Archived Posts from "'Restaurant Picks'"

60 Second Review: Ali Baba

Ali Baba Mediterranean Cuisine

Hoboken 60 Second Review Ali Baba MediterraneanAli Baba (912 Washington) is one of the longest-lasting restaurants here in Hoboken. Serving the community for over 30 years, and run by some of the nicest, friendliest people (and BYOB), it should be in the rotation of every resident and visitor of the Mile Square.

With the rapid business turnover and Hoboken retail locations for sale or for rent – it’s important to keep the local economy thriving (unless you love the strip mall style and soulless chains…)

But how is the food over at Ali Baba?

See photo gallery here, and trademark Hoboken411 60 Second Review below…

How Ali Baba holding up in Hoboken?

Had a quick dinner there the other night – and we’re happy to report that the food has remained consistently good since we moved to Hoboken nearly two decades ago.

  • Grape Leaves – Some of the best in town. ‘Nuff said.
  • Mixed Vegetarian Platter – Super fresh, and some of the tastiest and best-textured falafel in Hoboken. This was a custom arranged dish, which is nice about Ali Baba. They’re extremely flexible with the customers wishes.
  • Lamb Chops – Grilled to perfection, a bit on the rare side (which is how meat really needs to be consumed). This dish was also customized with veggies for the low-carb lifestyle.
  • Coffee & Espresso – With all these newer coffee places opening up like Mod Cup (nice) or Bwe Kafe, the coffee at Ali Baba is outrageous. Imported from the middle east, the coffee packed with flavors and layers you will have a hard time finding elsewhere in town. Worth a visit for this alone!

Overall – we love going to Ali Baba, for the graciousness of the hosts, the BYOB, and the unique tastes not found elsewhere in Hoboken. Highly recommended.

Hoboken NJ

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Top 3 Hoboken Chicken Wings

What are the Top 3 Hoboken Chicken Wings?

As some of you might remember – a few weeks ago we had the Best Hoboken Chicken Wing competition over at the Elks Lodge.

Let’s compare their results with Hoboken411′s Top 3 Hoboken Chicken Wings selections!

The best: San Giuseppe Coal Fired Chicken Wings

San Giuseppe Top 3 Hoboken Chicken Wings

Chicken wing opinions are definitely subjective. Some people like hot & spicy. Others prefer “quantity over quality,” and so on. Some judge the overall flavor, while others include texture and moistness in the rating process.

But the wings at San Giuseppe (14th & Adams) meet almost all criteria successfully.

With no “fancy sauce” drowning out the flavor of the chicken, Owner Joe Russo simply uses a basic secret seasoning, the 1000 degree coal-fired oven and some carmelized onions to make what we feel are our favorite wings in Hoboken. Meat falls off the bone, and wings are bursting with mouth-watering flavor. No other wing is comparable. Not even close. Great for a full meal for a single person, or a shared appetizer. We order them almost every time and never, ever regret it!

They were also crowned overwhelming victors at last month’s Hoboken chicken wing competition. Deservedly so!

Mikie Squared Chipotle Maple Wings – Unique!

Top 3 Hoboken Chicken Wings Mikie Squared Chipotle Maple

Coming in as 1st Runner up at the competition were the Chipotle Maple wings over at Mikie Squared (616 Washington St.)

Their entry into the contest was actually not a regular menu item – but rather a custom sauce recipe – and people loved the taste!

We agree, the taste was terrific indeed – as they recently added the winning recipe to their menu (you might have to specifically ask for it). The actual chicken pieces could possibly be upgraded a bit, but didn’t necessarily harm our opinion. Still a worthy dish to consider ordering!

Best Fried Chicken in Hoboken? Chicken Factory

Top 3 Hoboken Chicken Wings Chicken Factory Korean

If you consider the meat alone – the chicken at Chicken Factory (529 Washington) is the best in town, hands down. I mean the best FRIED chicken, of course! Because that’s the only way Chicken Factory prepares their chicken – not baked or grilled – but DOUBLE deep fried, skin and all! A Hoboken411 low-carb pick as well!

And they don’t just sell “wings,” but wings, drums, thighs, boneless and even whole entire chickens. And they use the best Bell & Evans chicken as well. They offer two sauces – Sweet & Spicy or Soy Garlic.

411 Tip: You are NOT required to pick a sauce. You can order them “naked” and apply the sauce of your choice at home. Something like creamy Sriracha, or any other kind of hot sauce you want (even Frank’s Red Hot). Heck – you might even be preventing ingestion of MSG!

What is the most important factor in your favorite chicken wings? Flavor? Value? How hot they are? The quality of the chicken?

Hoboken NJ

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Love & Yogurt

Love & Yogurt – 54 Newark Street in Hoboken

Swung by Love & Yogurt downtown the other day – just to see how a person living the low-carb life would manage in a place packed with sugar!

Luckily – they had an iPad sitting on the wall, that allowed be to look up how many carbs a four ounce serving of their yogurts would be. While the “app” was annoying (you had to back out to the main menu each time you looked something up), I managed to stick with the “cake batter” flavor – which had 19g of carbs per 4 oz. I squirted out 1.5 oz. for my tasting (7g carbs).

The “fixin’s” bar had tons candy like sweets, but there were some OK fruits – and a great surprise and a big win for the LCHF team members: Macadamia Nuts!

You bring your concoction to the register where it’s weighed. Mine came in at $1.94. Not a bad mid-day snack at all!

They’re open till at least 11pm every day – later Thursday through Saturday nights (the sign on the door says midnight, but their website says 2am.) Guess it varies depending on weather.

Description: Another Hoboken Yogurt by-the-ounce establishment
Address: 54 Newark St., Hoboken, NJ 07030
Web: www.loveandyogurt.com
Phone: (201)850-1977

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Hoboken NJ

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60 Second Review: Matt & Meera

Matt & Meera opens in Hoboken, NJ

If there was one single restaurant in Hoboken that I’d say “run, don’t walk!” that would be the newly opened Matt & Meera located at 618 Washington Street (201-683-9431).

“Local Favorites. Global Flavors.”

One might call it an Indian restaurant, but while it may have strong Indian representation – it’s far from it. Their story is:

“Come and experience a world of flavor! Matt & Meera is a place where the foods we all enjoy are re-imagined with flavors from around the globe. Chef Hari Nayak has crafted a menu that is as diverse as life in the city and yet as familiar and comforting as home cooking.

Matt & Meera is a place where you can grab a quick lunch in the middle of a busy day, or where you can get together with friends and unwind over a few of our Sharing Plates, or just stop by for a Nan-Pizza.”

►► Click to see food, menu and read first review of Matt & Meera!

Hoboken NJ

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60 Second Review: West Five

Have you been to West Five Supper Club in Hoboken?

A few weeks ago on a nice mid-week evening we decided to venture over to the other side of town to check out the West Five Supper Club (505 Madison St.), since the introduction of their new chef last month.

As we heard it usually is on a Wednesday night, the atmosphere was casual and comfortable. Because we’re not too keen on bright loud dinner experiences, it was especially inviting to walk into a back-lit, metropolitan setting and have a large booth to ourselves. Along with our glasses of wine to start off, we were surprised to get a short martini glass of a delicious mushroom soup, which we learned was “on the house” for all dinner customers.

Tapas style menu at West Five meant for sharing

The menu is organized similar to tapas, with a unique lengthy section entitled “shares” that would be great for a couple or group wanting to order several selections to sample. Because of my low carb choices, though, we ordered separately but each had an excellent meal. The braised short rib sliders (with roquefort cheese and caramelized onions) and basket of fries (with parmesan cheese, garlic, and truffle mayo) were excellent paired together and given a great review.

As for me, the grilled chorizo skewers and mini bison burgers (sans bun) more than satisfied my love of flavorful food and my desire to go low carb. The Thai wings were tangy, seasoned with sweet chili, lemongrass, ginger and Indonesian soy; and the grilled steak skewers were spicy and made with bull horn peppers and Bermuda onions.

Overall we had a great time and agreed that the West Five Supper Club was a welcome change from our usual dinner routine. For us, the 20 minute walk was worth it on a nice evening. For those that live closer, it’s well worth the even shorter trip to check them out for dinner sometime soon! Due to the size of the booths and the way the menu is organized, it seems like a great location for a few friends, a double date, or just a nice place away from crowds for anyone wanting a different atmosphere.

Hoboken NJ

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God Bless Lisa’s Deli in Hoboken!

Lisa’s Deli in Hoboken is one of the best

Hoboken411 lives a very “cyclical” lifestyle. My routines and destinations vary widely over the course of time. But happily, they tend to gravitate towards the positive – and that’s a good thing.

Lisa’s Deli (9th & Park) has always been a favorite of mine since I’ve lived in Hoboken. But for some odd reason, it was “off the radar” for quite an extensive period of time. Why? I cannot say, and sadly I feel it should have never left it!

Lisa’s is a true Hoboken gem everyone should patronize

I guess I can hone in on why this happened. I stopped going to traditional “delis” because I no longer eat sandwiches. The low-carb lifestyle pretty much eradicates that option. And when you think of most deli’s, typically sandwiches are the top reason.

However, after learning they make the absolutely best ricotta cheese on planet earth – they were swept back into my vision, and gladly so!

I visit Lisa’s a couple times a week now for some of my favorite fresh Mozzarella cheese in Hoboken – and they also make great salads and omelets as well.

To boot, it’s a friendly place to connect with good people and positive vibes. Although, I’m only speaking about the people that work there, not necessarily all of the customers – as I had a little run-in with a doped up, social networking addict the other day who had the patience of a squirrel on a quadruple espresso. This impatient tool was swiping his cell phone and giving attitude that would have him in the gutter minus some teeth “back in the day.” Seriously, people! When you walk into an established “old school” place like Lisa’s – leave your phone in your pocket, and enjoy the beauty of one of the few places everyone is REAL. Capeesh?

Anyway – Hoboken411 Mascot offers his full seal of approval. Enjoy the weekend!

Hoboken NJ

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