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Re: Hard Grove Cafe
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VA, I have also wondered how the Hard Grove stays in business. The service is so consistantly awful that it is almost unbelievable. I have been there about 4-5x as well, but stopped going about 2 years ago.

I think the location is really good, and that's why they always seem to get a good crowd. I wish they would fix their awning and spruce up the exterior of the building a little. The exterior looks pretty dumpy.

Posted on: 2013/4/14 20:51
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Re: How is the Hard Grove Cafe still in business?
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Other people are obviously happy with it, that is why it's still in business The Location and outdoor seating are a huge plus.

I find the people that work there very nice & Drinks are great.

Posted on: 2013/4/14 19:03
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How is the Hard Grove Cafe still in business?
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I have been to this place approximately 4 times. Every time the service has been really bad, like top 10 worst I've ever experienced bad. It's probably the consistently worst service I can think of - always taking 40+ minutes for food to come out, disinterested wait staff - once we were served food but no utensils to eat with and it took us 10 minutes to flag down a staff member to get some, etc. But the food is tasty and there is always a crowd in the outdoor seating, so about once a year I get lured into going.

This morning, it took 15 minutes for them to bring coffee and iced tea, 30 minutes for guacamole, and nearly an hour for our brunch - a sandwich and 2 omelets. We had actually gotten fed up and asked two different staff to cancel our orders and give us the check when the food magically appeared. Two of the waitstaff blamed the slow service on a large party of ~15 seated near us, but the rest of the restaurant was half empty, so it shouldn't have crippled their ability to serve in a timely manner.

It has 2 1/2 stars on yelp, but a lot of the listed reviews are positive? http://www.yelp.com/biz/hard-grove-cafe-jersey-city

The google reviews give it the equivalent of 2 stars (14 points out of 30): https://plus.google.com/102374188004677827742/about?hl=eng

So why do people keep going back? There is La Conguita and now Orale nearby with similar cuisine and better service.

Posted on: 2013/4/14 18:42
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HARD GROVE Stinko!
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What happened to Hard Grove? I use to love it there-the food quality is awful-the service is inconsistent-and it's way too expensive for inadequate food. I've given them so many chances but are done with them. It was so much better when it was a true Cuban restaurant-instead they added all this garbage (and that awful vegetarian fake meat) and I'm a vegetarian--La Conquita is the BEST!

Posted on: 2010/5/17 18:50
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Re: Hard Grove Renovation?
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Looks as though they're redoing the exterior of the building. I hope it's nicer than the old one.

Posted on: 2009/3/6 13:51
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Hard Grove Renovation?
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What's going on over there? Finally some new signage? I hope it's a nicer sign than the Saison Americas new sign.

Posted on: 2009/3/5 16:10
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Re: Hard Grove Cafe
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Went there the other day after a long time of not going (i've only had breakfast there)... must say, that was one amazing mojito!

Food was ok, but I'm not really a judge since cuban food isn't my favorite. Like the vegetarian options.

Posted on: 2008/8/19 21:51
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Re: Hard Grove Cafe
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Hadn't been in about 2 years, but my wife wanted guacamole last night, so we went (last time that craving struck, we ended up at Baja Fresh on Montgomery by O'Connels -- ugh; that's why I was ok with Hard Grove this time). To my surprise, the food was pretty good - much better than I remembered. Yes, the service was slow. Yes, I had to ask three times before my beer order made it to the table. On the other hand, it looked like they only had one waitress handling the whole dining area, so she was doing the best she could. Also, she was really friendly, so although the service was slow, it was not bad. Anyway, I'd go back, which is as good a review as any restaurant can expect, right?

Posted on: 2008/7/22 13:28
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Re: Hard Grove Cafe
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My friends really liked this place and have been back twice since their first time, so we decided to try it on Sunday afternoon. The mojito was really good and so was the guacamole w/plantain chips. I got a quesadilla with shrimp which was really greasy, like they fried it in butter or something. My husband got mofungo (sp?) with pork which in my opinion did not look appetizing, but he likes that kind of stuff. Anyway, I would say this place is just OK, and the service was a bit slow, but we didn't experience anything rude from the waitstaff at all. I'll probably skip going back here unless our friends really want to go.

Posted on: 2008/7/21 9:03
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Re: Hard Grove Cafe
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Quote:

Pennington wrote:
Don't go if you're in a hurry, the service......is.......very......very....slow.

The food is decent for a quick bite to eat (The Lemon Salsa Chicken is really good) but I haven't gone there in a long time due to frustration over ridiculously slow service.


Precisely why I stopped going. The food is delish but there's no lack of urgency whatsoever...

Posted on: 2008/7/19 10:58
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Re: Hard Grove Cafe
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The service at Hard Grove is abysmal. I feel like the waitstaff are on a different planet. They act like you are inconveniencing them by asking for things. And the prices are so inflated-do the owners think we aren't going to notice? I really do miss the old place.

Posted on: 2008/7/18 15:32
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Re: Hard Grove Cafe
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the days of a cheap cuban sandwich, friendliness, and laughs at brunch are long gone here, sadly. Sure, it's cleaner, but does clean mean character? or service? a revamp into a friendly corner cafe is needed here. drop the pretense, improve the food.

Posted on: 2008/7/18 13:43
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Re: Hard Grove Cafe
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YUCK. This place is a glorified dinner without the good eats.

Went for brunch a couple months back since the other places on Grove had long lines. The Huevos Rancheros were horrible. They were hard and rubbery when everyone knows that they should be runny. They were playing the worst music Michael Bolton.... That's right they were playing Michael Bolton and it was horrible. I think they were also playing that MUZAK that you hear in Macy's and other department stores. I wanted to blow my brains out it was so bad.

Sorry, I had to vent but that location is too good to be wasted.

Posted on: 2008/7/18 13:22
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Re: Hard Grove Cafe
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The Hard Grove used to have solid, home style food for a reasonable price. The food was not going to compete with a fine dining experience, but it didn't really matter because it wasn't priced to compete with high end restaurants. Two people could have dinner and drinks for twenty-five bucks. The food was imperfect, but a good value for the price.

However, since the sale of the place and the renovation, the food quality remained the same, but the prices doubled or tripled. Sure, the presentation of the food improved a bit, but I rather have a $4 Cubano sliced in half in a plastic basket than a $10 Cubano sliced diagonally served on a plate.

The last time I was in there, (admittedly, more than a year a ago), dinner cost about as much as any of the better restaurants on Grove Street, but the food wasn't better than a diner.

Posted on: 2008/7/18 9:42
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Re: Hard Grove Cafe
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15 years ago when the choices around the Grove Street PATH were much less, the Hard Grove seemed like a suprisingly good option for breakfast or late-night dinner...it seems less so in recent years, mainly because of all the nice new alternatives.

Posted on: 2008/7/18 8:57
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Re: Hard Grove Cafe
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Quote:

It was never a great place when it opened in March 95 but at least the owner, Dominic Santana, had decent food, great prices and humorous promotions (live goats, ducks, geese, and more at easter!)when he ran it.

Since the women owners took over they removed the charming faux palms and table collages, slicked the place up, raised the prices exorbitantly and made the food worse.

Caveat Emptor!


I agree, it was never a great place but when it first opened it had a good quirky personality with a Caribbean flair. I the early days I would get a quick meal and you may hear Grace Jones playing in the background. Now the staff just sucks! It's hard to even leave them a tip.

Posted on: 2008/7/17 21:06
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Re: Hard Grove Cafe
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The Hard Grove is horrible. The servers and bartenders are sooo rude. They act like you are bothering them.

Posted on: 2008/7/17 20:37
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Re: Hard Grove Cafe
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Quote:

LynnePatrice wrote:
I couldn't find a thread on this place, though I'm pretty sure I saw one somewhere ?? Anyway, I have read pretty bad reviews on this place and my friends are planning on having lunch there tomorrow. Has it gotten better? Is it worth a trip?


It was never a great place when it opened in March 95 but at least the owner, Dominic Santana, had decent food, great prices and humorous promotions (live goats, ducks, geese, and more at easter!)when he ran it.

Since the women owners took over they removed the charming faux palms and table collages, slicked the place up, raised the prices exorbitantly and made the food worse.

Caveat Emptor!

Posted on: 2008/7/17 20:07
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Re: Hard Grove Cafe
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I have only eaten there once and i was very unimpressed by the food. Azucar has much better cuban food! For some GREAT Dominican food check out D Hernandez which is a few blocks up off Columbus.

Posted on: 2008/7/17 16:47
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Re: Hard Grove Cafe
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i was there the other day and while i didn't have anything to eat, i did have a mojito which i must say was exactly what i needed on a hot summer day. it tastes good AND they don't serve it in a little glass. wonderful!

Posted on: 2008/7/17 16:23
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Re: Hard Grove Cafe
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A number of years ago, I met a friend there for dinner.

What we had was pretty good -- camarones al ajillo (garlic shrimp), tostones (crispy fried green plantains) and chorizo (sausage) -- and yes, we weren't exactly eating health food that night.

Since then, I believe the place has been renovated and sold. It looks like there's now a new menu along with higher prices.

Given the fresher vibe and larger crowds I've observed while passing by the place, it very well may be better these days than when I ate there.

I agree with ianmac47's and tommyc_37's posts, and I'd give it a try.

Once you check it out, please post your feedback about your experience there if you can. I am curious to know what it's like these days.

Posted on: 2008/7/17 16:22
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Re: Hard Grove Cafe
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Don't go if you're in a hurry, the service......is.......very......very....slow.

The food is decent for a quick bite to eat (The Lemon Salsa Chicken is really good) but I haven't gone there in a long time due to frustration over ridiculously slow service.

Posted on: 2008/7/17 15:53
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Re: Hard Grove Cafe
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I have been there a few times in the past month or so, usually for breakfast. I have to say the breakfast there is phenomenal, the Cubano is good (prefer the Cubano at La Conguita though), cant speak for much else though.

Posted on: 2008/7/17 15:48
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Re: Hard Grove Cafe
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Quote:

LynnePatrice wrote:
Has it gotten better?


That's a good question. I've seen a lot more people there as of late. I assumed that the reason it was busy is there are a lot of new people living in the new towers, and they just didn't know any better than to not go there. Maybe they have righted the wrongs.

Posted on: 2008/7/17 15:33
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Hard Grove Cafe
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I couldn't find a thread on this place, though I'm pretty sure I saw one somewhere ?? Anyway, I have read pretty bad reviews on this place and my friends are planning on having lunch there tomorrow. Has it gotten better? Is it worth a trip?

Posted on: 2008/7/17 15:22
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