Place: Skinner’s Loft
Neighborhood: Downtown Jersey City, 146 Newark Ave.
The scoop: Keeping it local, we decided to check out Skinner’s Loft for Saturday brunch. I had been to dinner at the Jersey City bar/restaurant before, and I wasn’t impressed, but I wanted to give them a chance to redeem themselves with brunch. The space is quite big and has three floors — the first floor is the bar area, which has smaller tables; second floor is more restaurant-ish with lots of tables; the top floor is the roofdeck, which is a nice place to grab a drink during the summer. We could smell the difference between the floors. For example, when we were on our way out, there was a strong odor of beer on the first floor.
We sat on the second floor at a table for two next to a real fireplace. Fireplaces tend to make every room cozy, but we were cozy because the tables for two were too close together. What is with that these days? I feel like if I go to brunch with one another person, we’re seated at a table that’s on top of others. The second floor is broken up into two areas, separated by a wood frame with windows. The dining area was bright from the rays of sunshine peering through the large windows.
Service was good. We had to wait a bit for our dishes, but our server checked up on us numerous times. Our water glasses were filled throughout our meal.
Bottoms up: We passed on drinks with brunch and stuck with water.
Chew on this:
Biscuit basket / Complimentary
We were served biscuits and a piece of Italian bread (sort of random) in a cute tin pail. The biscuits were good, however, they weren’t warm. I’ll never understand why a restaurant serves cold bread at brunch. They can pop the bread in the microwave for 10 seconds to get it warm. The bread came with a small jar of strawberry preserves, which was tasty on a biscuit.
Steak and eggs $15 / Eggs any style with home fries
Steak and eggs is usually one of my go-to dishes, so I was happy when I saw it on the menu. I ordered my eggs scrambled, which they were, and my steak medium rare. Unfortunately, the steak was cooked medium, but it was moist and juicy. There was hardly any fat on it. I thought it was strange that they didn’t ask me what kind of toast I wanted — white, whole wheat, rye, etc. I was given one piece of white toast cut in half. The home fries weren’t appetizing. They were too big and lacked flavor.
Tostada Ranchera $10 / Fried eggs, black beans, avocado and cheddar cheese
I was in the mood for eggs, but I didn’t want an omelette. This dish caught my eye, despite being unsure of how my tostada would be presented. Fried eggs with cheddar cheese were served with a hard, round taco shell on top of a bed of black beans. Sliced avocado and jalapenos were placed on top. The dish is also served with a spoonful of sour cream and salsa. I wish the menu indicated there were jalapenos in the dish (I’m a weakling). Luckily, I was able to pick them off. The dish had a bit of a kick, which was welcome. There was just the right amount of cheese with the eggs. I don’t eat sour cream, so I didn’t use it, but I did spread the salsa over the tostada. While the ingredients blended well together and tasted OK, I still felt like there was something missing from my entrée.
The final bite: Skinner’s Loft isn’t the best place for brunch in Jersey City, but it isn’t the worst either. The atmosphere, service and food were all decent.
Reviewed by: Stephanie