Home Food + DrinkCoffee Coffee Brought to Your Door: All About Hybrid Coffee + Kitchen in Jersey City

Coffee Brought to Your Door: All About Hybrid Coffee + Kitchen in Jersey City

by Yiwei Gu
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Good coffee is one of the great joys of life. So when Hybrid Coffee, a familiar Jersey City coffee truck, opened a new brick-and-mortar location right off the bustling Central Avenue, it was warmly welcomed by young families and work-from-home professionals in the Heights neighborhood. The new location, Hybrid Coffee + Kitchen, located at 110  Cambridge Avenue, continues to serve the same smooth espressos and robust brews the coffee truck is loved for. What’s new, however, is its lunch menu {and it’s available for pick up and delivery — #winning}. Here’s what you need to know about this delicious JC spot.

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{Photo credit: @DrinkHybrid}

What’s on the Menu

Let’s get this out the way from now — yes, the lunch menu has avocado toast on it. But this avo toast, well, it’s seriously next level.

Hybrid’s turned out to be a genius take on a popular dish. Served on a thick square of toasted brioche, each bite provides layers of taste and texture. The bright flavor of a sriracha drizzle cuts the richness of the coarsely mashed avocado. Tangy and savory feta crumbs enhance the buttery taste of the avocado and the bread. The texture is a heavenly mixture of the creamy avocado, the brittle crust, and the airy bread. Finally, sliced almonds add some crunchiness to the entire dish. Needless to say, you’ll experience avocado toast nirvana when eating this.

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{Photo credit: @DrinkHybrid}

Evan Santiago, the mastermind behind the Hybrid brand, developed the small menu himself. Almost every dish on it reflects his personal and thoughtful approach. There’s “egg in a blanket,” a snack his mom always made for him when he was a child. As a nod to his travels in Europe, there are waffles and French toast drizzled with high-quality maple syrup and garnished with zesty berries, equally pleasing for the taste buds and Instagram. On the heartier side, there is a  Spanish beef stew sandwich that offers a slightly more intense flavor. And, there is “sopa,” which is a homey chicken soup loaded with celery, carrots, onions, kale, and plantain — a hybrid of Tuscan bean stew and Latin chicken soup, and a salute to his own Italian and Latin heritage. 

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{Photo credit: @DrinkHybrid}

Read More: Cuban Food Delivered to Your Door: La Isla Is Open for Delivery + Pickup

“I make exactly the same soup at home with my wife and kids,” Evan told Hoboken Girl. This is also why he calls his brick-and-mortar endeavor the “Kitchen” — to serve comfort food that customers can readily and happily replicate in their own kitchens.

What to Expect Inside

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{Photo credit: @DrinkHybrid}

Although we can’t visit at the present moment, it’s still important to know what to expect inside Hybrid Coffee+Kitchen when we can visit in person again. The entire space was designed to convey a sense of home. The preparation area  {the kitchen itself} is fully open. While waiting for their food, customers can watch the staff butter the brioche bread, cut fruits, warm the glassware for coffee making, and even strike up a conversation. “An open kitchen makes us accountable for our process and quality,” Evan explains. “But more importantly, it feels like home. Just like when you visit a friend, he would invite you to the kitchen and talk to you when he makes dinner.”

Outside the kitchen, the light-filled dining area has seats and spaces designed for all kinds of uses. Evan handpicked and sometimes handcrafted every piece of furniture, attending to such details as to how deep or how supportive the seats should be for quick chats, quiet reading, or writing. Besides the furniture, the decor and accessories are also full of attention-commanding details, such as the rustic-looking, comfortable-to-hold tableware sourced from a renowned local clayware maker, and a bakery display case filled with plants that evoke the ambiance of a greenhouse. All of these were designed to encourage guests to connect to the present moment, as well as to the people around them.

Indeed, to serve and connect people is the main drive behind this brick-and-mortar endeavor. When asked about the transition from operating a mobile coffee stand to running a fully-functioning coffee shop with a kitchen, Evan explained that, in fact, not too much has changed. “We are confident we make very good coffee. But what makes us unique is the service.” For service, he is keenly focused on building a personal rapport with customers. At the mobile stand, he always tries to engage with customers, even within the few minutes they stop at the truck. Now, a brick-and-mortar store only gives him more time and a bigger space to create a warm communal experience that feels like home. 

And Evan remains a gregarious host. He would proudly explain the tasting notes of the beans, the provenances of which rotate with seasonality. When asked for more information, he is more than happy to share the know-how of coffee brewing, and would even invite the curious customer to observe the bubbles {the “bloom”} and smell the aroma as the coffee brews. For those who try the single-origin brew, he would offer a small shot of house blend to cleanse the palate and contrast the taste {both are very good}. And he would also approach the customers sitting alone and quietly ask if they need a cup of water. 

Reflecting on growing a hospitality business so far, Evan sums up his philosophy as being “persistent, insistent, and consistent.” Coffee and food are both science and art. “Even with the same beans, same weight, same temperature, and the same timing, depending on the environment and even the mood, you can’t always get exactly the same taste.” Thus, to ensure consistency of the product and service, it’s crucial to have the “persistence and insistence” to continuously improve the products, as well as an open mind to connect with the community, including the many small businesses in it. With this, he is confident he would give people in the area a good experience that feels like home.

See More: An A-Z List of At-Home Kits From Local Businesses

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{Photo credit: @DrinkHybrid}

Currently, although not able to accommodate customers in person, Hybrid Coffee+Kitchen remains open for takeout. Pick-up is available for phone-ahead orders, and delivery is also available on Grubhub and UberEats.

Have you ordered from Hybrid Coffee+Kitchen yet? Let us know in the comments!


Did you know: We started a podcast about all things news and lifestyle in Hoboken + Jersey City! Listen to the latest episode of Tea on the Hudson here and subscribe.

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