Peruvian recommendations in Northern NJ (Kearny/Harrison/East Newark/Paterson)?
I'm looking for some top-notch, authentic Peruvian restaurants in Northern New Jersey. I know that there are a bunch of Peruvian eateries in western Hudson County (Kearny, Harrison, East Newark) and I have also heard about a large Peruvian enclave in Paterson (Passaic County).
Can anyone recommend a few Peruvian spots in these towns or elsewhere in North Jersey? I'm open to anything - hole-in-the-wall spots that specialize in one dish only (ceviche, roast chicken, etc) as well as places with larger, more varied menus.
Decor and ambience aren't important to me, but I don't want to go to any watered down, Americanized eateries.
The one place I've heard a few good things about is Oh! Calamares on Kearny Ave in Kearny:
Has anyone been to this place? If so, what did you think, and what dishes are recommended?
Thanks in advance for any tips.
My favorite Peruvian spots are Oh! Calamres, Sabor Peru and Costanera (Montclair).
Another place worth trying is Misty's in West Orange, a tiny 12 table restaurant attached to a lounge. Misty’s offers a large menu – from Anticuchos to Cau-Cau . Everything is prepared fresh. Portions are large. The Ceviche de Pescado and Yuquita con Crema Huancaina are excellent. The restaurant area is nothing fancy and caters mostly to local Spanish-speakers. But the menu has English translations and the server spoke English.
102 Kearny Ave, Kearny, NJ 07032
8 Highland Cross, Rutherford, NJ 07070
In Harrison, there are at least 4 peruvian restaurants. This is pretty high % considering, Harrison only has about 10 restaurants total. I have also been told that Peruvians are now the largest demographic in Harrison. Every corner market has Peruvian products on its shelves (inca kola, purple corn, aji amarillo paste, etc.).
For restaurants there is Dona Maria's #2, B&G Restaurant (317 Harrison Ave.), La Roja Y Blanca (301 South Frank E Rodgers Blvd), and one other small place on Frank E Rodgers near Dona Maria's #2 that has decided that a formal sign with the name of the restaurant is unnecessary.
My favorite has been La Roja y Blanca. They make homemade chicha morada, which is fantastic! Be sure to ask for the homemade and not in the bottle....it is a big glass for like 2 bucks! They have a rotisserie oven behind the counter serving up pollo a la braza ($6). They serve all the standards...ceviche ($12), aji de gallina ($8), lomo saltado($10). They even serve peruvian breakfast ($6) even at night. Alfajores are available for $2.
The atmosphere is a diner-style counter to sit for quick meals or tables to eat with friends and family. Clientele is significantly hispanic families and couples. Access is 4-5 minute walk from the Path.
La Roja Y Blanca
301 Frank E Rodgers Blvd S, Harrison, NJ 07029
For those who might want to head south a bit into central NJ, here's a thread that will be of interest. There is some overlap with places already mentioned here. Note that the central Jersey thread is a little older and some of the places may no longer exist.
If you like seafood I would most highly recommend Locura Marina
6317 Bergenline Avenue, West New York, NJ 07093-1699
This is a Peruvian seafood restaurant. The ceviche is excellent. We had a Peruvian desert (whose name I don't recall) that was very good. It was made from the Peruvian purple corn, and if a reader is Peruvian they probably recognize it from this vague description. When we were there not all the staff spoke English, which I guess meant that it was truly authentic. With that slight handicap, it was nevertheless an excellent dining experience and I will be going back.
Right on Main Street, Clifton.....near the Paterson border is Aji Limon. I have not been, but I have heard only good things about the place.
For Peruvian Chicken and other dishes, Uncle Paulies in Maywood is a nice place for take-out...they also have a half dozen tables where you can BYOB and dine in. One rotisserie chicken is about $10 if I can recall correctly and they have Coupon Combo's for family meal discounts everyday on their menu
Sabor Peru will always be my favorite. I've been a steady customer since it opened 2+ years ago, and have never, ever been disappointed. It's a fun, welcoming, small space. The ceviche is melt in your mouth, and I do my best to try different things on their menu. The restaurant is BYOB. There is also a large Peruvian community in the city of Passaic, although I couldn't help you with names of specific restaurants. In the past few years there have been a number of Peruvian restaurants that have opened in Route 3/Route 21 corridor, but I like to stick with Sabor Peru.
8 Highland Cross, Rutherford, NJ 07070
I really enjoy Sabor Peru in Rutherford...the food and ambiance are both great, and they've got what I've come to learn are some seriously authentic Peruvian dishes.
They have a pretty full range of dishes; take a look on their website. I love the Ocopa, which I'd never heard of until I went there, and the ceviche we tried was stunning--fresh, bright flavors. Everything I've had has been delicious--including whole fish and bisteca. It's also BYO, which is a nice bonus!