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Ironbound Section Newark

lilieats Sep 17, 2011 03:16 PM

I like that atmosphere and party vibe in these places, but the food not so much. More quantity than quality. Can anyone recommend a place that serves great fresh fish?

  1. m
    maryanne06 Sep 22, 2011 02:57 AM

    Our fave spot is Fornos of Spain in Newark....great food, great service, easy location to get to....have fun!

    Fornos of Spain
    47 Ferry St, Newark, NJ 07105

    17 Replies
    1. re: maryanne06
      Ike Sep 22, 2011 09:47 AM

      I disagree strongly -- Fornos is one of the factory-style tourist traps. "More quantity than quality" as the original poster put it. Go with Casa Vasca or Seabra's Marisqueira instead.

      Casa Vasca
      141 Elm St, Newark, NJ 07105

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

      1. re: maryanne06
        Duppie Sep 22, 2011 01:35 PM

        Sorry maryann06 but I have to agree with Ike on this one,Fornos,Iberia,Spanish Pavilion,Don Pepe,Brasilla are pretty much all geared towards the tourist crowd which in itself is not necessarily a bad thing....but it becomes so when the food quality and preparation begins to deteriorate. Over time most of these restaurants that started out offering quality,honest fare figured out that they can cut costs and maximize profits by offering large portions of less expensive ingredients and cover it in thin sauces and most diners would applaud and even better..return
        Only a very few still prepare with the freshest ingredients,use the best olive oil and serve decent portions at a fair but elevated price. Seabra and Fernandez being 2 of the best.

        1. re: Duppie
          jmoryl Sep 23, 2011 09:42 AM

          Agreed. If you troll the backstreets of Ironbound (or Elizabeth, for that matter) you will find places that don't get mentioned much here which will be filled with mostly Lusophones. Some good, some not so good, but certainly more authentic (and cheaper) than Iberia, etc. And the regulars, for the most part, will not be going for steaks or paella, which are not the most representative or interesting Portuguese cuisne. Order off the daily specials, not the main menu, where you might find cozidos, leitao, dobrada, arroz de pato, various bacalao or grilled whole fish...

          1. re: jmoryl
            buttertart Sep 26, 2011 06:36 AM

            Seabras Marisqueira does a brilliant leitao among other things. I love that place. You really could be in a restaurant in the Bairro Alto eating there.

            1. re: buttertart
              Duppie Sep 26, 2011 09:26 AM

              Oddly enough,they took it off the menu briefly last month but was forced to put it back on due to the outcry of their regulars. I ate there last Saturday and it was packed even more and earlier than usual,apparently because of the recent review in the Times and customers like us blogging on CH and Yelp. I do hope we haven't scuttled the ship getting the word out...

              1. re: Duppie
                jmoryl Sep 26, 2011 10:18 AM

                Most places don't have leitao on the menu at all times - it is best when it is the special and freshly prepared. If Seabra's have enough turnover it might be OK.

                For the best leitao you need to go to Casa do Leitao in Elizabeth. Call ahead: quirky hours, they do a lot of takeout (whole/half pigs) but do have a nice little dining room. Unfortuantely, the owner Joao suddenly passed away but his sons (who have always been involved) are carrying on.

                1. re: jmoryl
                  Duppie Sep 26, 2011 12:53 PM

                  I've eaten there and really loved Joao's home made sausages also,so sorry to hear he passed. We ordered 2 Leitaos about a year ago for a birthday party and he mentioned that they supplied several restaurants in the Elizabeth and Newark area.

                2. re: Duppie
                  buttertart Sep 26, 2011 10:19 AM

                  It's pretty busy anyway, even around 2 or so when we usually get there on a weekend. Always seems at least 95% Lusophone, too. Love that place. I think I said that already, though!

                  1. re: buttertart
                    Duppie Sep 26, 2011 12:56 PM

                    Saturday was my birthday and I had the choice of any resto I wanted....so you must know how much I love Seabras,Friday continued celebration is in Montreal at Au Pied de Cochon.

                    1. re: Duppie
                      buttertart Sep 26, 2011 01:05 PM

                      Holy cow, I do know now. That's my kind of birthday celebration - stretch that sucker OUT. Must get up to Montreal one of these days, it's been ages.

                      1. re: buttertart
                        Duppie Sep 26, 2011 01:11 PM

                        It just keeps getting better and better up there and also looking forward to the Smoked meat sandwich at Schwartz for the road and shopping at Atwater market for provisions. Another epic weekend.

                        1. re: Duppie
                          buttertart Sep 26, 2011 01:15 PM

                          Are you Canadian too? Most Americans don't know Mtl that well. We honeymooned there and I spent a lot of time there as a teenager. Great city. Have fun and happy belated bday!

                          1. re: buttertart
                            Duppie Sep 26, 2011 01:23 PM

                            Not Canadian but try to get up there at least 5,6 times a year to dine,shop and just blow the cobwebs out.It's the drive I really like.

                            1. re: Duppie
                              buttertart Sep 26, 2011 01:24 PM

                              Great time of year to be doing it. Can I come? ;-)

                              1. re: buttertart
                                Duppie Sep 26, 2011 01:27 PM

                                My old beat up wagon regularly has back seat guests so you' re quite welcome to join.

                                1. re: Duppie
                                  buttertart Sep 26, 2011 01:28 PM

                                  One of these days, maybe! Enjoy your trip.

                                  1. re: buttertart
                                    Angelina Sep 26, 2011 03:18 PM

                                    I LOVE Montreal!!! My favorite restaurant is L'Express! I am still talking about those spinach raviolis!

        2. d
          Dinermite Sep 20, 2011 08:09 AM

          I don't know if it is still around, but Little Spain on the corner of Elm and Jefferson had pretty good seafood paella. Not to mention their shell steak!

          Little Spain Restaurant
          582 New Brunswick Ave, Fords, NJ 08863

          1. a
            Applecheeks Sep 18, 2011 03:27 PM

            Try Seabra's Marisqueira. They serve the best, freshest seafood in the Ironbound. They are not a tourist trap, as are many of the other places in the Ironbound seem to be. I have been going there for years, as have many of the posters on this board. I'm am sure you will not be disappointed if you go there. Try the crab dip appetizer (it is not on the menu) you will have to ask for it. It is a hugh crab hollowed out with the dip inside the shell. It is served with toast points and the crab claws on the side. It is amazing! The prices are not cheap, but the food is well worth it, as many of the posters on this board would agree.

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

            1 Reply
            1. re: Applecheeks
              Duppie Sep 18, 2011 06:17 PM

              The crab dip is great but Seabra's only serve it on Fridays,Saturdays and if there is any remaining, Sundays. They fly it in on Thursday's afternoons and prepare it for the weekend.Mozambique prawns are flown in on Wednesdays and razor clams when in season, on Monday evenings. The benefits of being located less than 15 minutes from Newark Liberty Airport.

            2. Angelina Sep 18, 2011 05:54 AM

              Forget Newark...I think it is a total tourist trap. Have not had a good meal there in years. I have been going to Portugal Express in Elizabeth for tried and true quality food! I usually order the whole red snapper. Delish! A complete bargain for $ 15.00! (Includes a cup of homemade soup and Rice and FF...I know 2 starches, that is how they do it!) Last week I was there and I had the garlic shrimp for dinner. $ 13.00!!! I had leftovers to take home also.

              The place is very ethnic and soooo good! Parking is on the street and sometimes you have to park afar, but the area is safe. It is right off of Rt. 1 South, behind the Burger King.

              Trust me, it is really good!!!

              Here is a link:




              Definately try the place. You will never go to Newark again!!



              Portugal Express
              460 S Broad St, Elizabeth, NJ 07202

              1 Reply
              1. re: Angelina
                carfreeinla Sep 18, 2011 05:06 PM

                I have to respectfully disagree about the restaurants in Newark being tourist traps. Some are- don't go to Don Pepe's and expect a gourmet meal for example. I work in Newark and try to support the community whenever possible. I ate at mompou the other night- walking distance from Penn Station, and fairly hip. Food was great as was the service.

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