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Authentic Mexican Street food in Old-School Journal Square

It’s a family affair at Mezcal Kitchen, the Journal Square restaurant bringing authentic Mexican food and a fun atmosphere to a busy stretch of Newark Ave. After stints at 30 Acres and Porta, Chef-Owner Roberto Islas opened the first Mezcal in Bayonne in 2016. With the assistance of General Manager Ricardo Vera, his team fully opened their second location here in January 2019. While mezcal isn’t actually served here (Mezcal, for now, is BYOB), the décor is inspired by the woody, smoky flavor of the famous Mexican liquor. Check out the handmade wooden tables and the intricate etchings carved on the wood walls, courtesy of Chef Islas’ daughter and Vera’s wife, Liset.
Everything at Mezcal is made fresh from scratch each morning. The menu is divided into two sections – authentic Mexican street food and Tex-Mex variations on the same. We are prone to the Mexican version of Mezcal’s tacos, quesadillas, tostadas and flautas. Unlike the Tex-Mex versions (which are still yummy), the tacos are hand-made and soft. Also be sure to check out the enchiladas, a popular dish served with either spicy green sauce or a delicious mole sauce (for an extra $1). On the starters side of things, the Mexican Street Corn on the Cob (Street Corn) is also a big hit.
Thanks in part to its proximity to the Courthouse and Dickinson High School, lunchtime business is brisk yet efficient. Dinner is a festive affair on Friday nights, with live music that starts after 6 pm, with a rotating series of musicians playing jazz, Mariachi, and Latin music. There is no cover and, as always, Mezcal is BYOB. It’s a feel- good spot run by a great group of people. Catering is also available, and Mezcal can be rented out for private parties as well. One last note – be sure to check out the daily lunch specials, and yes, that includes Taco Tuesday.

665 Newark Ave. 201-918-5803 @MezcalKitchenJC

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