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Portuguese restaurants in Newark

coachrbc Oct 13, 2010 02:10 PM

What are some good restaurants in the ironbound district

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  1. buttertart RE: coachrbc Oct 14, 2010 12:22 PM

    There are quite a few threads on this topic, kindly suggest you search either "Portuguese" or "Ironbound". Our favorite is Seabras Marisqueira just off Ferry Street but there are many others discussed here in depth.

    17 Replies
    1. re: buttertart
      Tapas52 RE: buttertart Oct 14, 2010 01:25 PM

      We always enjoy Don Pepe's & Iberia



      1. re: buttertart
        jcmods RE: buttertart Oct 21, 2010 09:51 AM

        Strangely enough fate is bringing me to Newark this Saturday (this after I posted earlier). I plan on trying Seabras Marisqueira based on reviews here and on Yelp. We all eat seafood so what are some of your favorites. My friend was enticed by the giant crab legs. We also like "loud and boisterous" however it sounds like a smallish place.

        Do we need a reservation if we go at around 5:45??

        1. re: jcmods
          buttertart RE: jcmods Oct 21, 2010 10:09 AM

          We have only been there on Saturdays around 3 pm and there are always tables. It's not tiny. I think you'd have a harder time for a table later in the evening since people tend to eat later. Boisterous maybe a bit in the bar depending on football matches etc.
          Pork with clams, any fish prep, mixed grilled seafood, shrimp, all good. Cheap and very good oysters on the half shell. I generally eat the oysters and suckling pig which is very good there too. Can't go wrong. Go hungry, big portions.

          1. re: buttertart
            jcmods RE: buttertart Oct 21, 2010 01:39 PM

            Sounds awesome.

            1. re: jcmods
              buttertart RE: jcmods Oct 21, 2010 04:36 PM

              You'll see.

          2. re: jcmods
            Duppie RE: jcmods Oct 21, 2010 06:53 PM

            I have never needed a reservation around that time and the dining room is not as loud as the bar area. Check out the seafood display window in the kitchen for an idea of what's fresh that day.Every thing I've ever tried is quite good but the standouts is the pork with clams,grilled bacalao,grilled short ribs,lachon,grilled prawns and the beef steak with ham and fried egg.
            There is half bottles of wine and Super Bock beer,the sangria has been off lately so I would decline. Enjoy.

            1. re: Duppie
              buttertart RE: Duppie Oct 22, 2010 06:49 AM

              In that dining room you might as well be in a restaurant in the Bairro Alto. I love Seabras.

              1. re: buttertart
                Duppie RE: buttertart Oct 22, 2010 07:00 AM

                Quite right, but to me it has the feel of a little restaurant we frequented in Cascias called Tulia's that made the most sublime Bacalao con natas and Pulpo salad.

                1. re: Duppie
                  buttertart RE: Duppie Oct 22, 2010 07:04 AM

                  Cascais too, you're right.

              2. re: Duppie
                jcmods RE: Duppie Oct 22, 2010 12:14 PM

                Why was the sangria off? Hopefully no Cinammon. That is a capital crime in my book.

                1. re: jcmods
                  Duppie RE: jcmods Oct 22, 2010 12:27 PM

                  The last 3 times we were there the sangria was either too sweet or had little or no wine/brandy/cognac and was in essence expensive fruit juice but only when being made by the rookie servers. Look for the older gentleman with grey hair, he is from the old crew and still is part owner and makes a mean sangria.
                  The half bottles are a good value and be sure to start with the oysters as Buttertart had posted earlier, a good deal.

                  1. re: Duppie
                    buttertart RE: Duppie Oct 22, 2010 12:27 PM

                    Their watercress salad is also super.

                    1. re: Duppie
                      jmoryl RE: Duppie Oct 22, 2010 01:28 PM

                      I'm not sure about Seabra's but if you look at what is used to make most of the Sangria in the Ironbound then you know why it tastes like crap. Often, it starts with a gallon jug of Carlo Rossi, the same cheap swill my college roomate kept in the fridge back in the '70s.

                      Do yourself a favor and try a few bottles of proper Portuguese wine!

                      1. re: jmoryl
                        Duppie RE: jmoryl Oct 22, 2010 01:41 PM

                        I have several bottles of Douros,Alentajos and decent ports I was able to bring back and luckily have access to a good selection of Portuguese wines because of the demand in South River.

                2. re: jcmods
                  sadiefox RE: jcmods Oct 22, 2010 08:01 AM

                  I have only dined at Seabras once, but I really enjoyed the acorda (hearty bread soup). As good as I had in Portugal. We went before a Devils game, and the place was lively, but there were some open tables.

                  1. re: jcmods
                    jcmods RE: jcmods Oct 24, 2010 10:45 AM

                    Went last night and this place really does live up to the hype. And you were not kidding. They give you a TON of food. Felt bad that I could not finish and did not want a doggie bag due to PATH/Metro north, drinks in Manhattan afterward. For appetizers we got the garlic shrimp, cockles and clams casino. All were really good. I almost think if I went back I would just order lots of appetizers. The atmosphere was great too. It reminded me of a Galician Seafood restaurant in Madrid that I like a lot. I definitely did not feel like I was in America. I can see this being my new favorite in Newark. We went around 6:00 and it got very crowded at around 8 pm.

                    1. re: jcmods
                      buttertart RE: jcmods Oct 25, 2010 06:56 AM

                      I knew you'd have to like it.

                3. l
                  lggfly RE: coachrbc Oct 16, 2010 07:04 AM

                  Casa Vasca is my favorite

                  Casa Vasca
                  141 Elm St, Newark, NJ 07105

                  1. a
                    ansky4 RE: coachrbc Oct 19, 2010 08:19 AM

                    Casa Vasca always good. It has been our favorite place for several years.

                    Casa Vasca
                    141 Elm St, Newark, NJ 07105

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: ansky4
                      jmoryl RE: ansky4 Oct 19, 2010 10:46 AM

                      Not to be too pedantic, but Casa Vasca is not Portuguese. Vasca = Basque.

                      Casa Vasca
                      141 Elm St, Newark, NJ 07105

                      1. re: jmoryl
                        buttertart RE: jmoryl Oct 19, 2010 10:55 AM

                        Aren't all of these recommendations except Seabras Spanish? That's what I was wondering. The cuisine is not the same.

                        1. re: buttertart
                          jcmods RE: buttertart Oct 19, 2010 11:01 AM

                          If they are technically spanish, they are not really close to what I have had in madrid....especially the Paella (no Bomba rice and it is sorta "deep dish"). I think most of these places are run by Portuguese, but blur the line considerably. I was a little disappointed with Casa Vasca, but we did not follow the prime directive which was to eat at the bar. (Wasn't a whole lot of room). We ended up in the back room and I feel that is where we went wrong. However, I certainly wouldn't call this true Basque Cuisine.

                          Many years ago Don Pepe was my favorite, but going there expecting authentic "Spain" (or Portugal) is like going to an Italian American Red Sauce joint expecting the food to be the same as that served in Italy. It may be pretty good, but it is certainly different.

                          1. re: buttertart
                            jmoryl RE: buttertart Oct 19, 2010 01:36 PM

                            The vast majority of the places in Ironbound are Portuguese or Brazilian. The ones that seem to get recommended over and over are some of the most mediorcre (e.g. Don Pepe, Iberia, etc.). Do a seach on Newark Ironbound for more ideas.

                            1. re: jmoryl
                              buttertart RE: jmoryl Oct 19, 2010 02:02 PM

                              I suggested that to the OP. I'm pretty familiar with the Ironbound and Portuguese food myself.

                      2. njfreqflyer RE: coachrbc Oct 24, 2010 12:06 PM

                        Reading this thread last week put me in the mood, so a buddy and I headed to Seabra's Marisqueira on Friday night. I've taken out-of-state visitors to Iberia for the rodizio experience, and have been eating at Casa Vasca for years and always have a great meal there, but I figured on trying something new this time. We had a great time! Seabra's is the real thing.

                        We ate at the counter/bar in the front of the restaurant and made friends with the staff and our neighbors. The food was perfect: two orders of oysters, cockles in garlic, a short rib entree, and a fantastic crab dinner. The crabs - at least four different types - were on ice in the middle of the counter/bar ... They took a rather large Portuguese crab, crack the claws and keep them aside, do some sort of magic with the body of the crab with garlic and some beer from the tap, and then serve it back in the shell. Spooned it all up with some toasted bread that came with it. Amazing. I'm not sure if it was even on the menu, but I saw some others having it and knew I wanted it too! We washed it all down with a couple bottles of red wine from the Douro, and finished up the evening with a shot of some grappa-like drink.

                        The room in back is definitely tamer than the up-front area, but looked fine, if a different experience than the counter/bar. (Either is fine for the family, and there were a several kids sitting at the counter area.) On the way to the back you pass the fish, oysters, cockles on ice, then there's the lobster tank. In the few hours that I was there, the fish on ice/display changed a couple of times. Open window to the kitchen where you can see all the prep work and the stoves.

                        We arrived a little before 7 PM on a Friday night, and were there for over 3.5 hours. It started getting busy around 8 PM and all the seats filled up, but nobody was asking us to leave. Free, off-street parking next door.

                        Fresh, tasty, great experience. Highly recommended.


                        Seabra's Marisqueira
                        87 Madison St, Newark, NJ 07105

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: njfreqflyer
                          buttertart RE: njfreqflyer Oct 25, 2010 06:56 AM

                          Must try that crab!!! sounds divine.

                          1. re: buttertart
                            Applecheeks RE: buttertart Oct 26, 2010 07:17 PM

                            That crab dip is devine!!! It is not on the menu, so you have to be in the know. I always ask for the "crab dip thingy" and they know what I want. I often wondered what they put in it because of the unique taste. I am happy to hear that you actually saw them make it. I would have been devastated to find that they got it at Costco.

                        2. t
                          Ted in Central NJ RE: coachrbc Apr 26, 2011 08:26 AM

                          A few weeks ago, my SO and I went to Iberia for a special occasion. Although we had liked Iberia Peninsula in the past, we were extremely disappointed in Iberia!

                          The Chorizo appetizer was just hunks of irregularly-cut sausage thrown on a plate, with no attempt at making it look appetizing. It tasted fine, but the appearance was off-putting.

                          My Swordfish was GROSSLY overcooked, to the point of being hard and dry. I put some butter on it in order to moisten it a bit, but this dish was not good at all. I would have sent it back, but it took an inordinately long time for our entrees to arrive in the first place, and we did have an engagement to which we needed to go in a little while, so I was essentially "stuck" with the Swordfish.

                          The whole Red Snapper that my SO ordered was marginally better than my Swordfish, but it was still not anywhere near what it should have been for the price. The Sangria was...okay, and the espresso was decent.

                          Overall, I have to say that I don't plan on returning to Iberia.

                          Iberia Peninsula
                          67 Ferry St, Newark, NJ 07105

                          13 Replies
                          1. re: Ted in Central NJ
                            Duppie RE: Ted in Central NJ Apr 26, 2011 11:09 AM

                            Sorry to hear that, Iberia used to be one of my go to places many years ago and loved to eat there on days like today when they opened all the doors to the sidewalks. I believe they have become a victim of their own success,the place is constantly packed not only at lunch but also after work and nice weekends but did hear that the food was slipping from some friends that work in Newark and frequented it for years.

                            1. re: Ted in Central NJ
                              rapidnj RE: Ted in Central NJ Apr 27, 2011 12:43 PM

                              Yes Iberia for us was the GO TO Port Rest in Newark.We have been dissapointed 2x in a row after YEARS of outstanding good times (PS-the have great Sangria but its nothing more than one you can get at teh liquor store with some fruit thrown in)..Also they are now CHARGING for `ice free` Sangria pitchers by $6 addl!!!!!!!!!!!! That wa steh last straw-food downhill twice in a row, ice upcharge and bad reviews...We had been going for years for birthdays,etc and out of town guetss,now I would be embarrassed to take anyone there

                              1. re: rapidnj
                                Duppie RE: rapidnj Apr 27, 2011 02:52 PM

                                Wait, I don't' understand, They charge an additional $6.00 not to put ice in? so then you get more beverage or the quantity remains the same? I haven't been back in years and it's so much better at Seabras, except for the sangria.

                                1. re: rapidnj
                                  tommy RE: rapidnj Apr 27, 2011 03:03 PM

                                  The upcharge seems to be for the additional booze, not ice. Can't say this is odd at all.

                                  I'm not sure I would want warm sangria.

                                  1. re: tommy
                                    Duppie RE: tommy Apr 27, 2011 03:14 PM

                                    That would be my concern, Not a great fan of Sangria but still wouldn't want it room temp or brimming with ice either.

                                    1. re: Duppie
                                      tommy RE: Duppie Apr 27, 2011 03:20 PM

                                      It's horrid at these places to begin with. Rot gut wine, cheap triple sec and cheap brandy. Blech.

                                      Sangria is one of those things that restaurants don't do well, and you can do world's better at home.

                                      1. re: tommy
                                        menton1 RE: tommy Apr 27, 2011 03:39 PM

                                        They don't drink Sangria at all in Portugal...

                                        But a check of the menu shows that they actually do have a nice selection of well-priced Vinho Verde wines, which are 100% authentic Portuguese, and quite good. They are not aged much, something akin to Beaujolais Nouveau...

                                        And a good finish in Portugal is with a nice Vintage Port, although that isn't listed on the website. (Although they may have it).

                                        1. re: menton1
                                          tommy RE: menton1 Apr 27, 2011 03:41 PM

                                          A great and overlooked summer wine!

                                          1. re: tommy
                                            menton1 RE: tommy Apr 27, 2011 03:46 PM

                                            Ahhh, memories of Estoril. So long ago, I'm getting so old! :)

                                            1. re: tommy
                                              buttertart RE: tommy Apr 27, 2011 03:48 PM

                                              Very true (the frizzante is very refreshing). I love Portuguese wines in general (especially Bairradas). Their more serious whites are very fun to drink as well.
                                              We went to Iberia once 5 or more years back and were sorry we hadn't gone to Seabras.

                                            2. re: menton1
                                              Duppie RE: menton1 Apr 27, 2011 03:52 PM

                                              Come to think of it, you're quite right I've visited Portugal 4 times and can't recall ever seeing sangria being drunk, Vinho Verde however is everywhere and I do remember thinking on one of my first visits how smart it is to offer 1/2 bottles, so you can enjoy different wines with each course of their leisurely lunches and late dinners.

                                              1. re: menton1
                                                cwdonald RE: menton1 Jul 26, 2011 08:10 AM

                                                Did you happen to notice whether they had white port? (Porto Branco?) I really enjoyed that when I have visited Portugal as a great aperitif and have a very hard time finding it in the states.

                                                1. re: cwdonald
                                                  buttertart RE: cwdonald Jul 26, 2011 08:27 AM

                                                  Seabras Marisqueira definitely has it, I love it too. Now to find dry white Madeira.

                                    2. njfreqflyer RE: coachrbc Jul 26, 2011 07:10 AM

                                      Back to Seabra's Marisqueira this past Friday night, and man, I do love that place. Had a great few hours with a couple of friends drinking, eating, and soaking up the local vibe.

                                      Now here's something you won't find in too many places: "Ha caracois" ... land snails. Offered as a special (limited availability) appetizer. Cooked, but kept in a tray on ice at the counter/bar. Served with a little broth (natural cooking juices?) and a bundle of toothpicks so you can dig them out of their shells. Tasty, unique, and fun!

                                      Seabra's Marisqueira
                                      87 Madison St, Newark, NJ 07105

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: njfreqflyer
                                        buttertart RE: njfreqflyer Jul 26, 2011 07:44 AM

                                        I love that place too, must get back there soon. One of my absolute favorites in the metro area. Caracois - little ones?

                                        1. re: njfreqflyer
                                          Duppie RE: njfreqflyer Jul 26, 2011 10:38 AM

                                          I was there on Saturday around 5:30pm and there was a wait by 6. The food is a good as ever so we're having a going away dinner next Saturday for a friend. 8 of usso far and we already pre ordered the crab back just in case there's a run on it next weekend. Can't wait.

                                          1. re: njfreqflyer
                                            burton RE: njfreqflyer Jul 26, 2011 10:43 AM

                                            Only problem is that once you've discovered SM there's no longer an incentive to branch out and hit the other spots in the area. This place is just so good. Especially nice later in the evening when things quiet down a bit.

                                            1. re: burton
                                              Duppie RE: burton Jul 26, 2011 11:29 AM

                                              True, in the 10+ years I've been eating at SM,I think I've only eaten at Ibera once [disappointing} Rio Rodizo twice, Hambergao twice since....And I frequently visit the Ironbound twice a month.
                                              Until I hear serious buzz about a comparable restaurant, I'll remain a loyal customer .

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