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Mathews Food And Drink Jersey City — A Vegan’s Review

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When I saw that Mat Kopec, {owner of Whitestar, arguably the best burger spot in Jersey City} was opening a new restaurant called Mathews {formerly the historic Cuban restaurant, La Conguita} on Grove Street near the Path train, I knew it wouldn’t be vegan, but I was hoping it would be vegan-friendly. And I was right! Mathews is a new downtown spot that has a “Williamsburg” feel without having to travel all the way to Brooklyn — with delicious food to boot.


The theme of the restaurant is “Southern Hospitality” with pineapple — the universal symbol of hospitality — adorning the restaurant, and it definitely does the trick. The decor is so charming and inviting, you’ll want to hang out at the bar with the friendly {and very talented} bartenders…so that’s exactly what we did. The drinks are beautifully garnished and have flavors to match, so you will need to pace yourself, especially if you decide to lunch there in the middle of the work day!



Not only is there fresh pineapple juice on tap, but cucumber, grapefruit, orange, lemon, and lime juice are freshly-squeezed daily, and all of the syrups in the specialty cocktails are made in-house. There’s also a GLITTER COCKTAIL {above}. Garnishes range from edible flower petals to roses carved from lemon peels and jack-o-lanterns carved from orange peels. No detail is spared when it comes to the beverage menu, promise.



The same attention to detail is given to the flavors and plating of the food. Even though Southern food isn’t traditionally the healthiest food on the planet, I had one of the healthiest meals at Mathews that I’ve ever had while dining out {minus all the alcohol} — including vegan soup! This should have come as no surprise since Executive Chef Jon Mecca and Chef de Cuisine Mike Kedala {formerly of the legendary One if by Land, Two if by Sea restaurant in Manhattan} lead the kitchen. The carrot soup du jour had a coconut cream base and spicy notes of fresh ginger and coriander. The shaved vegetable salad for lunch was a perfect complement. All vegan items are conveniently marked on the menu. 


For the non-vegans: some must-trys include the grilled octopus {a perfect crunchy-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside feel}, and the lamb and shrimp bucatini. YUM. {The restaurant prices range from $9-$14  on the lunch menu, with prices a little higher for dinner menu average of about $25.}

Overall — great ambiance, upscale vibe, cozy Southern charm feel. A perfect addition to the JC Grove Street scene. Kudos!

Have you been to Mathews? What did you think?

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Jen Gonzalez is the owner/founder of Doody Free Girl, a colon hydrotherapy practice in downtown Jersey City. Born and raised in New Jersey, Jen graduated from the University of Miami, FL with a degree in business — but after discovering a passion for health and alternative wellness while working at her family's business, she realized how easy it is to lead an unhealthy lifestyle in today's corporate environment. Now, she works as a colon hydrotherapist and certified nutritional consultant. On Hoboken Girl, she'll be sharing all of the cool vegan/veggie/healthy options there are to discover in Jersey City.

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