My love for food grows by the day so I know good cuisine when I taste it. Sitting at the corner of Grove and Mercer in downtown Jersey City, you will find Beechwood Cafe. As soon as you walk through the door the staff is very welcoming with warm smiles and offering service. Warning: this place gets PACKED for brunch.
The first time I went to Beechwood was about two years ago. It was the beginning of the ‘I Spend All My Money on Food’ chapter of my life. The first time around I ordered the Beechwood waffle for $9 (I highly recommend this dish). The waffle comes with strawberries, bananas, whipped cream, walnuts, and syrup. I always get the berry compote for an extra $2 to give it the cherry on top feel. This is my favorite dish at the cafe so it’s safe to say we know what I ordered the next 6 times I found myself there.
Recently, I’ve decided to be a little more spontaneous and switch up my ordering habits. I tried their bowl of chili and I swear that is what love tastes like. They pack so much flavor in one little bowl. I order tortilla chips on the side as a chip n’ dip situation.
I could write about this place all day but that would only get your mouth watering. Wipe up the drool and take a trip for yourself. The atmosphere of the cafe is very trendy and just waiting to be snapped and posted on Instagram. They are located at 290 Grove Street, Jersey City! If my words can’t convince you maybe these photos might help.
Calling all meat lovers: If you have love for barbecue look no further than restaurant, Hamilton Pork, to suffice all your pork needs.
Brothers, Michael and John Gondevas opened the barbecue spot in February 2016— just celebrating its year anniversary. But before the eatery was even an idea, the duo opened the Jersey City restaurant Hamilton Inn in April 2010. “Business is great— we are very busy. We’re both from here [New Jersey]. We’re very fortunate that it is so good and we wouldn’t have it any other way,” said Gondevas. The eatery’s exterior greets customers with a neon pig and smiling hostess, followed by an interior setting completely unique to them. To the left of the entrance is the bar, but not just any bar as it is carved out of a shipping container. If you are having a hard time visualizing that— think of the Baltimore docks from “The Wire.”
Hanging on the wall to the right is a large American flag that draws the eye to the exposed brick walls to complete the ambiance.
I have a strong love for barbecue so I was a little overwhelmed when I saw the variety of mouth-watering items on the menu including brisket, pulled pork, pork ribs, pork belly and baby back ribs. I went with the pulled pork ($10) and a side of French fries ($6). As for drinks, I ordered the “Bees Knees,” which is a mix of mezcal, lemon juice, maraschino, and ginger ale— a balanced blend of citrus and tequila.
Their dessert menu includes a churro ice cream sandwich, which I need to try the next time I visit. When the table in front of mine ordered it, it really was love at first sight.
The food is brought out to you on a tray with a slab of meat on the left, red pickled onions, and whatever side you choose. They supply a hearty portion size so make sure you visit on an empty stomach.
The array of flavors present in the pulled pork made me eager to try what the rest of the menu has to offer. Hamilton Pork also serves guest brunch Sunday through Monday from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m..
They are conveniently located steps away from Hamilton Park at 247 10th St. in Jersey City, so you can walk off the pounds of food you just consumed without feeling too guilty. To conclude, I was very impressed with the restaurant. The combination of quality food with the level exceptional service makes for a wonderful dining experience. Even if you are not huge of barbecue, I encourage you to try Hamilton Pork— they just might win you over.
What you wear on your feet can reveal a lot about you. In recent years the love for sneakers has soared to an all time high. I wanted to know what all the ‘hype’ was about so I went to the shoe store Packer at their Jersey City location and sat down with their employee Joshua Stone. Here’s what he had to say:
Where are you from?
I was born in London and raised in France. I was sick of France and wanted a change. I had dual citizenship so I figured it I’d check it out. I went to the French Caribbean, Martinique, for a couple months first. Then I went to NYC and then finally Jersey City.
At what age did you realize your love for sneakers?
At age 9. I had this obsession with cool patterns. My parents didn’t see the point in getting them [sneakers] because they were crazy expensive and my foot was still growing. My first pair was a pair of adidas dragons.
Where was the first place you worked when you got here?
When I got here I worked at Memes, a Japanese/American owned company that opened in the 90s. It was my first job getting into New York. I worked there for two and a half years. I left because I felt like I wasn’t growing.
What are your top 5 favorite sneakers of all time?
New Balance UKRB 670 made in England “Red Devils”
Le Coqsportif Flash x Sneaker Freaker “Summer Bay”
Adidas Consortium LA Trainer OG MIG
Nike Air Max 1 “87” “Curry’s”
Visvim FBT OG
How did you end up at Packer?
I was walking around the neighborhood and friends of mine were telling me “Oh this used to be a sneaker store” but it was closed down and they said “yeah I think it was called Packer”. I thought to myself, ‘really a Packer in Jersey City’? As time went on I forgot about it. Then I was online looking for work searching sneaker websites through Instagram and I tried to see where the store [Packer] was and realized they were in Teaneck. One day I walked by [Jersey City location] and saw that they were doing renovations on it. I couldn’t find the owner at that time but then a pop-up came on Instagram telling me when they were reopening. It was perfect timing. I was there an hour before opening with my resumé in hand. I asked to see manager who took it and gave me the same “Oh just come back if we see you more often we’ll see how things go”, and so I came back and when I did he remembered my name after that we built an organic relationship from there. They usually don’t hire anyone from outside in the company but they hired me.
What is your favorite thing about shoes?
It’s one of my favorite accessories that is affordable. They are timeless pieces. You can go back to any era. I love New Balances a lot, the quality of comfort is up there and they have great color schemes. There’s so many brands of shoes that I like, if I start talking about them all we’d be here all day. I don’t have a favorite pair, it’s more of favorite time periods for me.
Is your family supportive of your sneaker endeavors?
My mom has always been a positive supporter of me. My dad never understood it until recently.
What is the definition of a “hypebeast” and would you consider yourself one?
Let’s say a hypebeast is a random guy who could be new to it and has no idea about anything with fashion and decides to walk his way into liking it. He’d be over the top with every new drop and follow everything the blogs or websites say. No I am definitely not a hypebeast I don’t jump on every ‘hype’ product that’s out there that everyone wants. In this business you have a lot of access to things and it jades you. You’re not really the consumer so much. Everything doesn’t have to be bought to me. I don’t need it when it drops. I don’t subscribes to Hypebeast or Highsnobiety or any of the sites that push out what’s ‘hot’, the only magazine I have a subscription to is Sneaker Freaker.
What’s it like at Packer when there’s a new drop?
It depends on how hype it is, if it hit Hypebeast or Complex or any of these websites it can get so crazy. We can have lines out the wazoo lasting over two hours. There’s a lot of s*** that’s being sold out, like NMD R1 is just a hype shoe. It’s a bang average pair for me. (Bang average= not worth the hype). It’s just a product Adidas is making money off of. The shoe that I think is going to change the game this year is the Adidas EQT Boost 91/17.
What’s your style?
I feel like it’s a mix of the 90s, 80s, and Japanese-ish. My style is my own and really depends on two things: the weather and my mood. If i wake up and have a shoe I want to wear then I’ll build my outfit based on that. There’s definitely levels to it.
You can follow Josh’s sneaker Instagram @gnihsoj ! Packer is located 382 Marin Blvd, J.C. and 941 Teaneck Road, Teaneck.
We all have a sweet tooth we can’t ignore. My problem is I have about six or seven and I cannot deny their requests. I remember the first time I had Krispy Kreme I was with my cousin in Florida. When I took my first bite of the deliciously warm doughnut I knew this was potentially dangerous and I was thankful there were none up North because knowing me I would buy a dozen every day. It’s safe to say it was love at first bite.
This was around two years ago. Then one day on my drive home from work I notice a new billboard. It read: “Krispy Kreme Coming This Fall! Downtown Near the Grove St. Path” I thought to myself this was it. This was the moment I had been waiting for the last two years. When Fall rolled around I noticed the billboard changed, now it read: “Coming This January!” How could Krispy Kreme play with my emotions like this? When January made its way to the calendar the billboard changed again and this time it said Krispy Kreme was to open on February 7th, 2017. Could I trust this information to be true? I was tired of having my hopes crushed by this billboard.
The seventh day of February was a particularly cold one. My love for donuts lead me to the new location. I don’t know why I thought going at 3 p.m. on the opening day was a smart idea, but could you blame me? I was eager to get that savory taste I had been missing out on the last two years. The line was outside the door. I waited on it for fifteen minutes in the cold air and just as I was about to get through the door I realized I told my sister I would get her from school to save her from taking the bus. I abandoned my doughnut dreams and chose to be a good sister.
Naturally, I was back on the line the next day. To my joy it was gorgeous 60° weather with not a cloud in sight. This time around I went at 2 p.m. and the line was much more pleasant to be on. I waited for a strong twenty minutes. Once you’re inside you are led to a glass window and through the glass you can see the doughnuts being made on an assembly line. I progressed to the counter and ordered a half dozen of the original glazed doughnuts with an iced vanilla latte. You’ve got to treat yourself am I right? I stuck with the classic original donuts, but Krispy Kreme actually has over ten different donut flavors for you to try. I bit into the warm dough and it was love all over again. The sweet taste of the icing filled my mouth and I was smiling like a fool. I was a happy camper and my doughnut cravings had been satisfied (even though I’ll probably go back for more next week).
I was so relieved to be off the line and felt over the moon with satisfaction, but something was missing. I wanted word from one of owners on how they were feeling. I went up to a man with a black Krispy Kreme shirt and introduced myself. He told me he was Riley from Krispy Kreme corporate. He seemed to like that I was wearing a PITT hoodie and asked me if I attended the university. Once I said no his mood shifted and he seemed to want nothing more to do to me. Going so far as to take a phone call during our conversation. He declined to comment on the traffic of the restaurant or answer any of the questions I had.
I did not let this negativeness ruin my experience. I am still so excited they’ve opened a location so close to me and think it is a brilliant spot for business. If you’re a doughnut lover like me I highly recommend making a trip. They are located at 95 Columbus Avenue Jersey City, New Jersey.