When you think Mexican food, you probably think of enchiladas or burritos. Yet, Baja, located at 104 Fourteenth St., in Hoboken has more than just the standard fare. They have plenty of healthy dishes too, including: fresh grilled seafood, sizzling kabobs, and salads. This award-winning restaurant has been keeping Hoboken happy since 1987. (There is also a Jersey City location.) And the ingredients are fresh.
The cozy hide-away in uptown Hoboken has a charming bar area that is decorated with bright red neon lights and a colorful Spanish mural that spans the wall. On display behind the dark amber colored bar is the impressive display of specialty tequilas. Baja has an extensive list of specialty margaritas with exotic flavors like blackberry, coconut, passion, pomegranate, and more.
The margaritas are fabulous. On any given night you’ll see patrons sampling a specialty cocktail while munching on the tasty chips and salsa. The homemade salsa is made daily on the premises, and will ruin your taste for any other. The salsa is a combination of tomato and spices that is pureed till it is smooth. My companion remarked that it is the best she’s ever tasted.
Soups, salads, and Quesos!
My friend and I started with the tortilla soup and the house salad. The homemade soup has strips of tortillas and slices of avocado in a chicken stock that is flavored with cilantro. The soup is served with a side of rice that is flavored with peppers. With the added rice, the soup is as thick as a stew and very filling.
The assorted green salad, which is served with a vinaigrette dressing on the side, comes with fresh slices of tomato, avocado, red and yellow peppers, mushrooms and thinly sliced red onions.
After our healthy start, we moved on to the queso funido, which is a cheese casserole.
The delicious melted cheese dish was flavored with Mexican sausage. It was excellent with the flour tortillas and the chips. Tempted though we were to eat every last bite of the cheesy concoction, we stopped ourselves to save room for our entrees.
Other appetizers include: ceviche, poppers, bean dip, nachos, and broiled shrimp.
There are small and large portions available if you are sharing and they are reasonably priced from $4.95 to $11.95.
For dinner we tried the ground steak tacos and the Alambre Cancun, which is a kabob dish. It contained broiled jumbo shrimp and chunks of steak nestled between peppers, tomatoes and onions. This large portion rested on a bed of rice and shredded lettuce and tomato flavored with cilantro. It was covered with the spicy tomatillo sauce.
It was excellent! The juicy meat was delicately flavored by the roasted vegetables. The staff will gladly wrap whatever you can’t finish. My companion had the tacos. The dish included two crispy corn tortillas stuffed with ground beef, cheese, tomatoes, and lettuce. It came with their delicious homemade guacamole and a huge helping of rice and beans.
Other entrees include: broiled shrimp, red snapper, salmon, kabobs, grilled vegetables, charbroiled steaks and more. They also have platters for couples or groups.
The entrees are $9.95 to $21.95.
Even though we were stuffed, we just had to try the fried iced cream. The great big bowl of vanilla ice cream was surrounded by a lightly fried tortilla and topped with whipped cream. This is definitely a dish you’ll want to share. It was delicious and complimented the rich cups of espresso we ordered.
Other desserts include: flan, an absolutely scrumptious sponge cake, and a fried pastry stuffed with a banana and chocolate chips. Espresso, cappuccino, and coffee drinks are available.
The restaurant is open seven days a week. They are open for dinner Monday through Wednesday from 4 to 10 p.m. and on Thursday until 10:30 p.m. On Friday and Saturday they are open for lunch and dinner from 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. On Sunday the kitchen is open from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Brunch items are available on Saturday and Sunday.
Happy Hour drink specials are 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Reservations are not necessary, but recommended at this busy restaurant. No reservations are accepted after 8 p.m. All major credit cards are accepted and gift certificates are available.
If you are in Jersey City, visit the second Baja located on Montgomery Street.
Baja is located at 104 Fourteenth St., in Hoboken. For more information, please call (201) 653-0610 or visit: www.bajamexicancuisine.com.