Dark Side of the Moo: Jersey City’s Exotic Meat Spot

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While there is no shortage of dining spots in the Hoboken and Jersey City area, if you want to go for exotic without opting for specialty cuisine, the choices can be somewhat limited. Enter Dark Side of the Moo, the only place in Jersey City where the diner can have an Alpaca burger with a side of wild boar tacos and truffle fries. Nestled in a small storefront in the Heights on 52 Bowers Street, this self-titled “exotic meat emporium” offers catering, pick-up, and delivery {and check out the food truck as well} for every meat craving out there. Keep reading to learn more about Dark Side of the Moo, Jersey City’s exotic meat spot. 

dark side of the moo

The Atmosphere

One step into this small neighborhood joint will assault the senses with, you guessed it, meat. Rustic wooden paintings of cows and other animals {and kitschy pig napkin holders} adorn a few wooden tables, accented by a few stools and a wooden bar that overlooks the kitchen and food prep area {where the magic happens}.

The Food

dark side moo menu

As for the eats, there are plenty of mains and sides to choose from {and just plain old cheeseburgers for those not in an adventurous mood}. The menu also contains taste descriptions for all of the game burgers available, which include yak, alpaca, camel, bison, and kangaroo {yes, kangaroo}, so that the customer can get a sense of what they are in for before ordering. 

“Yak is by far the most popular repeated order,” says owner Tyrone Green of the yak burger {with the very cheeky name ‘once you go yak, you never go back’}. “Yak is a better, heavier version of bison. We get it locally from a farm in Stockton where it’s raised, grass-fed, and contains no growth hormones,” Green adds, noting that locally sourced popular items like yak will tend to sell out faster since supply is more limited. 

See More: Amelia’s Bistro in Jersey City: A Local Favorite for Delicious Eats

dark side of the moo menu

“Alligator sausage is {also} consistently popular wherever I go, and it seems to sell,” notes Green. As for how to encourage the less-daring eater to try the menu items, “We try to present exotic meats in a way that’s familiar, so instead of pulled pork we feature pulled wild boar — that’s what differentiates us,” Green says.

Indulging in the Lamburghini burger with a side of mac + cheese and cheese fries {because, all the cheese}, we found the burger to be very well cooked and delicious, and the olives and tzatziki sauce really made the meal. All burger toppings came in separate small containers, which was a great way to pack a to-go order, and the fries came with a giant cup of amazing cheese sauce {after finishing the fries we were looking for something else to dip into the cheese  sauce}, complemented by the mac + cheese.

The History

dark side of the moo jersey city

After Superstorm Sandy hit in 2012, the outpouring of people using food trucks to feed others in need sparked the idea of a business for Green. “I was inspired,” he said, “and I started on the road {with his food truck} the following spring.” Originally selling pulled pork and sliders, Green soon decided to go in a different direction with his cuisine, searching for a more original concept. While doing some research and finding a Chicago-based restaurant called Hot Doug’s {which has since closed down}  that served exotic game every Wednesday, Green felt inspired.

“I remembered having alligator sausage in New Orleans and I enjoyed it, so I started with that and found my niche,” Green states, adding that Denver-based Biker Jim’s, which serves exotic hot dogs {think rattlesnake and reindeer} was also part of his inspiration.

Starting off vending on the streets of Hoboken, Green soon upgraded to a bigger trailer in 2014 and then acquired the Dark Side of the Moo restaurant locale in 2015. As for the name, “it came to me in a dream,” says Green. “I had been trying to come up with a name about three weeks after it [the food truck] opened, and I Googled it and no one was using it, and that’s how it started.” 

While the food truck is still available at select local events and every Saturday at Pier 13 in Hoboken, catering and take out/delivery orders through the restaurant are now the bulk of Green’s business. “The food truck industry has a lot of saturation so I am moving away from that,” Green states.

Read More: Skinner’s Loft: A Family-Owned Restaurant in Downtown Jersey City

In the meantime, the restaurant continues to stay busy and is open Monday from 5:00 PM-11:00 PM and Tuesday through Sunday from 11:00 AM-10:00 PM. In addition to the more exotic fare, Dark Side of the Moo also features pulled pork sandwiches, chicken wraps, wings, tacos, gumbo, and even a vegan Indian-spiced black bean burger. Sides include truffle fries with cheese, “Moo fries” made Cajun with “Moo sauce” bacon and jalapeños, mac +cheese and even #Baonanas pudding for dessert {a local fave}. 

Overall, the meat experience at Dark Side of the Moo was both original and enticing – and is definitely worth a visit.

Have you been to Dark Side of the Moo yet? What did you order? Let us know in the comments below! 

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Lauren originally hails from Nutley, NJ but is happy and proud to have called Bayonne her hometown for the past 5 years, where she can always find a beautiful park to walk or run in and a great place to eat. Lauren has a deep appreciation for a good bar, a great glass of red wine, and good food, and often frequents Jersey City for dining, where she worked for 4 years. Now working in NYC, Lauren still gets her Jersey City fix on the weekends or after work, and then goes back to her apartment where she lives with her husband, a Bayonne native, and her awesome kitty, Lola. You can also find her at yoga class in Jersey City or Hoboken, writing, or reading {and continually running out of space for all of her books} in her spare time.


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