The snack hut at North Plainfield’s Krausche Field looks like a traditional storage shack. Inside, you’d expect to find a long discarded leather helmet or blocking dummy.
That’s before the same tiny building springs alive with energy on Friday nights in the fall when the Canucks football team is in town and the North Plainfield Band Parents are behind the counter.
The hut beat out runners-up Ridge 46.8 percent to 38.4 percent in an online poll of Courier News readers at MyCentralJersey.com seeking the best snack bar in the area. Montgomery was third at 9.2 percent and Westfield was fourth at 5.5 percent.
At North Plainfield, the menu is old school, simple, and tasty. Hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, homemade soup (the chicken noodle is recommended) and chile (with cheese or without) and mozzarella sticks are the bread winners, so to speak.
That’s pretty much the menu, and that’s good enough for fans, coaches, players or officials, who get their halftime snacks from the shack.
Ann-Mary Fellin is one of the leaders of the little band of parents whose hard work benefits the music programs at the high school. Money made goes to everything from college-bound musicians and instrumental updates. A profit for a game can be as much as $900 and all of it goes to supporting the music programs.
North Plainfield High School supervisor of arts Thomas Mazur was so happy to hear the parents’ hard work was recognized that he thought up a “rap” for the award.
“The news that the North Plainfield High School hut has been awarded the prize of No. 1 among likewise eateries I surmise is because the music parents work that humble shack with crackerjack collaboration and impeccable presentation,” Mazur mused.
The presentation is done with a smile.
“I have been to competitions where the poor people are pulling their hair out, we are a fun bunch and have fun with everybody,” said Fellin. “It’s just an amazing group of people.”
Fellin calls her fellow parents “a well oiled team,” that includes her husband, Jon, and Justine and Paul DeMeola. The Fellins have lived in North Plainfield for 19 years.
“We have a core of 10 to 15 parents who will work super-duper hard and we have between eight or 10 people working per event,” said Fellin, adding that the hut has also been open for field hockey and soccer games.
Inside the hut there are two refrigerators, a fryer, cast iron stove and a recently donated hot dog roller. There even have been tables brought in so fans can snack next to the shack.
Joe Irovando, a longtime member of the North Plainfield on-field chain gang, said that what separates the shack from others are the french fries.
“Anywhere you go, I hear that the french fries aren’t as good as the ones you get at North Plainfield,” he said. “That ‘you never get a bad fry’ at North Plainfield. The refs also rave about it. They’ve told me they love doing games at Krausche Field.”
Justine DeMeola said that she has volunteered in many organizations, but calls the team work at the hut the best she’s experienced.
“I think its because it runs efficiently and that we have a ton of fun doing it,” she said. “There’s no drama, just a lot of fun.”