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Eating in Newark -- Dodge Poetry Festival

celestialmundane Sep 15, 2012 04:57 PM

My friend and I will be attending the Dodge Poetry Festival in Newark, October 11 through 14, and we are looking for dining recommendations. We were at the Festival two years ago; and I asked for your help then. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/737711 We appreciated your great reccs. Posters to that thread -- please accept my apology for not following up with a report on our trip. The highlights, in brief:

Seabra's Marisquiera. Good food and great service and atmosphere. We sat at the bar (twice). The first night we were there for seafood and vinho verde -- and were there again the next afternoon for their delicious leitao.

Krug's Tavern. For burgers and beer. The bartender/chef was a marvel.

Riviera Baker. Pastel de nata and expresso.

Will you help us again? Has anything changed? Anything new to try? -- or perhaps you'd like to reiterate your preferences. Our hotel is in Elizabeth, and we will be taking a shuttle to NJPAC in Newark. (There is also a shuttle from NJPAC to the Ironbound district.) The Festival is packed with readings and panels, so we will be looking for Newark spots. Though, as we will arrive a day early, and will have a car, we might also have one dinner in Elizabeth or vicinity.

I'm looking forward to your suggestions. And I promise to have a full report this year.

  1. b
    burton Sep 16, 2012 05:41 AM

    Spirito's in Elizabeth merits high consideration as a dinner option. The ultimate classic red sauce joint - it has been around forever - the scene in the main dining room alone is a trip (especially on weekends). Highlights include their ravioli, thin crust pizza and chicken parm. Throw in the garlic salad and you're set. Cheap house wine only. Walk down the street a block or so afterwards to sample the Italian ice at Di Cosmo's. A true time capsule - and very very good.

    1. m
      maryanne06 Sep 16, 2012 06:54 AM

      Have you ever been to a Dinosaur BBQ......well, there is one now in Newark and it's very good. Enjoy your stay! http://www.dinosaurbarbque.com/locati...

      2 Replies
      1. re: maryanne06
        celestialmundane Sep 18, 2012 08:07 PM

        Does Dinosaur serve lunch? I don't see their hours on the website.

        1. re: celestialmundane
          Beloved1 Sep 20, 2012 09:27 AM

          Dinosaur BBQ does do lunch

      2. c
        celestialmundane Sep 16, 2012 07:56 AM

        Riviera Bakery. Pastel de nata and espresso.

        (I won't be able to sleep knowing there are typos in my post -- and apparently I am too late to edit the original post.)

        1. m
          mickeygee Sep 17, 2012 05:52 PM

          Second Spirto's in Elizabeth. McGovern's in Newark is decent burgers, low key pub. Spanish Tavern had also gotten some good reccomendations in the past, but have only been to the one in Springfield so I can't confirm or deny.

          Enjoy the poetry festival, it's always so amazing!

          1. b
            Beloved1 Sep 18, 2012 11:08 AM

            Do you only need dinner recommendations? or lunch aslo?

            3 Replies
            1. re: Beloved1
              celestialmundane Sep 18, 2012 11:39 AM

              Yes. Lunch also.

              1. re: celestialmundane
                Beloved1 Sep 20, 2012 09:37 AM

                I'm a vegetarian so I won't be able to comment on much in the Ironbound since the restaurants are so meat-focused.

                There is a Thai food place on New Street - across from McGovern's. They usually open around 11 and have about 6-8 pre-made dishes to select from (they normally have fish, chicken, and tofu dishes in addition to Pad Thai. You can also order off the menu but that usually takes more time. They can have a line after 12:00, since it’s across from Rutgers and it’s also popular with the local businesses.

                27 Mix on Halsey Street is also pretty decent (not fantastic, mind you). They have a somewhat eclectic menu, so when I've gone there with groups everyone had been able to find something.

                The best pizza in Newark is at Queen’s pizza. They have 2 locations: 48 Commerce Street and 114 Halsey Street.

                Hope that helps.

                1. re: Beloved1
                  Curlz Sep 20, 2012 05:25 PM

                  OMG, I used to loooooooooooove that Thai place when I worked in Newark! Glad to hear they're still open; they always did insane business at lunchtime, but we learned to go over later in the afternoon to get takeout for dinner. :-)
                  +1 for McGovern's (a truly excellent dive bar, imo) and for 27 Mix, although it's been a couple of years since I've been there.
                  Not sure what the eating situation is at the Newark Museum, but they used to let BYO lunch and eat lunch in their sculpture garden and also had sandwiches available for sale. It's a true gem of a museum if you have time to see it, and the don't-miss in my opinion is the Buddhist Altar--the colors are spectacular!

            2. c
              cke25 Sep 18, 2012 03:14 PM

              Two of my favorite Ironbound district places, in addition to Seabra's:


              Good Portuguese steakhouse in Elizabeth:

              1 Reply
              1. re: cke25
                bifpocaroba Sep 20, 2012 11:50 AM

                Concur about Solmar...it's my fave

              2. Curlz Sep 18, 2012 03:59 PM

                Mompou Tapas on Ferry Street
                Casa Vasca (just a few blocks south of Ferry)

                1. b
                  blueanxiety Sep 20, 2012 02:59 PM

                  When you are at the hotel, be sure to pick up an "Endless Arts October" guide. It's being distributed around Newark/Elizabeth at the moment, and the website is here:

                  There are specific deals to the some restaurants if you just show them the guide or download the smartphone app. For instance, Dinosaur BBQ is listed to get 10% off...

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