Buskers – Doomed?
Buskers apparently doomed in Hoboken
Years ago, the bar on the southwest corner of 1st & Bloomfield was called “Miss Kitty’s Saloon.”
It was a huge local hot spot, with regulars out the wazoo – as well as a big weekend attraction for those from out of town. Those were the days…
It became Buskers in the mid-2000’s (along with different owners), and with the new renovations, hoped to set the bar for First St. establishments downtown. But according to this this Buskers Facebook Page – they’re having a closing party this Saturday, August 13th.
Willie McBride’s owner Sean (who is part owner of Buskers) hasn’t yet responded to requests on what the future of the bar/restaurant is – but we naturally suspect something new to take it’s place in due time.
Buskers just an ordinary bar & restaurant?
Late last Summer, Busker’s “re-branded” their bar/restaurant from a more traditional model focused primarily on eating, and less on drinking, to a more of a “pub” style layout. More “high top” tables, televisions, and recreational elements such as dart boards. Apparently the booze-heavy model makes them more money.
With that being said, I’ve noticed (and heard) some relatively sub-par food reviews in the past six or so months. While the food we ate in our initial review back in 2006 was acceptable, Busker’s is on the list of places to “re-review” in 2008. Will we be let down?
Bar & Lounge
Description – Bar & lounge – American fusion cuisine. Fine dining. Entrée price range $17-$30.
Services – American cuisine,
Website – www.buskersbarandgrill.com
Address – 94 Bloomfield St, Hoboken, New Jersey ( NJ ) 07030
Telephone – (201) 604-1380
This trip to Buskers had been planned for a while, but we never had any luck with them being open (for lunch). So finally we get to try the place we’ve heard so much about.
Frankly, my expectations about Buskers were a bit on the negative side, as I’d heard that the burgers were lame, the interior left a lot to be desired, and that it was a bit over-priced.
I was misled by the word on the street I suppose. We had a great meal and a great time.
It had been my first time in the establishment and upon opening the door I found the interior to be very well done. The bar had plenty of room, great TV’s, and a genuine look and feel. Most of the décor, furniture and display articles were authentic and straight from Ireland. I agree that Buskers does have a very warm feel. If you’re expecting the run-of-the-mill standard bar/restaurant here, you will not get it. It’s completely unique and fun to visit.
However, we chose to sit outside since it stopped raining. The outdoor tables were satisfactory. They sat a big human comfortably. The view of people coming off the PATH train was fun. Definitely good for people with ADD.
Our waiter came over promptly, gave us menus and took our drink order. The menus were very diverse. A big bar menu, lots of appetizers and a large dinner selection. Something for everyone indeed.
The drinks came quickly and we ordered our appetizer, the Nachos. The nachos were unlike any you’ll get in Hoboken. Fresh homemade FLOUR tortillas instead of corn. While this is something you’re not used to, it certainly was delicious, packed with cheese and taco meat. The sides of guacamole, salsa and sour cream were good, but we felt the containers were too small, and got a second helping. The Nachos were a smidge on the oily side, but that only added to the taste (and our waistlines!!!) Overall, very satisfying. Be careful ordering these when you want a large entrée. It’s a very large dish!
For entrées, we ordered the Basic Burger and the Pizza.
The burger I ordered medium rare with bacon and cheddar cheese. I had seen reviews indicating that the bun was too big. Or not enough meat. This was exactly the opposite of what we received. This burger was phenomenal and uncommon in Hoboken. The burger was on an egg-based brioche roll, which was very fluffy and light. Some may say it’s too big, but all you need to do is smoosh it down and it becomes easy to eat. I found it to be juicy and overwhelmingly filling (Had to take 1/2 home, especially after the nachos). The bacon was top-notch as well (huge plus in H411’s book!)
Additionally, you can choose your sides. French fries, onion rings, or a 50/50 split of both. I chose the latter, so I could taste both. The onion rings were one of my favorite in Hoboken, since they were cooked Tempura style. I loved them.
The pizza came out arranged a bit unlike you’re used to seeing pizza. It was a simple combination of homemade Indian style Nan-bread, garlic spread, fresh tomato, basil and cheese. A bit different than your usual pizza, but outright delicious to say the least. My dining companion indicated it needed a bit of salt, but that is ok with me. Some people pretty much over-salt their food to begin with.
In fact all but three things at Buskers are home made. Those non-homemade items are: The bread (from Balthazars), the ravioli, and the ice cream. That’s pretty impressive!
Our meal at Buskers was well above average in Hoboken, priced reasonably for the quantity and quality of food you received, so I found little fault with the establishment. Although this was our first time there, and only three items were sampled, we were impressed.
Further reviews will be coming in the near future. This could become one of our favorites in town. Check them out today!
PS, the bathroom mirrors have little TV’s built into them so you can keep tabs on whatever game in on!! That’s the only place in Hoboken so far that we’ve seen with that! Very cool!