Feels like 21°F

April 18, 2012

John Keim and Friends at Elysian Cafe April 21st 2012

Local musician John Keim a keyboardist has put together a band that will be playing this  Saturday, 4/21 at the Elysian Cafe, 1001 Washington St.  Hoboken, NJ. Bands usually start between 10-10:30pm on Saturdays. Here is his brief note about the event…

“I’ve put together a killer band that’s gonna make ya drop yer butts and boogie – I’m playing keys, I’ve got Bernard Grubman on guitar (his song, Front-side Ollie is currently #1 with a bullet on the Finnish pop charts is not why I brought him on board – he handles guitar for Dr. John when Mac plays NYC), Phil Ippolito is playing bass – I have worked with Phil on and off for years, he is a true professor of modern soul and I’ve got a young hot-shot drummer, Chad Elrod – he plays with everyone who’s anyone in NYC. No charge but we’ll pass the hat for gas money. Hope to see you all there – I finished my taxes yesterday – time to celebrate freedom from paperwork! We’re going to play some classic soul, some old gut-bucket blues and some serious funque. Hope to see you there so we can put a smile on yer face and some movement down below!”
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April 12, 2012

Elysian Café Brooklyn Brewery Tasting Recap

Filed under: Beer,Elysian Cafe,Hoboken — Tags: , , — TheBoken @ 8:35 PM

Elysian Cafe Spring 2

Last night, TheBoken.com attended the Elysian Café’s Brooklyn Brewery Beer Tasting Event on April 11, 2012. The event was held in the back room at the restaurant and Mike Ferry of Brooklyn Brewery was the master of festivities. Five beers were sampled including Brooklyn Lager as the reception beer. The four other beers offered were paired with the four courses as part of the evening as follows:

  1. Brooklyn Pilsner- Crisp Romaine Spears – Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette, Aged Cheddar Croutons. This lighter beer did not overpower or conflict with the salad which was refreshing and should be added to their menu.
  2. Brooklyn East India IPA- Pan Seared Cod Fillet – Corn Cake, Slaw and Pico de Gallo. This appetizer was very light and the beer had a sophisticated bitterness to it that went well with this tasty dish.
  3. Brooklyn Brown Ale- Pork Frankfurter with Fresh Baked Rolls, Hand Cut Fries and Assorted Condiments. The Brooklyn Brown Ale was again a good pairing with this All American err or should I say American German influenced Frankfurter. This was no average hot dog as it came from Kocher’s (http://www.kochers.com) in Cliffside Park, NJ. This German Butcher has been in business since 1947 and the quality of their hot dogs and German Wursts is truly something else.
  4. Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout - Homemade Stout Donuts- These homemade donuts used the beer itself as an ingredient and came with a delicious chocolate caramel dipping sauce. TheBoken.com shared the donuts with other patrons who also like the combination and the very rich flavored beer and the desert.

The Elysian Café’s Executive Chef Travis Young prepared the food which was very well received along with the beer from the 40-45 in or so in attendance.

Mike Ferry described each beer as it went out and gave a brief synopsis of the Craft Brewing Industry. A Craft Brewer is anyone who makes less than 6 million barrels of beer in a year with a  barrel being 31 Gallons. For reference your standard keg is 15.5 gallons and 2 half-barrels (15.5 gallon) kegs equals  13.78 cases (of 24 12-ounce bottles). Sam Adams is the largest craft brewer at 2 million barrels a year. Brooklyn Lager is much smaller at about 140,000 barrels per year. That is still a lot of beer for a smaller beer brewer. Over the last several years this craft beer segment has grown 13% by volume and 15% by retail dollars in 2011 versus 2010. For more info and statistics go to the following website: http://www.brewersassociation.org.

The next tasting event at the Elysian Café will May 2nd and feature Tequila. Call (201) 798-5898 and ask for Ames Crawford the manager and coordinator of these special events. Photos of the event are below….

Brooklyn Brewery Tasting Elysian Cafe 4-11-2012Brooklyn Brewery Tasting Elysian Cafe 4-11-2012Brooklyn Brewery Tasting Elysian Cafe 4-11-2012

Brooklyn Brewery Tasting Elysian Cafe 4-11-2012

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April 11, 2012

The Great Outdoors: 10 Tips to Eating/Drinking Outside from Hoboken’s Drunken Polar Bear

It’s getting warmer and summer is right around the corner.  We’ve slowly inched up the thermometer to shorts and hoodie weather (the best time of year).  Living in Hoboken, warmer weather brings us beautiful tree-lined streets, waterfront walkways, plenty of parks and outdoor seating any many bars and restaurants.  After many years in Hoboken, I’ve amassed some best practices to dinning and drinking outside in Hoboken.  I’m sure I will miss a thing or two so please add to it in the comments below.

(Editorial note: unlike other local blogs, I promise not to launch into a low carb induced childish diatribe on why the city doesn’t let bars/restaurants open outdoor seating before April 1st.  Normally, it’s very cold between Dec  1st and April 1st so it’s not worth the pixels.  And it’s spring – be happy!)

  1. Pick the Place – the first, and most obvious step, is picking where you’re going to enjoy the outdoors.  I thought about making a list, but with bars/restaurants changing their outdoor layout year to year it’s always changing.  Regardless, I estimate there are over 75 places to sit outside.
  2. Time It Right – Bin 14 has 90 minute wait for outside seating at 8pm on a Saturday night?  Shocking!  Many other Hobokenites like you will be flocking to locales with outdoor seating for happy hour and weekend dinners.  Get there early and have a few cocktails first to guarantee a good seat.
  3. Have a Back Up Plan – especially on those nice days there are going to be some long waits on good outdoor seating.  If your plan is to enjoy the outdoors, pick a backup bar nearby in case the wait is too long.
  4. Rooftop Ruckus – there are only two rooftop bars/restaurants in Hoboken (City Bistro & Dubliner) and they are always crowded.  While City Bistro is just a deck with no tables, I have found a great time to sneak up to the Dubliner roof is early evening (5-7pm) where you can probably grab a table.
  5. On the Waterfront – just like the rooftops there are just a few options for waterfront seating on Sinatra drive.  Plan ahead and make a reservation.  And cross your fingers.
  6. Dress the Part – if you’re walking around town your blood is flowing and you’re going to get warm, but when you’re sitting outside eating and drinking it’s going to be cold and a little windy.  Bring an extra coat, sweater, sweatshirt, shawl, etc.  Sunglasses are also a must.
  7. Find a Good Special – tons of bars and restaurants have great happy hour and daytime specials.  Nothing beats enjoying the afternoon outside with a bucket of cold beers or sangria pitchers.
  8. Crammed Quarters – in an ideal world there would be big couches and plush chairs we can sit on outside, but most outdoor seating in a little tighter than normal.  Don’t bring too much with you (bags and stuff) and be flexible about moving around a little bit.
  9. Thar’ She Blows – shocking to nobody in Hoboken, it gets windy from time to time.  Napkins, food, glasses, silverware all gets whisked away from time to time.  Make sure to be ready for the winds.
  10. People Watching – one of my and many outdoor enthusiast’s favorite urban sports.  Besides enjoying the weather and fine food/drink, the best part of sitting outside is taking in all the foot traffic.  Have fun with it!

In no way is this a comprehensive list, but here a few good places to sit outside by area:

-          Uptown – City Bisto, Pilsener Haus, Bin 14, Liberty Bar, Madison

-          Midtown – Elysian, Turtle Club, Mikie Squared, Stacks, East LA, Far Side, O’ Sullivans

-          Downtown – Brass Rail, McSwiggans, 1 Republik, Texas Arizona, Marty O’Briens, Dubliner, 4L’s

-          Waterfront – 340 Grill, Quays, Trinity, Wicked Wolf

Where’s your favorite bar/restaurant to each outside? Any other tips?

The Drunken Polar Bear

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March 19, 2012

Photo of the Day–Elysian Café in Hoboken using HDR

Elysian Cafe from across street Hoboken HDR

The experiment with HDR continues at TheBoken.com  with another Hoboken visual treasure, the Elysian Café at 10th and Washington Street. I will likely be re-visiting this place once the outdoor portion of the  café opens up. The flowers and plants are quite beautiful when they are set up and make for a great weekend brunch spot when the weather is nice.  Just for comparison sake here is the same photo below with an artistic cloth effect applied.

Elysian Cafe from across street Hoboken HDR 1 -touched up cropped with cloth effect

And below is an Instagram version I did by cropping the photo and applying a few more effects. Just last week I opened up and account for TheBoken on Instagram and we already have 62 followers.  From time to time I will use this account to feature photos other than the photo of the day or different versions.

Elysian Cafe HDR Instagram

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March 9, 2012

Drunken Polar Bear’s Take on Elysian Cafe Hoboken

Hoboken’s Drunken Polar Bear give his take on a classic bar in Hoboken, the Elysian Cafe…

Elysian Cafe Hoboken

Address: 1001 Washington Street Hoboken, NJ 07030
Phone: (201) 798-5898
Website: http://www.elysiancafe.com/

Elysian [ɪˈlɪzɪən]adj

1. Elysian – relating to the Elysian Fields.
2. Elysian – being of such surpassing excellence as to suggest inspiration by the gods; “her pies were simply divine”; “the divine Shakespeare”; “an elysian meal”; “an inspired performance”.

Elysian The Word

If you’ve lived in Hoboken for a little bit it’s a word that appears in all manner of places.  There are a few apartment buildings named the Elysian.  Elysian Field was the site of the first organized baseball game (monument at 11th & Washington).  And then there is the Elysian Café.  But before we get to the review of the Elysian, this is one of the rare times I get to put my mostly useless Masters degree in history to use…Elysian/Elysium refers to the afterlife concept from Greek times.  Elysium was a mythically locale reserved for Gods and heroes where they would live an awesome post-death existence.  Think of it like the VIP room for the studs of Greek times.  But I digress…


I always struggle with this aspect of describing bars because let’s face it, my design skills are supremely limited.  I am lucky my living room furniture matches.  However, I can say the inside of the Elysian is cool and very old school.  The feel and decoration incorporates a lot of original Hoboken architecture, molding, tile floor, wall murals and stained glass.  The current owners have done a great job at restoring the bar to the original look and feel.  How original?  The Elysian is Hoboken’s oldest continually operated bar and restaurant, dating back to 1895!

The Booze

Elysian Café has a solid set of beers on tap and bottles.  What I really loved about the bar from my 3 visits (thus far) was their cocktail menu.  About 10 or so custom cocktails, they are all made from scratch and in a departure from many bars won’t cost you an arm and a leg.  I tried a few, but head and shoulders above them all was a drink called the Divine Guinness.  As simple as it is (2 shots of vanilla vodka and Guinness in a pint glass), this concoction surely embodies the bar’s name and tastes like the heavenly afterlife.  And for $8, you really can’t find a better value or taste.

The Service

I haven’t eaten at the Elysian Café yet, but have heard good things from others.  As for the bar service, it’s solid.  All 3 times I have visited, we have gotten the same bearded, slightly accented bartender [aka "Slow James"] who makes excellent drinks and cracks a good joke or two with you.  He even chuckled when Sprinkles the gf (girl friend), struggled to finish a super alcoholic drink one evening.  I laughed myself until I actually tried the drink…


Overall, I had walked pasted Elysian Café for years, in search of other bars much to my mistake.  Situated very much in the bar “dead zone” of Washington (7th – 11th on Washington) I always wrote it off as note for me.  Elysian has the atmosphere, design and service of a bar from the early 20th century and I mean that in a good way.  The crowd trends a bit older, but fits perfectly.  Elysian is definitely a unique locale in Hoboken and makes the Drunken Polar Bear Top 10 (published soon!).

Any suggestions for the next bar review?

- The Drunken Polar Bear


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February 9, 2012

Photo of the Day: “Ellie” the Elysian Café Elephant

Hoboken Photo of the Day - “Ellie” the Elysian Café Elephant

The Elysian Café located at 10th and Washington Street in Hoboken has a mascot of sorts; “Ellie” the Elephant as some patrons call it. Josh, the Wednesday bartender said that is at least what some regulars call it. He added sometimes some patrons even request to do shots with the replica of the earth’s largest living land mammal. To each his own. Now “ Ellie” might not weigh as much as  a real elephant but she is no lightweight and in fact is solid metal. So here is a toast to the Elysian Café’s heavy metal elephant “Ellie” . She is a thirsty creature and always appreciates a round of shots.

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January 16, 2012

Photo of the Day- His and Hers NY Giants Beer Holders

NY Giants Beer Holders - His and Hers Elysian Cafe Hoboken

Yesterday just about any Sports Bar or bar with TVs in Hoboken was filled to capacity to watch the New York Giants defeat the Green Bay Packers 37-20. This photo is from the Elysian Café with matching his and hers NY Giant Beer holders. How cute. Hope they have a pre-nup for those seasons tickets just in case.

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December 21, 2011

Elysian Café New Years Eve No Cover Charge and Live Music from the “Human Jukebox”: Steve Bard


The Elysian Café located at 1010 Washington Street is having their New Years Eve celebration December 31st with the following options. A three course Prix Fixe Menu with seatings at 5,7,9, and 9:30pm, and for the late crowd the music of Steve Bard with no cover. The music starts at 10:30pm and features a man with a guitar whose music library and recall of songs is simply astounding. He ranges from Guns and Roses to Prince to Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Radio Head, Justin Timberlake, Michael Jackson,  and too many to list here. Aptly named with the surname Bard and the nickname “Human Jukebox” , he usually plays straight through only pausing to take sips of ginger ale. HIs guitar playing is outstanding and his vocal dynamics are wide ranging and he does take requests. The Elysian Café’s phone number is 201-798-5898 if you need more information or would like to reserve a seating for dinner.

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September 28, 2011

Selected Hoboken Food Specials Wednesday 9/28

Elysian Cafe Bar and Restaurant Hoboken

Below are some selected food specials for tonight in Hoboken for Wednesday September 28th:

Piri Piri – 515 Washington Street

  • Wednesdays Kids Eat Free!:  Every Wednesday children eat free from the kids menu. Offer limited to one child per adult when the adult orders an entree and may not be combined with any other offer.
  • Sauteed Chicken Breast in Garlic: Sauteed chicken breast in garlic.
  • Arroz a Valenciana: Traditional medley of assorted seafood and meats in rice.

Court Street 61 –  6th Street Hoboken

Lobster Night Every Wednesday Night

  • 1 1/4 lb. Maine Lobster with Soup or Salad, Potato and Vegetable Only $18.95!
  • 2 – 1 1/4 Lobsters Only $29.95!

Elysian Cafe – 1001 Washington Street Hoboken

Wednesday $20 Steak Night February 24, 2011 – May 24, 2012
Every Wednesday night they offer Steak prepared three different ways with choice of a mixed green salad or our soup du jour. The price is $20 per person (plus tax and gratuity).

  • 1st course: Soup du jour or Organic Field Greens.
  • 2nd Course: Bistro Steak- A Grilled Flatiron Steak Topped With Carmelized Onions And Gorgonzola
    or Grilled NY Strip with Elysian Steak Sauce.
  • Dessert: Warm Crepes with Almond Cream and Chocolate Sauce.
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September 17, 2011

Photo of the Day–Elysian Café Ceiling in Hoboken

Filed under: Elysian Cafe,Hoboken,Photo Of The Day — Tags: , , — TheBoken @ 9:55 AM

Elysian Cafe Hoboken Ceiling

Today’s photo of the day is the ceiling of the wonderfully restored Elysian Café which has been in business a long time. The Restaurant  located on the NE corner of 10th and Washington Streets itself is a piece of Hoboken history and was restored in 2004-2005 and has been busy ever since.

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