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Lunch in Elizabeth


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#1 Daniel

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 05:11 PM

So, I started this thread on a different board a couple of years ago.. It was pretty much me exploring the neighborhood where I worked. Elizabeth New Jersey is a very interesting town with a lot of culture and history.. I of course, dont really care about any of that crap, I am just really into the food.. I kid, I kid.. But there is a large Hispanic Population, and old Italian Community, a large African American with sprinklings of Hatian, and of course a very large Portuguese community.. Its very cool how all of these people have come together..

So first up is Portugal BBQ..

Portugal Barbeque
207 Clark Place
Elizabeth NJ
(908)289-6554

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They have these chicken, ribs and steaks rotating around an open charcoal fire.. The use Cowboy Charcoal.. As it goes around, they constantly brush the meats with the red sauce. It smells of garlic and various spicy.. When it drips down it makes the flames shoot up and the smoke surrounds the meat.. Its a beautiful thing.. They have been open for a few years now and this little Portugese Woman runs it like a general.. She is really tough but very accomodating.. The place is kept extremely clean..

I have tried everything on the menu from the pork and clams, to the half chicken, the Salt Cod, the Porgy, the Ribeye, Short Ribs, Sardines,wonderful chicken and grilled pork sandwiches.. Everything is verging on amazing.. The fries are the only thing that need some work but ask for them to be burnt and you will live..

Today I ordered the porgy.. Grilled on these racks below it comes out with a wonderful crisp and salty crust.. With brocolli and boiled potatoes.. It was 10 dollars and fantastic..

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Lunch:

Again, the skin was just perfect..

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Edit to add:

This was a different lunch from a while ago.. This was pork bits with galric shrimp, rice, fries, and marinated vegetables.. This was 10 dollars at the time, I believe its up to 12 bucks..

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#2 Daniel

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 05:17 PM

Alvarez Cafe
511 Elizabeth Ave
Elizabeth, NJ
(908)289-4011

Alvarez Cafe located at 511 Elizabeth Avenue is a famous place on the block.. It has been open for 30 years.. Its also one of the only places where they have an english menu too.. So i find this helpful.. There website is alvarezcafe.com..

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Most places in the area incorporate a lot of different spanish countries into their cuisine.. One restaurant could have Puerto Rican owners and be cooking a combo of Portugese, Cuban and Peruvian food.. Alvarez i think keeps it pretty much too cuban food.. They serve oxtail to seafood.. I especially like there sandwiches, steak, cuban, roast pork, spanish sausage, and the carne ripiada.. All really good..There steak sandwich in which they put french's onion rings under the bread before the grill press it is excellent too!

Sandwiches ready to go for lunch:

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Grilled Cuban with a Mamey Shake will set you back a whole 7 bucks.. The bread here is just wonderful.. Call me crazy but, I love to have a little pool of red vinegar on my plate to dip..

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Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#3 omnivorette

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 05:19 PM

I'm in love.
"It seems a positively Quixotic quest to defend food from being used as any kind of social signifier, as if it could avoid the fate of each other component of our everyday lives." -Wilfrid

#4 Daniel

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 05:27 PM

Haha.. Thanks, there are so many really great places.. I am excited to start doing this.. Most of the people that work here are afraid to go to the bank in this town let alone go to the local spots.. But there are so many cool places and feel very comfortable here.. With a better camera then the last time and a lot more knowledge of the area, it going to be fun.. Tomorrow I will be going to this Peruvian Ceviche spot called Tiboron. Named after shark.
Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#5 Daniel

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 05:35 PM

Sopranos
228 Second St.
353-8000

A very interesting place. They really try to cater to the diverse neighborhood. Offering salads, wraps,sandwiches, Portugese BBQ, traditional and non-traditional pizzas, and subs..

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I ordered from the Brazilian Pizza Section.. Fried chicken, corn, and catupiry...
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The pizza was really good.. Crunchy, airy and interesting.. Loved the sweet corn, the cheese, all mixed with the creaminess of the Catupiry.. Highly recommend a visit for this pizza..

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Slice:

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Elizabeth has several interesting Pizza Places that cater to the tastes of the different areas.. The most interesting I have seen so far was boneless buffalo wing pizza with blue cheese and wing sauce.. Not to mention mozzarella cheese.. A lot better then it sounds..
Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#6 Daniel

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 05:50 PM

White Rose System
201 1st Ave, Roselle -
(908) 241-9639

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The White Rose was a burger place that I grew up eating at.. I recently discovered that there a couple locations around New Jersey.. Before this, I believed the only one that existed was located in Highland Park.. Minutes away from Rutgers Grease Trucks, there were many a game of ro-sham-bo played to determine between the two places.. Kind of like an oversized White Castle Burger, loose meat patties are cooked on top of tons of onions..

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An oniony cali cheese.. Mmm.. Makes me want to drink a few beers just so I can enjoy it more.. Haha

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The menu is your typical greasy spooon.. They have a wonderful BLT, grilled cheese and bacon, the usual suspects.. Everything is made a top of a well seasoned and greased up flat grill.. The only average thing are the crinkle cut fries.. Not my favorite.. But ask for them well done and get them right out of the fryer.. You will certainly get by..

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The memories this place brings back, even if its only the Highland Park cousin..


Ok.. I have to stop.. I am realizing I have a severe food posting problem.. I need help..
Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#7 Daniel

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 06:17 PM

Chick's Seafood
230 Trumbull St
Elizabeth NJ

Cute little Portugese Place.. I guess its pretty well known in Elizabeth.. It has changed owners a few times in the last couple of years but it still remains good.. I was sitting next to this guy in Las Vegas once at a Black Jack Table.. He was like, you work in Elizabeth, have you ever been to Chick's Seafood.. I guess this place and a local strip club are high on the "things" to see list for truck drivers coming ito the area..

They have a regular menu, but I find the specials come out more quickly...

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We started with shrimp and garlic from the regular menu.. Garlic, wine, oil, shrimp, lemon and a couple shots of red pepper.. Whats not to love..

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From the Specials..

Perfectly char grilled Sea Bass..

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The Special Pork and clams with fried potatoes, and pickled vegetables.. This dish was just superb, the pork, clams and fried potatoes, were hanging out in this garlic stock, and the pickled vegetables cut through really nicely..

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Flan was a little grainy.. But good

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Cortado like drink.. Maybe they call it cortado too.. Steamed milk and espresso.. Really milky and frothy.. A drink like this and I am ready for a nap..

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Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#8 Rail Paul

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 07:09 PM

There's another Portuguese bbq place located on the waterfront, directly opposite the Howland Hook container port. Corner of Front Street and Elizabeth Avenue.

Front Street bbq

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman


#9 Daniel

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 07:20 PM

:o :cool: :) :P
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#10 Daniel

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 07:21 PM

You mean Front Street Smokehouse?.. I have my review of them somewhere.. I am really friendly with those guys,went to Memphis with them and do business with them also...
Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#11 hotdoglover

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 10:31 PM

What about the hot dogs? Tommy's, Jerry's, the Majestic!

#12 Daniel

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 12:26 AM

I have written all three up and have not so great photos.. But they are all on the list.. Dont worry about it, its a great time for Tommys.. I was upset to hear that they closed the branch in North Brunswick.. They were serving pretty decent pizza over there.. The only problem was it was a little expensive.. I heard from the old guy who owns the photoshop across the street that Tommy recently died.. I know his son has taken over..
Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#13 pixelchef

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 04:37 AM

This thread is creating a tingle in my pants.

#14 Daniel

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 05:24 PM

Cevicheria El Tiburon II
161 Third Street not to be confused with the one on Second St.
Elizabeth NJ 07206
908-352-8091

The neighborhood is a little tough.. There was actually an arrest happening outside of the place when I arrived.

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Recently, El Tiburon II a second location, has opened on the street over from the original.. It is head and shoulders over the first spot.. The fish is excellent and rivals Ceviche I have had anywhere.. They use just a little cream in their ceviche, I also like that they put a couple slices of boiled potato and those dried crunch corn guys from texture.. For a 11 bucks its more then two people could split for lunch..

The menu has a few different offerings.. The pollo a la brasa seems to be a big deal.. Also they have tamales stacked in the front wrapped in bananna leaf.. I will have to look into it.

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So this is what 11 dollars gets you.. The quality is the most important thing when eating Ceviche and this is wonderful..Its a Peruvian place after all.. It is filled with octopus, scallops, shrimp, conch,swordfish, whitefish, and a couple of clams.. The meat is "cooked" perfectly in a lime and cream sauce.. There is also a really nice heat.. To add some texture they have added these crunchy corn guys and to break up the fish there is some boiled potato.. There are many chances to get such unhealthy dishes that I try to eat this.. I absolutely love ceviche and make it at home, if this place was in Manhattan I would eat here regularly..

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#15 Daniel

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 05:35 PM

This thread is creating a tingle in my pants.


:P
Ason, I keep planets in orbit.