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Long layover in Newark (EWR) - go to Ironbound or eat in the airport

We're connecting through EWR Thurs en route to Tel Aviv. We have almost a six hour PM layover. I'm seriously considering going to the Ironbound district for dinner and have some recs for there. We have a couple of passes for the United clubs in the airport but, from what I've read, they're not really anything to write home about. A couple of CHs on the SF board slipped in recs for Barducci's and the crab cakes at Gallaghers. I'd appreciate any advice.We certainly have plenty of time to leave the airport but it's not a must-do. Anyone have any opinions or recs? TIA.

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  1. 6 Hours? Without question...I would head to the Ironbound...good luck and enjoy...

    8 Replies
    1. re: ELA

      Any specific places that you prefer? TIA.

      1. re: c oliver

        Jersey City is a short ride....If you want to try a real neighborhood joint for Old School Red Sauce Italian....there's Laico's....it's in the middle of a block of row houses.

        Most of the food in the Ironbound is mediocre, but i still like Seabra's Marisqueira for fish. Very basic, but good quality and fresh. Very typical of Portuguese style of fare. I don't like the dining room, but prefer to hang in the bar.

        There are three menu items in the pictures...Halibut ($28), Paelha à Marinheira ($24), and Frutos do Mar....A combination of clams casino, shrimp in
        garlic sauce, shrimp shish-kebob, mussels
        in a zesty red sauce, broiled lobster, clams in garlic sauce and stuffed oysters with crab meat.
        Serves four

        1. re: fourunder

          So how long is a taxi ride from EWR to Jersey City please?

          And, yeah,, Seabra's sounds tasty.

          1. re: c oliver

            Depending on time of day, about 1/2 hour (one way).

            1. re: c oliver

              Laico's comments from the past.




              ipse is correct about the time...unless there is serious traffic, no more than 30 minutes It's one exit up and over the the waterway heading toward NYC. In a cab it should be no problem, because you don't have to worry about parking and they could call you a cab for the ride back without any delay.

              1. re: fourunder

                You could also take the airport shuttle to the Amtrak trains, take the train to Newark Penn Station, then walk/taxi to the Ironbound section - or then take a PATH train to Jersey City/Hoboken.



              1. re: jrvedivici

                I did Fernandes for my Birthday last year. I like it overall. Brasilia isn't as nice obviously and can be hit or miss...but when the selection is a little better on cuts..I prefer it when I'm looking to gouge on meat. Their Sirloin, Rib Eye and Skirt are always spot on and available. At Fernandes, they don't seem to pass it around as much...Depending on who is asking....I would size up and recommend one or the other....or both.

        2. that Gallaghers is not like a real one at all. it's operated by hmshost (as are all of the dining establishments at EWR). it's not very good at all. terrible service, inconsistent and often poor quality food.

          4 Replies
          1. re: freshmanjs

            What about Grand Central Oyster Bar?

            1. re: c oliver

              Much worst than Gallaghers.Not at all connected with the original Grand Central Oyster Bar in ingredients,finesse or service.Gallaghers is an airport restaurant however though pricey has fabulous jumbo lump crab cakes wcreolo mustard sauce and great creamed spinach,as I mentioned to you on the SF board.I have done a dragnet for the tastiest food out of EWR as I work out of there.It's an airport if you have no other options,not a dining destination.The only other tasty thing is the freshly prepared custom to order rolls and nigiri that you can ask the tiny Japanese lady to prepare for you at the place next to Gallaghers.That is why I also suggested to you Mompou,Sagres and Seabras Marisqueira in Ironbound and how to get there on the 62 bus from EWR.You must be in TLV by now enjoying falafel,St Peter's fish and fresh squeezed pomegranate juice.BTW for future reference,as an Italian,Laico's menu is tired,heavy and nothing like the refined food my grandmother or mother prepared.Everthing is subjectve.IMHO Valenca in Elizabeth does not have good Spanish/Portuguese food and Golden State Diner sucks.Smash burger is better.

              1. re: casalbore spirit

                How exactly did your grandmother and mother refine traditional red sauce? thanks

                1. re: fourunder

                  Only meat sauce is cooked for a length of time.Marinara is a 15-20 minute process to retain the lightness of tomatoes ,spices and herbs.

          2. There's really nothing worthwhile of note except for the burger at Golden State Diner (Terminal C).

            As good as it is, I dunno if I could nurse a burger for 6 hours.


            1 Reply
            1. re: ipsedixit

              We RARELY eat a burger except the ones we grind at home but that one sounds reall good. Thanks, i.

            2. You won't get any real food in the United lounge - cheese, chips and free booze, but not the kind of spread you find in bizclass lounges outside the US

              A second vote for the bar at Seabras

              7 Replies
              1. re: OGguy

                Yep, I'd vote for a trip to Seabras too.

                1. re: MGZ

                  +3 for the bat at Seabra's!

                2. re: OGguy

                  I thought I read that you don't even get free booze. "House" wine and beer only. No?

                  Seabras is sounding better and better.

                  1. re: c oliver

                    You have to pay for premium brands of whiskey and wine, but not for less expensive stuff

                    I do love Seabra's, but also love Valenca in Elizabeth, and it is a few minutes closer to the airport....

                    1. re: OGguy

                      Good to know as I like to "self-medicate" before long flights :) I've heard good things about Valenca also.

                    2. re: c oliver

                      United club is awesome if you want to get tanked before your flight. Wine beer and spirits are free, but there are "premium" selections that are extra.

                  2. Some good ideas here. That said, if you are talking about 6 hours, with an international flight -- are you really talking about 6 hours. You might want to be checked in, at/nearby the gate, at least one hour in advance. I could be wrong, but I think the airlines recommend even more for international flights -- 90 minutes? More?

                    Depending on time of day, day of the week, etc. -- there is weather, traffic, lines, security, etc. Thus, maybe we are talking 4 hours. Perhaps less.

                    I can certainly see a trip into downtown Newark. That's simple enough. But even the simplest excursions can get complicated. LOL. However, personally, I don't see taking a trip to Jersey City, or anywhere else for that matter. But that's just me. The Ironbound offers some very good options -- Seabra's is one. I would do a search here and read up on some of the other places. Opinions will vary and you'll see critics galore, LOL, but several Ironbound places are popular, have strong followings, have been around a long time, do well and offer good food. JMO.

                    11 Replies
                    1. re: ELA

                      I always factor in as many "what-ifs" as possible with air travel! I ALWAYS err on the conservative side. But since this is a continuation of a trip that starts in SF, checking in is already done. It's basically just reclearing security, which isn't necessarily a "just" :( But I'm thinking/hoping that security around 9PM on a Thurs. night wouldn't be too onerous. Thanks for all the suggestions.

                      1. re: c oliver

                        keep in mind that for that tel-aviv flight you have to re-clear security at the gate and that once you enter the secure gate, you cannot leave the gate without getting screened yet again.

                        1. re: freshmanjs

                          Isn't that true for all flights? Once you leave any secured area you have to go back through again? Or is there something special about Tel Aviv?

                          1. re: c oliver

                            like i said, you have to re-clear again AT THE GATE. it is the only flight at ewr where that is the case.

                            1. re: freshmanjs

                              Thanks. I'm not surprised. Israel takes their security VERY seriously.

                              1. re: c oliver

                                I think that is only true for El Al .. not sure about other airlines.

                                1. re: cwdonald

                                  nope. that is wrong. it is true for the UA flight to tel aviv as i've said 4 times now in this thread.

                            2. re: c oliver

                              I believe for all airlines, it's the security checkpoint -- once you leave or exit past there, you have to go back through again.

                              There are additional requirements for El Al from what I've been told.

                              1. re: ELA

                                as i've said twice (3 times now), for the United flight to Tel Aviv, you have to re-clear security at the gate. it's not complicated. just unusual.

                                1. re: freshmanjs

                                  Yep, your completely correct. We were flying United and still had the gate check. It was very quick but, as you said, I'd have not expected it. We factored a few extra minutes into our schedule. Considering how slammed flights out of the East Coast are right now, it was good to have the knowledge.. Thanks, fresh.

                              2. re: c oliver

                                Just TLV.Doesn't matter if is El Al or UA.

                        2. This is what you do. Go to Valenca in Elizabeth. It is much closer than the Ironbound to the airport and the food and experience are top notch. Get the filet on the stone and some sangria. You will be happy.


                          1. With a 6 hour layover it would be no big deal to take the airport shuttle to the NJ Transit rail lines and head straight into NYC. Depending on the day of week/time of day this would take less than an hour each way. I'm sure there are probably some decent dining possibilities there...

                            NJ Transit Rail Schedules, Newark Airport to New York Penn Station & Return - http://www.njtransit.com/sf/sf_servle...

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: equal_Mark

                              Since we're spending two weeks in Manhattan petsitting for friends in Feb., I've eliminated NYC. But we ARE flying into EWR for that trip and that train is just perfect. Thanks.

                              1. re: c oliver

                                It's too bad you want a Burger.....there's a place in Newark that's on a few people's list as the Best Burger in New Jersey. I have not been since they renovated...but it's in an area you would never imagine to be good. I always like to take people there for fun just to see their surprise reactions.....from the moment the car enters the area off the highway, to getting out of the car and walking to the entrance. The inside was definitely ratty, but again, it been renovated in the past year so it should be a little nicer anyway. They serve an 12 oz burger on an uninspired bun(meat from a local butcher)...cooked behind the bar by the bartender...but the real stars for me are the Fried Shrimp and Calamari....and I prefer their sauce over my buddy's.


                            2. Ok here is what I suggest.........per google maps Seabra's is 4.9 miles away from Newark Airport with a travel time of 10 minutes.

                              While one of my favorite restaurants in the area La Griglia is 9 miles away but a commuting time of 12 minutes. For the additional 2 minute commute I would suggest going to La Griglia for a better overall dining experience.

                              I figure the taxi fare would probably be $20. + tip each way. The average Martini is probably $12. at La Grig, so buy me 3 Martini's save $14.00 and I'll be your tour guide / taxi !!

                              As the great Monty Hall would say "Let's make a deal".....LOL safe travels!!

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: jrvedivici

                                But then CO would have to drive back and she may get lost....

                                1. re: fourunder

                                  Four....amico, compadre, pengyou, 3 Martini's over a 3-4 hour dinner / tour........there is no way CO would have to drive back, I got it covered!

                                  I'm like wearing a condom, looking both ways before crossing the street, not smoking in bed.....safety first!

                                  In the spring/summer I will be painting fences, mowing lawns and fixing gutters all for payment in vodka.

                                  1. re: jrvedivici

                                    pengyou....for the record...that's about a drop for me.

                                    The Mrs. is getting off easy....I would ask for a little more than Vodka.

                                  2. re: fourunder

                                    Take the airport shuttle to the NJ Transit rail line. Take commuter train one stop east to Newark Penn Station. Seabras is a 20 minute walk from the station.

                                  3. re: jrvedivici

                                    I work about 1/2 mile from La Griglia. And while it's probably 12 minutes on a good day, it can take MUCH longer to get to Newark airport. Depending on time of day, traffic, morons on the road, etc. I know from bitter and frequent experience.

                                  4. We ate at Gallagher's once. I can't recommend it. Or, rather, I recommend that you avoid it.

                                    1. Safe travels today! Be sure to tell us where you decided on!

                                      8 Replies
                                        1. re: fourunder

                                          Is that the same Patsy's that sells sauce bottled in stores? I've never been, but it looks very similar to Jimmy's in Asbusry Park.

                                          1. re: jrvedivici

                                            No, it's my buddy's place. Laico's is just like Jimmy's in style of food, pizza and ambiance. In the middle of a residential street in a poor looking neighborhood. The portions are a little smaller though. My buddy does old sauce laden Italian...great veal chops, Fried Seafood..

                                          2. re: fourunder

                                            Oh my goodness! What a meal. Pix to follow but it would probably be easier to list what we DIDN'T eat :) fourunder, you are amazing. Thanks for an amazing dinner. We'll reciprocate ASAP

                                            PS to others: He's very handsome :)

                                            1. re: c oliver

                                              fourunder knows his stuff...Knowledgeable guy. He's very good at getting a real understanding of what someone is looking for and making a solid and excellent recommendation.

                                                1. re: joonjoon

                                                  Both he and I took them with our phones (my camera was packed in the car) I usually just email my pix from my phone to my computer. But I'm not going to have accesss for the next week and a half. May if he can post and we can blether on about. It was wonderful meal shrimp, clams, octopus. eggplant, veal chop, sauteed portabellas, a huge arugula salad with tomatoes and mozzarella. And we never stopped talking and laughing. He talks eve more than *I* do ) And the sambuca with coffee was a perfecting end. And being the oh-so-gracious host, he sent us off with some wonderful pastry/coffeecake things that we at the next morning with coffee. The only drawback was that it didn't last long enough. WE WANT MORE!!!!!

                                          3. You can't go wrong with Seabras Marisqueira or Fernandez in Newark. Both are much better than the tourist traps on Ferry St. One of my other favorites is Sol Mar, around the corner from Seabras. Safe travels.

                                            1. Ironbound hands down. A second on the Sol Mar recommendation.

                                              1. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/960837

                                                Finally got back in the country and here's a little writeup and pix from our dinner with fourunder. Soooo good. Certainly didn't have dinner on the airplane :) Thanks again, bud.

                                                6 Replies
                                                  1. re: fourunder

                                                    Ooh, really, really good the next morning with coffee on the airplane. Forgot to mention that. Next time, as discussed, our treat! x,c

                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                      To be honest, I like the Crumb Cake...but I don't find it to be the best.....hope fully we can discuss Chicken & Waffles the next go around.

                                                      1. re: fourunder

                                                        Oh yeah. Amy Ruth's, here we come :)

                                                      2. re: c oliver

                                                        I hear you...I really like B&W crumb cake...glad you enjoyed it...and glad you had a great trip/experience.

                                                        1. re: ELA

                                                          To go from dreading a six hour layover at EWR to having such a great time is a great part of the whole trip experience! And to wake up in the morning and have that coffee cake as a reminder just added to it. Who'd a thunk? Thanks, New Jersey!