1/15/2007 Update:

Back in August of 2006, we had a pretty bad dining experience at Texas Arizona. The manager was kind enough to come on here and acknowledge that there were indeed problems, and was working hard to rectify them. He wanted us to give him some time to address the issues before we reviewed the place again.

We went back last week. To sum it up: A slight improvement, but still needs a lot of work. Read below for the analysis.

To be fair, we didn’t order the exact same items as the initial review. But here is how it went.

For starters, we chose an odd time for a meal. In between lunch and dinner. The place was empty with the exception of a few people whetting their whistles. Chose a seat in the upper area of the main bar. Our waitress was friendly with an upbeat attitude. Ordered some beverages to test the taps. One Diet Cola and a sweetened iced tea (they didn’t offer unsweetened). Since the previous drinks were downright poisonous, we payed more attention to them. They were definitely not tainted, but I felt it still had an odd taste. Did they change from RC cola to another brand? Either way, it was tolerable, which is an improvement.

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The meal, and our conclusion…

It was our first meal of the day, so we were a bit hungry. Started out with the pulled-pork tacos again. This was the one thing I ate last time that was rather tasty. It certainly wasn’t awful, but wasn’t as good as I remembered. I truly believe there is something wrong with their fryer or oil, or whatever they cooked the tacos in. Perhaps I’m hyper-sensitive to foreign smells, but something wasn’t kosher to me. The pork wasn’t as good either. My dining companion had no significant complaints.

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We followed with a Corn Chowder soup and a “Texas Arizona Burger” (which comes with bacon and cheese – so much for eating better, right?)

The corn chowder. My friend said it was “ok”, but kind of lacked any impactful flavor to make it stand out. Not bad, but she said she wouldn’t order it again. The tortilla chips had the same peculiar smell and off-taste as the tacos. I sniffed them for several minutes trying to identify what it was. Not sure if they make them there or not. It struck me as a “not supposed to smell like that” smell. The corn chowder grew on me as the meal progressed.
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Now for the burger. I ordered it medium, with pepper-jack cheese. I also asked for a side of buffalo sauce to dip my fries in. When it arrived, it didn’t have bacon. I told the waitress it was supposed to come with it. She went back to the kitchen and promptly brought 2 strips for me to apply. They also brought BBQ sauce instead of Buffalo, so I asked the guy that brought the food for that as well. Little annoyances that you shouldn’t have to deal with.

The meat was cooked well on the outside, but bloody raw on the inside. Also had a very “not supposed to chew like this” consistency. Tough and chunky is the best I can describe it. Odd. I was convinced they were frozen burgers due to the disparity. Either that, or the grill was too hot? I asked the waitress and she said they made them fresh. I was puzzled.

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To continue with the burger, the fries were definitely improved. They didn’t have the same odd oil taste as the tacos or chips. Tasted pretty good, like tater tots or something similar. My bewilderment continues.

Halfway through the burger I hit a tough spot. I bit into something VERY hard. So much, that it stunned me. Like a tooth or piece of bone or something. I fished through my mouth to retrieve the petrified mystery object. I put it in my wallet to take it home for further investigation. I mean, c’mon. How hard is it to make a decent hamburger? Just go to Oddfellow’s or Three-A’s and see how they do it. Take notes. Please, do it!

Here’s a close-up of the object:

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Lastly, the check came. I gave the waitress the money and awaited the change. When I got it back, the change was $5 bucks short. I’m not going to name the waitresses name because she was much nicer than previous help, but you really need to count the change before giving it to the customer. I hunted her down eating her lunch in the other room, and she promptly corrected the situation.

Overall, the food and experience was still not really up to par in our opinion. Too many things wrong. Until major improvements are made (such as re-vamping the entire menu and finding new suppliers), I’ll forever consider this a “I’ll eat when I’m drunk and starving” restaurant. I really want to like it, too! Maybe we’ll be back in the summer to give the chicken dishes another go-around. Until then, 411 will not be going back. Sorry!

10/17/06 Update:

Did anyone read the review in this weekends Hoboken Reporter?

If you haven’t, please do so first before reading on. It’s on page 36.

I’m not sure how these places get reviewed by the Reporter. Do they kiss up to their advertisers and write such positive reviews on purpose? Reading our review and the comments below would have you thinking that their review was complete bullshit.

Now, I do occasionally go to Texas Arizona to meet friends, have some (bottled) beer or sit outside in the warmer weather. But they made this place out to be downright amazing. Peppered with happy exclamation points, they used phrases such as:

- “The service is efficient and friendly, which is just the right mix for this upbeat establishment”
- “Savvy Hobokenites…”
- “Food and Fun!”

No mention of the crappy service, frequently bad food, horrible taps or anything else. It appears Texas Arizona could do no wrong. Either that, or they were informed that The Reporter was coming in and to do the best job possible for the review, which is entirely biased and unfair to the reader.

Imagine if you just moved to Hoboken, read this stellar review, then went there and were fully disappointed? You’d immediately become “broken in” to what Hoboken is all about. You’d never take the Reporter seriously again.

SEE 8/16/06 REVIEW BELOW

Description – Popular Bar & Restaurant close to the Path. See menu on website. Zagat rated. Entrée price range $9-$19.
Services – Bar, Restaurant ( world cuisine)
Website – www.texasarizona.com
Address – 76 River St, Hoboken, New Jersey ( NJ ) 07030-5607
Telephone – (201) 420-0304

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August 2006

We’re rounding up our reviews of the more popular places in Hoboken, and Texas Arizona was next on our list.

We chose a quiet time between lunch and dinner, around 2pm. Sat down outside on the Hudson Place side. First thing we noticed was that there were one or two too many tables outside. They were crammed so tight, it was downright annoying. But shuffling them around a bit cured that problem.

Before we even sat down, our waitress was nice enough to get our drink orders started. We ordered a couple Diet Cokes. She brought the drinks out and took our order. Now soda and water are never normally commented on Hoboken411, because it’s pretty straight-forward and simple. However, in this instance, we need to indicate HOW HORRIBLE the drinks were. The Cokes tasted like chemicals or dirty taps. Couldn’t take more than two sips. We ordered water instead. THOSE WERE EVEN WORSE! Something has to be done with that. It’s probably unsanitary and unhealty. Gross.

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For starters we chose the Mini Tacos with Pulled Pork, Guacamole and Mango. These were a little surprise. Delicious pork, well seasoned, decent guac, and the mango and lime added a nice sweet touch. Fried flour tortillas may not be everyones favorite, but they were a tasty start to the meal.

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I noticed some halfway decent looking sandwiches other people were eating, so that’s what we ordered. One Chicken BLT sandwich, and one Grilled Chicken, Mozz and roasted peppers.

Oh boy, how disgusting were our next two plates.

The Grilled Chicken came out slimey and undercooked. Very lame presentation. Only one pepper on each side too. The roll was a bit dense as well. They took it back and re-did it. Still very unflavoful and boring. The fries were outright NASTY. They had an artificial taste to them (worse than movie popcorn butter). After tasting one or two, we had to stop. I’m gagging right now thinking about it.

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The Chicken BLT had a bit more promise, since it was a breaded and fried chicken breast. However, it took on an alien life-form kind of look. It actually looked CLOUDY. Not slimy and undercooked, but greasy and OVER cooked. It may have actually been sitting out for a while, who knows. The bacon on it was ok though. Again, the fries were downright awful. I don’t even want to know why they tasted so nauseating. Bleck.

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The one saving grace was that the pickle included was fresh and crisp. After leaving we had to get some real bottled water from the convenience store to wash the taste out of our mouth. We should have stopped at the appetizer, which was very good. Oh well, live and learn. Hopefully it was just a glitch in the kitchen, and the food isn’t normally like that.