Long-Awaited Central Taco & Tequila Opens in Haddon Township

Plus: Other openings in Livingston, Lyndhurst, Jersey City and Westfield.

—The “Coming Soon” and “Opening Fall” messages at Central Taco & Tequila have kept the Haddon Township area waiting. As of Monday, the restaurant finally opened to the public. The restaurant is “Tex-Mex,” but the menu has more range than that with everything from Mexican street corn to hearty pozole to Korean short rib tacos and California-style beer-battered fried fish tacos. Libations are many, with roughly 115 different tequilas and mezcals and a nicely curated beer list (including some local Jersey beers on draft). Housed in the former home of the Irish Mile, the space can fit 150. Not quite cozy, but casual and lively. Central Taco & Tequila, 350 Haddon Avenue, Haddon Township; 856-833-6800

The Simple Greek is a nationwide chain restaurant that’s been open for about a month in its new location in Livingston. Pretty much ready-made for takeout or a casual lunch or dinner, the restaurant runs on the burgeoning DIY/assembly line format (think Chipotle with gyros instead of burritos). There are Greek and Mediterranean classics (Avgolemono, Spanakopita, Dolmades) but the vibe is modern efficiency-casual, e.g. “Falafel Bowl.” The Simple Greek, 288 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston; 973-251-2559

–Lyndhurst just got a new kosher bakery, run by chef Moses Wendel—formerly of Brooklyn’s Pardes Restaurant. Patis Bakery is the first of a planned small chain of kosher French-American bakeries (the other locations will be in Brooklyn and Long Island), with fresh baked breads, pastries, ice creams, etc., and an emphasis (where possible) on all natural and local sourcing. Parisian pastry chef Khalil Debira will add considerable French authenticity, and some years of professional experience, alongside bread baker Russel Bristol. There’s no published menu on the sparse website yet, but their Yelp page has photos of some beautiful French pastry and breads. Patis Bakery, 323 Ridge Road, Lyndhurst; 201-438-4004

—MezCal Kitchen is a couple weeks into its December 5 soft opening on Newark Avenue in Jersey City. This is the second location for MezCal, with its original location operating on Broadway in Bayonne for roughly three years now (the owners made the JC expansion announcement in April of this year). The menu has classic Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes, with things like classic huaraches, tacos, and enchiladas alongside piles of nachos and sizzling fajitas. Unlike the Bayonne location, the Jersey City MezCal doesn’t have its liquor license—so you can have mezcal cocktails, but it’s BYO. MezCal Kitchen, 665 Newark Avenue, Jersey City; 201-918-5803

Addams Tavern in Westfield has been closed for almost exactly a year (a Facebook post last December announced the closure, with the restaurant citing the need for “construction of additional improvements…required by our landlord”). But as the mayor announced early last week, the bar and restaurant on Elm Street is back in business (just a few days in). No peek yet on the renovations, but chances are they stayed true to their spacious-but-cozy vibe, eclectic new American menu and sturdy drinks list (just in time for the holidays). Addams Tavern, 115 Elm Street, Westfield; 908-232-3201

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