• Digging into Just BeClaws {in Jersey City}

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    After hearing about Just BeClaws {an unassuming casual seafood joint on 1st street in JC} from multiple people, we decided it was time to get over there and check out what the place had to offer. Just BeClaws may not look like much from the outside, but one foot in the door and you are immediately met with the heavenly smells of fresh fish and mouthwatering, buttery goodness. Opened in 2015 by brothers Francis and Nambinh Tran, the restaurant, which is decorated with plastic chairs and tables, nautical sailor ropes, and giant industrial sinks {we’ll talk more about that later}, this place describes its menu as “Vietnamese Cajun Seafood.” What does that entail, you ask? Well, we’ll tell you right after the jump…here’s the scoop on Just BeClaws in Jersey City.

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    We found out pretty quickly that Just BeClaws prepares their customers for getting really messy while eating — in fact, the place almost counts on it, equipping everyone with plastic gloves and bibs upon ordering, and offering plastic everything {cups, tablecloths, cutlery – you name it} to complete your dining experience. If you plan on wearing your dining finest {or even an outfit that you are mildly attached to} when feasting here, suck it up and wear the lobster bib, and don’t rule out the gloves. You’ll thank us later when you are up to your elbows in sweet, sweet garlic and Old Bay seasoning.  We also noted the industrial size sinks in the corner of this restaurant where you can de-gunk your hands post meal {trust us on this too,they will come in handy}.  

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    Bevvies

    If you are craving some libations with your meal, this place is BYOB {for now}, so make sure you stop off and pick something up beforehand. We recommend picking up a bottle of Alamos Torrontes, a fruity, light and semi-dry Argentinian white wine that pairs perfectly with this seafood meal, or, if you are more of a beer drinker, New Belgium Citradelic Lime is a lovely citrusy companion for your dining experience.

    Starters

    Appetizers here leave nothing to be desired; the gumbo {chock full of okra, shrimp, andouille sausage, crab and rice} has the perfect amount of heat and boasts a wonderful blend of savory and spicy – the way any good gumbo should. And, you guys, don’t skimp on an order of the recommended menu item, the JB Fries: covered in crab meat and lemon aioli {you read that right} — the flaky, tender crab melts in your mouth and the lemony aioli is a perfect touch.  

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    Dinner

    While the appetizers will leave you feeling more full than you imagined, you’ve gotta be ready for the main event – fish! Complete with your pick of crab, crawfish, shrimp, clams or mussels, your meal comes delivered to the table in a giant plastic bag {to contain all that goodness} and a tin bucket, placed {discreetly, of course} next to the table, prepping you for serious shell damage. All orders come with your choice of seasoning and heat, and we went for the signature Just BeClaws sauce – a mouthwatering combination of Cajun, lemon pepper and garlic  – trust us that your hands will be dripping by the end of your meal… and it will be amazing.  

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    If you aren’t feeling quite as adventurous as digging into a bag o’fish, the lobster roll is also a notable menu item, served on two pieces of Texas Toast {which, let’s face it, automatically makes it good} with huge, fresh chunks of lobster. Also check out the Po’Boy {even offered with Sweet Potato} or the crab cake sandwich.  

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    Sides

    Not to be discounted here are the sides – like everything else offered on the menu, the sides at this place are done just right; an order of coleslaw comes in a {rather large} medium sized cup and is chock full of cranberries, carrots, baby brussels, and is a refreshing and yummy complement to your meal. The sausage side is wonderfully spicy and the buttery corn is great as well {there’s no shame in wanting more butter}.

    Just BeClaws will leave you feeling pleasantly full and not wanting to tear yourself away from the delicious, fresh seafood goodness that you’ll find at this awesome restaurant. Get there early during dinnertime because they don’t take reservations — but we can assure you it’s well worth the wait!  

    And in case you were wondering, ohhh yes, they serve dessert.

    Have you been to Just BeClaws in JC? Tell us about your experience {but clean your hands first}!


    Written by:

    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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