After a successful, but parade-less Hoboken St. Patrick’s Day, my brunch buddy and I were lucky enough to enjoy Sunday brunch with a few more people than usual. Joined by The Drunken Polar Bear, his girl friend Sue, and his friend Enrique, we ventured to one of uptown Hoboken’s hidden gems, Carpe Diem. Carpe Diem is located right underneath the viaduct on the corner of 14th and Grand.
Carpe Diem is the perfect place for a post movie drink and dinner is pretty good too. My favorite spot is the two chairs in the dining area right next to the fire. It is perfect for enjoying a delicious drink on a chilly night.
Challenged to find a place that would give us the greasy and tasty food we were craving after a long day/night of celebrating, we decided Carpe Diem was the place to try. It also didn’t hurt that Carpe Diem is right up the street – easy to get to with little effort!
Here is my recap.
No Wait. Since we all had a pretty long Saturday, it took us awhile to get ourselves together and ready for brunch. We met at Carpe Diem at noon and, lucky for us, there was only one other table full. Surprisingly, there were more people seated at the bar than in the dining area of brunch.
Since it was nearly empty, our waitress let us choose where we wanted to sit. We decided on a table right up against the outside window. We had plenty of space to spread out and recap our crazy nights.
Warm, Welcoming Environment. Unlike many of the typical bar/restaurants on the Hoboken scene, Carpe Diem has a unique, neighborhood feel. Whenever I have been in there, it seems like everyone knows everyone.
On their website, they have the phrase “welcome stranger, farewell friend.” I think that perfectly sums up the inviting, comfortable atmosphere. The music is never too loud and you can easily sit at the bar for a casual drink, chat with friends, the bartenders or even strangers.
Breakfast/Lunch Selections. Carpe Diem has a large, diverse brunch menu, but a majority of it focuses on lunch selections. On the breakfast side they have frittatas, egg sandwiches and an Irish Breakfast. The “create your own breakfast” sandwich gives you the choice of breakfast meat: bacon, ham, sausage or turkey (sadly no Taylor ham) and a pick of a variety of cheeses to add to your egg. They can be put on a Kaiser roll, seven grain bread, white bread or Texas toast (my favorite). Sandwich are served with a choice of home fries, French fries, sweet potato fries or yogurt.
My friend Sue decided on the create your own breakfast sandwich with egg whites, bacon and mozzarella. She thought it was delicious and loved that she had so many options for creating a delicious, customized breakfast sandwich.
For the lunch, there are salads, burgers and sandwiches. There are five different salad choices: house, harvest (baked brie, walnuts, raisins and tomatoes), Caesar, pear (pears, walnuts, blue cheese) and orange chicken salad. For the sandwiches, they have a number of choices including chicken and mozzarella, buffalo chicken and katie’s way – open faced turkey sandwich with bacon and gruyere with gravy. One thing that I love about Carpe Diem’s sandwiches is that you can order them in a peckish (a little hungry) or lee (very hungry) portion.
Frittatas. Carpe Diem has a number of delicious sounding frittatas, something not typical on brunch menus. The Brie Frittata immediately jumped out at me. It is made with brie, bacon and tomatoes. After initially sounding great, I decided I would prefer to have Swiss instead of brie and no tomatoes, so instead of annoying the waitress with my substitutions, I decided to keep looking for a better option.
I decided on the Western Frittata. It is made with cheddar cheese, red and green peppers, onions and ham. I was amazing! The portion was perfect and packed with a ton of flavor. For my side, I chose the potato hash. Potatoes are mixed in with peppers and onions. There was a little heat to the potatoes adding a great compliment to the frittata.
The Morning After. Carpe Diem has an array of burgers on their brunch menu. A few of the delicious choices include the Brie Burger; bacon, melted brie and fresh herbs, the California Burger, lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles and a cilantro jalapeno sauce and Claire’s Favorite, gorgonzola cheese and thin crisp onions.
All three of the guys picked the perfect burger for their first meal after a long day of drinking, The Morning After. The Morning After Burger is piled high with cheddar cheese, bacon, a friend egg, lettuce and tomato and finished off with a garlic aioli spread.
The burgers come with a choice of French fries, sweet potato fries, soup or salad. My brunch buddy picked the sweet potato fries – definitely the right choice. They were served with an aioli dipping sauce that was amazing. I took a few fries from him while he was not looking. All three of the guys loved it, which you could easily see since all three of them finished every bite!
Out of five spoons, I give Carpe Diem four. All five of us really enjoyed our meals. Everything tasted delicious and the service was great. My favorite parts were the home fries and of course the sweet potato fries with the aioli dipping sauce. Amazing!
Carpe Diem is a great, local hangout that really makes you feel at home. It is definitely worth making the trek uptown for a drink or grabbing a pre beer garden dinner. And on Thursday nights Carpe Diem offers half off bottles of wine.