Don’t let the name fool you. The Lobby Restaurant, Lounge and Sports Bar sits in Elizabeth, but offers Manhattan-quality dining without the Manhattan prices. This premiere spot features American and Latin Cuisine, catering to just about anyone.
Typical night at the Lobby in Elizabeth, NJ.
We first visited during lunch, where we watched famished foodies relish in a compilation of green recipes. The popular, “Over the Top Taco Salad,” is a cross between American and Mexican cooking, with its own special flavor. The hearty dish includes a fresh, crispy tortilla filled with rice, lettuce, black beans, diced tomatoes, pickled jalapenos and guacamole.
If a good ole’ sandwich is what you’re looking for, the Lobby’s “Sandwich Corner” is the best bet, where you can find a chicken sandwich, topped with Swiss cheese, turkey bacon, pico de gallo, and the Lobby’s signature creamy sauce. That’s what I had; it kept me stuffed until way after dinnertime.
Blending in with the crowd was Terry Gonzalez, one of the owners, who checked on how our experience was going. We didn’t want to show our enjoyment too much, but he could tell by the look of our empty plates.
Naturally as experienced reviewers, we asked him what makes the Lobby different from all the other places we’ve visited.
“The Lobby has made a name for itself. It’s a place that offers a unique dining experience and entertainment, but we also have professionals, as well as families who visit us during all hours,” he said. “Our goal is to reach everyone.”
“And as far as the food goes… it sells itself. We have the best chef in the area. Hands down.”
From what we saw, the Lobby is a good place to take a load off after a long morning at the office.
After trying their high protein wrap, we were ready and energized to get back to work!
Outdoor dining is available for patrons.
Al fresco dining also awaits you. There is a casual outdoor patio that really feels like a tropical oasis on the side of Routes 1&9. It seems the perfect place for an afternoon meeting or a break away from the office. Let’s just say the patrons we saw seemed to be the office crowd, but did not appear the least bit stressed.
Lunch is available 7 days a week from 11am-3pm.
On a separate visit, we tried their delicious crab cakes and Picada combo platter, which includes grilled chicken and steak, along with Colombian chorizo, tostones, and yucca fries. My companion noted that each bite seemed infused with just a touch of Latin zest, creating a tasteful explosion of flavors.
This time around we spoke to the chef, Fausto Vasquez, who spoke about his selection of ingredients for each dish. “I create every dish using a trace of Latin and American gusto to fulfill every appetite. I like to think my secret ingredients are what bring people back, he continued. “As a chef, the best feeling in the world is in the satisfaction my delectable masterpieces bring to our customers. One example is our Sancocho.”
Lobby's Dominican style chicken soup
Save the money on an airline ticket to the Carribean. One of the Lobby’s signature dishes is in fact a hearty “Sancocho de Pollo” Dominican style soup with yucca, pumpkin, plantain, and corn topped with sliced tomato. The smell alone will sate your appetite. I was smart to order it; you should too.
The restaurant features broadcasts of every sporting event you could think of from the countless televisions that are ideal for all sports lovers, featuring the most exciting pay-per view UFC, Soccer, football and Boxing matches. There are two large pool tables in ornate suites open seven days a week. Our waiter said people are playing pool from 11 am to 3 am, from Thursdays thru Saturdays. The place had a good buzz; important for those first time dates.
We were there for the food, but couldn’t stay away from the drinks priced right. (Happy Hour drink specials include $2 house shots and $3 domestic beers.)
Party animals can revel in the “Lobby Bulldog,” an upside down coronita trapped in a frozen margarita. The party starts late at night with famous DJ Crazy hitting the ones and twos.
The service is polite and proactive, always with a smile.
The location is also prime. The Lobby was created out of an old Perkin’s, at Routes 1 & 9 northbound next to the Crown Plaza Hotel. It took us two minutes from Interchange 13A of the New Jersey Turnpike.
Parking is plentiful. No excuse not to try the Lobby.
Our review: FIVE STARS
Experience it Yourself