When Porter Collins, the new venture from Chef Pino who gave us Bin 14 and the amazing Anthony David’s opened on the corner of 15th and Willow in Hoboken, it seemed to be a sign of a reviving industrial area. Unfortunately the place closed several months after and it could have given a black mark to this location, until Orale, a Mexican joint apparently popular in Jersey City opened. With its beautiful space covered in colorful street art and its wall of fluorescent Jarritos bottles, it seems so far that it is the perfect theme for the Hoboken crowd.
With an original menu, it is definitely not your classic Mexican and dishes like the Peking Duck tacos are worth trying: made with duck confit, seared foie gras, plum sauce, Peking glaze and red cabbage slaw, it is very decadent and for sure succulent. But if you get it, do not order too many appetizers (the guacamole is mandatory though), as this dish is very filling and also comes with corn smothered in butter with queso blanco on top (and a fortune cookie to keep the Chinese theme). They have few vegetarian options and the 5 veggie tacos made with sautéed seitan, garlic, chipotle and rajas were good and has a nice kick. I should mentioned that they came with rice and beans.
Brunch is also nice with the now expected huevos rancheros that are two fried eggs on a white arepa, accompanied by hominy, fried leeks and topped with queso fresco, crema and ranchera sauce. When eating it you get lots of flavors and they definitely know how to cook these eggs. Not so much for the breakfast barrio burger that is anyway fantastic but a heart attack on a plate. Imagine: it is two 4oz Pat LaFrieda Dry-Aged burger patties with serrano tartar sauce, Chipotle aioli, pork belly, marinated red onions and cheddar. Both dishes came with some house potatoes that were quite good.
Their drink menu is also interesting with classics like the margaritas but they do have other creative cocktails like the smoked old fashioned, made with Old Grand Dad Whiskey, Meyer lemon vodka, mezcal, Aztec chocolate bitters and smoked cherries. And if you do not drink alcohol, they have fresh orange juice…
Dessert was the only thing disappointing. The only one we wanted to try was the tres leches that is one of our favorites but unfortunately, we did not like it. It was made with a lemon and black poppy seed cake, macerated strawberries and smothered with a strawberry Grand Marnier coulis. I did not like the cake and the coulis that was a bit sour overpowered the whole thing.
Too bad because the rest is very good. But, despite that, I like Orale and it is a cool addition to Uptown Hoboken.
Enjoy (I did)!
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Orale Mexican Kitchen- 1426 Willow Avenue, Hoboken, NJ 07030