Friday, December 2, 2016

Get to Know JC Eater: Matt

Welcome to "Get to Know JC Eater" where, every week, I post a profile of a local resident sharing where and what they love to eat in Jersey City. If you'd like to be featured, please leave a comment below or email mdirectly.

This week's JC Eater is an overall food enthusiast who knows exactly which classic Jersey City spots to take out-of-town guests to.
Photo courtesy of Matt

What's your name?

Matt Vicens

Where in Jersey City do you live?
The Village (Newark and Monmouth)

Do you have a favorite non-food spot/area (ie park, particular street, etc) in Jersey City?
I love riding my bike and spending time on the pier between the ferry and Exchange Place PATH station.  It's pretty relaxing and has great views of the city.

Do you follow a specific dietary lifestyle (ie gluten-free, vegan, etc.)?

What are your favorite places to eat in your neighborhood?
A few have closed down recently* but number one is White Star bar on Brunswick.  Left Bank Burger Bar is great too.  I'd also like to shout out New York Bagel Cafe on Newark (across the street from Just Beclaws).  They have a great staff and make great egg sandwiches.  Sometimes you see lines around the corner at other bagel locations in JC but this place has quick service and good quality.
*Esperanto's and Union Republic.

What are your favorite places to eat in Jersey City overall?
It depends on my mood and my wife and I go back and fourth on this topic.  Definitely the aforementioned White Star location is my number 1.  It's our local haunt and feels cozy every time we're there regardless of season.  My wife and I recently got back from our honeymoon in Japan.  We had an amazing time and ate lots of great food but we were craving a good old American burger and a beer when we got home.  Our very first stop was White Star.

For lunch, it's got to be 2nd Street Bakery.  Maybe some of the best sandwiches in Jersey hands down.  It's got a very old school vibe (WCBS FM + cash only) but the quality speaks for itself.  If you go late in the day often items are sold out and there's never a shortage of customers.  2nd Street Bakery PRO TIP: skip breakfast and go pick up your early lunch from there between 11-11:30am.  Lines are shorter and there's no shortage of stock.

For breakfast, we all know the answer.  Brownstone.  It's a Jersey diner at its finest for sure and it's a treat for us when we go considering each meal is the equivalent of a Thanksgiving dinner.  We've yet to go there for anything other than pancakes/breakfast but we hear it's great for dinner as well.  I haven't yet to built up the courage to order the Guy Fieri buffalo chicken pancake wrap but that time is approaching.

Is there a particular dish in Jersey City that's your favorite or that you find yourself recommending over and over?
Whenever we have out of town guests, we take them to either 2nd Street for the sandwiches or Brownstone for the pancakes.

That said, my answer to this has to be the chicken cutlet hero from 2nd Street.  It's unstoppable.  Everything is fresh including the bread and the creamy balsamic dressing they make might be from another planet.

What kind of restaurant would you love to see in Jersey City that isn't here already?
Honestly, I'd like to see a high caliber Japanese restaurant.  We have good food diversity here in JC but it does feel like we are missing high quality sushi that isn't just your standard California rolls and miso soup.  You can get good Japanese food near Grove Street but we're missing excellent.

Any other info you want to put (social media/special projects/facts of interest)?
You can find me on Twitter @Vilens and on Instagram @Vilens40

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