• Tapas in Hoboken: La Casa Opens Downtown

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    Swooping in soon after the close of Love and Yogurt, word of the new tapas spot in downtown Hoboken quickly piqued the interest of local residents. Though we have several great Cuban restaurants in the Mile Square, Lolas {153 14th St.} was the only true tapas restaurant… until now. La Casa opened its doors without any grandiose ribbon cutting or celebration, as if it was already part of the fabric of our town – and if you pass by there on the way home from the PATH, you’ll see that it has been welcomed with open arms and hungry bellies. La Casa Hoboken is clearly filling a much-needed culinary hole in Hoboken. We stopped in once for empanadas {more like twice or three times at this point} and finally got to sit down for dinner. Here’s the dish:  

    la casa hoboken

    ^A little menu action from La Casa

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    With exposed brick and dim lighting, the dining area is intimate, homey, and dare we say romantic, with a few tables and a counter top for seated guests. La Casa Hoboken is currently serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a newly added brunch menu, and soon-to-follow late night menu. Eventually, they plan to be open 24 hours, with delivery until 3AM. These guys really know how to get straight to our foodie hearts — as well they should since the same team behind La Casa Hoboken has already brought us some of the best pizza in Hoboken at Basile’s on the corner of Washington and Newark {ask for a slice right out of the oven and thank us later}, and Papaya Dog, which we lost to the fire in February and is being rebuilt. Now, on the same block, we have La Casa, where you’ll usually find the owners there to greet you with a fist bump, warm welcome, and hot empanadas.

    la casa hoboken empanadas

    ^Empanadas in all their glory

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    Now, onto the food, which is made to order – and by that we mean if you brush up our your high school Spanish, you’ll witness the staff peeking into the kitchen and chatting with the cooks about how delicious each dish looks, or if they think something needs to be added. What we learned is that they’re continuously working on perfecting their menu by getting feedback from their guests and spicing things up with each day they’re open. They’ll be frequently adding new menu items – which just means we’ll have to go back again {no arm twisting needed}.

    la casa hoboken

    Upon asking for recommendations, the waitress brought out two hot and flaky empanadas {one chicken, one beef}, a papa rallena {mashed potatoes stuffed with ground beef and fried into a cripsy ball}, and tostones and muduros {crispy green plantains and fried sweet plantains}. These were accompanied by a variety of colorful and flavorful sauces, along with plantain chips and fresh made guacamole. If you’re a chips and guac kind of person, you need to try their version – just make sure to share with your date so you’ll both enjoy the spicy, oniony kick that is this avocado goodness.

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    Moving onto the entrees, we ordered steak churrasco which was marinated with just the right amount of flavor to highlight the buttery tenderness of the steak. And with a few variations of mofongo dishes, we chose the one with shrimp to round out our table for a little surf and turf. They certainly don’t skimp on the portions here, so though we intended to try multiple items, at this point we were stuffed. Their menu also includes daily lunch specials, sandwiches, fresh salads, dessert, breakfast, and a kid’s menu. Some go-back-and-try dishes include ropa vieja {shredded flank steak simmered in tomatoes, onions, and peppers}, masitas de cerdo {pork morsels marinated and fried}, pollo guisado {chicken stew}, costillas a La Casa {house special ribs}, the bistec sandwich {grilled steak, lettuce, tomato, onions, mojo and potato sticks}, rabo encendido {oxtail}, and pretty much everything on their tapas menu. No, we’re not joking.

    la casa hoboken

    ^Cozy ambiance at La Casa

    You’ll definitely get some down home, straight-from-the-kitchen fare here. But the best part? The two most expensive things currently on their menu are the steak churrasco and the whole red snapper, each for $14.95. Most other dishes are under $10. No, we’re still not joking. Similar to the mission behind Basile’s and Papaya Dog, the owners strive to bring good food to Hoboken at affordable prices. Yes, you can eat well in the Mile Square without breaking the bank.

    As their menu reads, “el amor empieza por la cocina” which means “love starts in the kitchen”. That may be where it starts, but we’re loving what La Casa is bringing to downtown Hoboken.

     

    Have you been to La Casa? What did you think?

     


    Written by:

    Michele mostly writes about her two favorite things - people and food. Though she’s been a Jersey girl since her mother danced on a chair at a Bruce Springsteen concert while 8-months pregnant, Michele’s life is anything but basic. During the day, she's a payroll specialist for small + local businesses, but on the nights and weekends, she's trying new places to write about and stopping for snacks along the way {so it's a good thing she's a marathoner and soccer player}. Aside from adding to her already extensive collection of throw pillows, Michele enjoys a good beer, nachos, and chillin’ with her kitties, Bo and Samson.


    5 comments

      • Jennifer Tripucka

        Thanks for your concern. Definitely something to take up with the owners, as their entire menu talks about “Spanish” food. Have a lovely day!

        Reply
      • Many people in NJ/NY–not just uneducated non-Hispanic people but also people from Puerto Rico, the DR, and Cuba–refer to Hispanic Caribbeans and their cuisine as Spanish. There are bodegas run by people from these countries who describe the food as “Spanish.” It’s a bit of a misnomer, without a doubt, but it is what it is.

        Reply

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