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RED BANK ROAD TRIP: Brimstone & Courage

ROAD TRIP!!! Sometimes you’ve just got to get away… away from the general hectic-ness of daily life. Considering we’ve been on a never-ending wave of COVID keeping us either locked down, sick; or mourning friends and family – I’d say that many people can empathize with my need to get a dose of normalcy. That being said… I hit up my pal Marty Grabstein (who you may know as the voice of Courage the Cowardly Dog), and we made arrangements for a ‘Boys Day Out’ so to speak! Alas, the Cowardly Dog and ole' Brim hit the road to see where the day would take us! Our agenda… Red Bank, New Jersey.

Without further ado, hope you’ll enjoy the VIDEO and then please continue READING the rest of the BrimBLOG below for all the details about our visits with Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash, SMODCastle and Dining Experience at B2 Bistro + Bar.

Hope you guys enjoyed the video! I’ve been trying to learn a little editing so I can start adding more visuals to my BLOG as well as the site in general. Moving along – Now that you have the gist of the overall day itself… I’m going to go into more detail about certain aspects of the day! When Marty and I discussed what we would do for the day, the idea was to enjoy the company of friends, see some cool things and SHARE what we do with our fans on Social Media. Marty recently signed at Rhode Island Comic Con and met my pal Brian O’Halloran – So he’d taken interest and had questions about the View Askew Universe… I figured I’d be his guide! So of course, the first stop had to be Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash at their NEW location at 65 Broad Street (It is literally a block away from the original spot)! I was invited to the grand opening of the new store; however I was unable to attend

due to professional commitments – So I was just as amped to see the new digs as Marty. At first glance, as you see in the video – the front window space is insanely spacious and holds a vast array of Kevin Smith memorabilia (some that was on display at the old spot; but a LOT of unseen eye candy as well). Upon entering the Stash – you can immediately feel the difference in the much larger space as well as the positive energy therein. Ernie O’Donnell (who we’d be catching up with later) was heavily responsible for the build out and he did an incredible job with the displays including the new Buddy Christ area with a kneeler in front of it (which Marty jumped on the opportunity to pose in front of)! Meanwhile, at the helm of Stash is my dear friend and extended family Michael Zapcic and Julia Zapcic keeping the boat afloat! As great as it was to see Mike, I was SO grateful to get to see Julia – we hadn’t seen each other in person for almost FIVE years! Another cool addition is the gift of LIFE-SIZED Pop! Jay and Silent Bob Figures sent by Funko… by far the most badass display. We fully enjoyed visiting the expanded mini-museum… I’m sure I’ll be back again sometime soon!

Next up on the agenda was FOOD!!! Now everyone who knows me, knows that I will ALWAYS find the hottest spots for the BEST grub in the area – Red Bank certainly wouldn’t be any different! We shot over to B2 Bistro + Bar which I will preface was absolutely INCREDIBLE. Marty and I were greeted by the General Manager of the Red Bank location (they have 5 locations – 4 in Jersey and 1 in Pennsylvania), Dylan, who escorted us to our reserved table. The location itself has a cool and casual ambiance with a long beautiful old-school wood built bar, huge wood burning pizza oven and a lot of open space with high ceilings. One thing that I noticed immediately when stepping into the space - was the aroma!

The foreshadowing of what was to come enveloped my nose and I could feel my taste buds anticipating the flavor that was about to be bestowed upon them! I enjoyed the history lesson that I requested from Dylan who told us all about the Bistro’s humble beginnings. I’ve always appreciated the tidbits of rich history that each restaurant that I’ve dined at offers… it’s truly amazing. I also wanted to shout out our terrific server, Shane – who was a great guide when it came to navigating the menu and the local favorites. Now… when it comes to the menu – it changes from season to season! One mainstay is the Slow Cooked Pig and now we know why… TOTAL WIN! We had the pleasure of having this dish presented by Chef Dimas Montalvo III – he’d explained the preparation to us as being an overnight slow roast of the full pig. Once ready, they pull the pork – then press and sear it in order to lock in the flavor! Eventually, when it’s ready to meet its maker… the pork is delicately placed on a

bed of BBQ squash puree, and surrounded by delicious brussel sprouts! Needless to say, one bite and I was sold – the meat was soft, flavorful and melted in my mouth. WELL DONE. I am infatuated with the Korean style Crispy Chicken & Cauliflower – I could eat this dish all day long… the flavor behavior hits every one of your taste buds and legit rocks your world! The Kung-Pao style sauce is BOSS here... dressing the most perfectly fried, LARGE chicken strips - then drizzled with a hot honey that offered another layer of yum with a slight kick! If this weren’t enough, it’s accompanied by buffalo cauliflower that’ll make your mouth water. Another favorite of mine was the Cured Wings – slow and low roasted, then slapped with sriracha, fried and tossed in hot honey, sea salt, herbs and a bleu cheese crumble… WINNING. I’m pretty sure these babies spoke to my soul – sweet, spicy, crispy and full of

fantastic in every bite – they’ve pushed their way into my Top Ten. Color me impressed – I didn’t expect the burger to be as on-point as it was… a Dry Aged Burger (Chuck, Brisket and Short Rib – I believe), that I thoroughly enjoyed with thick cut bacon and bleu cheese! I love that they cut their own fries in house – it’s surprising that more restaurants don’t do this, as fresh cut fries are so much better than frozen! We gorged ourselves on an order of their Rally Fries – a HUGE helping of those fresh cut, crispy fries with a Mediterranean taste thanks to a light bed of cheesy sauce; then lightly glazed with ranch, sriracha and herbs. The Polenta ala Tavola was delicious – fresh, soft and creamy; while the Warm Brussel Salad was bright and welcoming with apples, bacon, almonds and a white balsamic vinaigrette! Lastly,

the Slow Cooked Meatballs were like an explosion of Little Italy in your mouth! Three well-portioned meatballs with a sweet ricotta, tucked under a light blanket of parmesan cheese – every bite was filled with bursts of saucy wonder… LOVED IT! Chef Dimas insisted that we try his Old Fashioned Crème Brulee – as stuffed as we were; we figured we’d oblige… and glad we did! Made to taste like an ‘Old Fashioned’ drink, the hints of bourbon are subtle and work sublimely with the bitters and smoked crème – great job! Highly recommended if you are in the area – I’m looking forward to eventually checking out their other locations! After taking a tour of the kitchen and meeting the rest of the staff, we were off to our next stop.

We headed over to Leonardo, New Jersey (which is essentially right next to Red Bank) to visit my bruv Ernie O'Donnell at the SMODCastle. If you aren’t familiar with the SMODCastle, it’s Kevin Smith and Ernie’s Podcast Theater – located directly next to the infamous Quick Stop (Yes, the one from Clerks). They’re just about done cleaning up from the post-production of Clerks 3; but you can see in the above video that everything isn’t back in place yet. I love the simplicity of the place – it is perfect for what it is meant for… performing! I remember seeing the location before anything was done with it and thrilled to

see their vision has come to fruition… also love seeing a little Brimstone represented in the backroom!!! We had a fantastic visit catching up with Ernie and was a great end to a great day out and about. Of course before leaving, we had to get a few shots of Marty standing in front of the Quick Stop - I mean... you haven't actually experienced View Askew until standing in front of the place at least once (LOL). Needless to say, I slept well that night… hope you all enjoyed! - Brim

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