Archived Posts from "'60 Second Review'"

60 Second Review: McLoone’s

McLoone’s Pier House – Tasteful quality in Hoboken

Tucked away in the northeast corner of Hoboken is a very nice upscale bar restaurant called McLoone’s Pier House (which replaced LUA). And what you’ll find inside is something that hits the mark as “just right” for Hoboken. Not overly pretentious, certainly not “skimpy” and one of the nicest NYC views you can get in town.

McLoone's Pier House Hoboken NJ 60 second review

McLoone’s is spacious and comfortable

For one, the restaurant (which is part of a family-owned group of around 10 locations) is laid out well. The bar is welcoming, and the tables are not too congested. Comfortable seating as well. It doesn’t feel cheap, nor does it feel stuffy.

mcloones pier house bar hoboken NJ

But how’s the food at McLoone’s?

We sampled a selection of their menu items recently – and share photos and our thoughts below.

Click to see the food!

60 Second Review: Plum on the Run

Plum on the Run knocks burgers and fries out of the park in Hoboken!

Today’s 60 Second Review is a simple, yet pleasant one to present! A standard “Cheeseburger and Fries” dish at the newest Hoboken Food Truck vendor Plum on the Run.

Plum on the Run Chris Lukic

Attention to detail makes a big difference at Plum on the Run

Okay, we’ll quickly hammer out the basics here first. Operated by owners Chris Lukic (Hoboken resident, classically trained chef who runs The Yellow Plum restaurant in Bloomfield, NJ) and John Iconomou (chef, longtime friend who lives across the river), the truck is no-frills on the outside and tasty treasures on the inside. Formerly a Con Edison truck from the 80′s, this diesel truck was stripped down to the steel and has a unassuming sign on the side- unlike those other trucks that have wrap-around “loud” graphics. My guess is they want the food to do the talking – not fancy marketing bling.

Anyway, the menu is simple. Sandwiches (burgers, crab cake, etc.), salads, fries and desserts. Their most popular item is a cheeseburger, heaping load of fries and a drink (water, soda) for just $10. We were even provided with a complimentary slice of chocolate cheesecake (don’t assume everyone gets free dessert!)

But forget about this trivial stuff – was the food good? Worth the ten bucks? A resounding YES is the answer to both.

  • Burger was juicy and delicious. Perfect in fact. Meat was tender and flavorful. The key here was the attention to detail with the toppings. You can tell when a chef gives a shit. The lettuce was finely shredded, and the onion and tomato were sliced paper thin. Not to be cheap and skimp on ingredients, but because nothing is worse than a burger when all the toppings are twice the size of the rest – making for a difficult to eat monstrosity that takes focus away from the meat. It’s all about balance. The fact that they only had one kind cheese (American) along with homemade bread and butter pickles., shows how serious they are with presenting an “original.”
  • Fries were exactly what you’d expect when they’re hand-cut, blanched and fried again (“twice fried” – the only way to do raw potato). They taste like potatoes cooked just right.

Plum on the Run Cheeseburger French Fries Hoboken NJ

It’s a no-brainer at Plum on the Run!

It’s one of those situations where you just KNOW “this is the way everything ought to be.” If only other aspiring restaurant owners could use that model as inspiration for their own success. (Next, we’ll try out the Yellow Plum restaurant to see if the quality is there as well.)

The Plum on the Run truck is parked downtown Tuesday through Saturday. Enjoy!

Tony Boloney – Dark meat chicken offends?

5 Second Review: Tony Boloney’s Pizza (“chicken”)

Tony Boloney's Dark Meat ChickenA departure from our usual “lengthy” 60 second review format, here’s a brief glimpse of the new Tony Boloney’s Pizza from Hoboken resident Michael.

“I ordered Tony Baloney’s tonight and got grilled chicken on a pizza. It was dog food. Please see the picture. Dark meat chicken? Really?”

411′s Take:

  • We don’t eat pizza anymore, but “dark meat” chicken is the best! Most flavorful and tender!
  • Why all the hate for dark meat chicken anyway? Where did that come from? I vaguely recall something similar in my childhood. Is it considered “low class” to some people?
  • From the photo, it appears that there is both white and dark meat (can anyone sing “We are the World?”), which means they might have actually used whole roasted chicken meat. Yeah, that’s a bit more “medieval,” but it’s “Paleo” too (which is “trending” these days). I guess they might have been used to the GMO reconstituted chicken on pizza at places like Sbarro or Domino’s?
  • Not sure why he’s complaining? “Grilled Chicken” can encompass ANY part of a chicken that’s grilled. Why do you feel entitled to only receive the breast?

But I can understand how Michael might have been thrown for a loop. It wasn’t “like everyone else’s pizza,” which can be troubling when you get stuck in a routine. But just a few seconds of observation, you’d probably see that it may have been quality poultry. And just because it had more of a “homemade” feel, doesn’t make it worse.

Then again, we didn’t taste it. If it was “low-end” Restaurant Depot quality chicken, perhaps there’s room for debate.

Would you mind “dark meat chicken” on pizza? Or are YOU a food racist?

Tony Boloney Dark Meat Chicken Hoboken NJ

60 Second Review: Crepe Guru

Crepe Guru blesses Hoboken with tasty grub!

Crepe Guru – at 315 Washington Street opened up just a week or two ago, and they’re already “knocking ‘em out of the park.”

Great owners, a fabulous product, and a unique niche filled in Hoboken. What a winning combination.

Crepes are 10x better than “wraps”

Crepe Guru Hoboken 60 second reviewWhen thinking of “crepes,” most people typically refer to the dessert kind… sweet. But Crepe Guru does those, as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner! Egg sandwiches, chicken, steak, vegetarian, and even salads if you want to go way low-carb.

For the purpose of this review – let’s get the one product I tried out of the way first. The “Dyno-mite” Chicken Crepe. (See Crepe Guru menu here).

The “Dynomite” Chicken Crepe – is grilled chicken, cheddar cheese, grilled onions, honey mustard and cholula sauces, plus diced tomatoes and lettuce. For those who still might have trouble picturing what a crepe really “is,” think of it as a “super deluxe” Hot Pocket, or even better – a “gyro” that doesn’t squirt all over and end up on your back.

Your crepe is prepared on one of six electric crepe pans in the center of the store. (The back kitchen area is for “prep.”) The “dough” used for the crepe “sandwiches” differs slightly from the softer dessert kind – as it’s “stronger.” Consider it a light, crispy superior to the god-awful carbohydrate-dense “wraps” that have probably killed more people than all gun and knife violence in the world.

And if you’re lucky enough to have co-owner Peter Alvarez be the one that makes it for you – be in for a symphony of crepe-making magic. Quite amazing he does it with such finesse and attention to detail.

Overall, the taste was fantastic, crepe was piping hot and fresh, and hit the spot perfectly. Not overly stuffed, nor was I left feeling hungry. Can’t wait to try the breakfast crepes!

PS – you can also see artwork from Ocean Clark on display in the store, which is also available for purchase. Give Crepe Guru a call if you’re hungry for a tasty, well-prepared meal! (201)795-4878. Oh, and they’re open early (at 7am) and late on weekends (till 3am).

Crepe Guru chicken Hoboken NJ delicious

60 Second Review: Slider Street

Slider Street “gourmet sliders” in Hoboken

“Sliders” can take many shapes and forms. Such as White Castles, to ultra-mini “squished meatballs” on even tinier buns – and everything in-between. Then you have Slider Street (138 Park Ave.) who specializes in gourmet sliders of all kinds.

But how are they? Read on to find out…!

Breakfast lunch and dinner at Slider Street

After months of agonizing construction, a bad winter, Slider Street opened about two weeks ago to much fanfare, and almost 10,000 sliders sold already!

They offer a top-to-bottom menu of various sliders. From egg sandwiches in the morning, to hamburger, steak, chicken – even veggie sliders of all kinds. Each slider is given a “Street name” (which was too clever for me to pick up on at first!) And they deliver every minute they’re open – including that hungover breakfast for those too embarrassed do the “walk of shame.” Rounding out the MENU are various potato sides (tater tots, french fries, sweet potato, etc) and a few dessert options.

For this purpose – we “sampled” just a few items – and can report back very positive results!

Slider Street Hoboken NJ chicken egg sandwiches

New U2 song? Where the Sliders have a Street (name?)

  • Las Vegas Blvd: Pretty much a bacon egg and cheese. But it’s nicely packed. One egg on a small brioche bun is incredibly more satisfying (per bite) than a diner egg sandwich so puffy with bread you can have a kids bounce-house party on it. And the way they “grill” the bread gives it that hybrid “toasted / grilled” taste. A+
  • Mulholland Drive: A grilled chicken (I ordered mistakenly – wanted a burger), with provolone, bacon, arugula (fancy lettuce to the layman), and this awesome creamy avocado spread (on the same nice bun – you have to request the “grilled” bun for non-breakfast sliders, FYI.) Delicious and hit the spot like a champion dart player. A+
  • Poppy Street (not pictured): A burger “stuffed” with bacon, cheddar, jalapeno’s – the same fancy lettuce and some mystery “slider sauce.” KEY WORD: STUFFED. Initially, we shamefully didn’t see the word stuffed, and thought we got stiffed out of those “toppings.” After further review, the menu does indeed say “stuffed.” The burger tasted ok, but we felt it was way too small. After speaking with one of the owners, they’ve since “re-calibrated” the portion size of the “stuffed” sliders to take into account the extra ingredients “stuffed” inside. As for this verdict? INCOMPLETE due to first day “kinks.” We’ll try again later this week. Happy reviews from other customers put the Poppy Street burger in the Top 5 category.

We sacrificed our low-carb lifestyle temporarily to taste these hand-held gourmet delicacies (when you can run a marathon in your sleep – you’re allowed those privileges), and can assure you – they have this genre down pat.

For those not in the mood for carby buns – can also get their sliders in a salad version too! We’ll sample that for the next update one day soon.

Call Slider Street at 201-683-9444 to place your order to pick up or have delivered. Can’t imagine they’d have one unhappy customer – ever!

Kudos to Slider Street for starting out of the gate with tasty creations and rock-solid execution!

First Looks: Brasserie de Paris

Brasserie de Paris exciting Hoboken, NJ residents

Interested in that new French restaurant over at the SkyClub (700 1st Street)? Well, area resident Kari was eagerly anticipating it, and can say – despite some “opening jitters,” that Brasserie de Paris may have hit just the right note here in Hoboken. See some first looks (“60 Second Review” style) below!

Brasserie de Paris Hoboken NJ SkyClub

A little bit of France in the Mile Square

Brasserie de Paris Hoboken NJ 60 second reviewAs you might recall, the ground-floor restaurant space over at the 17-story Skyclub apartment hasn’t quite fared well. West End Station was apparently a noisy, peace-disturbing Guido-fest, and Sammy’s Roadhouse couldn’t get much momentum for whatever reason (lax management, uninspired food, etc.)

Now the owners of Brassiere de Paris hope to have found that “sweet spot.”

Kari said that right from the get-go it had an authentic French “feel,” with the managers and hostesses all speaking fluid French. The wine list was also regionally represented quite well.

As far as the food – overall it received a “very good” rating. They’ll give them time to sort out minor operational kinks with the service level and kitchen workings. But the consensus was that the food was moderately priced (i.e., a good value).

They sampled the Duck Con Fit, Hangar Steak, escargot, mussels, and various pastas, meats and fish. Most appetizers were under $10, with the exception of some higher-end fish dishes like shrimp & oysters. Entrees averaged in the mid-20′s per plate.

In the end, they were quite happy to have such a restaurant in Hoboken. A nice, comfortable ambiance, with a “classically casual” feel. The music had a somewhat “elegant” sound, a relaxing and “quaint” atmosphere.

They also have Valet Parking, which may help bring the crowd in from other parts of Hoboken and beyond. Brunch menus are planned in the near future as well.

Note that some people have already trashed the place online, saying there was no cheese plates, and that they ran out of certain wine. So either wait until they’ve smoothed out their operation, or go in with the expectation that there may be a few hiccups because they’re a newly opened establishment.

You can call (917)415-9066 to make reservations, and for more info.