The Butcher’s Block (Long Branch)
When I found out that a farm-to-table restaurant was opening by people who have a butcher shop with more than 40 years of experience, I was excited. Then I saw the menu (below). Not to shoot a place down before it opens, but with a name like, I don’t know, The Butcher’s Block, I was expecting to see some steaks. Instead, the soups, salads, and pizzas (pizza?) outnumber the “handhelds” which is where the meat is. And when I say meat, I mean one pork chop sandwich, one with prime rib, a BLT, and a burger. The rest are chicken, turkey, and roast pork. Nary a steak to be found anywhere, unless you count “sliced rib-eye” for their version of a cheesesteak. Not that there is anything wrong with the selection, it is just not befitting of such a place. How will it fair in Long Branch? Will the high prices go unnoticed or will people see $19 for a four-piece fried chicken basket and go elsewhere? Does the $14 burger come with fries? I wish them the best of luck (and with a nice interior to boot) but I am puzzled at their menu choices. They have a sandwich titled “That’s It”, but it should have a question mark at the end.
JakeaBob’s Bay (Union Beach)
I haven’t been here in a long time, but wanted to announce that they will be opening soon for the 2019 season. After speaking with the owner, I was told that they are waiting on a new refrigeration unit and that a post with their start date will be coming soon via their social media. It will be their 20th year in operation, and that time has seen the restaurant take many forms. They appear to have rejuvenated the menu, and even have a chilled seafood tower which includes two pounds of Louisiana BBQ shrimp and mussels, among other goodies. And those wings below look amazing ($2 from each order will be donated to the JBJ Soul Kitchen Foundation in Red Bank—how cool is that?). I really have to get over there this summer.
Moe’s Southwestern Grill (Middletown)
They were originally supposed to open a week or two ago, and man, was there a backlash on social media when they decided to move their opening date to May 9th. Apparently, there were more than a few angry people on line outside waiting for their “free burritos for a year”, which were announced that they would be given to the first 100 people in line. I’m in no rush to go to Moe’s, but given the seemingly endless posts regarding this place (this blog included!), I just wish they would get it over with. $5 burritos all day to customers beginning tomorrow morning at 7 AM.