Family tradition tops the menu as authentic Jewish fare debuts in “Hip To Win”

by Gilda Rogers • Photos By robert nuzzie

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Red Bank, christened one of the East Coast’s coolest and most desirable towns, is a cultural haven for restaurants, but when Susan Shapiro traversed the riverside borough in search of a hot pastrami sandwich on rye—the kind made legend at Manhattan’s Carnegie or Katz’s delis—she had no luck.

That market hole created a calling. After 35 years in the corporate world, Shapiro elected to follow her other passion: cooking.

“This was the fare I grew up on [in New York], and that’s the one thing that didn’t exist close by,” she said. So, in honor of her family’s food tradition with its roots in Poland and Russia, Shapiro, along with business partners Matt Kaplan and Dean Ross, opened Shapiro’s New York Style Delicatessen in January, in the space once occupied by coffee shop No Ordinary Joe’s.

It was a welcome addition to the diverse culinary landscape of “Hip Town.” The deli’s retro black-andwhite décor is a nostalgic reminder of a simpler time, from checkerboard floor tile to the eye-catching chrome and tin ceiling. A wide selection of favorites is illuminated on screens: tongue and brisket, blintzes, latkes, kreplach, and potato knishes just a few. Every item is an elevated take on familiar fare, from breakfast favorites like Irv’s Lox, Eggs, & Onions to sweet treats Cinnamon Babka French Toast and luscious pastries. Bread, bagels, and crisp pickles are delivered daily from Brooklyn, and catering is also available.

For a quick bite, the menu heading “Here’s the Scoop” directs attention to chopped chicken livers or whitefish and shrimp salads, served on a bed of lettuce with tomatoes. Special “Sammys,” soups, salads, and a children’s menu are also on hand.

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Keeping the family history alive, walls are adorned with framed images of relatives. _ e likewise personalized menu is replete with names that honor family members, such as “The Shirleys,” a nod to the matriarchs of the family (one grandmother on each side of the family was named Shirley). This ample combination of hot corned beef is topped with coleslaw, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing and served on toasty rye bread. We also sampled “The Dylan,” a juicy mix of homemade beef brisket topped with coleslaw and potato latkes and served on rye, with sour cream and applesauce on the side—at once hearty, flavorful, and full of competing textures. Extra hearty appetites can tackle the “Hailey’n Max,” a double-decker club with roasted turkey, turkey bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo on white or house heath bread.

Due to popular demand, Shapiro’s, which was initially open on Tuesday through Sunday for breakfast and lunch, is now open for dinner Thursday through Saturday.

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Shapiro’s New York Style Delicatessen
51 Broad Street, Red Bank / 732.212.1600
shapirosdeli.com