Cuisine in [Elizabeth, NJ]

(Joon) #41

Can you bring me with you next time you go eat??


Headed down to City Tavern on Elizabeth Ave. today. As mentioned earlier, by @coldbeer70, City Tavern is a dining staple of downtown Elizabeth, generates quite a crowd for lunch and dinner, and has been serving locals and visitors for over 20 years.

I know they’re best known for their skirt steaks, and even have an entire section of the menu dedicated to it, but just wasn’t feeling like it today. Next time for sure.

Off the lunch menu, ordered the chiccharon with tostones ($4.95) as an appetizer, and went for the Tavern Burger with mozzarella cheese ($7.95 +.25 on the lunch menu).

The english muffin does create a great, spongy, crispy consistency and they melt the cheese onto the top of the bun. Besides that, the burger was a great piece of meat as well. All around a solid burg. The fries I wasn’t too big a fan of.


Haha, I’m having these meals on my lunch break. You’re welcome to come meet up any day, if you’re willing to make the drive. Generally around 12, but am able to take the break anytime.


I was kicking myself for not trying the skirt steak at City Tavern, so headed back there today.

Off the lunch menu, I ordered the Entrana Campesina ($13), a skirt steak topped with melted american cheese, grilled shrimp, and a sweet roasted pepper sauce & served with vegetables, potato, and rice.

It was absolutely amazing and I can see why @coldbeer70 has praised this place repeatedly. I don’t see myself wanting to order anything else other than their skirt steak on future visits, especially considering the price for lunch.

For dessert, I stopped by famous DiCosmo’s Italian Ice for a small coconut ice ($2). So far, coconut has proven to be my favorite as its the perfect consistency of creaminess and sweetness.


Found a Brazilian restaurant in Uptown Elizabeth, near the border of Hillside, called Peniel Shalom today.

From first impressions, this small shack serves as a local deli and grill for Portuguese community in the area.
I went with a chicken and cheese coxinha and the lunch-portion Picanha on the menu.

I also noticed that they have a daily blackboard of specials that all seemed good, that I may try next time. Dishes such as Shell steak, Chicken Tropical, Chicken Marsala, etc.

The coxinha was sadly pretty lackluster. Most of the places I’ve been don’t make these fresh, and often sit in warmers next to empanadas. The best coxinha I’ve ever had was made fresh, and was from Hillside at Sandubao Lanches, mentioned earlier in the thread.

The picanha was cooked well, of good quality, and was a good portion for the “1/2 lunch portion” for $12 and came with rice, beans, and a side salad.

If I return again, I will probably go with one of the daily specials, instead of a steak, as if I’m craving Brazilian steak, I’m better off going to Taste of Brazil in Hillside, the buffet-style rodizio place, similar to Sabor in Long Branch.


Entrana con cinco estrellas from The City Tavern is one of my top 5 dishes in NJ.


Returned to Machupicchu Restaurant on Elizabeth Ave. today to try some of their daily specials and creole-style Peruvian offerings.

I went with the sopa de trigo de carne, which is a chicken broth wheat soup with yucca, celery, potatoes, carrots, oregano and beef.

For entree, I chose the puerco guisado con arveja partida, which was a stewed pork and split pea dish, served with rice.

I’ll admit that this dish may be more of an acquired taste, as I thoroughly enjoyed the split peas, but the sauce on the pork was a little strong for me. The dish was balanced by the green sauce and rice.

Based on this trip and my previous trip here, I’ll probably be moving onto other Peruvian spots.


Uruguayans have a long history within Elizabeth as a result of multiple emigration waves from Uruguay.

The first emigration wave dates back to the early 60s, and subsequent waves as a result of dictatorship and economic disparity in Uruguay

And although many Uruguayan restaurants, delis, and bakeries have come and gone since then in Elizabeth, one of the original spots from that first emigration wave still exists, known as La Nueva R.O.U Bakery. (R.O.U standing for the República Oriental del Uruguay)

Specialzing in cakes, cookies, products from Uruguay, and of course bizcochos (come early or they sell out), La Nueva R.O.U has stood as a local institution for the Uruguayan population for decades.

I stopped in this morning for some Uruguayan bizcochos and a cappuccino.

And although, I’ve said before, my favorite bizcochos are from Alkazar Bakery in the Elizabethport area, I still appreciate visiting the other locations every once and a while.

They are best ordered in the morning, as there’s a greater selection, or if you happen to catch a fresh a batch as they are most delectable when still warm and soft.

My favorites being the dulce de leche filled and margarita (custard).


Had the elusive everything-on-it Brazilian hamburger today at Pao De Mel Bakery in Hillside.

A small bakery and cafe, Pao De Mel specializes in Brazilian pastries, breads, as well as lunches such as salads, acai bowls, and sandwiches.

Labeled “Mineirinho,” this sandwich was topped with burger, sirloin steak, chicken breast, ham, mozzarella, bacon, corn, potato sticks, egg, tomato, and lettuce.

Besides obvious structural problems of the sandwich, and the extreme clash of meat flavors, it was an overall great burger for $9. The bun was house-made as well and tasted very fresh.

(Joon) #50



El Machupicchu de la tia Meche - Peruvian restaurant specializing in Northern Peruvian dishes, such as stews and Andean dishes:

Aji de Gallina - Shredded chicken in a creamy cheese sauce with potatoes and rice.

Chupe de Mariscos - Creamy seafood soup

Carapulcra - Chicken stew with a peanut sauce

El Punto Marino - Peruvian “Cevicheria” specializing in seafood and coastal dishes.

Punto Marino Combinado - ceviche and jalea (fried calamari)

Pizzeria Montevideo - Uruguayan Pizza restaurant

Slice of Completa (ham, mozzarella, olives, peppers, eggs) and Faina (chick pea bread)

(Joon) #52

Man that last picture is pornographic. You’re making me wish I had an office job.


A new Guatemalan cafe opened up on Elizabeth Ave., called Velvet Cafe. They offer cappuccinos, pastries, as well as lunch items such as subs and sandwiches.

I saw online that they were one of the only places in town serving “shucos” (Guatemalan-style hot dogs, served on fresh toasted bread with guacamole, cabbage, and mustard). Everything about it was so fresh- the bread, the guac, the cabbage.


Returned to El Rinconcito Boricua, one of the only Puerto Rican restaurants in town (opened a month ago).

Went for the Pernil Asado with tostones and salad. Whereas I’ve had it at other places, they cooked the pork shoulder perfectly.


Still my favorite Peruvian restaurant in Elizabeth is Puro Callao.

Went for the jalea today. Perfectly light fried seafood. Calamari, squid, shrimp, mussels, yucca, grouper topped with lime and onion salad with spicy green sauce on the side.


To my knowledge, there’s only one Costa Rican restaurant in town. Known as Olga’s Place, it is nearly hidden, tucked away on a side street downtown.

For the lunch rush, those living locally or those working construction in the area tend to flock to the bar for a drink and a quick bite on their break.

The vibe inside told that Olga’s gets much more popular at night, and serves as a night-club and karaoke destination for locals.

There were several pages of menu to peruse, but I aimed straight for the “typical dishes of Costa Rican” page.

I opted for the “casado”, known as the national plate of Costa Rica and a lunch staple there. The dish name casado translating to “married man,” referring to when wives would pack their husband’s lunch before a long day of work.

The dish was made up of a well seasoned steak with caramelized onions and an egg on top. On the sides were fried plantains, rice, beans, a corn salsa, as well as a pink beet potato salad.

Everything was so packed with flavor, and paired well with one another. I was almost brought to tears just from the taste of the onions and steak alone.

The casado was an extremely hearty dish and rich with flavor, and I’d gladly return again for some of their other Costa Rican specialties.


My favorite line of the week!!! Love your Elizabeth posts. Keep them coming.

(Joon) #58

Man I need to get a job where you work.

(Mr met) #59

this looks amazing. Mouth watering. My only question is, how the hell do you go back to work and do anything after putting down a plate like this?


I have a mighty appetite. AND I usually get most of the work done BEFORE lunch :stuck_out_tongue: