Monday, December 30, 2013

Community News

Sorry for the delay on this week's Community News! I've been away and trying to do a lot of catch-up, but here is the last round of Community News for 2013. Thanks for a great year, Jersey City!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Community News

  • Downtown Yogurt has been hard at work for the past several weeks, putting finishing touches on the store, including a sign this week! While they haven't announced an official opening date, we can look for it in the near future!
  • Congratulations to Incrediballs who made #12 on the Best Jersey Eats list from Munchmobile overseer Peter Genovese!
  • Union Republic is carrying a full line of vegan and paleo-friendly yogurt from Anita's Coconut Cultured Cream and they've also started up their grab-n-go options. For December, they're offering: a whole wheat chicken salad wrap, a braised kale salad with cranberries and gouda, and a vegan quinoa salad with dried cranberries, caramelized walnuts, and green onions.
  • Hudson Restaurant Week is coming up again! It runs from Jan. 13th - Jan. 26th with some restaurants offering a second week of great deals. Keep an eye on the website for participating restaurants, news, and information!

Christmas Eve - Where To Go

If you're hoping to skip the holiday stress and madness, entertaining out of town guests, or just want a nice dinner out in Jersey City on Christmas Eve, I've got a few suggestions:

Vu Restaurant at the Jersey City Hyatt is open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for all your holiday (or non-holiday) dining needs.

Casa Dante will be having their annual Seven Fish Christmas Dinner with six courses for $79/person as well as serving their usual extensive a la carte menu on Christmas Eve.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Celebrate New Years Eve With Your Jersey City Favorites!

This New Years, come celebrate along with Jersey City at one (or many) of the awesome events happening around town! There will be drinks, music, people...everything you need to ring in 2014 and get your New Year started right.

UPDATED 12/30/13:
In addition to the events listed at the jump in the original post, here are some more optioons so you can celebrate in style! Tickets and reservations are still available for most places and many are walk-in friendly as well. Happy New Year everyone!

VB3 is hosting a night full of celebration with three different options for the evening, ranging from $50-$125:

Roman Nose will have dinner specials and a special midnight champagne toast as well as a New Years Day Brunch with complimentary Crispelle:

The Hamilton Inn has three seatings for a special New Years Eve dinner and there are still tables available so book now!

White Star is offering an open bar from 9pm-2am with late night food and a champagne toast for $50 as well as regular dinner and bar service

GP's is also offering a three course dinner with two different seatings and special cocktails and live music all night!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Still need gifts?

If you're still looking for unique and awesome gifts (and you're not alone in that), why not consider some of the awesome food/beverage options around Jersey City?

ModCup is offering a special box set containing three 8oz bags of whole bean coffee from Sumatra, Kenya, and Colombia as well as a great t-shirt with a hand pull espresso design. Thursday, Dec. 19th is the last day to order in time for Christmas so make sure you snap up this offer quickly! They also have roaster's choice subscriptions, t-shirts, espresso blends and more for sale. You'll be sure to find something to satisfy any coffee lover here.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Community News

Hope everyone made it through the snowstorm yesterday and kept warm! 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Another Winner From Razza

A few days ago,Razza announced via twitter that they were bringing back their roasted pumpkin pizza, complete with a mouth-watering picture. Having somehow missed this on the first go-around and having an already proven love for Razza, I knew I didn't want to miss this opportunity again.

However this time around, I found myself with not a lot of time and too many things to do, so instead of missing my chance, I decided to just order take-out which was my first time doing so. I love the dining experience at Razza....but it's really nice to have this option as well. Along with the roasted pumpkin pizza which was listed on their everyday menu, I got their Kale Caesar Salad which is always delicious and remains one of the best kale salads I've ever had.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Event Recap: Jersey City Project: Market

Yesterday was the much anticipated Holiday Market presented by the Jersey City Project and Yelp and Jersey City turned out in full force for the occasion! There were tons of people, lots of great stands and creative gift items around and of course, some delicious food.

The variety and creativity on display was astounding with everything from imprinted goods from Nightingale Project to soaps and cars from Smith and Chang while Kanibal Home brought out some beautiful antique jewelry.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Community News

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

JC Heights Holiday Market on Saturday!

This Saturday, December 7th, join Farms in the Heights and the Riverview Neighborhood Association in celebrating the holidays with the Jersey City Heights Holiday Market from 11am-5pm!

Held at the Elks Club, the market will feature a wide variety of local vendors with music, food, and crafts for kids!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Fundraising around Jersey City

As most of you probably know by now, there was a major fire on Grove Street last Wednesday, Nov. 27th that demolished two buildings and caused damage to several others. A total of 22 residents have been displaced and several businesses were affected including Buon Appetito and Orale. This is a huge and devastating loss but people and business owners all over Jersey City are banding together to help out.

Currently, United Way of Hudson County is handling all the donations and is the main point of contact for helping the victims. You can donate $10 by texting 5200 with the subject Fire to donate to the victims and they are waiving all fees so 100% of your donations with go to help the victims of the fire. Additionally, Port-O Lounge held a fundraiser yesterday and Thirty Acres donated all their profits from Saturday's dinner service to help. There are several more fundraisers planned around Jersey City if you'd like to help.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Community News

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thankgiving in Jersey City
The season has started and Thanksgiving is upon us! I hope everyone's prepared with gravy recipes and bottles of wine in hand, but if you've decided to skip it this year or need  a back-up plan in case your deep-fried turkey goes up in flames, here are some restaurants that will be open for Thanksgiving:

Casa Dante - they will be serving a prix fixe menu for $49/person
Vu Restaurant - located in the Hyatt at Exchange Place, Vu has beautiful views to be thankful for along with your meal.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


In some unfortunate news, I've received information of two storefronts in Jersey City closing.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Community News

Friday, November 22, 2013

Brunch at Madame Claude's

Sitting on the corner of 4th and Brunswick with a tree-canopied sidewalk on one side and tables and chairs surrounding, Madame Claude Cafe immediately gives off a corner bistro feel that is only amplified by going inside where the gleaming wood floors and colorful walls and windows will make you forget you're in the middle of Jersey City. Tables are packed closely together and art covers the walls creating an intimate experience.

On this particular visit, I went for brunch (although there's never a bad time to go here), and we were lucky enough to arrive before it become crowded (it's rare that it's not). The first order of business was to order a cafe au lait. I love Madame Claude's coffee, particularly the cafe au lait; the milk is steamed perfectly to create a slight foam and in combination with the dark coffee, it creates a rich, smooth, intensely satisfying morning coffee that you linger over instead of gulping down. Be careful though - if you order the large, you will get a bowl of coffee and if that's what you're after, fantastic, but otherwise it can be a bit much.

Union Republic Opening Saturday Night!

Union Republic, located at 340 Third Street, is opening tomorrow night (11/23) and will be open beginning Sunday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They call themselves a progressive American Cafe with a focus on Ramen and they support and incorporate the use of local, natural, sustainable, and organic practices whenever possible.  The cafe will be serving La Colombe coffee and there will be a specialty grocery area.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Pecoraro Bakery - Old School Jersey City

Pecoraro Bakery, located in what is now officially known as The Village of Jersey City, is a symbol of historical Jersey City. Housed in a building over 100 years old and using an oven that's served generations, Pecoraro Bakery makes just about everything they sell onsite and does so fresh every day. It's often worth walking by just to enjoy the beautiful and often creatively-shaped breads they have in the windows.

It's a classic Italian bakery which means instead of finding sweet desserts, you'll find bread. Lots and lots of bread - different types, different shapes, stuffed, plain, etc. and there's really no wrong choice. If you want to choose from the full plethora of options, I'd recommend stopping by early; they often sell out of most of their options by early afternoon, including the extremely popular stuffed breads.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Community News

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Jersey City is Chock Full of Beer

As most people hopefully know, Jersey City is a great place to find, drink, and enjoy some really good beer, but tonight, we're going above and beyond our usual excellence. There is going to be so much awesome beer in Jersey City tonight that you should probably just make this Thursday your Friday.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Philippine Bread House

Jersey City is considered to be one of the most diverse cities throughout the country. This blend of communities and ethnicities is one of our greatest strengths and in the wake of the destruction caused by Typhoon Haiyan, I wanted to highlight the substantial Filipino community in Jersey City.

A couple of months ago, I reviewed Fiesta Grill, a Philippine restaurant close to Journal Square in an area with a large Filipino influence and population. Another extremely well-known spot in the area is Philippine Bread House, a large bakery primarily featuring rows and counters of baked goods to go although there is a small seating area and some hot savory options as well.

During my visit, I picked up an ensaymada and a mini taisan loaf. Both are sweetened, yeasty breads as is typical of most Filipino baked goods and sweets.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Veterans Day!

Happy Veterans Day and thank you to all those who have served or are still serving in the military. Your work and sacrifice means a great deal to all of us.
If you're one of those people who gets this day as a holiday, then lucky you and I hope you're enjoying it (perhaps with a delicious meal around Jersey City)!
In honor of Veterans Day, 9th and Coles Tavern is offering a free draft to those with a Military ID and
Sam A.M. is offering a free small coffee for all vets, as well as serving up military favorite SOS (cream dried beef on potatoes).

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Community News

  • Congratulations are in order for Jersey City Veggie Burgers who earned enough votes to advance to the finals round in the Start Something NJ challenge - so congratulations and best of luck!
  • Great news! Beginning tomorrow, the Incrediballs Truck will be offering Cocoa Bakery's cake truffles on the truck! I love this news for several reasons: a) it's great to see Jersey City businesses working together b) it's also great to see food trucks and brick and mortar stores working together c) I like foods in roundish form
  • Speaking of Cocoa Bakery, they recently announced a new menu item: chocolate bread and it looks amazing:

Friday, November 8, 2013

Left Bank Burger Bar is a Worthwhile New Addition

Left Bank Burger Bar opened a little less then three weeks ago and every time I've passed by since, it's been full - for good reason. While I don't personally feel we suffer from a shortage of good burger options in Jersey City, it was still cool to hear about a new place opening up with a focus on burgers and promoting its connection to Jersey City - not just through the name, but also through their ingredients including the house veggie burger specially made for them by well-known Jersey City Veggie Burgers and even through the decor.

The menu is quite extensive for a burger bar. There's a wide variety of apps, salads, and sides including several varieties of fries (disco is one of them), but of course, the main focus is on the burgers. There's a section with the restaurant's own burger creations, many of which sound fantastic and another section dedicated to building your own burger. Beyond beef, there's the veggie burger as mentioned, turkey, lamb, and grilled chicken breast - so clearly there are some options here. And that's before you get to the long list of toppings, several of which go beyond the expected standards. I'm pretty excited to explore the possibilities of bacon-jalapeno jam and shaved pork belly.

I'd had some initial concerns about going when it was so new, but no need. Despite being pretty full, we were seated quickly and the service was very attentive, checking in frequently to see if we needed anything. Our server was very patient and personable as we asked questions (we had many - the menu is fun, but a touch gimmicky and needs some explanation) and made our decisions. She went through the beer list for us (it's a bit hard to see the chalkboard from most of the tables) which was decent and they have a full bar with daily drink specials.

To start, we decided to split the Fried Mac and Cheese pops. There were 8 in the basket, served with a buttermilk ranch dressing. The pops themselves were about the size of a golf ball, not overly cheesy, and held together well. One of mine was lukewarm in the center, but it seemed to be the only one. The buttermilk ranch was creamy, tangy, slightly herby, and an excellent example of what ranch dressing should be.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Jersey City Food Scene in the News

As many of you may have seen, in today's New York Daily News, there's an article proclaiming Jersey City the "next foodie neighborhood"! That's a big deal and it's worth celebrating.
In case you missed it, here's the link to the article:

It's a great, very complimentary article showcasing a lot of the exciting developments in Jersey City and I am loving all the positive press Jersey City is receiving. The article primarily focuses on the opening of the new Talde restaurant on Erie Street but also mentions several of the other noteworthy spots around Jersey City including some comments by Razza's Fred Shandler and Dan Richer and Thirty Acres' Alex and Kevin Pemoulie about why they felt Jersey City was the right fit for them.

The IncrediBalls Truck - Parking Deliciousness Near You

It's pretty hard not to notice the IncrediBalls truck - bright orange with a giant logo screaming BALLS, they make their presence known. But trust me, it's a truck you want to know.

The IncrediBalls truck has been parking in various locations around Jersey City for a little over five months and in that time, they've developed a devoted following. Not only do they offer a regular menu of meatballs, but they also offer up specials with such frequency you wonder at their creativity. Some, I'm sure, are less successful than others, but all interesting ideas. The people behind the truck seem to have a great sense of humor and of fun, even offering up free candy at lunch on Wednesdays for hump day. I've been there a couple of times, and each time, they've gone out of their way to engage their customers, talk about the food, and be helpful which is much appreciated.

I recently stopped by when they were parked outside of Cocoa Bakery - the two have been  joining forces and are discussing the possibility of a combo special, most likely available at the truck - and after some deliberation, I decided to go for the bowl of four meatballs. You can get all the same or mix and match two different kinds. They also allow a mix as an option for full sandwiches which is nice if you're like me and can't make up your mind. I chose one of the Fan Favorite specials - Southern Smothered Pork and the Norwegian off the regular menu. As you can see, they helpfully separated the two kinds into two boxes. Details matter.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

This Tuesday = Awesome

So this Tuesday in Jersey City is turning out to be pretty great! Not only are you able to exercise your constitutional right and vote(!) which in turn led to no alt.side of the street parking today(!), there's been several exciting announcements that I definitely think everyone should take advantage of.

Cocoa Bakery is offering a Two for Tuesday BOGO on cupcakes from 4-6pm today so make sure you stop by and take advantage of this great deal for some delicious cupcakes!

Sam a.m. Cafe will be open until 8:30pm tonight in case you need a little caffeine buzz to get you through your voting decision-making process.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Community News

  • As mentioned last week, Soul Flavors is closing (although happily keeping up their catering business) and now it's being reported that Taqueria Downtown will be taking over the space. It will be called Taqueria Downtown Catering Co. and focus primarily on catering and possibly delivery throughout the downtown Jersey City area. They will also offer carry-out and frozen foods and sauces to go. The Jersey Life has more information:
  • Incrediballs has been hard at work on a special Thanksgiving meatball and they are hoping to debut it this week! Additionally, they will also begin carrying a vegetarian chili which is welcome as we head towards the cold weather.
  • In other Incrediballs news, Cocoa Bakery and the truck are continuing to enjoy their partnership and they're hoping to arrange some sort of combo or other deal where Cocoa Bakery's cake truffles will be available at the truck so stay tuned for more information on that. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Keep the Halloween Party Spirit Going!

Jersey City is not letting Halloween fade after just one night! There's lots more fun and celebration to be had this weekend so don't put away your costumes yet!

Tonight, 9th and Coles is having their 4th Annual Halloween and Costume Party where they are eager to crown a winner with a grand prize of a $100 bar tab!

Orale is starting the weekend by celebrating Dia de los Muertos from 5pm on, offering drink specials, a DJ, dancing and more! But that won't be the end of the Dia de los Muertos celebrations...

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Dopeness Doesn't Live Up to Its Name

Let me start by saying I really, really wanted to like The Dopeness. I kept checking it out while it was being built out, getting excited for what seemed like an awesome space with a very chill and artistic sensibility. On this front, I wasn't disappointed. The restaurant itself is different, urban, eclectic, and creativity abounds. However, in pretty much every other area, The Dopeness disappoints and worse, it disappoints for no real reason other than being disorganized.

I'd attempted to go three times prior to this occasion, all at different times on different days and each time, it was closed - no explanation, no note, no hours posted on the door. Just closed. While frustrating, I didn't consider it that big of a deal although it definitely became a longer and longer stretch of time between attempts. Finally, the fourth time was the charm. 

We went in on a Saturday night around 7 pm and the place was empty. There was one table of three seated towards the front, sort of tapping their fingers and looking around but no one else in sight. This should have been an indication of how the night would go. After awkwardly standing around for several minutes, someone came out and told us they were expecting a large party around 8pm in the back, but we could have either of the other two open tables in the front more loungey/bar area so we sat down. And then began what turned out to be a long night of waiting.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Community News

  • Jersey City Veggie Burgers made it into the semi-finalist round of the Start Something NJ competition and needs votes to advance to the next round! You can vote daily here:
  • Today was the last farmers market at Riverside Park in Jersey City Heights until next year. However, the market at Journal Square continues through November and Van Vorst Park, Hamilton Park, Grove Street and Paulus Hook continue through December so you can still enjoy fresh and local produce!
  • Beat the chilly weather with Satis Bistro's "Taste of the Highlands" scotch tasting this Tuesday. More information here:
  • In sad news, Soul Flavors is closing after six years at their location on Grove Street. Citing difficulties recovering from Hurricane Sandy, the owners have decided to shut their doors but encourage people to keep up with them by emailing and say that catering orders can still be placed. Best wishes to everyone.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Let the Halloween Festivities Begin!

Jersey City residents and friends, I hope you have your halloween costumes ready at the door because it's the weekend before Halloween and Jersey City is ready for you!

Iron Monkey, LITM, and Zeppelin Hall are just a few of the local spots holding monster Halloween Parties and Costume Contests with exciting prizes for the winners! Spooky good food and drink specials are available all over town so get out there and enjoy them while pretending to be someone (or something!) else.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wonder Bagels is a Cornerstone of Jersey City Life

No one needs me to tell them Wonder Bagels on Jersey Ave is great. The lines halfway down the block on weekends can attest to that. But in case you need a reminder of exactly why - here we go:

  • Despite the madhouse it appears to be on weekend mornings, it's actually fairly well-organized and quick-moving. The guys behind the counter are clearly used to working with and around each other and patterns of productivity emerge. It's rare they take long with an order and in 6 years, I've never once had something be wrong.
  • The menu is varied with everything from bagels to wraps to salads and they use Boar's Head meat for anything deli-related
  • Freshly squeezed orange juice and  fresh carrot juice
  • Some outdoor seating - it may get claimed early but on nice days, it affords great people watching
  • A wide variety of bagel toppings - cream cheese flavors including walnut raisin, olive, scallion, etc., along with a few choices of tofu "cream cheese", white fish salad, salmon and so much more

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Community News

  • Left Bank Burger Bar, located at 193 Newark in the former It's Greek to Me space, will officially open tomorrow at 4:30pm! Stop by to enjoy one of their many offerings, including a special black bean veggie burger made by Jersey City Veggie Burgers.
  • Another new restaurant, Shanghai Best at 97 Montgomery Street, is also officially open and early reviews are positive! Check out Seen in Jersey City's post for a look at the menu.
  • Also opening this week is Park and Sixth's new restaurant, the Park and Sixth Gastropub, located at 247 Washington Street will open Tuesday 10/22 with a variety of delicious menu items, including a Wagyu burger!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Cocoa Bakery is open!

Originally scheduled to open last year, Cocoa Bakery, like so much of New Jersey, was devastated by Hurricane Sandy and has spent the better part of a year cleaning and rebuilding while appearing at farmers markets throughout Jersey City and filling custom orders, including fun and beautiful cakes. Midweek last week, they quietly reopened and they've now announced their grand opening for this weekend, culminating with Mayor Fulop attending a ribbon cutting at 5pm on Sunday, October 20th.

Located in a lower level space on Grand Street, with a bright and welcoming entrance patio cheerfully framed by potted plants, Cocoa Bakery has lots of room to sit and linger over coffee and pastries while admiring the busy workers in the kitchen and behind the counter. There is a sense of urban hominess with delicious smells of flour and sugar permeating the air, tempting your senses but what a worthwhile temptation it is.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Weekend = Autumn Activities

This Saturday, Iron Monkey is hosting a pumpkin pie bake-off! You can submit your pie beginning at 2:00pm, judging will take place beginning at 3:15pm and winners will be crowned at 4:00pm!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Flavors of Fall at 6th Borough Market

This past Sunday was the second occurrence of the 6th Borough Market and it was once again packed with stalls full of gorgeous, creative household goods, art, and jewelry. I loved being able to walk around, looking at everything and seeing the amazing things other people create and/or find.

However, I was really there for the food. Both Jersey City Veggie Burgers and Milk Sugar Love had tweeted that they would be there with some new items and I couldn't wait to check them out.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Community News

Thursday, October 10, 2013

What To Do in Jersey City

There's a lot going on over the next few days in Jersey City! Make sure to plan ahead and enjoy as much as you can!

Tonight, Barcade is celebrating New England Beer starting at 4pm

Friday and Saturday, you can enjoy Oktoberfest at Zeppelin Beer Hall with a live German band, bratwurst, and lots of beer.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Oktoberfest Fundraiser!

Farms in the Heights, the Riverview Neighborhood Association and the City of Jersey City are holding an Oktoberfest-themed fundraiser this Saturday to help benefit the Riverview Farmers Market and the Riverview Jazz Festival.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Community News

My apologies, but I was away at an absolutely amazing wedding this weekend so this week's Community News is a bit brief.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Jersey City Weekends are Great Weekends

It's supposed to be a beautiful weekend out and it is packed with tons of awesome activities in Jersey City!

Please check the Jersey City Eats Calendar to see more details, but as examples:
Friday, you can enjoy National Taco Day at Orale with a free shot of tequila when you order the taco trio or celebrate Oktoberfest at Zeppelin Hall.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Morsella & Cupo: Great Sandwiches in Journal Square

It's no secret that Jersey City has some awesome delis around. Proof is here and here and now, here.

UPDATE: Less than a month after this posting, I received a comment (see below) that Morsello and Cupo was being reported as closed. I've tried contacting the previous owners several times but haven't been successful in reaching them. I can confirm it is closed but I'm hoping they'll reopen in time somewhere else . If anyone has any further information, please let me know.

Morsella & Cupo near Journal Square is relatively small, more of a take-out counter than anything else, but they have more than enough delicious food to make sure you leave happy. The focus is on sandwiches but they do offer hot entrees with a schedule of specials every day, including this chicken bruschetta ($8) every Tuesday and Thursday.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Best Burger in Jersey City?

Earlier today, Chilltown Chronicle reported that the former It's Greek to Me space on Newark and Jersey Ave will become a "Burger Bar" which prompted a conversation amongst several of us on Twitter as to what the Best Burger in Jersey City is.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Event Recap: 4th Annual Hamilton Park BBQ

This past Saturday was the 4th Annual Hamilton Park BBQ. There was live music, beer, games, and of course, a lot of BBQ!

BBQ vendors included Dinosaur BBQ, Soul Flavors, Union Republic, Delaney Barbecue, and Jimmy's Barbecue from Pennsylvania and everything was priced around 7-10 dollars. Desserts included Andy's Italian Ice Truck, Torico Ice Cream, and Sophie Sophia with drinks being provided by NJ Beer Co. in conjunction with the Hamilton Inn and Lizzmonade!


I got there a little after 6pm and the crowd seemed like it was in full-swing. The lines for Dinosaur BBQ were really long and they didn't diminish until the very end of the night. Unfortunately, shortly after I got there, Soul Flavors started packing up so I'm not really sure what they had on offer, but there were plenty of other options to choose from.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Community News

Iron Monkey Kicks Off October!

On Saturday, Oct. 5th and Sunday, Oct. 6th, Iron Monkey will be hosting a fun-filled weekend of pumpkin events and seasonal activities including pumpkin painting, carving, giveaways and drink specials!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The 4th Annual Hamilton Park BBQ Festival

On Saturday, Hamiltion Park will hold it's 4th Annual BBQ Festival from 12 pm to 8pm!

The festival is a family-friendly event with live music, games, drinks, crafts from Not Yo Mama's Craft Fair, and of course, BBQ!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fun Stuff in Jersey City Tonight!

Thanks to Twitter, today I saw the announcement of two cool things in Jersey City tonight. Plus, I belatedly remembered an event that I read about but forgot to include in my Community News (sorry):

1) Not only is it Wine and Mussel Night at Park and Sixth, but it's also National Cheeseburger Day so they'll be offering a free draft beer with any burger.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Event Recap: The All About Downtown Street Fair

This year's All About Downtown Street Fair had gorgeous weather, vendors from all around Jersey City, and tons of people in attendance. It was a great day with plenty to do, see, eat, drink, and enjoy!

The food trucks were a big hit and every time I passed by, I saw people lining up and looking at menus. I tried a carnitas taco from the El Paso truck which was there in stand form. It was delicious - great amount of pork, perfectly cooked tortilla, plenty of lime, cilantro and onion.

There was a mix of NYC and NJ and specifically Jersey City food vendors all throughout the fair which I was very happy to see. While it was fun to have the NY trucks around, I'm really glad the organizers brought in so many local options and businesses as well - after all, the fair is about Downtown so it deserves to be well represented. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Community News

Friday, September 20, 2013

Reminder: 3rd Annual All About Downtown Street Fair

Just a reminder, tomorrow (Saturday, Sept. 20th) is the 3rd Annual All About Downtown Street Fair. There will be live music, crafts, face-painting, art, food, and beer for everyone to enjoy!

The White Meat Side of White Star

In the interest of full disclosure, I did not actually consume either of these chicken sandwiches at White Star that I'm about to talk about but I was there during the consumption and discussed them at length. I had a burger but I feel I covered those pretty well in my White Star delivery post so no need to rehash. It was still good, juicy and flavorful although once I saw the chicken sandwiches, I did experience some regret at not ordering one myself.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Two Aprons: A not-quite-hidden gem

Two Aprons is a small cafe with a Mediterranean-inspired menu that serves everything from croissants to a turkish cheese sandwich to hormone and antibiotic free rotisserie chickens you can take home.

The store is on Warren Street, a tiny space with a table inside, sometimes one or two outside and a tempting display case of the day's pastries. They have their menu written on the walls for those who need to ponder and with so many delicious sounding options, I definitely needed some time. For breakfast, there are the afore-mentioned pastries, yogurt parfaits, and bagels while the rest of the extensive menu is made up of a wide variety of sandwiches including wraps and paninis, salads, and sides; many of which I was happy to see were vegetarian. While reading the menu, I was intrigued by the fact that the Mediterranean influence is seen in just about every item I saw - even if it was just in the form of an ingredient or the way the ingredients were put together, creating a slight twist on some of the more "classic" menu options.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Community News

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Football Sundays

It's Football Season and Sundays are now dedicated to the watching of NFL games throughout the country and the best place to do that is in a bar with large TVs that will serve you beer and food.

Here's a quick round-up of some local places around Jersey City to watch football and Sunday Specials they are running. These aren't reviews or recommendations (coming later), just information:

Friday, September 13, 2013

6th Borough Market

6th Borough Market - Jersey City, New Jersey

Don't forget, this Sunday is the premiere of the 6th Borough Market!

The 6th Borough Market is a family-friendly outdoors market that focuses on artisan and vintage crafts and goods. The organizers have been running a countdown on Facebook with focuses on some of the vendors that will be present and it looks like there will be something for everyone to enjoy.

Foodwise, there will be a number of vendors from all around Jersey City, including Jersey City Veggie Burgers, Roman Nose, Milk Sugar Love, ModCup, Choc-O-Pain, and more!  Come look around, shop, eat and help make this event a success. It's a great way to bring some focus to the creative side of Jersey City, to local artisans, and the downtown area.

The market will be held on Sunday from 11am-4pm at 1 McWilliams Place.

Sam a.m. Opens

During the past few months, Sam a.m. has been sharing pictures and info as work on their new cafe in the Paulus Hook neighborhood progressed. As they worked on menu items and showed off their coffee skills and got closer and closer to opening, I (and many others) watched all of this with growing excitement and hope. Over Labor Day weekend, it finally happened: Sam a.m. opened.

Here's what I don't like about Sam a.m.:
1) it's relatively small (although this is also part of the charm) so there will be crowding and wait issues.
2) I don't live in Paulus Hook so it's a bit out of the way for me.
Yeah, that's about it. Seriously.

The first time I walked in, I was immediately impressed with the space. There's lots of sunlight, gleaming copper, white walls, and warm wood and while it is small, there's still room to move around and more seating than I would have thought. It's cute without being cutesey and there's a definite charm to the place. A lot of that comes from the very friendly, enthusiastic staff. Considering how much time and work goes into opening a restaurant, I am amazed at how nice and how dedicated the entire team seems to be. They have a very small prep/kitchen area and yet seem to have the flow down pretty well. Everyone is happy to pitch in where needed and there's just this incredibly happy, welcoming vibe to the place.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Fall Menu at Orale

Last week, Orale debuted their fall menu so I went to check it out. I was wondering if the fall menu would display more seasonally dependent ingredients, and it did to a degree, but it seemed like the idea was to bring in more typically fall flavors and create a slightly heartier menu and I would say they succeeded.

I decided to try a drink that seemed very appropriate for their new menu: the Otono (Autumn). Made with apple cider, tequila, citrus, clove syrup and topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon, it was very festive and indeed, autumnal. I didn't taste much citrus or clove but it was a good, very apple-y drink. One of my friends ordered the Marlee Ahumado (Smoky).It was basically a classic margarita with the addition of chile de arbol and grapefruit, rimmed in a chile/pepper salt which really upped the spicy/smoky factor. Be prepared for some heat if you order this even with the strong citrus as a counter. Another friend ordered the Nuestra Casta (the house margarita) and it's a classic, well-made version. I also tried the Granada which is a pomegranate margarita. It was very good, heavy on the pomegranate so it was fruity but not light.

My one complaint about all the drinks across the board is that they were a bit light on the tequila. I don't want to taste nothing but alcohol, but I do want to feel a little heat after every sip and I was really just tasting the juice. Price-wise, the drinks aren't outrageous. Specialty cocktails cost $10 and most margaritas come in at 7 or 8 dollars. They also serve beer, wine, sangria, specialty house-made non-alcoholic sodas (really good), and some classic cocktails with a Mexican twist. I love the variety and that they have something to appeal to everyone.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Community News

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Sky Thai

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I headed to Sky Thai to enjoy Restaurant Week but the regular menu ended up being too tempting. I'd never been to Sky Thai before despite having passed it numerous times and was pleasantly surprised by how spacious and colorful it was. It's well set-up for a couple or a small group of friends and there was some nice outdoor seating.  The seating inside was not overly comfortable, but it served its purpose. They had a long drink menu, filled with specialty/fruit juice based cocktails. The ones we tried were pretty good although definitely a little overly sweet for my taste, but creative and fun nevertheless.

We started with the thai "beef jerky" which was basically stir fried pieces of beef with crispy edges. It was tasty, flavorful with a nice chew to it, but I was expecting something a bit more unique based off the name. Still, it paired well with the sauce and the rice and I'd be open to ordering it again. The starter salad was pretty typical with a nice, refreshing ginger dressing and proved to be a solid choice.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Congratulations to Rustique Pizza!

Tomorrow, Rustique Pizza, in Hamilton Park on Jersey Avenue and 5th Street, will celebrate it's two year anniversary!  Congratulations to all of you!  While I haven't yet mentioned Rustique here, I've been there several times over the past couple of years and it's a great, intimate place for a friendly, relaxed, and tasty meal. The service is great, their brick oven is impressive, and the garlic spread is amazing.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Community News

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Event Recap: The Polish Festival

On Sunday, August 25th, the annual Polish Festival, "Polish is Beautiful" was held on Washington Street between Sussex and Grand and featured live music and entertainment.

There were a number of stands celebrating Polish culture, history, and traditions with stacks of books in polish translations, flags, maps, lots of polish pride t-shirts, and some beautiful jewelry.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Community News

  • Emma from Milk Sugar Love also let me know that there will be a new weekly artisan market opening in September called the 6th Borough Market. It will be held in a lot across from Hamilton Park and feature handmade and vintage goods and specialty food vendors

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Caramel Corn Ice Cream

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to pick up a pint of Milk Sugar Love's  "Caramel" Corn Ice Cream and I am so glad I did. The only other flavor I've tried is the olive oil (very good, a bit lemony with a nice fruity olive oil taste) and while I love the sound of all the flavors on offer, I've been particularly intrigued by the caramel corn because it's such a unique idea, I love caramel and corn to a ridiculous degree, and it sounds like the perfect summer treat.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Second Street Bakery

On Monday, Second Street Bakery reopened after their annual two week vacation so I figured what better time to talk about them.

Second Street Bakery is not a bakery. At least, not in the sense of pastries, cakes and other desserts. Instead, Second Street is an old school italian deli with delicious sandwiches, stuffed breads, and other classic italian fare, all made onsite will all the bread baked in a coal-fired oven. It's family-run with a strong sense of tradition and familiarity. On weekends, lines will often go out the door (it's a small place and there's no seating) with firemen, policemen, and EMTs frequently stopping by. Neighbors shake hands, people ask about parents, houses, kids. Long time customers from other parts of NJ pick up party platters and huge brown bags filled with bread and rolls for family events. It's not new or trendy; it's just good, comforting food done the way it's always been done.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Community News

  • Make sure to check out Jersey City Veggie BurgersStart Something NJ Challenge! Help them win a 10k business grant by watching and sharing their video:
  • The Jersey City Brew Club has announced they will be holding their third annual Jersey City Homebrew Competition on Saturday, October 5th! Homebrewers, enter now:
  • Second Street Bakery is back open tomorrow after a two week vacation!
  • Saturday, August 17, 2013

    Why You Should go to La Festa Italiana: An Essay in Photographs

    As I mentioned, La Festa Italiana is a really fun annual festival and street fair held in Jersey City. It ends tomorrow night, so you've got two more nights to go (or go again) and here's why you should:

     Live Entertainment

    Delenio's Menu & the meatballs which were really good. Flavorful, juicy, and in a slightly tart tomato sauce.