Energy Kitchen runs out of steam in Hoboken, NJ

Yeah, so it’s not earth-shattering Monday morning news – but wanted to get this doomed Hoboken restaurant off my list. Energy Kitchen at 96 Hudson Street is officially doomed. Earlier this year they had “renovating” signs, indicating “exciting changes” were coming. Dud. According to their website – the Hoboken location was finally removed.

This place was an oddity from the start, especially with the delayed opening.

Wonder what did them in? The lack of customers for their granola, dried chicken and street pebble low-fat salads? Or maybe the zero support City Hall gives to local business with horrid parking laws and other economy sucking measures?

Energy Kitchen Doomed in Hoboken NJ

Why is Energy Kitchen renovating in Hoboken?

2/11/2013 Update:

Just like I noticed the Hummus Bar doing work the other day, can anyone imagine why is Energy Kitchen renovating in Hoboken?

I mean they’re on the “latest and greatest” misinformation trend of 2013 – where “calories and fat mean everything.” Even their tagline makes me sick to my stomach: “Fast Food. Not Fat Food.”

Guess what people – “fat food” is the best food you can eat, as long as you keep the sugar and carbs out. Nothing curbs hunger and controls consumption better than a high-fat meal. Just look up the dozens of low carb living articles here on Hoboken411 – and speak to the many people astounded by the progress I’ve made with minimal effort. Perhaps this is why they’re having trouble? People are waking up?

Oh well. Wonder what is next for Energy Kitchen?

Energy Kitchen Renovation Hoboken NJ

Energy Kitchen now open in Hoboken!

1/21/2009 Update and Initial Review:

(Note this was before Hoboken411 woke up and permanently switched to low-carb living)

The first Energy Kitchen in New Jersey softly opened up at 96 Hudson Street this past Sunday! Hoboken411 and a loyal reader went down yesterday afternoon to check it out.
(See Menu Here, if that’s all you’re interested in).

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First Impressions

The establishment itself, which uses the catch phrase “Nothing over 500 Calories,” was bright and open, with giant windows facing north and east. Designed more to be a takeout or “quick snack” type eatery – seating was limited. Three tiny tables with 9 total chairs, plus 4 chairs along the bar near the east window.

The staff on hand was friendly and informative for the first week in business, explaining what you needed to know about any menu item. The Manager Nick Andelora, was also helpful and courteous. The other reviewer concurred, adding that she loved the color scheme!

This Energy Kitchen is the first independently owned and operated location outside of the six original locations in New York. While the Hoboken location was the first in New Jersey, this owner also has rights to the entire northern part of the state. They plan additional locations in the future.

They’re currently going to mirror the operating hours of the other locations (M-F 7:30am-10:30pm, Sat. 9am-10:30pm, Sun. 10am-9pm), but are completely open to change their hours to suit local area residents better. If that means opening earlier, or closing later – they’ll do it. I recommended that they have late night hours Thursday through Saturday – the busiest time for late-night chowing. (They can thank me later!)

Well what about the food?

Myself and my dining companion tried some very basic menu items for our first review.

Typically with most restaurant reviews, I like to “stick to the basics” and order something that shouldn’t ever be screwed up (read: a burger, if they sell it). Additionally, one appetizer to snack on.

Energy Kitchen doesn’t really sell appetizers designed to be shared, so we improvised. I ordered the BBQ Chicken Quesadilla Wrap to share, and Bison Burger with cheese for myself. My co-reviewer really thought outside of the box, and ordered the identical thing (sheesh). I meant to order the “Energy Burger” (which is essentially the Bison Burger, with three egg whites, and some mozzarella cheese), but screwed up. I also ordered a side of Homestyle Potatoes (read: Home fries). We sat at our little table and waited.

While we were waiting, about 6-8 people came in and placed orders, so it seems their location is very well chosen (and of course the buzz on 411 certainly helped, right?)

First, take a look at this Photo Gallery, and continue reading below.

PHOTO GALLERY (HOLD MOUSE OVER IMAGE TO NAVIGATE – 11 PHOTOS IN THIS SET)

How was the taste? The value? Any guilt?

Two bison burgers, a BBQ chicken wrap, and a side order of potatoes (no drinks) came out to nearly $30.00! Certainly not fast-food prices, but not excessive compared to a standard restaurant.

Here’s our bullet-style opinion about each dish:

  • Home Style Potatoes: Not greasy at all. Almost shocking to eat potatoes like this sans the grease. A bit too light on the peppers, onions and garlic. A tad bland. Had to add salt and pepper (which is probably what healthy people wouldn’t do). These were potato “cubes” and were on the mushy side, as I prefer crispy. Reviewer #2 suggested some added spice, such as paprika. However, this red potato dish was low in calories, and filled you up. I’ll find out if I can order “extra crispy” next time.
  • BBQ Chicken Quesadilla Wrap: I initially saw the word “quesadilla” without seeing the word “wrap,” because I thought this would make a good appetizer. But we ordered it anyway. It arrived in a “flattened” state, not rolled up like a standard wrap, which was weird. You were given a choice of wheat, white or multi-grain wrap. We chose wheat. Looking inside the wrap, it certainly wasn’t “packed” with ingredients, but how else will you stay under 500 cals? But the taste certainly wasn’t bad. Low-calorie mozz, tender chicken, peppers and onions. However, missing from this mix to me was any BBQ taste. She said she’d order it again. We weren’t necessarily disappointed, because the overall flavor was enjoyable.
  • Bison Burgers with Cheese: I felt this item was a winner. A fairly substantial size sandwich for under 500 calories. Had some shredded lettuce (looked more like cole slaw cabbage), a few slices of tomato, the burger and a sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese. Served on a whole wheat kaiser roll. The meat had a charred taste like you’d get at a summer barbeque. I ordered mine medium, and it came out as ordered. Bison is much leaner than regular ground beef, and thus less juicy. Next time I try this, I’ll see if we can retain some moisture by ordered medium rare. One thing I’d recommend avoiding – is the cheese. To me, the extra buck worth of calories didn’t add any noticeable flavor. It was unnoticeable. My dining companion said the burger overall was OK, but “needed better seasonings.” She also concurred about the moisture level.

We overheard a couple other people say nice things so far – one guy who enjoyed his smoothie tremendously, and another girl who shared that sentiment about the salad. So, it seems like Energy Kitchen is already making a good impression on area residents.

Menu, Delivery and Final Thoughts

Again, here’s the Energy Kitchen Menu for you to review.

You can also order online at www.energykitchen.com, which is cool. When you place your order, it prints out on the front register – and gets immediately handed back to the kitchen. They deliver in Hoboken via bicycle, so they won’t offend anyone by double parking!

While ordering online is convenient, there’s no quick way to review the whole menu without clicking 100 times. Which is why you should download or print the menu I’ve provided above.

Also available at Energy Kitchen is breakfast, which is served all day (with the exception of pancakes and oatmeal).

Some might feel the “cost per calorie” is a bit on the high side, and may possibly leave some of you hungry. But I was surprised at how full I was after eating. Your results may vary. But the food certainly tasted “clean” (as in not greasy or processed), so that has some value. No wonder many poor people are so damned fat! It costs a lot to be healthy!!

I’ll be back again to try out some other items in the future. Welcome to Hoboken, Energy Kitchen!

Hurry up already!

1/15/2009 Update:

It’s been over two months since the last Energy Kitchen update – and they still aren’t open. I’ve gotten a couple emails from eager residents who think this place has come to a stand still, and are wondering when they’ll be ready to go.

Anyone have any ideas?

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11/12/2008 Update:

Seems like Energy Kitchen is getting closer and closer to opening in Hoboken!

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When will Energy Kitchen finally open in Hoboken, NJ?

8/4/2008 Update:

Energy Kitchen has been under construction for a while. Wonder when they’ll finally open?

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4/18/2008 Update:

I followed up to see if the Energy Kitchen is still expected in Hoboken, and here is what I found out.

Apparently it’s still coming to town, moving into the present “Gastro Care” location at 96 Hudson Street. The press manager for Energy Kitchen told me that they hope to be moving to Hoboken before the end of the year, citing “4-6 months” as the target time-frame. We all know what the H.A.T.T. has to say about that… probably not till 2009 at this point.

But we wish them luck, and hopefully they can begin offering Hoboken healthier alternatives soon!

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1/11/2008:

Out with the old in with the new.

2008 will bring us yet another new business. Energy Kitchen plans to open up 5 new stores in the NYC area, including Hoboken.

Where, is still to be determined. Is this the work they’re doing at the doomed Food 3663 location? Or will it be elsewhere, like in the new Clam Broth House Corporate building? Sleeping through the day does not permit me to be such a crack investigator. I’ll leave that up to you guys today.

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Unprecedented Regional Growth

Energy Kitchen, one of the nation’s fastest growing healthy fast food chains, today announced the expected 2008 opening of five new franchise stores, making it the premier company in the region devoted to offering a healthy alternative to fast food. The February opening of its sixth Manhattan store (71 Nassau Street) spearheads a year-long rapid proliferation of Energy Kitchen franchises: three in New York City (Financial District, Gramercy, and Upper East Side), one in Boston, Massachusetts, and another in Hoboken, New Jersey, bringing the company total to 10 locations (four corporate owned; six franchises).

Rated one of America’s “Top 50 Fast Casual Concepts” by Nation’s Restaurant News, Energy Kitchen opened two New York City units in 2003, has already opened five and has another five slated to open in 2008. In addition, the company has an additional 10 franchise stores awarded that are in various stages of construction, real estate selection and development throughout New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Prospective franchise applications are up by 150% over 2007. The company plans to operate 70 units nationwide within five years.

“Opening several new Energy Kitchens is a very rewarding accomplishment that our entire franchise community can celebrate,” says Energy Kitchen President and Founder, Anthony Leone. “Our tremendous growth is a direct result of our company’s passion for bringing the highest quality, most nutritious dining experience to consumers across the country.”

With year-to-date revenues surpassing the $5 million mark, the company has already exceeded their 2007 total revenue projections, with projections of doubling revenues in 2008. Energy Kitchen appears to have cemented a winning formula by focusing on a niche target market of 21 to 45 year-old, health-conscious professionals, and opening units mixed in affluent residential and commercial trade areas near health clubs, and health-food supermarkets. Energy Kitchen serves 60% of its customers via delivery and offers online ordering through its comprehensive website.

About Energy Kitchen

Energy Kitchen is dedicated to providing the healthiest wraps, platters, salads and smoothies in a creative, tasty presentation. Energy Kitchen provides high energy premium foods for people on the go- serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily from 7:30am to 10:30pm. For everything else, visit http://www.energykitchen.com.

Hoboken NJ

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