Baja is a Tex-Mex restaurant located uptown Hoboken, several blocks from the second Charrito's location and far from East LA. I rediscovered this place recently, after several years of a hiatus, being disappointed in the past by their menu. I was just wondering if they changed anything; for instance, will their guacamole be homemade rather than store bought? Would they have a more interesting menu? That is what we would discover.
At the entrance, you cannot miss the bar with its large choice of tequila, and you may want to try some of their margaritas that seem to be popular considering the number of glasses the table next to us drank...
This place is of a nice size, with a decor that can be intriguing, especially the masks on the walls that some would find scary...
Menu wise, they serve the classics: tacos, burritos, chimichangas...and of course guacamole that was homemade.
When we went for dinner, Jodi tried the spinach quesadilla, made with four soft tortilla, Monterey Jack cheese, pico de gallo and spinach. sour cream and guacamole.
As you can see in the photo, there was tons of cheese and, although not a big fan of spinach except a la creme, I kind of liked it.
On my side, I went for the Alambre Cancun, a dish made of char-broiled chicken and shrimp brushed in a lemon-butter sauce.
That was delicious: perfectly cooked and seasoned, I loved the char on the chicken that was moist. We both got to pick sides with our dishes and chose the refried beans (I wonder if they make it).
That night, we got a dessert called Sopapillas, crispy flour tortilla pastries, coated with cinnamon sugar and served with vanilla ice cream.
I admit that I hesitated between this dessert and the tres leches. But sopapillas reminded me the time I lived in Paris and we were going with my friends Caroline and Arnaud to a place that is now unfortunately closed called Café Pacifico, near Gare Montparnasse. We used to go on the weekend just for that dessert. For sure it was different, the ice cream being the main component of the dish, topped with some fried tortilla, honey and cinnamon: the type of scrumptious dessert that makes you close your eyes for a minute so you only focus on the fantastic taste, forgetting the world around you. At Baja, the tortilla is the main component and the crispiness, as well as the slight greasiness makes it very comforting. I really liked it, but not to the point that I would go back just for this.
When we went for brunch couple of weeks later, we got some guacamole again (mandatory appetizer in Tex-Mex / Mexican restaurants for us), as well as some traditional brunch dishes made with eggs. Jodi ordered the Espinaca omelette, made with spinach and cheese (lots of it).
And I got huevos rancheros (two eggs over medium, fried corn tortillas, ranchero sauce and cheese).
We could pick our sides and chose refried beans and yuca fries that were delicious, crispy and not greasy, perfect with some guacamole on it.
Concerning the egg dishes, they were decent, but not earth shattering. I think that the huevos rancheros at La Isla, downtown Hoboken, are much better, but still, for the price, it is a good deal.
With my dish, I also ordered the abuela chocolate (Grand Mother's hot cocoa), that was good, especially with the cinnamon on top that enhanced the flavor.
We had a great dinner and a decent brunch at Baja: the food was good, reasonably priced and the service efficient. Would I go back? Yes, mainly for dinner.
Enjoy (I did)!
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