Cue the Applause for Mo’ Greens Roast House BBQ

Mo' Greens Roast House BBQ

Hey, ‘cue lovers! I’m thrilled to report that there is now a spot for great barbecue in Manalapan, NJ. And it’s hard for me to believe that it’s less than a five-minute drive from our house! I kid you not!

Mo’ Greens Roast House BBQ opened earlier this year. When we heard that it was located in the small strip mall on the north side of Route 9 next door to Bagel World (which has been making superior bagels for the past 40 years, but let me not digress…), we rushed right over. Finding Mo’ Greens a haven of deliciousness, we’ve been back several times.

We love the dry-rubbed St. Louis ribs which are extremely meaty. No sauce is applied during the slow smoking process, so we add some. There are two made in-house choices on the table, ketchup-based and vinegar-based. Both are very good, so it depends on which style you prefer.

St. Louis Ribs, Sweet Potato Fries, Confetti Slaw, Fried Mac & Cheese, and Corn Bread

The first time I tasted the smoked beef brisket, I was shocked at how marvelous it was. Since it’s sliced thin with not a lot of fat on it, you might have your doubts. However, the meat is succulent and has a very pleasing but not overpowering smoky flavor. The only other place I’ve had barbecued brisket is at Hill Country, in NYC. Frankly, Mo’ Greens’ blows it away.

The pulled pork can be ordered as a sandwich, but we’ve preferred to get it straight. It’s a generous pile of jumbled juiciness with excellent flavor kicked up a notch more by dousing the meat with some of that vinegar-based sauce.

Pulled Pork BBQ

Let’s talk about the sides. I adore sweet potato fries, and the ones at Mo’ Greens are fantastic! They always come to the table piping hot out of the fryer, never greasy, and oh, so crispy! I really like the Confetti Slaw with its spicy kick. And while other barbecue places serve regular mac & cheese, at Mo’ Greens, it’s fried! I’m not sure how they do it, but the little square cake has this very crunchy coating that covers a very creamy mac & cheese interior.

I must make special mention of the fantastic cornbread. A good-sized piece comes with each platter. Exceedingly moist with intense corn flavor, it’s one of the best I’ve ever had.

Of the few desserts offered, we’ve tried two of the homemade pies: the blueberry and the cherry. The incredibly flaky crust and delicious fillings make it difficult to choose which was the more luscious.

Cherry Pie.

As I said, we’ve already been to Mo’ Greens several times. But we’ve hardly made a dent in trying all the options on the menu. That’s because we’ve liked what we’ve already had so much, we haven’t been able to stop ourselves from doing repeats.  Since my dining crystal ball shows many more visits in our future, we’ll definitely be trying the different styles of chicken, as well as the beer battered shrimp. I’ve also got my eye on two sandwiches made with grilled pastrami. And if I can tear myself away from those fried sweet potatoes, there are other spuds: steak fries, mashed potatoes, potato salad, and house made potato chips.

This is, of course, no fancy-schmancy place. It’s relatively small, with one large booth, some tables and counter seating. Not much in the way of décor. Mostly snapshots tacked up on the walls of people enjoying their ‘cue. I’m even willing to put up with paper plates and plastic utensils since it is all about the food.

Mo' Greens Roast House BBQ

When I first heard the name, I mistakenly thought the place was owned by someone named “Moe Green.”  But neither of the two owners goes by that name. Steve Miller and Jeff Deutsch, who also own Mixed Greens and Grill located at the other end of the strip, chose it as a play on words related to their salad-oriented spot. These guys are super friendly, and one of them is always around to make sure things are running smoothly.

Amazingly, word of Mo’ Greens came to the attention of the NY Times’ NJ restaurant critic Karla Cook. In her review published in the paper’s weekend edition on July 8th, she gave Mo’ Greens a rating of “Worth it.” Unlike NYC restaurants, those in NJ do not receive stars. However, if they did, according to the cockamamie word ratings system they use, “Worth it” would equal three stars. A rave! While I’ve often disagreed with Cook over the years, in this case, she got it exactly right.

Mo’ Greens is truly a welcome addition to what is a relatively bleak culinary landscape. So, mega-kudos to Steve and Jeff for bringing great ‘cue to our area and especially for locating it practically on our door step!

To see all my photos of Mo’ Greens click here, here, here, and here.

Mo' Greens Roast House BBQ

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