Not a Missed-Steak: The Dark Side

Photo Courtesy of Marko Djapic

Due to my early graduation, I’ll never get to be considered a senior. Worse yet, I’ll never get the chance to write the Senioritis column. That said, I never a miss a chance to indulge myself with one of the worst possible vices: reviewing places in my own neighborhood of Jersey City.

Dark Side of the Moo sounds like a gimmick and never really stops acting like one. Exotic meats? Ridiculous murals? An incredibly charming Australian waiter? They’ve got it all. Serving up specialties like alligator sausage, the “Mike Bison,” and a camel burger called the “Hump Day,” Dark Side showcases what it does best: having fun with their over-the-top theme. While the restaurant does have a “Light Side of the Moo” that serves more standard burger fare, why beat around the bush when you’re already in it?

Approaching it from the street, Dark Side immediately pops out of the drab Jersey cityscape with its bright murals of a boxing bison, a kangaroo, and of course, the most obvious Pink Floyd reference there could be. Once I was inside, however, I was surprised by how small it was: a counter bar and three tables for two fit in a space probably not bigger than your Palmer single. I felt cramped, but the wood slab tables, low lighting, and plush chairs won me over soon enough. It was actually quite intimate.

Joined again by my colleague and good friend of the ChemBio department, we ordered the yak fajitas and the dark side of the (kanga)roo double burger. Looking at the brightly-colored plates in front me, the fajita strips looked visibly different, but the burger looked very standard. (What else would a burger look like?) One thing that I quickly learned, however, is that the burger was built higher than a kite. Unless you have a big jaw, buyer beware – you should stick to a single patty for this Robert Wadlow-inspired burger.

Trying the yak first, it was hard to tell any specific difference from regular beef fajitas. Fajita-esque cooking is highly spiced and flavored, so it’s hard to get as good of a sense of the underlying meat as you would with an unseasoned burger or steak. That being said, it was apparent that it was different. The yak fajitas had a slightly chewier texture, but they were also leaner than beef. The kangaroo, on the other hand, was noticeably not a standard meat. The patties themselves had a sweeter, lighter taste than when compared to standard beef, and they were also leaner themselves. The greasy and savory flavor that is associated with beef was also completely absent from the Roo, which made the indulgence of a burger feel more like a sandwich. That being said, it was incredibly filling and the assorted sides made for a great meal. I recommend it all highly.

Dark Side of the Moo is an affordable, intimate hangout nestled in probably the most accessible part of Jersey City for Stevens students. Whether it’s for the novelty, a special occasion, or just a night out, Dark Side is an incredibly fun restaurant with something for everyone. You can get the most out of it if you bring an open mind and (roo) jump right in!

 

Location 3/5

Service 4.5/5

Food 4/5

Price $.5/$$$$