Where do you go for a neighborhood full of great Turkish food? South Paterson, NJ, home to a host of stand-out bakeries, restaurants, and markets. Here's an afternoon tour for your first visit.
A fat sandwich is what you get when you cross a burger and/or a cheese steak and/or a gyro and/or bacon and/or eggs and/or dump on a sports bar appetizer platter—namely mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, and fries—and douse it all in a sauce or two.
Visiting Jersey City's Newark Avenue is a treat; the steeply-pitched street is lined with dozens of restaurants and a handful Hindu temples, and strands of multicolored lights hanging from the street lamps and power lines lend the area a festive air. The atmosphere alone is worth a trip; the excellent food at Sapthagiri is just one more reason to go.
Chef Francesco Palmieri has strong connections to several other chefs that we have featured here on Steakcraft, making The Orange Squirrel a natural for a feature despite being a little off a New York's beaten path in Bloomfield, NJ.
Despite an almost comically expansive menu of meat and seafood dishes (including some interesting combinations like sauteed pork cubes with clams, potato cubes, pickles, wine, cilantro, and "Spanish sauce"), most people come to Fernandes for the Rodizio ($29.75, "!!! No Sharing/No Doggy Bags !!!"), in which men wielding large skewers of grilled meats wander from table to table, slicing off fresh portions of meat until the diner is physically unable to consume another calorie.
Killer octopus salad, a traditional Portuguese "dry soup," shots of literal firewater and more at this Newark seafood institution.
It was with a sip of Portuguese "fire water" in my belly and some serious heat-induced dehydration that I launched myself giddily down the aisles of Newark's A & J Seabra Supermarket. And I'll level with you—that stuff is strong. So it took me a few minutes to reassure myself that it wasn't just the booze and the heat flushing my face and sending me bouncing from counter to counter, plucking items from the shelves, glassy-eyed and greedy.
Our Newark road trip continues from last week, a sweet follow-up to Altas Horas' massive chicken sandwich a short walk away on Ferry Street. If there's a Portuguese dessert you can't leave Newark without eating, it's an egg custard tart, or pasteis de nata ($1), from Teixeira Bakery.
As we've seen before, the Brazilian take on a burger isn't just cooked ground beef on a bun. Mayo makes frequent appearances. Corn, too. Fried potatoes perhaps. And, so our research into famed hamburgao spot Altas Horas led us to believe, bananas as well.
Mitsuwa becomes a schedule-clearing dining destination when it stages one of its seasonal food events—the likes of which hit Edgewater, New Jersey last weekend in the form a humbly named Gourmet Japanese Fair. Filling the interior of the marketplace with temporary stands to serve a stunning variety of sushi, ramen, snacks, and desserts, the Fair drew a steady stream of diners from opening to close.
When the James Beard Award-winning chef Maricel Presilla goes to cook Latin American food, her first stops are the markets in Hudson County, New Jersey, where she can find everything from enormous cow feet for menudo to Peruvian dried corn for ceviche.
"Am I really going to live in Jersey City?" Jason Hua, the executive chef at The Dutch, asked himself before moving from Manhattan. But after spending a day across the Hudson river in New Jersey's second most populous city, with its Brooklyn-resembling tree-lined streets and sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and Ms. Statue of Liberty, you'll start to understand why. Especially when you get to eating.
In 1997, Balthazar opened its doors on Spring Street. Downstairs in the basement, a corner was set aside for a little bread-making operation. On the first day, every table was decorated with a basket containing house-made breads: a baguette, a whole wheat, a rye, and so on. Fifteen years later, nearly identical loaves are still sold by the Balthazar Bakery, which has grown to be one of the city's biggest and most consistently excellent artisan bakeries.
My go-to spot for Korean soft tofu soup has always been So Kong Dong in Fort Lee, NJ, a restaurant that serves about a dozen varieties of hot tofu soup and nothing else, unless you count the BBQ kalbi, which nobody seems to order. But after hearing good things about BCD Tofu House, I decided to change it up.
Raised in Bombay and Goa, Floyd Cardoz has always cooked Indian food, whether fused with Western techniques or in its most traditional form. After a 12-year stint at the now-closed Tabla, where he and Danny Meyer put together an exotic menu of Indian fusion dishes, he's making a comeback with Meyer's new North End Grill. The menu isn't rooted in one cuisine, but Floyd sneaks in elements of the Indian food he knows so well, such as the black pepper shrimp he often grills in his own backyard. We talked with Floyd to learn where he goes for Indian food in New York City. The short answer to finding the best: don't be afraid of traveling to Queens and New Jersey.
The Ironbound district of Newark is a pancake-flat trapezoid hemmed in between the city's downtown, the Passaic River, and the highway. For almost a century, it's been home to a thriving Portuguese community, rivaled in size only by Massachusetts communities like Fall River and New Bedford. The Ironbound's main drag, Ferry Street, is lined with Portuguese, Spanish, and Brazilian restaurants selling platters of paella, barbecue, and the like. If you want a bite of something just as Iberian but not so gut-busting, head to Teixeira's Bakery, with two stores in the Ironbound. The line to the counter is often forty deep, but it's worth the wait.
This weekend, New Jersey's Crystal Springs resort hosted a benefit dinner with amazing sips and bites from Per Se, Osteria Morini, Maialino, and more. The benefit also included a tour of the wine cellar, which houses over 135,000 bottles—some over 100 years old.
At the Fugetsudo Confectionery stand inside New Jersey Japanese grocery Mitsuwa, the Kobe-based company offers their legendary gaufres. $9 for six crisp discs.
A visit out to Mitsuwa Marketplace in Edgewater is heaven for those with an affection for Japanese sweets (or savories!). However you decide to map our your day at this Japanese supermarket and food court, you'll need to finish with soft-serve.
I go back and forth on whether hot dogs are, in any way, sandwiches. (My instinct says no, but I consider a lobster roll a sandwich, and that's stuff-on-a-long-bun too, right?) But if any hot dog is a sandwich, it'd be the "Italian Hot Dog," as done at New Jersey institution Jimmy Buff's.