Red's Dips Flips and Chips Kicks Off 2013 as the Year Of The Sandwich

by Melody Kettle

Barbi ~ Red's Dips Flips and Chips

Woo hoo! Red’s Dips, Flips, and Chips is open in West Caldwell and if this is any indication of what the year in food is going to be 2013 will be the best year in food yet!

Red’s signature dish is the Chicago Italian Beef sandwich. Thinly sliced slow roasted top round of beef with a choice of Red’s relish or sweet roasted peppers will change everything you thought a Roast Beef Sandwich could be. Dip it in the jus and my oh my, why hasn’t anyone thought of this before!

Okay, I know, roast beef and au jus, I hear the skepticism already. The beef is roasted in house, with real beef, it’s not "coming from some plastic wrapped chuck of meat delivered by a “food service” truck". This is the real deal, roasted daily. “Au jus” as a name is a bit of an understatement too. Too often the au jus in restaurants comes in a can, the broth at Red’s is made in house. Perhaps a better name would be “Oh Zhoo!” (“hot damn and hallelujah” would be inappropriate in a story about a restaurant so I’ll stick with “Oh Zhoo!”) Where do start with the relish. It’s not that green stuff from a jar loaded with Yellow Dye #6, Red makes her vegetable relish fresh every day from fresh vegetables. Color me surprised at how great the Italian Beef Sandwich is!

A Mardi Gras Icon at Red's Dips Flips and Chips

While Red’s Dips, Flips and Chips is new to the area, Red, actually Barbi Ellen Newman, is no stranger to the local food scene. She and her sister Kim were the team behind Mardi Gras Catering in Verona before selling that business in 2007. Between Mardi Gras and Reds, Barbi worked as a private chef, then turned her attention to the more public culinary experience that just opened. Patrons of Mardi Gras will recognize the vintage white oven from the window of the catering company. Found in an estate sale years ago, it’s not only a great piece of culinary history, it’s a subliminal reminder of the home cooked nature of everything here. The oven is located in the back of the restaurant near the entry to the kitchen.

Everyone must try the chopped BBQ Chicken Sandwich, think pulled pork made with lean chicken, on a brioche bun. Remember how everyone loved Barbi’s turkey burgers in the past? They’re back! I still haven’t decided which version I like better, Original, Mediterranean, or frozen. (more on frozen later) Sautéed vegetables bring flavor and juiciness to the burgers keeping this low-fat meat truly low fat. Amazing what the creative use of vegetables can do!

Red's Dips Flips and Chips ~ Mac and 3 Cheese

And while on the subject of vegetables, Vegans will find true nirvana in the vegetarian chili which also happens to be gluten-free. Quinoa and beans pack a protein punch. Vegetarians (and the rest of us) will swoon over the mac and three cheese. Three cheeses, a crumb topping, three cheeses, made daily, three cheeses, did I mention it has three chesses?

One of the great carry-overs from the Mardi Gras days is the ability to have a take-away choioce. Of course there is the usual “porto via” (to-go) option, but there are also frozen turkey burgers and mac and cheese plus other faves in a case available for eating at home at a later time. The chipotle mayonnaise and her BBQ are available too. With Barbi doing this, I wonder how many other restaurants might consider a similar option to expand their revenue stream?



Red's Dips Flips and Chips

Red’s Dips Flips and Chips is at 800 Bloomfield Ave. in West Caldwell. (It’s the shopping center with the Panera on the corner). Red’s is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Saturday. 2013 is starting to look like the year of the sandwich, and for anyone keeping score, this is my favorite restaurant to open so far this year!

Check out Red’s on your computer machine at