Neighborhood: Downtown Jersey City, 290 Grove St.
The scoop: Beechwood is one of my
neighborhood favorites so when I came down with a cold over Memorial Day weekend and couldn’t make it into the city for brunch, I figured I’d go to old, reliable Beechwood. There are two sections to this spot — the cafe, which has a very cozy, welcoming feel; you often see people on their laptops. And there is the market, where you can buy yummy baked goods, coffee, etc. We (I was part of a group of four) chose to sit outside on a pretty hot day — so hot that I ended up with a sunburn on a part of my back. Unfortunately, when you sit outside, sometimes the servers tend to forget about you, which is what happened in this case. We had to ask that our water glasses be filled. You should never have to do that on an 85-degree day.
Bottoms up: Since I was feeling under the weather, I stayed away from alcohol during brunch, but one of the best things about Beechwood is that it’s BYOB! So bring your own OJ and champagne/prosecco and make your own mimosas! My friend and I opted for iced vanilla chai, which were pricey at $4.75 apiece. Why is an iced coffee/tea so much more money than a hot coffee/tea? The drink was pretty sweet, but very refreshing in the summer heat.
Chew on this:
Beechwood salad $10 / Goat cheese, grilled chicken, red peppers, walnuts and applewood smoked bacon with balsamic vinaigrette
I’m not a fan of goat cheese so I asked for feta instead, and boy, did they give me feta. Sometimes places skimp on the cheese, but I got a nice amount. The salad had a great balance of the ingredients. I never found myself thinking, ‘I wish there was more ______ in the salad.’ The walnuts gave the dish a hint of sweetness, which was great because I have a killer sweet tooth. The balsamic vinaigrette dressing was quite tasty, not bland at all. The grilled chicken had good flavor as well. I was very satisfied with my salad and would order it again on one of my many trips to Beechwood.
Chicken club $10 / Grilled chicken breast, applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo served on toasted sourdough or wheat bread
The chicken combined with the lettuce and tomato was refreshing on a hot day. I especially liked the toasted sourdough bread. Like a true club sandwich, there was a third piece of bread in the middle. I normally get chips with a sandwich — they’re a staple and you can’t go wrong — but I wanted to try something different. The pesto pasta salad was great. I think there were pine nuts in it that put it over the top. The sandwich size was a good portion that filled me up.
Korean steak sandwich $11 / Marinated sliced flank steak with roasted garlic and sweet chili paste, lettuce, red onion and basil mayo, served on onion or sundried focaccia roll
The Korean steak sandwich is the sole reason for my frequent brunch jaunts to Beechwood. The sauce consisting of roasted garlic and sweet chili paste compliments the tender flank steak perfectly. I chose the onion focaccia roll, and I was not disappointed. Keep the napkins handy as the sandwich is stuffed with a generous amount of all the ingredients and can get very messy! The broccoli salad is a great side, an added bonus to a delicious sandwich.
The final bite: Good food, mediocre service. I’ve been to Beechwood many times before and would give them four mimosas on those occasions, but this time wasn’t the best. I know they can do better.
Reviewed by: Stephanie