After parking my car, I started walking towards the huge green double front door with the BOXCAR logo sign and began to smile. I noticed the outdoor dining area to the left with glimmering stainless steel tables and chairs and then the classic “Short Hills” station sign on the other side of the tracks. Upon walking through the front door I immediatly felt comfortable. The wood floor, the high back leather booths on the right and the dark wood bar on the left gave way to exposed brick walls and high ceiling with vintage lighting. There are two TV’s over the bar and old railroad themed movies playing on one of the walls over the booths. A walk through the hallway leads to another open area that was once used for baggage in years gone by. Now it is a sitting/dining area. This area is also used as a coffee station in the morning. The hallway connecting the two rooms holds the kitchen which was relatively quiet given the open plan and the bathrooms which are done in ceramic tile and very clean.
Let’s talk about the food and the libations. I will start with the beers on tap. They have all the favorites, Guiness, Harp, Stella and a couple of other equally satisfying beers that go perfectly with the atmosphere. The menu is on the lighter side with pizza, wings, salads, burgers and other lighter fare foods but with some good variations. I was with a group of guys so we hit the tap beers pretty hard. We had several orders of wings which were just the right spice and heat that kept us asking for more beer. The classic pizza was very good with just the right amount of cheese and the crust was thin and crispy but just strong enough not to be a problem eating it with one hand. Next the Boxcar burger….you knew we all had one didn’t you???? It was great! Larger than the toasted bun it sat on with american cheese, lettuce, tomato. Very juicy, flavorful with ketchup and mayo on the side if you want, but definetly not needed! Now one of my loves, the french fries and they got it right. The fries are really cooked well…not soggy, too small or undercooked. They come in a bucket standing up and ready to be devoured, which we did with great pleasure.
Our server, Bari was knowledgable,very attentive and helpful with our questions about the place, the menu and keeping our glasses fulL. The other staff made sure we had a clean table and plenty of silverwear and napkins at all times.
The owners, Jeff & Jane Tauber have done a great job converting the old station into a vibrant happening stopover for the commuter or the “meet me later at Boxcar for………” crowd.
The amazing thing about this place is that even with trains actively starting and stopping just a few yards from where ypu are sitting you can barely hear or feel anything. But seeing the trains moving past the window adds to the ambiance of this kool, comfortable, casual experience that is bound to have you rolling back again and again.l