Check out Orale Mexican Kitchen in the heart of downtown Jersey City. Walk inside to a busy and colorfully decorated taco spot with walls covered in art. Inside you’ll find a fairly large bar with a full restaurant of tables and a smaller bar located in the back. The light up wall of Jarritos Mexican sodas is an interesting and creative touch.
At first glance at the menu the prices are a little high, but they fail to mention that it’s 5 tacos an order, they are all corn unless noted. We ordered the Salpicon (seared halibut) and the Carne (beef tinga). The wait time was fairly good and we were served a tasty side of Spanish style rice and beans with a small condiment cup of guacamole.
The Salpicon tacos were pretty good, the flavor was there, but unfortunately they were a little over cooked. I’d say they were alright, but I would forgo that option for something else, and at $23 another choice maybe ideal for your money. If you’re craving a no frills budget friendly fish taco, run over to Taqueria Downtown. The tortilla itself takes a hit here, they were corn, but tore and fell apart easy. These tacos were served with maggi, lime, guacamole and a chipotle aioli. The flavor complexity here was quite good.
These were a solid choice here at Orale. The meat on this order of five tacos was cooked well, juicy, flavorful, and a good kick of spice. Speaking of spice/sauce/heat, (the goods) the 3 sauce variety here puts out a good amount of heat. There’s a good variation of heat with sauces, start with the chipotle, move up to the verde, followed by the forehead sweat inducing Serrano. The meat had a good balance of sweet and spice, it left my mouth watering.
I should note that there are two Orale Mexican Kitchen, one in Jersey City and the other in not so distant Hoboken. The staff and host at Orale were attentive and kind. (sadly becoming less common in Jersey City, but I’ll say all taco spots in JC have had kind and attentive staff)
- Solid Taco Review Score: 7.2/10
- Taco Price: $16-23 for 5 tacos, side of rice & beans
- Location: Jersey City, NJ and Hoboken, NJ
- Strengths: Great space and bar
341 Grove Street – Jersey City, NJ
1426 Willow Avenue – Hoboken, NJ