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September 4, 2012

Hoboken Girl’s Guide to Vegetarian Menu Options in Hoboken (Part II)

Previously I had posted about my quasi-veggie eating experiences. I’ve had a lot of fun in Hoboken staking out (no pun intended) great vegetarian dishes, especially in places that it might be kind of tricky to find something healthy, protein-filled, and animal-free. Note: I’m not vegan, so eggs and cheese are allowed!

So here are a few more of my vegetarian finds throughout the Mile Square:

1. Precious Chinese Cuisine

This is my favorite place for Chinese take out, vegetarian or not. I usually make a tough choice: steamed veggies and tofu, or chicken and broccoli (which can easily be substituted with tofu). Like I said, some days I feel like eating meat…so I do. But other days I’m perfectly satisfied with the steamed vegetable dish. It looks like this:

 This dish comes with an awesome garlic brown sauce. Super healthy and really yummy.

2. Grimaldi’s Pizza

Grimaldi’s is such a delicious restaurant, no matter what you order. I try to go easy on lots of simple carbohydrates when I’m eating vegetarian (too much simple sugar isn’t good!), but I once in a while splurge on this fantastic vegetarian pizza: Eggplant & Ricotta. Note: It’s not on the menu; I made it up! But I will say that during my trip to Grimaldi’s recently, the waiter was pretty jealous of our order of this. Add some Parmesan cheese and garlic, and you’re in business.

3. Karma Kafe Indian Cuisine

This is another place for great take out food. If I’m eating meat, I’ll order the Chicken Tikka Masala (it’s a safe choice for anyone new to eating Indian, FYI!) or something similar. However, when going veggie, my favorite dish at Karma Kafe is the Vegetable Jafrezi. It is a mix of Indian spices, peas, potatoes, carrots, and other delicious vegetables…all mixed together in an almost creamy sauce. It is so so good! Most dishes come with Dahl, a wonderful blend of lentils that form a protein-filled soup. It’s a perfect addition to the Jalfrezi dish!

4. The Turtle Club

I had dinner and drinks at the Turtle Club, and was very impressed with this Vegetable Panini. This bad boy had roasted eggplant, zucchini, peppers, and mozzarella on it. My favorite part was that it had a side of pesto for dipping the sandwich into! The bread was crispy and perfectly toasted, and needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the meal!

5. Re-Juice A Nation

What about dessert, you might ask?

If you’re going vegetarian, you might as well head to Re-Juice A Nation and pick up one of their smoothies. They have lots of great boosts to add to their drinks (protein, energy, greens, etc) that will add some extra benefits to the healthy and sweet treat!

 Are YOU a Hoboken Vegetarian?

Tweet The Hoboken Girl your favorite spots/dishes for meat-free dining.

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March 28, 2012

Hoboken Girl’s Guide to Vegetarian Menu Options in Hoboken

The Hoboken Girl whose website is www.hobokengirl.wordpress.com chimes in on the health benefits of being “quasi-vegetarian” in her latest post below. She also writes about fashion and other Hoboken topics on a a near daily basis. Here is her take on vegetarian options in Hoboken. Additional photos were provided by TheBoken.com…

I recently decided to become a “Weekday Vegetarian.” I say that very casually, as in sometimes I don’t eat meat from Monday thru Friday, but other weeks I eat meat randomly on a Wednesday just because I’m in the mood to eat meat. Really, there are no rules, but it’s fun to label it.

Eating less meat, especially red meat, has a lot of health benefits if you fill up on fruits and veggies and lean proteins such as nuts and legumes. When eating vegetarian, the main concern is to make sure you’re still getting enough protein since you’re not eating meat!

But what if you’re eating out? You might ask. It’s tough to eat vegetarian when you’re dining out. Lucky for you, I have started a compilation of healthy restaurant and menu options when dining out in Hoboken:

Mamoun’s Hummus

1. Mamoun’s Falafel 

Now stuffed grape leaves may not be exactly a “meal,” but if in a pinch- it’s a great option for a quick vegetarian snack on the go. I happen to love stuffed grape leaves and find them very filling, but you’ll definitely need some protein to go along with them. Try some beans or lentil soup to combine with the grains (rice) and you’ll have a full protein.

Mamoun’s Falafel

I ordered mine with a stuffed spinach roll and shared with a friend. It was very yummy.

Other options besides hummus from Mamoun’s include:

  •  Falafel (a chick pea mixture of onions, parsley, garlic, and spices deep fried),
  •  Tabouleh (a bulgur wheat salad with finely chopped mint, parsley, and onions),
  • Baba Ganouj (Roasted eggplant with parsley, garlic, and tahini).

Dolmati (Stuffed Grape Leaves) from Mamoun’s Falafel

All of these dishes can come as a sandwich, salad plate, or combo. I definitely recommend trying each dish at some point, vegetarian or not – you can’t go wrong!

2. Maoz Vegetarian

While I have never eaten at the Hoboken location, I have heard very good things. After all, any place that serves sweet potato fries is okay in my book. This is a small chain, and it prides itself in serving the vegetarian population.

Some menu highlights include:

  • Egg & Eggplant Sandwich,
  • Maoz Salad Box,
  • Falafel,
  • Maoz Sweet Potato Fries.

Even better – Maoz lists all of the nutritional values on its website (including calories) so you can know the facts before you eat. Check out the stats here.

You can add these vegetarian toppings at Maoz to any sandwich you purchase for some healthy add-ons

3.  The Pita Grill

This Hoboken gem is also a chain, but delicious at that. Their cilantro hummus is exquisite (rivals Trader Joe’s!), and I also love their Greek Salad (with or without chicken). There are tons of vegetarian options, which can be made into non-vegetarian options by just adding chicken or steak.

If going veggie, I’d recommend:

  • Grilled Vegetables and Goat Cheese Panini
  • Grilled Vegetable Athena: (grilled herb marinated zucchini, red and green peppers, sweet onions and eggplant with mesclun greens, feta cheese and dried cranberries – topped with a lite roasted red pepper vinaigrette).

 

My Regular Sushi Order from Robongi (Yes, it's not totally vegetarian, but it's delicious).

4. Robongi

Craving sushi but want to go animal-free? Robongi is one of my favorite sushi joints in Hoboken for delicious rolls. I usually opt for my regular order of salmon avocado and a sweet potato roll (plus a house salad with ginger dressing), but the salmon can easily be substituted with cucumber or another vegetable (or fruit!) that you want to include. I always opt for brown rice. Also, peanuts or cream cheese can also be added for protein if you’re skipping out on the fish part.

Regardless of where you eat, there are usually at least a few vegetarian options. Some places are more veggie-friendly than others, however. As I delve more into vegetarian eating, I’ll be sure to update you on great spots to get your veggie fill!

Now my question for you - are YOU a Hoboken Vegetarian?

Tweet me your favorite spots/dishes for meat-free dining.

 

 

 

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February 28, 2012

Drunken Polar Bear’s 10 Step Guide to Hoboken Lepre-Con 2012

The weather is a tad warmer.  Green starts appearing in store fronts.  Irish beer specials are abound.  Long lost friends appear to party at your apartment and crash for the night.  It’s St. Patrick’s day season and parade or not, it kicks off this first Saturday in March in Hoboken.  With no formal celebration this year will be a first in a long while.  But don’t worry!  Your local Arctic Party Animal has your 10 tips to survive Saturday….

  1. If You Want Out, Get Out While the Going Is Good – Many older Hoboken locals or those with children will be leaving town.  Luckily bars don’t open until 11am this year, but I still recommend leaving Friday night or early Saturday morning.
  2. Plan Your Entrance and Exit Strategy – Even though Hoboken is a transportation hub (car, ferry, PATH, train) thousands of people will be flooding in Saturday morning.  Plan your trip in (and out) and make sure to have a backup plan or extra train/bus.  Get in Friday night if you can.
  3. Lock It Up – The the majority of people behave, but there are still some jerks out there who get rowdy.  For locals in town, I suggest parking your car Friday and not moving it.  If you find a lot/garage, all the better, but avoid areas around bars just to be safe.  I wouldn’t leave any garbage cans, toys, decorations out in front of your house.
  4. Go Green –It’s St. Patrick’s day season.  If you’re celebrating it wear green!  T-shirts, sweatshirts, Irish sports jerseys.  Anything green is good.  Kilts are not Irish – they are Scottish!
  5. Stockpile Your Supplies – Since it’s the biggest party day of the year, you need to stock up of the necessities early – beer/liquor, food, drinking game supplies (cups, dice, ping pong balls, cards) and water/Gatorade.  The city won’t run out of beer, but trying to buy everything Saturday morning is a mistake.
  6. Expect an Invasion – Depending on which Facebook invite, blog post or new story you read it could be 5,000 – 25,000 people coming to drink.  While it will probably be somewhere in between it means almost all bars will be packed and parking spots gone.  Be ready for throngs of people.
  7. Hello? Are You There? – With such a large group of people visiting and having smart phones, cell towers just can’t support it all at once.  At several times throughout the day, you may not be able to send/receive calls or texts.  Again, try to stay close to your group.
  8. Eat! – If you are going to be out drinking the majority of the day, eat a good breakfast.  And no, 3 Irish Coffees doesn’t count.  You know that person stumbling around at 1130am, falling all over themselves drunk?  Do you want to be them?  Then eat an egg sandwich before you drink all day.
  9. It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint – Again, if you’re going to be out at bars and house parties all day, remember it’s a long day.  Between every few beers try a diet coke or a bottle of water or Gatorade.  Not only will you make it through the day, but you won’t have a mind-numbing headache Sunday morning.
  10. Be Safe, Not Sorry – Let’s be honest, you (and a lot of other people) are going to be drunk on Saturday.  That’s fine.  Just be safe and responsible.  No violence, go to the bathroom inside, be polite to the police and absolutely no driving if you’re drinking.  As we’ve seen in previous years those $2,000 tickets are enforced.

If you have any other best practices or tips for those celebrating Saturday please sahre them in the comments below…

- The Drunken Polar Bear

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February 18, 2012

Hoboken Girl’s Guide to Lepre-con Style

Ok…so you want to look cute for Lepre-con 2012, as it is a new holiday around town that is a mere two weeks away. I even have a countdown on my site.

That means wearing green while sipping green cocktails and eating kelly green bagels. However, unless you’re a redhead or platinum blonde, green can be a tough color palate to work with. Luckily it is one of the trendy spring colors, so there is lots of green to be found in Hoboken.

Here is a compiled list of your “green fix” for March 3rd, 2012, the First Annual Lepre-con:

1. Green Jewels:

Get extra-dressy with some earrings and necklaces from Aaraa boutique:

Or some green-palated earrings from Bella Ro.

Air Studios Boutique also has a simple green beaded necklace.

2. Green Stems:

Go trendy with some Kelly-green skinnies from Anthology. These will add a little luck o’ the fashionable to your day, and can be paired with a white, form-fitting blazer (& tee) or blouse.

 Or, keep your knees down extra warm and stylish with these over-the-knee socks by Lisa B. found at Peper & Parlor.

Place these strategically over your boots for a stylish walk around the Boken.

3. Green Wrap:

Keep your neck warm with some green-hued scarves found at Aaraa and Townhouse 620.

 

4. Green Glam:

While I don’t normally condone colorful eyeshadow beyond a smokey eye or some shimmery neutrals, I say Hoboken Lepre-con is the exception to the rule.

Glitz up your eyes with some green shadow by The Balm, found at Luxe Face & Body Boutique.

5. Green Threads:

While wearing a green tee (or perhaps a Lepre-con tee) may the norm on March 3rd, the more fashion-conscious may want to jazz it up with these options from Townhouse 620, Anthology, or Peper & Parlor:

Polka-dotted blouse from Townhouse 620 (my personal fave).

A green-striped, long-sleeved tee with lace accents from Anthology.

 Or a lacy green beaded top from Peper & Parlor.

A word of advice: if you are going for fashionable rather than straight leprechaun look-alike, make sure to add touches of green, rather than pairing green skinny jeans with a green scarf and blouse. Your Facebook photos will thank you later!

Have any other green fashion finds in Hoboken? Tweet them to me @Hobokengirlblog

 

 

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February 12, 2012

Christin’s Morning Spoon: The Malibu Diner

Saturday morning my brunch buddy and I were catching up on Top Chef Texas reruns, one of our favorite shows.  Their quick fire challenge was to make a whimsical pancake for Pee-wee Herman.  As we watched the chefs prepare delicious ricotta pancakes and crazy sprinkle filled pancakes, we both decided a pancake brunch needed to be in our immediate future.

After scanning the menus of a few brunch places in search of a delicious pancake selection, my brunch buddy suggested that we try the Malibu Diner.

The Malibu Diner is located at 257 14th Street, right on the corner of 14th and Park.  Believe it or not, after living so close to it, I have never actually been there – not even for a late night post-bar snack.  He promised great pancakes, so I was sold!

Here is my recap.

Parking Right out Front.  My brunch buddy called his friend Chris to come join us for brunch.  We hopped in my car and drove over to the Malibu Diner.  At first I was concerned about trying to park, but then remembered the parking lot in the front and side of the diner.  To be able to drive and park (without having to pay) right in front of a restaurant is a huge bonus for a place in Hoboken.  So even though the walk is quick, it was great to be a little lazy and just jump in the car and not have to deal with finding a spot.

Not So Great Service. After we met Chris, we sat down and read through our menus (obviously turning straight to the pancake section).  We decided on our meals, closed our menus and waited…and waited and waited, but our waitress did not come.  After about ten minutes, she finally arrived and took our order.  Luckily, our food came out pretty quickly, because by then we were starving.

After we were done eating we again waited quite awhile for our plates to be cleared and the check to arrive.  As Chris pointed out, we were at a diner, so we should not expect amazing service.  Although it was slow, our waitress was friendly enough.  We weren’t in a rush to leave breakfast, so it just gave us extra time to sit and relax.

Plenty of Menu Choices.  One of the things that always deters me from going to a diner is their incredibly large selection of meals.  I always think that if a menu has that many items, they can’t possibly make them taste great.  But if you are looking for a quick, cheap breakfast, diners are the way to go.

In addition to a large selection of pancakes (I’ll get to them in a minute), they have eggs any way you could possibly dream; omelets, skillets and benedicts.  They also have Belgian waffles, French toast and even bagels.  Regardless of what you are in the mood for, they most likely have it on their menu.

My brunch buddy was toying with the idea of ordering a side of bacon, but at the last minute decided on a halved cantaloupe.  He loved it.  He thought it was very fresh and a great healthy snack to hold him over until our meal arrived.

Lots of Pancakes.  Just as my brunch buddy said, the Malibu Diner has a ton of pancake varieties.  They have fresh fruit, cinnamon raisin, peach n’ cream, peanut butter and chocolate chip and apple walnut pancakes.

My brunch buddy made a healthy substitution and ordered whole wheat pancakes with blueberries.  Expecting fresh blueberries, he was very disappointed to see the blueberry compote on his pancakes.  He hoped that fresh blueberries would be mixed in with the batter.  He ended up wiping off the syrupy blueberry compote with his fork and eating them semi plain.

Chris ordered banana peanut butter pancakes.  Unlike my brunch buddy, he loved his, commenting that they were definitely a four spoon pancake.  He also ordered a side of bacon, which was placed right on top of his pancakes.

Chocolate Chip Pancakes.  After debating between banana walnut or chocolate chip pancakes, I decided on chocolate chip.  They are usually my all-time favorite and I was definitely in the mood for something chocolate-y.  I was served three large pancakes, with mini chocolate chips mixed right into the batter.

They were a little dry and the chocolate chips on one side of the pancakes were burnt.  The only syrup option was in a small plastic container, which did not taste that great – I am a big fan of real Vermont maple syrup.

Out of five spoons, I give the Malibu Diner three.  With such a large and diverse menu, there is sure to be something to please everyone in your brunch party.  Sadly though, the taste definitely does not compete with the many great brunch spots in Hoboken.

The pancakes were good and since all three of us got them, maybe something else on the menu would have tasted a bit better.  Since it is one of the only true diners in Hoboken, it’s clean, large and a great place to stop for any meal of the day or even a late night snack since the Malibu is open 24/7.

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February 11, 2012

Valentine’s Day on Washington Street in Hoboken

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and some of you might be contemplating what to get that special Hoboken someone. Trekking down Washington Street recently, I found a variety of Hoboken reds, jewels, sweets, and designer duds to please even the pickiest of valentines.

Here are some ideas to get you started, depending on which type of Valentine you are dealing with:

1.    The Sentimental/Traditional Valentine:

Some traditional yet trendy heart Shaped Earrings from Townhouse 620 might do the trick.

Townhouse 620 Earrings

Compliment those with some chocolates from the Garden of Eden, but make sure they’re in a cute box like these:

Carlo’s Bakery also boasts some lavish cakes, Italian desserts, and of course, chocolate dipped strawberries.

2. The Friends with Benefits Valentine:

Want to go the flower route but feel like it might be a little soon? Try these nontraditional flowers…they’re actually red underwear, rolled up in a ball in the shape of flowers. Found at YES I DO!

3. The “It’s Kind of Serious” Valentine:

Some hot dinner spots to treat this type of Valentine to include Anthony Davids for delicious food or Augustinos on 11th & Washington, a little Italian gem of a place – or perhaps some wine tasting and apps at Bin 14 or Amanda’s.

For added bonus gifts, please refer to #1.

4.  The Live-In Valentine

Perhaps you are sharing living space with your valentine…what better than an adorable apron from Ricky’s on Washington so your valentine can look super chic while cooking? Or you could wear it yourself as a surprise and cook a fabulous dinner for two.

For all of the snail mail goes in and out of your shared abode: a Monogram maker from YES I DO.

5. The Pet-Loving Valentine

Find your way to your Valentine’s heart than through a puppy jacket from Hoboken Pets on Washington.

Or treat your valentine’s pooch to a cleaning at the Hoboken Dog Wash on 4th Street!

6. Fashionista Valentine:

As a fellow fashion enthusiast, another option is to treat her to some designer deals at the recently relocated (just upstairs!) Midtown Authentic, where you’ll find purses galore! Check out the store’s new purse wall and rooms chock full of designer finds.

Also for the fashion-conscious: Iconic Fashion Lounge has some adorable Rebecca Minckoff bags in various color pops. My favorite is the bold blue.

8. The Stressed Out Valentine

For the valentine that works hard all day long, a massage treat at Bliss or Massage Envy. Reap the benefits of your gift with a couples’ massage to boot.

Or,  perhaps a mani/pedi gift certificate to one of the many nail salons around Hoboken. My favorites include Bloom and the Nail Bar.

9. The Single Girl/Friend Valentine:

Recent breakup revenge can be found with an Ex Voodoo Doll from YES I DO! on Washington Street.

Or spend a girls night out at the Melting Pot – lots of fondue!

10. The Alternative Valentine

For off-the-beaten-path ideas, sign up for a healthy cooking class with Healthy Hoboken Girl or a cake decorating session at Carlo’s Lackawanna Factory.

Sewing classes for the thread-challenged or crafty alike at M Avery Designs, and another unconventional gift: a certificate to Hoboken Car Wash – a complete detailing will surely make your valentine forget about how difficult parking can be at times with a sparkly wash and shine.

Regardless of the type of Valentine cupid is shooting down for you this season, be sure to treat him/her well. There are endless amounts of treats and experiences that can be found in the Mile Square City…only a few days left, so get to it!

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February 10, 2012

Hoboken Music and Arts Festival Poll

Hoboken resident and businessman Rory Chadwick has a question about the twice yearly Hoboken Arts and Music Festival about where vendors should place their booths. He wants the non-scientific input from TheBoken.com readers to form a focus group of sorts. Read below and vote your opinion on his query.

Hoboken Music and Arts Festival Poll – A question by Rory Chadwick

“For years the city of Hoboken holds 2 arts and music festivals on Washington Street from 8th Street to Observer Highway.  The event draws thousands of people from all over the try state area to Hoboken.  Traditionally, the festival is set up so that booth on the streets are placed on the curb sides of Washington Street.  Many business owners in town feel that by having everyone walk between booths, it obscures all the retail stores in town.  Many feel that by having the booths in the middle of the street will allow people to see not only the vendors but the store fronts in Hoboken. Would you keep the festival the same way or would you like to see it changed in an effort to bring more shoppers to Hoboken?”

- Rory Chadwick

Vote in the Poll below:

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Drunken Polar Bear’s The Hoboken Weekend Ahead – Feb 10th – 12th

Happy Friday Hobokenites!  After a few weekends off and a Giant Superbowl victory, your weekend update is finally back!  We at TheBoken.com will continue to do the research and find the cool things around town, but if you have any suggestions please post them in the comments below.

Weather Outlook

Well this Polar Bear (and most other forecasters) were certainly wrong when we predicted a snowy winter.  To date, we are far below snowfall totals and January 2012 was one of the warmest on record for many states.  That’s going to change a little bit this weekend…

A storm front from the south, lake effect snow from the Midwest and Arctic front from Canada are all going to descend on the Northeast this weekend bringing cold, wind and snow.  Exact predictions still depend on the storm track, but Hoboken should get 2-3 inches of snow starting around 2am Saturday and snowing throughout most of the day.  There’s opportunity for more snow, but right now the bulk (3-6 inches) will be off to the east.

Local Sports Action

Now that football is over we enter that sports vacuum between the Superbowl and start of baseball season.  But there’s always hockey!

Hockey updates – The Rangers take on the evil thug Flyers Saturday (1pm).  The Devils also have Saturday afternoon game hosting the Florida Panthers (1pm).  The Islanders host LA Kings Saturday afternoon (1pm) and Florida Panthers Sunday afternoon (3pm).

What’s Going on Around Town?

-          Jersey Girls! – No, not the class Bruce song – it’s your favorite tanned ladies – Snooki and JWOWW.  You know by now that Hoboken said no to them living here and they’ve moved to Jersey city, but I’ve got more.  This Polar Bear has heard rumors they will be filming in the area soon.  Where do you think they’ll go? A hint is below….

It is also rumored but not yet confirmed that they might be staying at36 Mercer Street Jersey city for the shooting of their spinoff.

36 Mercer Street Jersey City

Lights, Camera, Action A great movie lineup at Hoboken’s movie theater Clearview Cinemas this weekend – Safe House, The Vow, Star Wars I in 3D, the Artist and the Grey. Click Here for movie showtimes.

-          Celebrate at the HoHa Snowball Saturday with live music and great local food.

Music to My Ears

DPB’s Weekend Recommendations – Speed Edition

  • Make sure you have snow supplies (shovel, salt, boots, etc.) to dig out this weekend. Shop local at City Paint and Ace Hardware at 130  Washington Street or Hoboken Paint and Hardware 316 Washington Street  instead of Home Depot for basic supplies. This help keep retail on Washington Street vibrant when you avoid big box retail.
  • Check out the newly complete walking, running path on the north side of town that now connects Hoboken and Weehawken
  • Try one of the many new restaurants in town that have opened in the last few months like Sol Caribe on Washington Street…

  • Discover a good new book. Click here for the Hoboken Reader’s Circle book list fro this winter and spring.
  • Get ready for Valentine’s Day! Here are some of the specials being offered in Hoboken: http://theboken.com/theboken-specials/

What are you all doing this weekend?  Any suggestions? Share yor thoughts in the comments below….

- The Drunken Polar Bear

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February 3, 2012

Johnny Pepperoni Gets A Visit from the Drunken Polar Bear – Two Paws Up!

Filed under: Columnist,Hoboken,Restaurants — Tags: , , , — Drunken Polar Bear @ 2:00 PM

Editor’s Intro: The Drunken Polar Bear recently paid a visit to Johnny Pepperoni in Hoboken. TheBoken.com has to be honest that when we first heard of the name Johnny Pepperoni we kidded that it sounded like a 70′s porn star. All kidding aside just about all the feedback about the food in the place is excellent. Even City Council President Ravi Bhalla remarked on the quality of food at the restaurant. Here goes with the review from the Drunken Polar Bear. The Drunken Polar bear recently injured one of his paws recently on Sunday morning seal hunt but is now back writing for TheBoken.

Johnny Pepperoni Italian American Kitchen Hoboken

Address: 219 11th Street (and Park Ave.)

Phone: (201) 850-1533

Website: http://johnnypepperoni.com/more.php

Wait…Johnny Pepperoni’s isn’t a bar.  Correct – this polar bear is going to broaden his horizons and toss in some bite size (pun intended!) restaurant reviews from time to time.  Because let’s face it, you need some food in your stomach before hitting the bars.  First on the list – Johnny Pepperoni’s.  Snowflake (the girlfriend) and I had a Friday night dinner there a few weeks back.

First Impression

After a few cocktails down the street at Turtle Club (yum) we walked over to Johnny Pepperoni’s for a late dinner around 9.  I always liked the location on 11th and Park when it was the bar TJ’s (I think) because the bar was very open and had windows on both sides.  I was glad to see JP’s kept the same basic architecture.  Even at 9 the place was full much to our surprise and we had to wait 20-30 minutes for our table which I didn’t think was going to be fun.  I was wrong.  The hostess guided us to the kitchen bar, opened our bottle of wine and even asked us if we wanted to pick on apps.  We waited, but it was super cool to be able to hang out right by the wide open kitchen and see how they make everything.

Interior and Stuff

Johnny P’s is a fun and cozy place.  The brickwork on the outside has been spruced up and the inside truly looks like an Italian place with checkered table cloths, pizza stands and of course the kitchen.  The kitchen is open and right there for everyone to see the cooks tossing pizza and everyone buzzing around.  In my opinion it’s always good to see how you’re food is made.  JP’s has a simple setup – about 12-15 tables and a bar that seats about 8-10.  Simple, but you’re not crammed in.

The Food

Johnny P’s is a BYO place, a rarity in Hoboken as I don’t think there is more than 3-4 total which is great.  Show up with a bottle of wine and you’re in for a good night.  We kept our order simple – an antipasti platter to start as an app and then we split a custom pizza of sweet sausage and garlic.  The antipasti was a generous helping of prosciutto, soppressata, fresh mozzarella, olives, fried peppers, and grilled garlic bread (the best) and was excellent.  The pizza which was 6 slices was the perfect size to split for 2 people and was tasty and made with fresh ingredients.  If I were to go back again, we saw them make a desert pizza which was heavily focused on Nutella.  Super yum.

The Service

Short and sweet here – the service was very good.  While we were waiting the man I guess was the head chef/manager (he was directing traffic) was really nice to us, opened our bottle of wine and even chatted with us a bit.  We ate at the bar and the bartender was polite and quick with refilling drinks or bringing out the food.  Couldn’t find a flaw at all.

Overvall

We were pleasantly surprised with Johnny P’s.  As a BYO place it was already a good choice, but the food, service, atmosphere and overall experience was great for a date night (or if you’re out with a group of friends).  In my new rating system, Johnny Pepperoni’s gets a very good four and a half pepperonis (out of 5).

Any restaurants you readers want us to review next?

The Drunken Polar Bear.

 

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January 19, 2012

Editorial On Hoboken St. Patrick’s Day: Parades, Lepre-Cons and a Shillelagh – By DBP

Editor’s Note: This is an editorial from TheBoken.com’s columnist “Drunken Polar Bear”. It represents his opinion alone and not necessarily that of the owners or chief editor of this site.

Editorial: Parades, Lepre-Cons and a Shillelagh

I am 28 years old.  And Irish American.  And a Hoboken resident.  And a beer lover.  So it should be no surprise that all the coverage around the Hoboken St. Patricks day parade caught my attention.  I write a bar column for one of the most popular blogs in town.

I love St. Patrick’s day and all the fanfare associated with it (except corned beef & cabbage).  I have fond memories of marching in parades as part of my Catholic school’s group and was even doubly blessed because our group was led by my Dad and our Irish setter, Casey.  During my college years at the University of Scranton, I celebrated the Scranton parade day 4 straight years (and even a few after graduation) by getting up early and knocking back Nattie Ice (yumm).  With all the news, blog and TV coverage over the Hoboken St. Patrick’s parade skewing to one side or the other, we have forgotten the vantage point shared by most Hobokenites – common sense.

It’s Not the Parade that Defines the Day

I find it hard to believe that everyone is either staunchly opposed to the parade or all for it.  And it’s not just the parade that defines the first Saturday in March for the past years.  Here are the typical events in the St. Patrick’s day celebration I have observed during my many parades:

  • Preparation – streets are painted green, beer is purchased in masse, parade route mapped out, the police forces gears up for the day and many people flock into Hoboken Friday Night.
  • Kegs and Eggs – drinking starts early either at a house party or the bars.  Lines of 50+ form outside bars hours before the open.
  • Parade – yes, even though the central event of the day is a cool parade most people don’t see it except the few drunks who try to march in it.
  • Party and Bar Hopping – the parade ends and the majority of people continue to hop between bars or house/apartment parties getting drunk.
  • The Crime – open container, parking tickets, assaults of all variety, noise violations, public intoxication – the list goes on.  The volume of crime varies each year, but nonetheless it will happen.
  • The Mess – at the end of the day it looks like a hurricane has hit Hoboken.

Parade

Late last week it was “breaking news” that the Hoboken parade was cancelled.  Oddly enough this shouldn’t be a surprise because of what happened in the 2011 parade.  However, most people’s knee jerk reaction is that Hoboken cancelled the whole day of celebration because of what happened last year.  To be clear, Hoboken told the Parade Committee (who are completely separate from the city of Hoboken) that the parade would be on a Wednesday this year because of safety concerns stemming from last year’s celebration.  Can you blame them after all the reports of last year’s crime?  Does the Parade Committee have the right to be disappointed?  Of course – I am right there with them on that.  Do they have the right to launch invectives at the city for harboring cultural bias against Irish Americans?  Hell no – not only is that stupid and petty, but it is poor publicity.

Lepre-Con

What the city of Hoboken can’t do is cancel the “celebration” of the day.  Bars will still open, people will still have parties and more than the normal amount of beer will be consumed.  Hoboken may work with bars to regulate opening times and capacity to prevent chaos, but ultimately the fate of Hoboken St. Patrick’s day rests in the hands of its celebrants.  Their first reaction was to organize Lepre-Con, an effort to still continue the celebration in the same fashion as Santa-Con.  I applaud the effort to still continue the celebration, but wait with bated breath on the results of said celebration.  Surely, those celebrating Lepre-Con will be masses of people similar to me – 20-30 year olds from Hoboken or surrounding areas looking to celebrate St. Pats by throwing on some green and spending the day drinking with their fiends.  Does this sometime create a recipe for disaster?  Yes.  The roughly 1% of the 20,000 who will visit Hoboken get arrested or tickets and leave a noticeable black mark on Hoboken’s image, especially in the media.  Is cancelling the parade a way to prevent this crime?  Yes, but it’s not the entire solution.  The fate of our beloved celebration can be easily understood using the metaphor of the Irish Shillelagh.

Shillelagh

A shillelagh is a short, gnarled, very hard club made from the roots of large trees that not only is famous as an Irish walking stick, but in traditional folklore, a dangerous weapon when placed in the hands of a skilled Irishman.  Most recently it was the weapon “Monk McGinn” wielded in the movie Gangs of New York.  Why do I bring this up?  Because those partiers who will descend upon Hoboken, on March 3rd hold our city’s shillelagh in their very skilled hands.  They can turn it into a skilled weapon of destruction and wreak havoc and drunken crime on the city prompting further restrictions on Hoboken celebrations for years to come.  The damage could even be worse than last year.  While this seems a foregone conclusion to some, I hold out hope that common sense will prevail.

I hope that all those celebrants take this same shillelagh and use it as a peaceful walking stick, enjoying and celebrating a day in Hoboken where everyone can be Irish, have a pint and make a few friends.  A day where many will get drunk, but do so safely and while respecting others.  A day where it can be shown that the idiocy of the few don’t spoil the celebratory purpose of the many.  A day where those celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Hoboken prove once and for all that common sense can prevail.

Maybe it’s a farfetched, but we all have to hope for something.

- The Drunken Polar Bear

 

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