It is a Caribbean siesta. The walls are saturated with bright shades of orange and blue and colored lanterns hang from the 18 foot ceilings. The second floor has a private room and another dining room that looks down on the vast room below. The custom designed huge glass lamp serves as an eye-catching centerpiece for the room.
Although the restaurant has been at this location for two years, it still has a freshly painted, brand new look to it.
There are many healthy starters at Baja. They have homemade soups and freshly made salads, that are made to order. I started with the house salad that was served with a vinaigrette dressing on the side.
The salad comes with fresh slices of tomato, avocado, red and yellow peppers, mushrooms and thinly sliced red onions. The vegetables rested on a bed of assorted greens.
It was very fresh and small enough to have with an appetizer.
According to Mario Herrera, one of the owners, they made a decision to make everything on the premises with only fresh ingredients when they opened Baja in Hoboken in 1987.
Herrera believes that quality food service is what keeps people coming back, especially in a competitive area like Hudson County.
In addition to the salad, I munched on the hot tortilla chips and salsa that was brought to the table as soon as I sat down.
Next I tried the Jalapeno Rellenos, which is a jalapeno stuffed with a jumbo shrimp and cheese. The outside was lightly breaded and gave the dish some crunch. It had marvelous kick to it from the pepper that combined well with the shrimp and the Monterey Jack cheese. The dish comes with sour cream that cuts some of the heat from the pepper, but be warned this is still spicy!
The fresh guacamole comes with several of the entrees and can also be ordered as an appetizer. This is not to be missed. The Haas avocados are mixed with lime juice, jalapenos, onions, tomato, and garlic. Simply delicious!
Other appetizers include: ceviche, poppers, bean dip, nachos, and broiled shrimp. There are small and large portions available if you are sharing and they are reasonably priced from $4.95 to $11.95.
For dinner I tried a Chimichanga, which is a stuffed fried tortilla. I choose the shredded chicken version. From the first bite to the last it was excellent. The plate was filled with food, which comes with rice, beans, sour cream, and guacamole.
The tender, flakey crust was stuffed with juicy pieces of white meat chicken and Monterey Jack cheese. The pastry shell was covered in a delicious red sauce with chunks of vegetables.
It is a large portion, so those with a smaller appetite will want to take the rest home.
If you are looking for a lighter meal, Baja also has many seafood specialties, and meat dishes including: broiled shrimp, red snapper, salmon, kabobs, grilled vegetables, charbroiled steaks and more. They also have platters for couples or groups.
The entrees are $9.95 to $21.95.
For dessert they have flan, fried ice cream, sponge cake, and a fried pastry stuffed with a banana and chocolate chips. Espresso, cappuccino, and coffee drinks are available.
The restaurant is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. They are open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 to 4 p.m. On Saturday they have brunch from 12 to 3 p.m. and on Sunday brunch is served from 10:30 to 3 p.m. Dinner is served Sunday through Wednesday from 4 to 10 p.m., Thursday until 10:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday until 11 p.m.
Early bird specials are Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. and Happy Hour drink specials are 4 to 7 p.m. Every Friday and Saturday night there is a DJ. There is a special party planned for New Year's Eve. All major credit cards are accepted and gift certificates are available.
Baja is located at 117 Montgomery St. in Jersey City. For more information please call, (201) 915-0062 or visit, www.bajamexicancuisine.com.