It?s a typical night at Mickey's Bar and Grill?sports games glisten on rows of flat-screen HDTVs, upbeat jukebox tunes fill the air, and friends crowd around the bar, calling for shots of Jack Daniels and pints of Guinness. Bartenders bustle about behind the bar, whipping up the martinis and mixed drinks lauded by reporters from The Record. Servers emerge from the kitchen, bearing platters of lauded, plump buffalo wings, juicy burgers, and mini sliders. Some nights, daring guests take the stage for karaoke, boldly belting out popular tunes or whispering confessions of overdue library books into the microphone amid the cheers and applause of the boisterous audience.
Knights in shining armor. White horses. Fair maidens. All the magnificent trappings of a bygone era come to life at Medieval Times, where ironclad knights clash for the title of King's Champion in front of a wide-eyed audience that peppers the battlefield with cheers and jeers between bites of a four-course dinner. Each two-hour tournament channels the pageantry and spectacle of 11th-century Spain, pitting six competitors against each other inside a spacious, sand-filled arena for the honor of earning the title of champion and the favor of the royal court. A spirited musical score infuses epic onslaughts with an extra dose of tension as adversaries joust atop stallions, deflect ferocious blows, and slice through suits forged of authentic junk mail. To further immerse guests in the fairy tale, Medieval Times encourages each guest to declare their allegiance by cheering loudly for the knight in their corner.
Like royal guests centuries ago, spectators bask in the revelry while feasting upon a finger-friendly bill of fare without the aid of utensils or the "choo-choo" sounds of parents. The four-course feast includes a tomato-bisque soup starter, oven-roasted chicken with a garlic-bread side, single spare rib, and an herb-basted potato. Servers periodically fill patrons? goblets with soda or water, which adults can supplement with purchases from a full-service bar. Meals conclude with the castle's sweet pastry dessert.
Joseph Yaccarino emigrated from Naples, Italy, with his parents and 11 siblings at the turn of the century. He was just an infant at the time, allowing him to build nearly his entire life on North American soil. Joe's first professional endeavor was on stage, where he established himself as a comedian dubbed "Biggie." However, it wasn't long before he decided to lend his charisma—and nickname—to a different arena, one in which he'd never go hungry. Joe entered the food industry, starting by selling clams door to door.
The modest mobile business grew increasingly popular, and Joe eventually decided to apply his passion for mollusks toward opening a full restaurant in Hoboken. Three generations later, the original red brick location still thrives, as do three other locations that maintain the same family atmosphere and sea-bound smells of fresh raw oysters on the half shell. Warm italian sandwiches with fillings such as meatballs and sausage with peppers round out the menu.