Restaurants

And then there's the food.

By Jim Krane

New Jersey Online

Mr. Krane talks mostly about the Portuguese in Newark's Ironbound District. "Homes are covered in aluminum siding, not cobblestones; and donkey carts disappeared long ago, but aside from the minor details, Newark's Ferry Street is quite Portuguese."  He says that dining in the Ironbound means garlic, fish, butter, cackles, mutton joints, more garlic, pork chunks in green sauce, lobster and white beans, with wine before dinner and brandy and espresso afterward.

Here's a guide to a few of the Ironbound's many high points.

Walking up Ferry Street from Penn Station, several large Portuguese restaurants beckon, including Iberia, Iberian Peninsula, and Roque & Rebelo. While the food is decent and the portions are huge, these first restaurants aren't as unique as the real neighborhood hangouts farther up and off the main drag, including those serving Brazilian fare and Japanese-Brazilian cuisine.

OUR FAVORITES

La Marisqueira Restaurant on Madison Street, off Ferry Street, specializes in seafood.

Don Manuel Restaurant, 130 Main St.

Madrid Lisbon Restaurant, 325 Lafayette St.

Spanish Tavern, 103 McWhorter St.

Casa Vasca Restaurant, 141 Elm St.

There are dozens of cafes and bakeries throughout the Ironbound, perfect for after-dinner coffee and pastry. A good one is Riviera Pastry Shop, 124 Ferry St.

In the Ironbound, wine is the preferred libation: hearty Portuguese reds, the white vinho verde, and, of course, the Porto. Liquor stores in the Ironbound stock a myriad Portuguese wines and a few varieties of Iberian and Brazilian beer. But Ironbounders are likely to make their own. Look into the gardens of Ironbound homes and you'll see grape arbors everywhere.

Also for sale is Brazilian cachaca, a sugar cane liquor used in the nectar-like caipirinha, a an innocent-tasting, but powerful limeade-like drink.

Spanish Tavern (104 McWhorter)

Fornos 150 people can eat in two dining rooms. Live entertainment of Saturday night.

A Portuguese restaurant is O'Campino Restaurant (70 Jabez Street) music on Saturday night.

Sol Mar (267 Ferry Street) entertainment weekend nights; music of Fado ("Portuguese blues").

Famous one is Tony da Caneca's Tavern and Restaurant at 72 Elm Road.

 

 

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