By Sally Deering
If you’re looking for a sexy Mexican nightspot serving spicy charbroiled dishes that excite the palate and tasty cocktails that serenade a meal like a Mariachi Band then head on over to Baja’s Mexican Cuisine in Hoboken or Baja’s Mexican Restaurant in Jersey City. It doesn’t matter which restaurant you choose, both locations serve a divine menu of authentic Mexican food that will make your taste-buds want to dance the Salsa.
Baja’s Mexican Cuisine on 14th Street in Hoboken is a cozy little bistro with a sexy bar and intimate seating and Baja’s Mexican Restaurant on Montgomery Street in Jersey City (just blocks from the Grove Street PATH station) is three times the size with upstairs and downstairs dining rooms that fill up with the lunchtime crowd and heat up when the sun sets and the dinner crowd wants a sizzling Mexican dining experience.
First let’s begin with a sampling of appetizers. Baja serves Cerviche, shrimp and scallops marinated in lime juice ($8.75,) Escaveche de Camarones, broiled shrimp in chipotle sauce ($8.75,) Guacamole, avocados with a mix of lime juice, jalapenos, onions, tomatoes and garlic ($5.75,) Jalapeno Poppers, fried breaded jalapenos stuffed with cheese ($6.55) and Nachos Camarones, shrimp over cheese and beans with guacamole and sour cream ($6.55.)
For your main course, Baja features Enchilada dishes like Camarones, sautéed shrimp in Mexican sauce; Espinaca, spinach sautéed in wine and Puebla, grilled chicken and sautéed spinach and mushrooms with green tomato sauce and melted cheese ($10.95-$14.95.) Burritos, come in variations like Chorizo, fried Mexican sausage; Fajita, charbroiled chicken or steak; Texano, shredded chicken or ground steak and Camarones, sautéed shrimp with vegetables (10.95 – $14.95.) And the Chimichangas in choices that include Chimichanga Asada, charbroiled chicken or steak; Chorizo Chimichanga, Mexican sausage and Chimichanga Espinaca Poblana, spinach sautéed in wines enhanced with cilantro and chili poblano and topped with green tomatillo sauce ($10.95-$13.50.)
For taco lovers, Tacos Baja, charbroiled chicken ($12.95) or charbroiled steak sauteed with cilantro, chili poblano, onions, peppers and spices ($13.95) and Tacos de Chorizo, corn tortillas with Mexican sausage, tomatoes and lettuce ($10.75) tantalize the palate along with the Flautas de Camarones stuffed with shrimp and cheese ($12.95;) and Sizzling Filet Mignon Fajitas with grilled onions and peppers ($18.95.)
Baja serves Seafood Specialties, too, like Camarones al Ajillo, large broiled shrimp in garlic sauce topped with sautéed onions ($16.95) and Pescado in Avocado Sauce, fried red snapper or salmon in an avocado/tomatillo sauce ($16.95.
For couples who like a sumptuous dinner to share the Baja Special is a feast of fajita beef, chicken and shrimp topped with onions, tomatoes, peppers, sour cream and guacamole served with rice, beans and tortillas (for two people, $51.90.)
The bartenders at Baja swirl, twirl and shake stunning cocktails that look as fabulous as they taste. Tequilas are all 100% Agave and the Margaritas and Mojitos come in in 20 different flavors.
Dazzling drinks and delicious Mexican food in a sexy and vibrant atmosphere are Baja’s big attractions and owners Mario Herrera, Felix Disla and Major Disla – longtime friends and partners – have been giving their customers and fathful regulars a great night out since they opened the first Baja in Hoboken in 1987.
“It’s a two-family business and everybody gets involved,” Esther Ortiz, Assistant Manager for both restaurants and a member of the extended family says. “We love each other and we have a lot of respect for each other.”
They also care a lot about their customers, keeping prices reasonable and portions hearty. Baja serves Sunday brunch, caters private parties and delivers take-out from both locations. And if a member of your party is having a birthday, you may want to order the Baja Surprise Birthday Special, a naughty little dessert guaranteed to inspire some blushes and giggles.
“We try to please the customers as much as possible,” Ortiz says with a smile.
Baja Mexican Cuisine
114 – 14th Street
(Reservations for Fri and Sat nights accepted until 8 pm)
Baja Mexican Restaurant
117 Montgomery Street