NOW OPEN: Wahoo’s (1147-NJ 35; Bed, Bath, and Beyond Plaza)
They have been around for over 30 years, but have only a couple of months ago made their way to New Jersey. Wahoo’s brings a California surfer vibe to a chain specializing in fish tacos. The menu is reminiscent of Surf Taco, but customers will see that the food is more California-Mexican based, meaning an emphasis on freshness and fish (the seafood outnumbers the meats, and there is also tofu as a protein). Among the seafood options are wild caught salmon, Alaskan flounder, and shrimp. Surprisingly enough, there is no Wahoo on Wahoo’s menu. Also coming in unexpectedly is a full-service bar. Without knowing anything about this place, I initially thought they were more of a fast food/fast casual chain, but recent pictures posted online by patrons show a full bar and a pretty cool atmosphere. The bar could end up being their life or death. I have not seen much hype surrounding Wahoo’s, and the cost of this liquor license (astronomical in NJ) could very well be their downfall if they don’t pack ’em in.
COMING SOON: Moe’s Southwest Grill (Shop Rite Plaza)
With at least six locations already in New Jersey that I can count, Moe’s Southwest Grill is moving into an already hectic parking lot. I’ve never eaten at one of their locations, but a quick look at the menu shows that they have a similar approach to Chipotle. This could be good or bad: the Chipotle in Holmdel right down 35 is always packed—day or night, it can be hard to find a parking spot. Is there enough demand for this type of southwestern-Mexican food in the Middletown-area? Or is the market saturated with people sticking to what they already know and love? We will soon find out.
COMING SOON: Puebla Magico (80 Leonardville Road; Monmouth Junction)
There really is not much information to go on. The Journal reported the existence of this place yesterday, and all we know is that there will be “Spanish dishes” served for dining in or takeout. But will this be Mexican-Spanish or actual Spanish cuisine? One could hope the latter. Between numerous chains offering Mexican food and a slew of authentic restaurants located in nearby Keyport, we could really use real Spanish food here along with some culture aside from what has been established as the norm. I’m talking paella, rice and gandules, chivo (goat stew), chicharron, carne guisado, and a bunch of other things that you would probably have to travel into Perth Amboy to enjoy. I’d be excited if that is the case.