#HipNJ’s Lisa Marie Latino sat down with former NFL player and co-owner of Simply Southern Belmar, Rasheed Simmons.
This unique restaurant takes you within the Deep South via their cuisine. Simmons’ family has been in the restaurant business for over 17 years, and they recently found their previous location a little over 5 years ago. They attended the Seafood Festival in Belmar and found that there were no establishments that served the kind of food Simmons does, as well as giving customers the experience that they give.
Their recipes have been passed down through the generations. His parents grew up down south, so that’s where the Southern roots and Southern food come from. Being co-owner with his mother, Simmons is able to spend most of his days with her and learn from her in terms of running a business and being a chef. He says it’s a gift to work with her.
Along with co-owning his restaurant, Simmons had an NFL career. He came out of college as a free agent and was picked up by the NY Giants. He then went to the Carolina Panthers, where he played with them for a few years. Unfortunately, Simmons was injured, cutting his career short. However, through his journey with sports, he’s learned how to run a business as a professional and to perform at a high level.
Simmons showed us some of his signature dishes, including his seafood gumbo with lobster, scallop, crab, shrimp, and mudbugs (crawfish) with corn, peppers, onions, and yellow rice. He also showed us his baked macaroni and cheese, which is a southern tradition. Next, was his deep-fried cauliflower. And the newest dish to his menu was whole pork egg roll.
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