Guys, it’s been a long while since I’ve written a negative review — yup, I’m telling you ahead of time what the final score is, something I rarely do — honestly, I usually try to find something positive or I don’t mention it at all. I don’t like to spread negativity; maybe I went on an off day sometimes, or maybe I ordered a dish that just wasn’t their best work, whatever it was. If it’s bad service, well, there’s usually no reason to highlight that… I don’t know, I try not to breed negativity. But quite frankly, this was such a laughably bad BLT that I can’t not share it — plus I feel extremely comfortable saying that this place will not go out of business from anything I say. They will do just fine. They have their target demographic and they have their regular clientele — I am not dissuading any of those people from going.
This was the worst BLT I’ve ever had in my entire life. I feel really confident in saying that.
I first learned of Light Rail Cafe when they popped up on my Instagram feed. The food looked fun and good, the light was nice, and it sounded like a reasonably decent walk from where we live (and if I tired, it was next to a light rail stop, so I could learn how to take the light rail… right?). When I walked over last week, I noticed that it was in a pretty rough area. No big deal – this is not their fault. I understand that.
The place itself was super cute from the outside, with a specials board and a nice stone facade. I walked up the stairs and entered what appeared to be, well, a bar. Again, no big deal – I love eating at bars.
I browsed the menu and chose lemonade — this lemonade was tart without being bracing, did not taste fake or boxed (they might make their own?) – and was really good. I was super happy that I’d chosen it on the hot sunny day, after I’d just walked for 40 minutes outside.
With my BLT came a choice of side salad, regular fries, cajun fries or sweet potato fries. I chose cajun and almost regretted it — while these were fried expertly and appeared to perhaps have a cornstarch or other coating to help it crisp and stay crispy, they were seasoned cajun aggressively. I ordered the cajun, so it didn’t bother me so much as surprise me just how spicy they wound up being. That aside, I really liked my fries and were I to return, the sweet potato fries would definitely be ordered.
Lo now the BLT! Looks OK, right? I mean, it’s toasted bread, a plethora of bacon, some greens and visible tomatoes. That’s… a BLT, right? You are wondering how I could possibly deem this one THE WORST I HAVE EVER EATEN.
Stacked up for the money shot, before I realized how sad this sandwich really was.
- no mayonnaise
- shatteringly crisp bacon – not a bit of fat left, just super well-done and way, way salty (a sign of cheap bacon)
- light pink tomatoes
- mixed greens instead of lettuce, which gives a different texture
- floppy “toast” that was soaked in butter or oil, my hand was dripping with it when I finished
Not a single component lived up to its simple purpose. Sure, some people don’t like mayo and might find that being too picky, but the rest of it seems egregious at best. The sandwich was no blend of flavors to life it beyond the sum total of its parts, it was just… sad. SAD!!!
While the lemonade and fries were both very good, the BLT left me so sad that I stumbled home in despair. Just kidding, I left a nice tip as usual – the service was fine (neither above & beyond nor dismissive/ignoring me) and I can definitely see this as the type of place with its regulars and a steady flow of business. I doubt I’ll return, but it’s nice to know that these types of places still exist — even if it’s not for me.
*shrug* You live and learn.
Light Rail Cafe
237 Randolph Ave
Jersey City, NJ 07304
How do you screw up such simple sandwich so badly? Some good toasted bread, a swipe or three of mayo, good quality bacon, ripe tomato, and iceberg, romaine, or butter lettuce. I can see how this would not make you interested in any other food at that establishment. I love a good BLT, but can only justify them when the tomatoes are hand picked in the fall out of someone’s garden or my own.
Feisty Foodie says
I KNOW RIGHT?! It’s not too difficult to achieve even mediocrity but this was just awful 🙁 Your description is making me want another one (from someplace better) now!!