A restaurant from a neighboring city has officially started serving customers out of their second space near the Brennan Courthouse, which features a casual rustic vibe and Mexican cuisine that strives for authenticity.
Parts of Newark Avenue in Downtown tend to get all the attention, but the same stretch of road on Jersey City’s west wide is starting to draw commerce of its own. The latest import comes via Bayonne, as MezCal Kitchen soft-opened over the weekend at 665 Newark Avenue. The restaurant has been succeeding at 482 Broadway in the Peninsula City for several years and announced their imminent arrival in Chilltown earlier this year.
The space itself is inviting and lacking in pretentiousness, featuring tile floors and a large wood wall with whimsical artwork inspired by the restaurant’s culture. Wood tables with the restaurant’s moniker branded on them, a staple of their Bayonne location, have made their way north to the new spot. Rounding out the space is both a countertop area and a small stage section for live music, which was already utilized last Friday when local musicians Tequila Bamboo played a set.
The menu at MezCal Kitchen includes starters like a Mexican-style shrimp cocktail, plantain fritters, and a shrimp stuffed avocado with jalapeno dressing. Their mains include larger entrees like carne en salsa verde and pollo asada, plus some “street food” options like flautas, tacos, huaraches, tostadas, and Mexican quesadillas with various protein choices.
In addition, MezCal Kitchen offers some Tex-Mex favorites like fajitas, burritos, and nachos, and also carries Jarritos sodas. The original restaurant is named after a distilled alcoholic beverage made from agave and their Bayonne spot does serve various cocktails and drinks, but their Jersey City outpost does not have a liquor license. However, BYOB is welcome. Pickup orders are available by phone, and a free delivery option will be coming soon.
MezCal Kitchen’s space is right next door to the recently opened Banana King and their arrival caps what has been a big year for Journal Square’s restaurant scene. 2018 has seen the arrival of eateries like Flatbread Grill and Korai Kitchen, and there’s a Chinese restaurant dubbed Ling Long Xuan on the way plus a Chipotle outpost currently being built out at 26 Journal Square.
MezCal Kitchen has just created a Jersey City-specific Instagram account at the handle @mezcalkitchen_jc and opens at 11 a.m. daily for lunch, serving customers until 10 p.m. Saturday through Thursday and staying up late until 1 a.m. on Friday nights.