Best Portuguese restaurant in Newark, NJ
We usually go to the Ironbound a few times a year (we probably should go more since we live rather close). This year we have a new au pair living with us who is from Brazil. We took her and a friend of hers, also from Brazil, out for a birthday celebration.
We went to Brasilia, a restaurant we used to frequent when it was on Ferry Street. It's now in a new location and is huge. We had a great rodizio meal there, and the majority of the crowd was speaking portuguese. We would be delighted to go back there anytime.
Casa Vasca is Spanish, but they have VERY good food. The lines sort of blur between the two cuisines.
They did, recently, raise the prices a bit (sigh) but still good for Mariscada, clams (red or green sauce both excellent), Paella, as well as some daily specials including veal, rabbit, and often a stew.
The "matron" of the place is very friendly, and she or the servers will usually steer you in the right direction to the best items on the menu (or to the ones you might not want) with a smile or raised eyebrow.
We had a very good dinner at Casa Vasca a couple of years ago but have not gone back because, at that time, they did not have a non-smoking section. They did manage to seat us in an area where it happened that nobody was smoking, but it was just dumb luck. Now, however, as a result of the passage of the state-wide law banning smoking in all restaurants, it's back on my "go to" list. A tasty soup du jour is included with every meal. Very good paella and shrimp dishes. And be sure to get a side order of their delicious, crispy fried potatoes.
141 Elm St., near Prospect St.
Note: A definite plus is free parking in their lot across the street from the restaurant.