If you think the bar Mikie Squared Bar and Grill on Hoboken’s Washington Street mainly serves bar food, you might miss out on entrees such as citrus maple pork chops, vodka shrimp, prime rib, and salmon Spumante.
The sign out front often boasts luscious cocktails like a pumpkin martini or their extremely popular sangria ($10 per pitcher). The interior is airy and friendly, with seven TV’s and 15 tables. But while watching that Giants or Jets game, you can order up a filet mignon-tip appetizer or crab cakes in addition to the traditional nachos grande or spinach artichoke dip.
“Our menu is almost too big,” said co-owner Cindy Samaris on a recent Tuesday. “Every time we try to take something off, people want it back on.”
Samaris and her husband, Mike Fasciano, who was born in Italy and moved to Hoboken at the age of 10, opened Mikie Squared in 2006. The restaurant is named after Mike Sr. and his son Mike Jr., who is 7.
They delight in offering a huge variety of dishes.
“When you make everything fresh, everything from scratch, it comes out better,” Fasciano said. “Our intent when we came here was to not have frozen food. We didn’t want to open a bar and grill that was the status quo. A lot of people don’t know that we make our mozzarella ourselves. We make the crab cakes ourselves.”
Fasciano also co-owns Margherita’s restaurant a few blocks north, at Eighth and Washington streets, which is where he makes the fresh mozzarella that he brings to Mikie Squared. He opened that establishment in 1993 with his sister, in the neighborhood where they grew up.
In keeping with the local theme, they get their meat for their popular burgers from Truglio’s in Hoboken.
On a recent visit, we sampled several of the options.
Appetizers on the dinner and lunch menus include nachos grande (with homemade chili, guacamole, and Monterey jack cheese), various types of quesadillas, buffalo calamari (in spicy wing sauce), and at least eight huge, varied salads. Appetizers run from $6 to $10.
We tried one of their popular offerings – the colossal shrimp corn chowder. It was heavenly, full of shrimp chunks and served with a piece of grilled shrimp sticking out. The chowder was as good as any up in New England.
Sirloin tips came on toast rounds, with cilantro mayo dressing. We also tried the buffalo calamari, a nice Hoboken alternative to buffalo chicken. It’s usually served smothered in blue cheese dressing.
We tried a healthy and delicious spinach salad, which comes with goat cheese candied walnuts, cranberries, and apple rosemary vinaigrette. I’ve also tried their huge chopped salads on other occasions, including their “Amazing Chef Salad” (grilled chicken, applewood bacon, swiss cheese, ham, avocado, tomatoes, onions) and highly recommend it for those who, like me, enjoy big salads.
Lunch entrees run from $8 to $11 and include diverse varieties of burgers and wraps, which have proved very popular. Special sandwiches, including a crab cake sandwich and tropical chicken, are also among the offerings. Steak sandwiches, Fasciano noted, are served with filet mignon.
We tried their burger, complete with fries, as well as a seasonal special Portobello burger with blue cheese. Both were juicy, tasty, and hit the spot. All wraps and sandwiches come with fries, onion rings, sweet potato fries (which were made just right), or a side salad.
For dinner, the offerings get even more interesting.
They include the popular “Drunken Caveman” pork chops (Jack Daniels citrus maple sauce with cranberries over two chops, with rice and vegetables, $15), spicy vodka shrimp over angel hair pasta ($16), crab cake dinner, with garlic mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus wrapped in prosciutto ($20), four special chicken dishes, baby back ribs, prime rib, and Mikie’s Mixed Grill.
Or you can try grilled salmon spumante, which comes in a champagne dill cream sauce with rice and vegetables. Or perhaps wild mushroom chicken.
We tried the Drunken Caveman pork chops, and they were a treat. The sauce was sweet and unique, and the dish was healthy and filling.
For those wanting something similar, the lunch entrees – 16 types of sandwiches and wraps, five burgers, eight salads, and more than a dozen appetizers – are also offered at dinner.
Brunch and dessert
Mikie Squared offers brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., including French toast, waffles, varieties of pancakes, omlettes, steak & eggs, and a breakfast burrito wrap. Offerings run from $9 to $12.
Desserts include a brownie cake smothered in mousse and chocolate truffle, white chocolate mousse pie, peanut butter pie, cheese cake, and other mousses and cakes. Desserts are $6.
Specials and events, and for the kids
The restaurant offers events and drink specials on various nights. They hold trivia competitions on Tuesdays and run immensely popular “sangria Sundays,” in addition to other special nights.
The restaurant is child friendly and has specials for kids on Wednesday during early dinner hours. They have high-chairs for kids.
The bar really gets packed during sports games. At other times, reservations are accepted.
Delivery and the basics
The bar does catering and hosts private parties. They also offer takeout and delivery.
To check out all their offerings, go to mikiesquared.com. Mikie Squared is located at 616 Washington Street. Call 201-792-0001 for more information.