino's Mexican Barbecue Cafe on Shrewsbury Ave. I don't generally suggest anything after a single try, but this guy may have something worthy to try. We picked up a half chicken with the spicy sauce on it yesterday and headed back to the bottom of the Monmouth Coast. It was quite tasty - enough to make us want to go back when next we travel so far north. It was heated over a grill using what smelled to me to be using only hickory and came with an abundance of "stuff" (french fried potatoes, tortillas, rice, beans, and salsa (both roja and verde) for $7.50. The chicken was well spiced (also available without the hot sauce) and quite tasty - and still hot after the trek down to Exit 98.

                                                                                                          http://www.linosmexicancafe.com/Welco...

                                                                                                          Has anyone else tried it? Want to?

                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: MGZ
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                                                                                                            Mr. Bingley Sep 11, 2012 11:32 AM

                                                                                                            Hmm, I'd say I'll give it a try but the menu is "temporarily unavailable" on their site!

                                                                                                            1. re: Mr. Bingley
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                                                                                                              ivrygrl320 Sep 11, 2012 11:57 AM

                                                                                                              No websites! Jump off the culinary edge into the mystery that is Shrewsbury Avenue, Red Bank, NJ. Bring some adult beverages and don't wear white! Report back!

                                                                                                              1. re: ivrygrl320
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                                                                                                                Mr. Bingley Sep 11, 2012 12:24 PM

                                                                                                                oh man, dropping the gauntlet!

                                                                                                            2. re: MGZ
                                                                                                              corvette johnny Sep 12, 2012 06:57 AM

                                                                                                              Interesting....I might have to try this. I think this is the spot by the infamous "on the rock" liquors....LOL

                                                                                                              thanks for the tip.

                                                                                                              1. re: corvette johnny
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                                                                                                                ivrygrl320 Sep 12, 2012 08:56 AM

                                                                                                                I Once ran into the owners of "On the Rock", say 6 years ago. Apparently they had recently taken over and I found myself next to them at Danny's bar late one night. I cracked up, mentioned the name, why not just buy an "S". They sat there and swore to me I was wrong. I had a gf from hs with me and as we both grew up around here, we swore we were right. And we were! It was such a weird moment. They stuck to their version of the truth the entire time.

                                                                                                              2. re: MGZ
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                                                                                                                MiddletownB Nov 24, 2012 06:42 AM

                                                                                                                Lino's is very good.

                                                                                                              3. MGZ Sep 22, 2012 06:21 AM

                                                                                                                OK, so forgive me for meandering from reassessing to remembering, but an impending HS reunion brought to mind the time me and two buddies put down fifty McDonalds cheeseburgers after a football game and a little celebrating (it was one of those 25 cent promos they used to do - it was like 15 bucks with drinks). Anyway, the McDs was on the east side of Broad Street and, to my recollection, close to Monmouth Street. The question is, does anyone remember exactly where? What's there now?

                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: MGZ
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                                                                                                                  Mr. Bingley Sep 22, 2012 06:49 AM

                                                                                                                  cant help you on that one, boss. though i live here now i grew up in sussex county.

                                                                                                                  1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                    equal_Mark Sep 22, 2012 10:10 AM

                                                                                                                    I believe the Merril Lynch offices are there now...

                                                                                                                    1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                      j
                                                                                                                      jbsiegel Sep 26, 2012 05:19 AM

                                                                                                                      I remember that McDonalds! I had a friend who went in there once and only had 17 cents with her. Convinced them to sell her 17 cents worth of french fries!

                                                                                                                      1. re: MGZ
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                                                                                                                        HillJ Nov 18, 2012 11:49 AM

                                                                                                                        Merrill Lynch bldg?

                                                                                                                        1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                          jrvedivici Nov 28, 2012 07:06 AM

                                                                                                                          Yes that is it.

                                                                                                                      2. i
                                                                                                                        ivrygrl320 Nov 28, 2012 07:35 AM

                                                                                                                        CHAR Update: So. Lucky me, a dear friend's hubby is the GM for the RB location. Happy dance. They are saying Dec 5th, but I do not see that happening. They mus,t must be open by Christmas I think. How can one lose out on all that revenue? It is gorgeous inside, they did an amazing job. Hopefully they can get at least half of the place up and running by the 15th or so! Beef! Grrrrr!

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: ivrygrl320
                                                                                                                          jrvedivici Nov 28, 2012 08:03 AM

                                                                                                                          Red Bank + Holidays + Char + Grand Opening = I will wait till February to give it a try. lol I'm going to Raritan Tomorrow night.....is your friends Hubby with the company already or is he coming on board just for Red Bank?

                                                                                                                        2. e
                                                                                                                          eleeper Nov 28, 2012 08:30 AM

                                                                                                                          It's actually probably time to start a new thread on this.

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: eleeper
                                                                                                                            MGZ Nov 28, 2012 09:08 AM

                                                                                                                            Do so, but include a link to this one.

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