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Feb 26, 1999 12:50 PM

Kurry -n- Kabab in Jersey City, Round 2

  • s

I felt a scratchiness at the back of my throat, so headed back to my halal Pakistani favorite on Grove St. -- the efficacity of subcontinental spices against all colds and flus is a harmless superstition I hold dear. A new set of dishes for the $6 buffet was enticing. The shami kebab (a spicy disk of mashed beef-and-bean mix) got things off to a splendid start. Then I chose from the trays; the standout this time was chicken achari, small bony bits of chicken in a superlative sauce based on the achar pickle and its attendant mango, lemon, etc.; I kept going back for more sauce to dip my bread in and mix with my rice. (With the buffet you get a huge, fresh nan -- gobble as much as you can while it's still hot!) The woman behind the counter is more than happy to go into detail about the spicing and preparations once you show interest. I recommend the place to any chowhounds in the area. (It's probably a coincidence, but the goat saag I liked so much last time and the chicken achari were both in the upper right-hand corner tray, so you might want to check out that region with particular care. I wouldn't bother with the tandoori chicken, by the way, which may be an authentic local variety but which I found unattractive.)

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  1. Hi, Steve --

    Sounds like you've really made the rounds! I no longer
    live in J.C., but I used to, right around the corner
    from Big Chef (which is indeed the best chinese in
    town, and I still long for it regularly).

    Pronto Cena is really swell. I still regularly come
    into town to dine at Komegashi -- I love sushi, and my
    kids like their other fare. Contrary to what another
    contributor here said, they have some of the best sushi
    I have *ever* had, and I have found the service to be
    excellent. This is after years of sampling Japanese
    everywhere I can, and after many, many, many visits to
    Komegashi. I have to say, it's got to be my favorite
    "date-place" of everywhere I've ever been. (smile)

    Before you leave J.C., make sure you try La Conquita,
    which is roughly across the street from Tania's. The
    menu's in Spanish (it's Cuban). It's a real hangout
    for "those in the know" in the neighborhood -- cheap,
    and extraordinarily good. Do scrambled eggs with
    chopped ham and fries for breakfast, chicken and rice
    with beans and maduros (fried sweet bananas) or
    tostitos (fried green bananas). And, if you really
    want a treat, get the roast pork (if they have it) with
    a squirt of lime! Don't miss the cafe con leche -- I
    regularly pop in for that "to go" when I'm in town.
    They close early -- 7:30, I believe.

    Also, there is a fish restaurant that caters to the
    boating crowd over on one of the piers. It's not along
    the Exchange place/Newport edge of the city, but South
    of there, tucked back behind Colgate somehow. I wish I
    remembered the name and street and all that, but if you
    ask around, this is also another fav of "those in the
    know" in the neighborhood. I've only been there in the
    spring/summer, but I recall that they're open
    year-round. Fresh fish, cold beer, no ambience (which
    give is its ambience!). I've always eaten outside on
    the picnic tables they provide, and watch the boats and
    the skyline. Another charming date place. Ask around
    and check it out!

    Happy munching!


    3 Replies
    1. re: Angela

      Angela -- Thanks! I'm not a fish-lover, but I'll definitely try La Conquita -- sounds like heaven! I can taste that roast pork now...

      1. re: Angela

        Angela (or anyone who might know)--
        I was heading out to research your picks when I realized I had no idea where either La Conquita or Tania's was, and the Yellow Pages didn't help. Anyone have a street address, intersection, general direction? Thanks--

        1. re: steve d.

          Tanya's is on Grove St. off Newark.. the other side of
          the street from the Hard Grove Cafe, which, btw, sucks