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North of the Border Red Bank

seal Mar 21, 2010 01:28 PM

Took the family to North of the Border in Red Bank for lunch today and just had to post. They are just sooo good.

In fact, this week I had a mixed bag of tacos from Costa Chica in New Brunswick and then almost the same mix today in Red Bank and I am on a taco high.

I also saw a few people eating bowls of either Sopa de Mariscos or Menudo and both looked awesome too.

If only just one of the little Mom and Pop joints in Freehold held a candle to either of these places I would be there weekly, but alas...

Now if we could just get a good bakery in Red Bank I would be there more often ;o)

North of the Border
176 Monmouth St, Red Bank, NJ 07701

  1. b
    bentwrench Dec 23, 2012 07:12 AM

    Do they deliver? I normaly order from senor peppers which is across the street, but the last 2 times they said the couldnt deliver .

    1 Reply
    1. re: bentwrench
      MGZ Dec 23, 2012 08:47 AM

      They will deliver.

    2. vikingkaj Jan 31, 2012 12:38 PM

      Decor is non-existent and hygiene is a little iffy. But the food is definitely authentic, and the best in the Red Bank area. English is not spoken well here, so know what you are ordering.

      No cheese or lettuce, the tacos come with two tortillas, salsa, with frilled green onions and a little cucumber on the side. 3 tacos for $8 the last time I was there.

      My favorite is the cabrito, or baby goat, which admittedly is something of a special taste. But this is the only place in NJ where I have found it.

      Normal things like carne asada, and al pastor are also good.

      If you like the authentico sabor then this is the place.

      1 Reply
      1. re: vikingkaj
        chachalatte8 Jun 20, 2012 08:40 PM

        Hi all,

        After being let down by the chaos at the food truck wars at Monmouth Park several weeks ago, I was really looking forward to returning to NOTB... I went most recently a couple weeks ago, though, and noticed that the staff seemed to be different; both the guy manning the grill, as well as the woman taking orders and manning the register (was a middle-aged lady wearing a hairnet this time).

        A bit distracted, I nevertheless proceeded to order tongue tacos, milanesa rez cemita, and a suadero burrito. I know, why would I even bother with the burrito. The first time, I was originally skeptical as well, but my SO had wanted to order it, and I reluctantly agreed--as it turns out, I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was; the chunks of beef were juicy, very well-seasoned with crisp, caramelized, smoky edges...

        This time, the cemita was excellent as always, though somehow they gave me the chicken version. Tongue was tender, but could have used some more time on the grill. This was the first time I actually ordered the tongue tacos, though, so I don't have a basis of comparison (tend to stick w/ the pork based ones). However, I was deeply disappointed by the burrito, as the insides seemed to be almost completely flavorless; beef was barely heated through, beans flavorless. I didn't bother finishing it, which has never happened to me before at NOTB; in fact, I would go as far to say that a more tasty specimen could likely be sourced from Chipotle..

        As an aside, I used to get both the red and green sauces with my order; the last 2 times, I've only been given the green?

        So...please someone tell me that I happened to run into the B team, and that the previous staff were on vacation or something..this was the first time I have had an uneven experience there..

      2. j
        jsfein Jan 9, 2012 09:05 AM

        Finally made it to NOTB this weekend for the first time with my 13 year old son. We each had two chicken tamales - one with red sauce, the other green. We both preferred the green, but weren't blown away by either. Not sure if there were any other meats/varieties available as we had some difficulty communicating with the girl behind the counter. Also split an order of Al Pastor tacos which were heavenly...best I've had in NJ. We plan on going back to try more of the menu over the next few weeks. The lack of any ambience (which was not any issue for us) was made up for with the blasting mash-up of some type of Spanish dance music mixed in with bad 1980s tunes...couldn't help but sing along during the English parts.

        2 Replies
        1. re: jsfein
          joonjoon Jan 9, 2012 09:58 AM

          >Spanish dance music mixed in with bad 1980s tunes

          This sounds GLORIOUS. Try their Pansita next time if you're feeling adventurous. I'm craving that shit now.

          1. re: joonjoon
            Herm Jan 9, 2012 12:08 PM

            Last time in NOTB I tried the 'Super Nachos'. I'm not sure how authentic it is, or if it's the Mexican version of an American take on Mexican food, but it was a delightful styrofoam container of greasy indulgence. I ordered it topped with Carne Enchilada (spicy pork). It's offered with just about every protien that is available on the tacos. For $10 you get the bulk equivalent of about 8 $2 tacos, which really doesn't make any sense to me, but hey why argue! Loaded with spicy pork, refied beans, crumbled white cheese & freshly fried, though oily corn tortilla chips. It also comes with Mexican crema, guacamole & red chile sauce on the side. Not everyday food to be sure, but I could see craving it everyday. I also tried a chorizo quesadila, which was also in the $10 range. Very large tortilla, lots of filling, (american style cheddar/monterey mix) plus all types of crunchy garnishes - very good indeed.

        2. j
          joonjoon Jan 2, 2012 08:58 PM

          Popped in to NotB yesterday for some post-NYE grub. I noticed that almost everyone there was chowin down on a steamin bowl of soup, and not wanting to miss out, I got two.

          Pansita (aka menudo): The broth on this soup is a beautiful, deep, dark red and so thick and gelatinous that you can practically stand on it. If you love tripe and chile, this will knock your socks off. I'm a sucker for all forms of tripe soup (menudo, mondongo, etc), and this was the best I've had in our area, right up there with the mondongo Diaz used to make. It's like a big, squishy, spicy, sticky meat intestine mouth hug.

          Posole: This one's not on their regular menu but was a "special" scribbled on a piece of paper behind the counter. It was fantastic. Tender, chewy hominy, spicy broth, and tender meat rounds out a perfect combination.

          With cold weather right around the corner, I know I'll be back for more.

          1. c
            cantkick Mar 8, 2011 03:02 AM

            The APP reported that NOTB received an unsatisfactory inspection rating. Anyone know the story?

            4 Replies
            1. re: cantkick
              stickman731 Mar 8, 2011 03:37 AM

              Not listed on the Monmouth County Inspection site - http://www.mcrhc.org/RI-Red-Bank.html; it however could be delayed.

              1. re: cantkick
                MGZ Mar 8, 2011 04:40 AM

                Yeah. An inspector finally went into the place.

                1. re: MGZ
                  MGZ Mar 14, 2011 05:50 AM

                  Well, with twenty minutes to kill before a train and a belly pretty full of beer, what else is one to do . . .

                  Tacos! An al pastor and a cueritas hit the spot. The place seemed a bit more sterile than ever before – freshly scrubbed, I’d say. The “menu wall” has been painted over, and I must have looked pretty funny when I walked in, turned about, and stared up at it.

                  1. re: MGZ
                    cantkick Mar 14, 2011 08:10 AM

                    Probably necessary to get the Satisfactory Rating restored (as reported in yesterday's paper).

              2. r
                Randol Mar 28, 2010 03:07 PM

                My wife and I went to North of the Border yesterday and will certainly be back many times to try other offerings. I had the carnitas tacos and my wife had a carnitas cemita. They were both fresh and full of flavor.

                North of the Border
                176 Monmouth St, Red Bank, NJ 07701

                1 Reply
                1. re: Randol
                  KeithH Jun 30, 2010 09:53 PM

                  Stopped in last night at about 10 pm for a quick bite because I was craving a snack and I remembered the good reviews on this site. The place was literally packed with Mexican clientele and I thought this was a good sign. One of the ladies behind the counter told me in Spanish that they were open to 12 midnight, which is amazing. I went with 3 tacos, 1 chicken and 2 chorizo.

                  The chicken was shredded and delicious and the chorizo (which I could not pass up because its one of my favorites) was also great. They were traditional tacos with some diced onion and cilantro and no cheese of any kind to be found. I was pretty full but I feel like i could have fit another one of those chorizo tacos! I actually attempted to order the Cecina (dried meat) for one of the tacos but they were out at the time.

                  The tacos came with two salsas, one green and one red, both of which were tasty and very spicy. There was also some cut cucumber and onion bulbs that still had the greens atttached, as well as some lime wedges. Overall, a full plate of delicious food for $7 even. A great value and I will definitely be returning to try some of the other offerings.

                2. e
                  emilyb27 Mar 23, 2010 04:51 PM

                  Thanks equal_mark and MGZ. No worries, I am well versed in the differences! I lived in california for awhile and had my pick of the best tacos and tortas around. I live in Red Bank, and I only say Juanitos because there really is not much dining around. I grew up near Freehold and my family's "go to" place is El Meson, and continues to be my favorite in the area. This is perfect for me cause we can pick up our meals to go and eat at home since its only a couple of minutes away.

                  But because I was craving some mexican and reading the post I asked my husband if he felt like ordering in and trying a new place tonight..with a quick "yes!!" we were at North of the Border.

                  We got the Tacos de Cueritos and Tacos de Chorizo which were great and so flavorful. I also got the cemita al pastor which was AMAZING. I love anything that is a sandwich, and I am always on a hunt to find really good tortas but when i saw that they have cemitas on the menu I knew I had to give this a try. I highly recommend this cemitas, as an additional to tacos, its messy but delicious.

                  Thanks Chowhound, because I would have missed this place for some reason (even though I use to commute into New York everyday), I am so glad this will be in our menu rotation.

                  North of the Border
                  176 Monmouth St, Red Bank, NJ 07701

                  El Meson
                  44 Monmouth Ave, Freehold, NJ 07728

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: emilyb27
                    Mr. Bingley Mar 24, 2010 08:03 AM

                    sounds great, i'll have to try that! i used to go to La Chalupa right there on Bridge ave a lot.

                  2. e
                    emilyb27 Mar 23, 2010 03:16 PM

                    Do you know what their hours are? My husband and I really do not like juanitas and asporto changes owners, and really went down in quality. This just may be the ticket!!!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: emilyb27
                      equal_Mark Mar 23, 2010 03:52 PM

                      It bears mentioning that Juanitos is Tex Mex, not Mexican. If you are expecting chips and Salsa on the tables and pools of melted jack cheese and red salsa on the plates you may want to reconsider (actually there are no tables at NOB, just a counter with stools). This place is run by Mexicans primarily for the local Mex community.

                      If you are looking for another Tex Mex place you may want to try El Meson in Freehold.

                      Another authentic Mexican place I frequent that does have table service is Acapulquenos in Long Branch. The locals there seem to primarily order off the appetizer menu where all the tacos, tostadas, quesadillas and tortas are.


                      Both Acapulquenos and NOB can get you a full meal for under $10 including tax & tip!

                      El Meson
                      44 Monmouth Ave, Freehold, NJ 07728

                      1. re: emilyb27
                        MGZ Mar 23, 2010 04:01 PM

                        I'm not sure of their hours, but I've never seen the place closed. They serve breakfast and I have had tacos late at night waiting for the train home ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/187869 ). Be warned - the tacos are great, but the "ambiance" is, shall we say, umm, not. There are only a few stools and a counter, so don't go expecting to linger.

                      2. p
                        Papa Bing Mar 22, 2010 01:17 PM

                        What was the mixed bag of tacos from North of the Border?

                        North of the Border
                        176 Monmouth St, Red Bank, NJ 07701

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: Papa Bing
                          seal Mar 22, 2010 01:32 PM

                          I think we had at least one of each, except for the cabeza and the lingua since my daughter was with us and her spanish is getting good enough that she knows what they are and will not eat anything if we have them on our plate. Of course we also got extras on the Al Pastor and the Carnitas and the above mentioned Chicharron.

                          1. re: seal
                            MGZ Mar 23, 2010 07:19 AM

                            Gotta hand it to you, that's a pretty funky place to take the family for a meal. Luckily, the tacos are good enough to make you forget that you're standing there eating them at the Train Station in the rain.

                            1. re: seal
                              Papa Bing Mar 23, 2010 07:43 AM

                              Seal - Can you be more specific for a novice. I tried North of the Boarder once and I think ordered the wrong taco.

                              1. re: Papa Bing
                                MGZ Mar 23, 2010 09:03 AM

                                I am not sure if there is such a thing as a "wrong taco." I'll endorse the al pastor, for you - they get the pineapple right. It seems our buddy ChefMD was pretty impressed by the cueritas (pork skin). Oh, and don't forget the carnitas . . . Hell, just go and ask for pork - it's bound to be tasty.

                                1. re: MGZ
                                  MGZ Mar 23, 2010 10:53 AM

                                  In retrospect, I may have spoken too soon about the "wrong taco." I mean, some might find it offal to inadvertently order tripas!

                                  1. re: MGZ
                                    seal Mar 23, 2010 01:43 PM

                                    Lol - nice pun MGZ. And fully agreed about all the pork options as they are all good.

                                    Papa Bing - I would order at least one Al Pastor and one Carnitas and see how you like those to start. I haven't had a bad taco there yet, but I do find my kids pollo and carne asada, both ordered sin cebollas, to be a tad dry, unless I add a bit of the excellent green or hotter red salsa. It does help if you speak spanish there too. If you don't, I'm sure we can provide you a translation here to help you out.

                                    1. re: seal
                                      equal_Mark Mar 23, 2010 02:19 PM

                                      Tis a fairly large menu for such a tiny place...


                                      1. re: equal_Mark
                                        MGZ Mar 23, 2010 03:04 PM

                                        Sweet, thanks, dude. No more ordering off of the wall above the door for me.

                          2. chefMD Mar 22, 2010 08:43 AM

                            ohhhhh the pork skin taco. divine!

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