Although I am actually an omnivore by definition, my true passion lies within the flesh of our animal brethren. With that said, I do have friends that dabble in the dark arts of, dare I say it, vegetarianism, and even more blasphemous vegan-ism. Now, as a foodie, I do believe it is paramount to keep an open mind in regards to any and all foodstuffs, but no meat is hard for me to wrap my head around.
I would be remiss if I did not inform you, the readers, that I once tried to be a vegetarian, way back in the day. I lasted a total of two weeks in this endeavor and epically failed when I walked into a McDonald’s and succumbed to the temptation of the classic Big Mac. This adventure, although short lived, taught me an interesting lesson about being a vegetarian, vegan, or having any other dietary restriction that one must live with. That lesson was and still is, unless you are preparing all your meals yourself, dietary constraints are tremendously inconvenient for everyone involved. I always remember this factoid, when veggie heads roll through and join us for a meal.
Luckily for our friend Lorin, my wife Kat, and I happen to know a place that not only caters to the carnivores of foodie nation but makes equally delicious dishes for the foodies of the herbivore persuasion. This establishment that I rate as the best Mexican joint around is known to the world as The Blue Moon Café. Blue Moon offers more than a few selections for vegetarians, as well as a full menu of tantalizing fare for us “face eaters.”
There are a few different Blue Moon Café locations and a full list of them can be found on their website, as well as a full menu, and other pertinent information as well. Although we have been to other locations, on this occasion we decided to go to our regular Blue Moon Café in Woodcliff Lake. We did not have to wait for a table, but we did arrive slightly later than usual. On a Friday or Saturday night a short wait is to be expected. As soon as we took our seat a waiter brought over a basket of fresh tortilla chips and a bowl of some of the best salsa that I have ever eaten and took our drink order. The salsa is tangy but not too spicy, just the right amount to get your taste buds bouncing in preparation for the meal to come. I know, most Mexican restaurants offer free chips and salsa as an appetizer, but this salsa is really spectacular and needs to be given the props that it deserves. Most places try to pass a bland, drab, soupy salsa that looks and tastes like it came right out of a five gallon bucket. Blue Moon’s Salsa is anything but, with big chucks or vegetables and a taste that always has is asking for another serving.
Unfortunately, this is not a, “bring your own bottle establishment”, which hurts their value score a bit, but they do offer a full bar which will create any cocktail you could wish for. I suggest one of their many specialty margaritas, which are served in a large glass with a decent amount of alcohol and a large amount of flavor. The good news is that although they will charge you per alcoholic drink, the non-alcoholic beverages are endless, which comes in handy after you pour a bunch of hot sauce on your meal and dig in.
While chowing down on some tortilla chips, we perused the menu and after some group discussion we all decided on what we should order. Lorin, went with a special from the Burritofest menu called the Santorini Burrito, which was described as a giant burrito stuffed with sautéed fresh spinach, black beans, rice and feta cheese served in a whole wheat tortilla with sour cream or guacamole for $13.95. Ms. Kingsley, decided to dine on the Fajita Moon, which was described as marinated grilled strips of steak with sautéed peppers and onions, sliced avocado, refried beans and Mexican rice all wrapped in a flour tortilla then smothered in melted cheese all for just $16.95. I ordered a burrito that seemed to be calling my name the second I opened the menu, the Triple Play, which was described as steak, shrimp, chicken, black beans, pepper jack cheese, tomatillo sauce, pico de gallo and flour tortillas for $16.95. I could just not say no to the baseball word play as well as the fact that I would be enjoying three different types of protein in one giant burrito.
As you were reading the descriptions, I could hear your thoughts of disbelief. As a foodie, I to have been lied to by a menu’s description that promises portions using adjectives that are not quantifiable such as giant, huge, gigantic, or massive, but this is not just another white lie by the Mad Men. I know this is a cliché, which I really try to use in my writing; The Blue Moon Café serves colossal burritos that are literally the size of my arm. (Seriously look at the attached picture, I am not joking.) Due to this fact, it is very hard for me to order anything else when I eat here. Occasionally, I force myself to switch it up, but if you are going to eat here for the first time, do yourself a favor and make the first thing you try one of their many different burritos, I assure you, you will not be sorry.
Our food, took a bit to cook and we ordered more chips and salsa to pass the time, which are free and endless, which is awfully generous of them. When our food arrived at our table, I was once again, taken aback by the girth of the burritos. Some ladies may tell you that size does not matter, but gentlemen in the art of burrito making that simply is not the case. These overstuffed behemoths were cooked just right and were giving off an aroma that a cartoon character would float through the air for. Forkful, after forkful, after forkful seemed to merely put a dent in these delicious Mexican treats. All of the ingredients not only tasted fresh but they married perfectly in their flour tortilla beds. The addition of the house blended hot sauce that comes in four different flavors and the freshly prepared guacamole propels these burritos to the top of my list of Foodie Favorites.
Kat is a Mexican food addict, and she would be the first one to admit that. We have Taco Bell at least once a week to quench her cravings in order to keep it economical. For close to 7 years, we even had a set day of the week that we ate at Taco Bell, called Taco Bell Tuesday, which only ended recently due to other obligations. Even though, we can quell Kat’s hunger by thinking outside the bun, what she really is longing for is a trip to the Blue Moon Café.
Lorin, requested that we hit this spot when he came to visit because of the large selection of tasty vegetarian options that Blue Moon Offers. Sure, there are a dozen places in Bergen County that I could take him to get some sprouts or tofu but none would compare to the satisfaction that one gets when you are so full that might burst, but you keep on eating because you just can’t say no.
We all got defeated by The Legendary Blue Moon Burritos that day, which is no small feat for any food going against my gullet. With boxed leftovers in hand we left Blue Moon that day for a total of $58.42, which is just under my target price of $20.00 per plate. The Blue Moon Café is a must for any Mexican Food Junkie in Bergen County!
Overall: 3.5 out of 5
Taste: 4 out of 5
Presentation: 3 out of 5
Value: 4 out of 5
Blue Moon Café
42 Kinderkamack Road
Woodcliff Lake, NJ 07677
Monday -Thursday 11:30AM – 10:00PM
Friday & Saturday 11:30AM-11:00PM
Sunday 11:00AM – 10:00PM