Fort Lee BDA welcomes Babalu Cuban Cafe to Main Street shopping corridor
FORT LEE, NJ—The Business District Alliance (BDA) of Fort Lee welcomed Babalu Cuban Cafe to the business community with a ribbon cutting ceremony on December 29, 2015. The new restaurant, located on 302-304 Main Street, brings a casual taste of Cuba to the diverse dining options in Fort Lee.
Babalu Cuban Cafe’s menu offers a variety of hot sandwiches, daily platter specials, soups, shakes, coffee and more. Their speciality is the famous Cuban sandwich—a hot pressed stack of thinly sliced roast pork marinated in Babalu’s special mojo sauce, ham, swiss cheese and sweet pickles on crusty Cuban bread. Babalu’s Medianoche sandwich is a variation of the Cuban served on medianoche bread—a soft and sweet bread made from egg dough similar to Challah.
Along with the Cafe’s selection of hot sandwiches are daily platter specials, including the Churrasco—grilled skirt steak served with their house chimichurri; Ropa Vieja—shredded beef stewed in a tomato sauce; and Lechon Asado—slow-roasted pork marinated in citrus juices, garlic and Cuban spices. Platter accompaniments include traditional Cuban sides of rice, red beans, black beans, fried yuca, and fried sweet or savory plantains among others.
Lighter options and finger foods include a variety of fresh empanadas, papas rellenas—stuffed potatoes, and ham croquettes. Homemade black bean soup and chicken soup are available daily, with a seafood soup special offered every Friday.
Sweet-tooths will be delighted to try Babalu’s tres leches—a sponge cake soaked in three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream; flan; bread pudding; a range of different fruit smoothies; and of course traditional Cuban coffee and other hot Cuban coffee beverages.
Affectionately themed after Ricky Ricardo of I Love Lucy, owners Raul Vicente Jr. and Patricia Matos opened their cafe with the intent to share their culture and cuisine with the local community in a casual dining setting.
“In terms of food, we saw that there was not much Hispanic on the entire Palisade—between Cliffside Park all the way to the Bergenfield area,” said Vicente. “So we said maybe we’ll bring a little of our culture to the area. We have a lot of great Asian food here, a lot of great Italian and Greek food here, a lot of great diners—hopefully this’ll be the start of some great Hispanic food.”
“Fort Lee is a fantastic town,” said Vicente.“The Mayor actually invited me to live here after working for the Census, and after moving in and walking around town—seeing the revitalization—I thought I’d become a part of it.”
“Babalu is a very welcome addition to the borough,” said BDA Executive Director Stuart Z. Koperweis. “Locals hungry for Hispanic food will be happy to know they can get delicious and authentic Cuban fare right here on Main Street.”
Located on 302-304 Main Street, you can contact Babalu Cuban Cafe by phone at (201) 482-4989.