Some restaurants we hear about via reviews or from friends and decide to try based on that. Other places we just happen onto and decide it looks nice. Urban Griddle in Elizabeth was one of the latter type of finds. Driving down Route 1 & 9 one weekend, we happened to notice that a diner we’d been to years before had been replaced by a new restaurant that looked very chic. Urban Griddle was officially on our radar. And, now that we’ve tried their breakfast and lunch, they’re on our permanent rotation of great New Jersey restaurants.
We were blown away by their creative breakfast menu. There’s everything you expect and then items with a twist that make everything special. The lead off picture above is their Jerzy Egg Rolls which are loaded with Taylor Ham, egg and cheese. Nearly all the tables around us before we ordered were getting this as an appetizer. Once we had ours, neighboring tables who were still perusing the menu were asking us what that was. They taste as good as they look.
We couldn’t resist ordering the Spicy Chicken and Waffle sandwiches. The chicken was deliciously spicy which was their special twist on the usual chicken and waffles. Almost too spicy. Just bordering on uncomfortably spicy. But, the tender waffles and sweet syrup abated the fire perfectly. Wow.
Our final breakfast item was the Nacho Baskets. Crispy tortilla cups filled with egg, chorizo, black beans, jalapenos, corn, jack and cheddar cheese, salsa and crema. I don’t know how the tortillas stayed crispy or how the ample ingredients stayed together once bitten into but they did. This was a really great breakfast dish that would have been perfect if it were just a touch spicier. Luckily hot sauce was right on hand, Besides, I like spice and I was revved up from the chicken and waffles.
We ordered a side of toast once we saw it arrive at a neighboring table. Note, there is a LOT of table-peeping at Urban Griddle because the dishes are all so gorgeous. Be prepared to chat with your neighbors.
The interior is very modern but still cozy enough to accommodate the crowds of patrons who come for their limited 7am-3pm hours. The short hours mean that we can only stop by on the weekends so it took a few weeks to get an opportunity for lunch. It was just as good as breakfast.
We started lunch off with the Fig Jam Grilled Cheese which had the fig jam with brie cheese and fried green tomatoes on multigrain bread. It was rich and decadent. The fried green tomatoes added a great new texture to the usual creamy-inside/crunchy-outside grilled cheese experience.
The Stuffed Turkey Burger had a spinach and feta stuffed burger with arugula, tomato and basil pest aioli on a brioche bun. The stuffing kept the turkey nice and moist which can be a problem with other turkey burgers. Not this one. It was delicious.
Our last entree was their Pork Tenderloin Gyro—marinated pork tenderloin with tomatoes, red onions, tzatziki, french fries in the sandwich on pita bread. This sandwich was a perfect runny mess… like a gyro should be. The pork was so well-seasoned that I almost forgot it wasn’t the usual lamb.
Sometimes, the side dishes are just an after thought but not Urban Griddle’s fries. We tried their yucca fries and sweet potato fries and both were amazing. The yucca fries came with a fantastic sriracha seasoning and were a lighter texture than the usual potato fries. The sweet potato fries came glazed with honey and spices which honestly I didn’t think I’d be a big fan of. They proved me wrong. They wowed me, too.
Check out all the pictures from our visits to Urban Griddle before you head over to Elizabeth this weekend. We dare you to look through this gallery and NOT want to check them out. We are already planning to go back soon.
460 Maple Ave., Elizabeth
Open everyday: 7am to 3pm
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