Hoboken Eddie

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Living in Hoboken everyone has a different perception of our town. My story began here in 1995, when I moved in with a two college friends into a railroad apartment on 6th and Bloomfield for $900 a month - total. They were crazy days when the majority of the town was filled with post-college kids looking for cheap places to drink, eat, and relax.

During that time, our local haunt was Stinky Sullivan's on 6th and Washington. It was a stone's throw from our apartment, and it had a good jukebox.

After a few months living at our new apartment, I saw a guy standing outside the bar, in between Washington and Bloomfield on 6th, carrying a stainless steel tray filled with pulled meat from a station wagon into the kitchen. He had salt and pepper hair, a ruddy face, and notice that the kitchen below the bar, which was never used before this day, had a few other people doing some kind of renovation work.

I stop him and asked what was going on - if a new restaurant was opening. He said that he was opening one, and it was his kitchen - his name was 032610.jpgChef Edmund Patrick McCarthy, or "Hoboken Eddie". Eddie was a funny guy, always had a smile on his face and generous to a fault. After his kitchen opened, I would dare say that I was one of his "regulars", if not his primary customer. I couldn't get enough of those pulled pork sandwiches with his special homemade BBQ sauce.

Being a regular, I would often hang out with Eddie after closing time, and we would get to talking. I found out that Eddie's dad actually was a graduate of Steven's Tech and he had NINE siblings. He left home around fifteen years old, to get a job as a dishwasher.

One thing led to another and Eddie moved from washing dishes to making dishes. He credits his mother as his greatest influence for his craft, and after many years working in a kitchen he started to develop his own sauces. Back in the early 80's, in between his days hanging out at Maxwell's and living on 4th and Monroe, he would make some extra money by selling it at local street fairs or with "Joey and Stevey" at Truglio's Meat Market on 10th and Park for cheese and hamburger meat.

He left our state of New Jersey for greener pastures in the mid 80's to work in Vermont and later in Key West, towards the end of the decade. He made many friends over that time, earning the nicknames of "Green Mountain Eddie" or "Salty Eddie". He has lots of stories to tell, and lived a full and rich life just cooking and having as much fun as possible.

Eddie returned to NJ, and it was during that time I learned those stories, and watched as he started making his sauces in the little kitchen below Sullivan's bar. They multiplied in numbers and he eventually had about twelve different sauces. I used to help him bottle those sauces before the Arts and Music Festivals, adding labels to the still warm bottles and having a few beers with him and his co-workers.

Those were great times, when the kitchen was open. You know how you can look back on a certain part of your life and realize how good it was - Hoboken Eddie's was one of those times. There aren't many times that a really great kitchen comes along in Hoboken, and Eddie's was simply outstanding. Pure comfort food - from braised beef sandwiches, hamburgers, mac and cheese and fries galore. There was nothing fancy about his greasy spoon. It could sit about 10 people, and that was pushing it. Often I would walk into the kitchen and there would be a line of people waiting to order. I would hate it. I wanted this little kitchen to myself and these "intruders" were ruining my special kitchen.

Years past and Eddie decided to focus on his sauces and close up the kitchen. It was a very sad day for regulars like myself, and I even tried my best to have Eddie & his partners do something with renting The Farside kitchen where they make his dishes and used his sauce - but it fell through.

Hoboken Eddie left and started selling his sauces to local stores, boutiques and restaurants. Eventually his created an online store, http://www.hobokeneddies.com, where he now sells seventeen different sauces, and has won Chili Pepper magazine's famous Fiery Food Challenge. Some of Eddie's other sauces have won awards, too: the HomeMade BBQ Sauce, Hot Sauce, Jamaican BBQ, Merlie's Magic, Home Grown, Sweet and Sour and Spicy Mustard are all award winning sauces.

You can still spot Eddie at every Arts and Music Festival in Hoboken. He's usually selling his sauces on the corner of 6th and Washington Street, every year, and is worth going out to meet. His sauces are available locally, in almost every boutique food store. In the future Eddie hopes to make his return to Hoboken by opening up a new restaurant, with the possibility of making a franchise of Hoboken Eddies and there are some plans for a possible reality cooking show, too. You can keep up with him on his Facebook page, and I would encourage you to try those sauces...and as Eddie would say, "Ya Hear Me??"

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This page contains a single entry by Furey published on March 26, 2010 12:58 AM.

Children Of Lesbian Parents Not Welcome In Catholic Schools was the previous entry in this blog.

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