La Bouche, located on Garden St in Hoboken, New Jersey, is a quaint French cafe serving traditional French and western European cuisine. I’ve now been to the spot three times since I moved to Hoboken and each experience is better than the one prior.
My first trip to La Bouche took place on Labor Day, so I went a little later for lunch instead of brunch and ordered the cheeseburger. The burger, which was cooked perfectly, came with bacon, American cheese, blue cheese, lettuce, tomato, and caramelized onions. On the side sat mixed greens and a heap of “French chips,” which were actually potato sticks.
I was pleasantly surprised by the chips because I used to love them as a kid, but they were eclipsed by my excitement about the burger. It was deliciously juicy, flavorful, and definitely something I would order again.
With that said, though, my next visit was strictly on brunch business. I ordered the Eggs Benedict Mushroom: two poached eggs in hollandaise sauce over a pile of chopped mushrooms and French ham served on Balthazar’s famous flaky, buttery bread. The eggs benedict came with a side of potatoes and mixed greens. Everything was delicious and I came so close to ordering this again during my third visit simply for the perfect ham and flaky bread.
But on my third visit, I felt compelled to try something new. I ordered the Goaty Panini: turkey, prosciutto, goat cheese, apricot preserves, and peaches. The sandwich was fantastic and I ate every last bite; the goat cheese was gooey, fresh, and savory. The greens on the side were the same as the ones that came with my Eggs Benedict, but this time our waitress brought out balsamic vinegar and olive oil, so I doused my salad in both along with some black pepper. This definitely amped up the greens and I enjoyed this meal the most out of all three.
Next time I’ll go for the salmon crepe or the French toast.
Like some other restaurants in Hoboken, La Bouche operates on a BYO system, but offers brunch cocktails for a fraction of the cost as long as patrons bring their own bottles of booze. During my second and third visits, my group brought bottles of champagne along with us so that we could have mimosas. A carafe of orange juice is $7 and is just enough for two bottles of champagne.
The cafe also serves specialty coffee, tea, juice, and smoothies.
All three times, I dined outside on La Bouche’s pleasant patio. The area is decorated with colorful tables and chairs and most of the chairs have pillows, too. The inside is small, but welcoming.
The wait staff is friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable about the menu. All in all, La Bouche is a great place for brunch and lunch, especially if you’re looking for something a little tamer than bottomless.