The restaurant, on the corner of Garden and Newark in Hoboken, has tall windows that allow customers to relax and look out onto this quiet residential section of town. The back wall is decorated with distressed tin that is painted white, which compliments the dark cherrywood floor.
The accents of red and orange near the ceiling draw the eyes up to the modern track lighting. It is simply decorated with large apothecary jars that boast the in-house specialty coffees.
This is a "Mom and Pop" place, except that the owners, Chris and Mimi Escudero, are young and hip. The café, which opened in December, is their second place. Their first, Legal Grounds, which opened in March of 2005, is in the Paulus Hook section of Jersey City.
The Escuderos believe in friendly service in a comfortable atmosphere. Not only does the couple prepare the food, they wait on tables.
It's like having your mom prepare a home cooked meal for you, but having her make anything you want. They want you to feel at home and make a point to know the customers names and not just because it's good for business. When Mimi asks you how the food was, she cares because she cooked it.
Grill and sandwiches
On a recent visit, I decided to try their burger, which is made from certified Angus Beef. The large burger came on a hard roll and was served with mixed greens, sliced tomato, red onion, and homemade macaroni salad. It was delicious! The burger was thick and juicy. The homemade macaroni salad was a nice change from the ordinary coleslaw that is served in most places.
I ordered a side a fries with it. The fries came with the house cayenne blue cheese dipping sauce. One bite of the spicy blue cheese concoction will make you quit ketchup! The fries can be topped with melted cheese of your choice.
Other grilled sandwiches include: cheese steak, chicken cheese steak, grilled vegetarian sandwich, vegetarian burger, cheeseburger, buffalo chicken sandwich, and a grilled chicken sandwich.
They also have "grinders," which are grilled sandwiches that are served on a long roll with mayo, lettuce and tomato. Your choice of: vegetable, turkey, Roast beef, or ham and Swiss for $7.50. The sandwiches are reasonably priced from $5.50 to $7.50.
You won't want to pass up their specialty cocoa.
I tried the Sikwati, which is pure cocoa from the Philippines. They steam the chunks of cocoa with milk. The result is a richer and thicker drink, yet not overly sweet like the American variety. It is delightful. I also sampled the satisfying homemade iced tea. They will brew any flavor from their selection.
In addition, they have many different coffee drinks including: cappuccino, espresso, mocha and more. The Escuderos roast the coffee beans in small batches on the premises. It brings the idea of fresh brewed coffee to a whole other level.
Other beverages include: fresh squeezed orange juice, sodas, bottled waters and milk. The drinks range in price from $1 to $4.
All of the food, including the desserts, is made fresh on the premises daily. In addition to the great sandwiches and drinks available, they also have a large selection of entrée sized salads and breakfast items. The breakfast items include: omelets, egg sandwiches and a spectacular Juevos Rancheros dish. All of the items are available for to-go and there is a special menu for catering.
The restaurant is open seven days a week. They are open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday they are open from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. In a few weeks, they will be open late night on Friday and Saturday until 3 a.m.
All major credit cards are accepted, even on small orders. In the spring their outdoor café will be open.
Legal Beans is located at 86 Garden St. in Hoboken. For more information, please call (201) 533-8484.