Chatterbox Chatter

The Blue Moon

By Don Hall

So I’ve wanted to have a REALLY nice steak sandwich for awhile… Our regular sliced steak (where we use a marinated flank) has a huge following but I wanted to try and add something different.  It took me longer than I wanted (had to buy a new slicer, find the right cut of meat, be inspired…) to figure out what I wanted to do but when we got this one dialed in and introduced the reception has been close to 99%!

We start with a Tri-Tip covered with a 6 spice dry rub… Then it is grilled to be med-rare to rare, cooled down til it is refrigerator cold and then sliced nice and thin. (This is the part where my staff is paranoid about the slicing… The Tri-Tip has a grain to it and I’ve had to instruct everyone on how to find it and then slice across it, the result is a much better “bite” when you get it. They are now experts on this procedure which is checked regularly by me passing through the kitchen and putting my hand under the slicer to receive a nice piece of beautiful sliced steak to pop into my mouth for a “test”). We then portion the steak, ready for the next order. When the order comes into the kitchen we slice a fresh Ciabatta Roll and place it on the griddle along with our sweet sautéed onions. We then take the Ciabatta, place the sliced steak on it, place a fruitwood smoked blue cheese (hence the name) on top of the steak and cover that with the hot onions.

This fruitwood-smoked blue cheese is one of the key parts of the sandwich… This is NOT the crumbly stuff that comes on the top of salads, it has a creamier texture, can almost be sliced and the smokiness is just enough to give it a very distinctive flavor… Even people who don’t care for blue cheese are giving it the thumbs up!

We don’t take "temperatures” on this sandwich… it’s like ordering a Roast Beef sandwich, it comes out the way it does, Warm, medium rare would be the best way to describe it.

The results are exactly what I was looking for, when I walk around the dining room and notice someone has the Blue Moon, I specifically ask them for feedback on it. The answer that I frequently get is “I had one the other day and came back for it again”
… music to my ears!

The name of the sandwich, “Blue Moon” was conceived by my daughter Heather, who also came up with the name for our other signature sandwich, the” Big Bad John”.  I think she just likes to hear me make a fool of myself when I have to sing it on our radio commercial! 

I hope that you try it and I hope even more that you like it! 


The New York Times

Cars and Carbs

by Jack Silbert

"On Saturday at the Chatterbox in Augusta, hundreds of classic-car enthusiasts, like Gary Sless with his homemade replica 1932 hot rod, converge for "Cruise-In Night." The gatherings at this Sussex County spot run from May through September, but you don't need to be a gearhead to fuel up here. Don Hall, the owner, has created a friendly, entertaining place with a 1950s-'60s theme. Read more...


The Record

Eating Out on $50: The Chatterbox in Frankford

By Jeffrey Page

"So say you and some friends are up at Skylands Park in Frankford shouting for a minor league team called the Sussex Skyhawks - or maybe looking at antiques down the road in Lafayette, sliding down waterfalls at Mountain Creek over in Vernon, or hiking up the High Point monument in Wantage - and you feel a little hungry. You could turn south for the ride home.

Or you could step into a showy time machine called the Chatterbox. Read more...