In order to fulfill the mission of Brother Derek Taylor, I have decided to attempt another Brotherly Grub blog post for an Alpha that he was not able to write about – Alpha Xi in Hoboken, New Jersey.
New Jersey struggles with some serious reputation issues. Before people even visit they call it ‘the dirty jerz’ or other, more expletive-laden phrases. I’m here to dispel that myth. For those of you that have never been to New Jersey outside of Atlantic City or Newark Airport, sit down and listen.
Hoboken is one of the nicest towns that I’ve been to with this job. It has the charm that you would expect of an old town and whether the crime rate is down thanks to gentrification or some other reason, it still feels very safe. It boasts some amazing views of Manhattan and some amazing food.
Every meal that I didn’t choose a restaurant at, I ended up at an old Café on the corner of Washington and 10th. With so many great pizza and bagel joints to choose from I thought that these people were a little crazy, but that feeling was also fueled by my love of pizza.
Elysian Café is the oldest continually operating bar/restaurant in Hoboken. It survived prohibition by converting to an Ice Cream parlor and when you step inside it still feels like the 1920s. The interior is carefully maintained to retain that old Café look and feel. But you don’t read these for interior design, you read them for the food!
My first trip there consisted of the half Reuben and a cup of French Onion soup. For someone that isn’t used to this food, the Reuben is just about the most delicious thing that has been put between two slices of bread. A mountain of pastrami with Russian dressing and sauerkraut on toasted rye. It was truly heavenly, and thanks to me being incredibly clumsy, the broth from the French onion soup began to soak into the rye creating an experience that I can’t seem to form a sentence around.
The second trip to Elysian was steak night and being a self-respecting Texan, I knew that I had to get the steak, if only to judge it for being sub-standard. Boy was I wrong. The steak was cooked to a perfect medium-rare (if you get it cooked more you can’t hear it moo) and served with garlic whipped potatoes and a veggie medley.
If you happen to find yourself near Stevens Institute of Technology, or just need to kill some time while you’re in Hoboken, head to Elysian and treat yourself.