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In Search Of Central Jersey Peruvian

After a trip to South Florida, where we had some really amazing Peruvian food (Peruvian Grilled Chicken, Chaufas, Yuca al Huancaina (ANYTHING al Huancaina, actually), Ceviche, etc. etc. -- we are looking for good Peruvian food in Central NJ. Any hints here?

Some research turned up this place, but I can't find any reviews or even menus... I'm not even sure it's really Peruvian:

La Fogata
23 Georges Rd.
New Brunswick, NJ

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  1. There's a place on Main Street in Freehold Borough that opened sometime last year as a Brazilian bbq. When I drove by last week I saw a handwritten sign in the window that said "Peruvian Food" or something along those lines. I don't know the name of the place, but its down by the El Meson end of Main Street, but on the other side of the street.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jsfein

      Is this the same place as La Parilla? Or is it another restaurant? Where is it exactly?

      1. re: wench31

        Yes, this is the spot. I noticed driving through town this morning that it is no longer La Parilla, but there is a banner with a new name and its definitely Peruvian.

    2. Cucharamama
      233 Clinton St
      Hoboken, NJ 07030
      (201) 420-1700

      This place has been getting some decent press,though i've not tried it myself?

      1. I am not that familiar with Peruvian food (or restaurants) but I've heard and read many positive comments about Planet Chicken in Dunellen. It's on N. Washington Ave., just off Route 28. If you do a search, you'll find lots of personal reviews about this place. Here's a 2005 review from the Star-Ledger:

        http://www.nj.com/dining/reviews_ledg...

        1 Reply
        1. re: ambrose

          Planet Chicken has been there for quite a while now, I've heard same. There a corner restaurant in Rahway, across from the train station, that has a sign "Peruvian" but nothing else! dont know the name or if its any good. im going to have to investigate.

        2. Not strictly Peruvian, but Peru is included as part of their "Latin American" cuisine list. About 2 minutes off the Tpk, Exit 8, on Rt. 33 East.
          http://www.holycowgrill.com/

          Edit- Oh, wait, I see that you were the poster who started the Holy Cow Grill thread back in July after I mentioned it elsewhere. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/417975
          Well, in case anyone else is interested- it's a great little place, with good food at great prices, and I'd hate to see it disappear...

          1. Trentini's in the Roebling Market in Trenton includes Peruvian among their Latin American choices. Don't be put off. From the outside it looks like a standard-issue pizza place but in the back there are tables and a menu including a variety of ceviches, etc.

            1. We visted La Fogata (the place I mentioned in the original post on this thread) last night. It's the real thing. There is a sign out front saying "Churrasqueria and BBQ", but the menu is pretty much pure Peruvian. We had:

              -Yuca al Huancaina (They had Papas al Huancaina on the menu, but we asked for Yuca instead - no problem). Excellent. For those that don't know, Huancaina sauce is made from a pepper called Aji Amarillo (Yellow Pepper) and a Pervuian Cheese. It is a smooth, rich sauce. Their rendition is excellent.
              -Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken - Moist, succulent, well-flavored.
              -Pork Ribs - (Turned out to be American BBQ Style, skip it)
              -To drink, I had Chicha (a sweet purple drink made from purple corn. Yum)

              I noticed a couple of other tables had ordered Chaufas de Mariscos (Peruvian-Style fried rice with shellfish), and it looked great. Crab, clams, shrimp, etc. Next time for sure. Chaufas is one of the Peruvian-Chinese "Fusion" foods that makes this cuisine so interesting.

              The place itself is a nice, very casual neighborhood-like place with about 15 tables. They have their own (small) parking lot, and is in a relatively safe part of town (adjacent to the Rutgers' Douglas Campus area).

              We can't wait to go back. On the list for next time: The aforementioned Chaufas, Lomo Saltado, and Ceviche.

              1 Reply
              1. re: cranrob

                the Lomo Saltado at La Fogata is very good. I used to go there all the time when it first opened, but haven't been back in a long time

              2. I know it's not in central Jersey but the New York Times just printed a review of Bohemia, described as 'upscale Peruvian', in Bloomfield. Here's the link:

                http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/10/nyr...

                1. I have not been back there in a few years, but there was a wonderful family owned Peruvian place on Elizabeth Avenue in Elizabeth called La Flora De La Canela. I don't know if it's still there, or if Eliz is within your definition of Central Jersey but....

                  1. An old thread, but... add to the list El Tumi on Route 28 in Middlesex. It's on the west side, across the street from a transmission shop, and next to the Boro Pharmacy. It's hard to see passing by, it has only a small sign. We tried it for the first time last week and found reasonably good. I am not an expert in Peruvian food though, I can't really say whether it is authentic or not. FWIW, we were the only non-Spanish speaking in the restaurants.

                    1. This past week, I travelled to NJ from Minnesota and was looking for a good Peruvian restaurant. I found a nice cozy restaurant on 903 Elizabeth Avenue, Elizabeth NJ called "El Condor Pasa Restaurant". The food there is excellent (the Ceviche and Parihuela left me speechless) and the friendly atmosphere will bring me back next time I am in town. I travel very frequently all over the U.S. and Canada and this has to be one of my favorite Peruvian restaurants. Try it and I guarantee you will not regret it. Ask for Jimmy or Isabel Custodio, the owners and restaurant expert chef.

                      1. I passed a place called Chim Pum Callao Peruvian Restaurant on Lakewood Road (rt 9) Lakewood NJ. A little ways up the road from the Pomegranate Grill, I am not from that area - maybe someone knows more? Wish I could be more helpful.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: shabbystorm

                          Chim Pum Callao Peruvian Restaurant is on the corner RT9 & Cox Cro Road in Toms River in the old space of Brunellos Italian & the old Athenia Diner.

                          1. re: shabbystorm

                            Just to keep this thread current visited Chim Pum Peruvian Toms River NJ
                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6104...

                          2. there's this awesome peruvian place in brick
                            depending on what part of central jersey you're in, it may be a bit of a drive but it's really close to the beach so I usually just go there for take-out and head on over to the beach to eat haha.
                            their chicken is to DIE for!!!
                            It's called Super Pollo II and it's on Hooper Ave. in this plaza where there's an Outback Steakhouse.
                            this place isn't too fancy, it's just a fun casual dining place and man the food is SO good.

                            2 Replies
                              1. re: bgut1

                                Is this place the old "El Tenampa" Mexican....last store in the plaza behind outback?

                            1. May be a little north of the central NJ line for some -
                              article on a Peruvian Restaurant Oh Calamares Kearny NJ -
                              Has anyone tried this place?
                              http://njmonthly.com/restaurantreview...

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: shabbystorm

                                No, but thanks for the link. Driving north up Kearny Ave. from Harrison one sees several Peruvian places - most look like roast chicken houses, with Oh Calamares appearing to be a bit more. I've been meaning to get to some of these places.

                                1. re: shabbystorm

                                  Shabby, I tried this place on a whim last month and was very pleased. See my review on Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/oh-calamares-...

                                2. Just keeping the thread updated
                                  Another Restaurant that chowhounds enjoyed
                                  Teté Peruvian Int'l Cuisine
                                  7 Spring Street
                                  New Brunswick, NJ 08901
                                  (732) 246-1502
                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/583178

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: shabbystorm

                                    The Latin Grill in Perth Amboy is also Peruvian. I wish I had enough experience with Peruvian cuisine to offer a more informed opinion. They have an extensive menu and off the top of my head serve about 7 different ceviches, avocado stuffed with chicken, beef heart skewers and there was a beef stew wih interesting ingredients that I don't quite remember right now.. Every time I eat here I wonder why I don't come more often.

                                    I do know their chicken is very good. Many places serve chickens so small that a half won't get very far. The Latin Grill serves plump, well sized chickens. It also tasted marinated to me. They serve a bright green hot sauce with it. I have no idea what it is but it has a decent heat level while not overpowering, tastes fresh made, and has a thick texture to it.

                                    It also has a nice clean dining room and the owners are hospitable. The easiest way to get there is from Rt. 440 Amboy Ave exit.

                                    Latin Grill
                                    586 Amboy Ave
                                    Perth Amboy, NJ 08861-2578

                                    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&s...

                                    1. re: jrd303

                                      Anticucheria El Chevere
                                      603 Main Ave (at Passaic Ave)
                                      Passaic, NJ
                                      973-458-8308

                                      Recently read of this place but haven't tried it?