Short Grain is the type of cafe you’d expect to find in southern California. It’s laid back, serves up a solid selection of healthy lunches, and even includes a juice bar. But make no mistake, this health-conscious cafe has arrived here in downtown Jersey City.
So the big question — does downtown Jersey City need another cafe? In my opinion — yes. Especially if it’s one like Short Grain. They have a somewhat eclectic menu which includes items like lemon ricotta hotcakes and coconut curry chicken sandwiches. They also serve Counter Culture coffee, offer fresh juices, and have a small selection of cookies and croissants.
I swung by for lunch last week and tried their avocado toast ($9) and red juice ($9). The toast comes with a generous layer of mashed avocado, the latter of which is topped with tiny slices of radish, pickled red onion, and just a pinch of red pepper flakes for that added kick. Although it makes for a quick and healthy lunch, I would’ve liked the option to add another ingredient to my toast (feta cheese? cherry tomatoes?) to help justify the price. There is the option to add a poached egg (for an additional $1), but I opted not to.
Juice options are somewhat limited at Short Grain, which only offers a green (kale, cucumber, apple, lemon, ginger) or red juice. I opted for the latter, which was made fresh (i.e. not pre-made/refrigerated) with beets, carrot, apple, lemon and ginger. I’d love to see them offer more juice options with better descriptions than just “red” or “green” juice. Have fun with the names. Chilltown cleanser, Jersey City energy boost. Anything sounds better than “red” or “green.”
Overall though, friendly service, healthy food, outdoor seating and a chill vibe make this a must for health fans and anyone seeking a change from Starbucks or Beechwood.
Short Grain | 183 Montgomery Street (btwn Grove & Marin) | www.shortgrainjc.com