Mardi Gras Founder Opens Sandwich Shop


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Barbi Ellen Newman, the original owner of Mardi Gras Fine Foods, is back in the takeout food business.

Today, Newman is throwing open the doors on Red’s Dips and Flips at 800 Bloomfield Avenue in West Caldwell. That’s in the same shopping complex as the Panera Bread and Sunrise ShopRite near West Passaic Avenue.

The menu at Red’s is built around a Chicago-style beef sandwich: slow roasted, thinly sliced top round of beef, with an array of relish and toppings.

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Newman says she fell in love with the sandwich early in her food career, when the graduate of the Culinary Institute of America was working at the Ritz-Carlton. “I ate it every day”, she says.

Since she and her sister Kim sold Mardi Gras in 2007 (it continues to operate in Verona), Newman had been mulling new ventures. The result is a lunch and dinner place with the eat-in space that Mardi Gras never had, at budget-friendly prices. The sandwiches at Red’s run from $4.75 to $8.75, and the menu also includes things like turkey burgers and a barbecue chicken sandwich. You can also get what Newman is calling a “kit” to enjoy the beef sandwiches at your home or office. They keep the sandwich components separate, so that you can heat and assemble them later.

“I wanted to do something more fitting with the financial times,” Newman says. “A high-end gourmet shop didn’t seem fitting any more.”

Red’s is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Saturday. You can see the menu and more information here.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected]


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