Red's is closed for a much needed vacation this week. In the meantime, I have composed this newsletter with the intention of keeping Red's fresh in your mind, and to explain what it's all about here, where real fresh food abounds and quick, friendly service delights.My recent appearance in New Jersey Monthly's New and Notable Restaurants of 2013 gave me such a spark of inspiration, and after seven months of perfecting the Chicago Style Italian Beef sandwich and listening to many Chicagoans, as well as Jerseyites, I've come up with answers to all of the great questions.
The word Giardiniera is what is used to describe the delicious, crunchy topping that goes with the tender slices of top round and au jus dip (DIPS) that make up the Chicago obsession. There are so many versions of it, but mine, known as Celery Relish, which is mildly spicy and flavorful, has been extremely popular, but in need of some more heat for most Chicago fans. By mixing my celery relish with pickled jalapenos and olive oil, I now have a most excellent "hot giardiniera", in addition to our milder version. It's so hard to resist that we also offer it on a grilled Hebrew National, and it will be known as the "Fire Dog".
My Chicago Dog is as close as I can get in New Jersey. Chicagoans have noticed the lack of poppy seed bun, sport peppers and Vienna Hot Dogs, which are essential to the total experience. I do a sprinkle of poppy seeds, along with the authentic sprinkle of celery salt. I use a mildly hot sliced banana pepper as sport peppers are somewhat indigenous to Chicago and difficult, if not impossible, to find here. As for the dog, Hebrew National is definitely not the same as Vienna, but ya gotta admit, they're darn good. I grill them instead of boiling or steaming, and that turns out to be mighty tasty as well.
Do the words "Turkey Burger" make you yawn? You haven't tried one of mine. Plenty of sautéed and caramelized veggies in the burger (FLIPS), along with ample but not overpowering spice, make them juicy and better than you ever thought they could be. I serve them fully seared and on a toasted Brioche bun with all your favorite burger toppings as well as my addictive Chipotle Mayonnaise.
Have you tried my hand-cut, double-cooked fries (CHIPS)? Have you tried my 3 amazing Chili's? Put them together and you have a variety of seriously good choices. Try our most popular, the Santa Fe Chili (Beef and Bean) with regular fries and melted cheese, or maybe sweet potato fries with my awesomely delish and healthy veggie chili for a nutritious twist on a decadent favorite.
And there you have it! I hope I was able to address your questions based on feedback we've received thus far. As always, please feel free to keep the questions coming! Now, we're off to enjoy some R&R... see you in a week!