Sunday, June 10, 2012

In Newark's Ironbound, Iberian food is a moveable feast

The upscale Adega Grill on Ferry Street in Newark offers seafood and wine.


On Thursday, I took a walk on the mild side up and down Ferry Street, the commercial heart of Newark's Ironbound section.

I stopped for coffee at one of the Portuguese bakeries, revisited a popular fish market and watched in fascination as passenger jets passed low over the neighborhood as they approached Newark Liberty International Airport.

The Ironbound is filled mostly with Portuguese, Brazilian and Spanish residents, and the selection of ethnic restaurants and bakeries is one of the best in the state.

Driving under Newark Penn Station onto Ferry Street, Fornos of Spain is the first major restaurant you encounter, but after that, you'll find many Portuguese and Brazilian places, including Iberia Peninsula, Adega Grill and Casa Nova.

The best Portuguese restaurant, Tony Da Caneca, is far from Ferry Street, in what is called Five Corners.

The small, white-tablecloth restaurant offers Old World service and some of the best seafood in Newark, including enormous prawns from Africa. 

Tony Da Caneca Restaurant, 72 Elm Road, Newark; 973-589-6882.

Cafes and restaurants have plenty of outdoor seating.
A $1 cup of coffee at the cash-only Teixeira's Bakery on Ferry Street.
At the Popular Fish Market, dried, salted cod is a staple of the Iberian diet.

Red snapper swim in plenty of ice.


Whole, farmed Atlantic salmon.

Portuguese lesson: Shrimp are called camarao.

Seabra Foods, a small market on Ferry Street, offers salted pork and Portuguese blood sausage. Fresh leeks keep their cool in the produce section, above.

A tough place to park

Parking is tough in the Ironbound.

Iberia Peninsula validates parking in a lot on the other side of Ferry Street, and many blocks away, Sol-Mar has free spaces in a shopping center parking lot opposite the restaurant. 

There is metered parking on Ferry, and alternate-side parking on the side streets on Wednesdays and Thursdays, halving free spaces on those days.

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