Friday, January 23, 2015

Portuguese food delivery in Hackensack could be our new Chinese

Grilled Codfish or what the Portuguese call Bacalhau Grelhado from Fire Pit Barbecue in Hackensack.

Fire Pit Barbecue also delivered an aluminum tray holding a whole barbecued chicken (cut up), yellow rice and black beans.

Editor's note: After two solid days of eating out in Manhattan's expensive restaurants and trying to avoid butter, cream and other high-cholesterol and high-calorie food, we returned home, looking forward to simpler meals.


How tired are we of having Chinese food delivered? Don't ask.

We've been loyal customers of Zen Kitchen in Teaneck, but our last few deliveries haven't been up to par.

My wife complains the food we've received lately is "greasy," and we have a hard time getting dishes prepared simply with fresh garlic.

So, after we returned on Monday from spending the weekend in a luxury Manhattan hotel, I called Fire Pit Barbecue on Essex Street, a mile and a half away from our home in Hackensack.

The restaurant's name doesn't hint the menu is filled with Portuguese-style barbecue and other favorites, plus wraps, soups and salads.

Pork with shrimp

When I ate meat, I always loved ordering Pork with Clams at Portuguese restaurants in Newark's Ironbound.

Fire Pit Barbecue in Hackensack lists Pork Cubes with Shrimp on its menu ($16), and Shrimp, Meat and Cod Fish Cakes ($1 to $1.50 each).

For dessert, you'll find Flan and Rice Pudding ($3 each).

I ordered three items from the online menu and had them delivered:

A whole BBQ Chicken with two side dishes ($14), a half-order of BBQ Spare Ribs ($9) and Grilled Codfish with Potatoes, Peppers and Onions ($19).

The whole chicken and grilled codfish came in aluminum trays with barbecue and spicy sauces -- generous portions that were enough for three to four people.

They were a better value than the half-order of spare ribs.

I loved the smoky taste of the salted codfish, and the vegetables that came with it. We got three portions of fish and vegetables from the tray.

Fire Pit Barbecue, 357 Essex St., Hackensack; 201-489-3473. Portuguese food. Eat in, take out and delivery. 

Online menu is being revised and might not match price increases. A second Fire Pit Barbecue is in Kearny.

Web site:

The Grilled Codfish delivered by Fire Pit Barbecue was smothered in green peppers, onions and garlic, and came with steamed broccoli and carrots, and white potatoes, all in a generous pour of extra-virgin olive oil.

Back to egg whites, whole grains

When we checked out of our hotel last Monday, we didn't go to breakfast in Manhattan, but returned home late in the morning and prepared our own meal. 

Open-face omelets made with 100% egg whites and seasoned with Aleppo pepper, za'artar thyme mixture or grated Pecorino Romano, a sheep's milk cheese from Italy, above and below, and served with organic quinoa or an organic quinoa-brown rice combination, both from Costco Wholesale.

Two Costco Wholesale Organic Eggs fried in olive oil with bits of Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, served with mashed sweet potatoes and Kabocha squash made with extra-virgin olive oil. How sweet it is.

Last Sunday evening in Manhattan, the Michelin 3-star restaurant Per Se in the Time Warner Center didn't offer a green salad. On Wednesday, on the way home, I stopped at Jerry's Gourmet & More in Englewood for a Kale Salad with dried cranberries, pignoli nuts and shredded cheese ($3.99), added the salad to Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix and Campari Tomatoes, and dressed them in extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

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