by Christopher Halleron
(images via Facebook, Hooked JC)
I happen to be Roman Catholic. Throughout the course of everyday life, it’s safe to say that I’m not always the most pious person. I’m not the worst, but I could probably do a bit better.
With that in mind, I like to hedge my bets every Lent by honoring the Catholic tradition of abstaining from meat on Fridays.
That might sound like a bit of challenge—but when you live in a foodie’s paradise like Hudson County, New Jersey, it’s so easy it should be a sin unto itself…
This week, we take a look at Hooked JC (467 Communipaw Ave, Jersey City).
The Lenten tradition of eating fish on Fridays got a huge shot in the arm when Pope Paul VI cut a deal with Fishmongers Local #316 to allow seafood back onto the plate. Anyone living here in Hudson County should be grateful for that ecumenical intercession, because Hooked JC is absolutely divine.
Tucked into a busy corner in Jersey City’s Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood, Hooked JC is an easy walk from the Garfield Ave Light Rail Station, just past Berry Lane Park to the corner of Communipaw. On the outside, it looks like a rugged old dive bar—on the inside, you’ll find a phenomenal culinary oasis.
Hooked JC’s fish is FRESH—like, flopping on the counter fresh. Their quarry is picked up daily from docks Down the Shore and hauled straight to the restaurant, where an array of different dishes are served up by well-seasoned pescatarian pros in the kitchen.
The toughest part about dining at Hooked JC is deciding which meal you want. Every selection on the menu sounds better than the last, and eventually you just need to decide. Rest assured, you’re making the right decision—because it’s all good.
On my last visit, I went for the Blackened Monkfish (Monks, Lent—get it?), and entered into a vow of silence as I slowly savored each decadent morsel. My meditation continued through a plate of Honey-Jalapeño Hush Puppies, until the silence was broken when I paid my bill.
Honestly, I could eat here every day and still want to come back for more. There’s just too much goodness going on in this place.
Stop in once and you’ll be Hooked JC… #YouShouldEatHere
Stay tuned for another “Lent for Lunch” excursion next week—being the good Catholic boy I am…
Christopher M. Halleron is the Publisher/Editor of hMAG.
As a columnist and journalist, he has covered various aspects of life here in the ‘greater Hoboken area’ and beyond for the past two decades.
His opinions are his own.