Whether you read Slice or Serious Eats in general, you're familiar with OMG, Food That Changed My Life. For most of us, it's exaggeration, a figure of speech. But for the students in Walter Gloshinski's special needs class at Newark High School, pizza is literally helping shape them as they shape it.
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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.
Mini tomato pie bakery pizza can be found at a small chain of Italian bakeries in Newark called Calandra's. The personal pizzas, served at room temperature, are made from a light, spongey dough and hit home with the "comfort food" receptors.
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.
After years of searching for a decent burger in an airport, a diner in Newark finally delivered the goods.
The New Jersey Italian hot dog has been haunting me since starting this Hot Dog of the Week column a little more than a year ago. I've been dying to try one and finally made it to North Jersey to do so. Honestly I was a bit worried that this holy grail of hot dogs wouldn't live up to the hype. I had the opportunity recently to stop at Joe Joe's Italian Hot Dogs in Toms River, one of the few places in central or south Jersey serving an authentic New Jersey Italian hot dog, the other being Jersey Dogs near Fort Dix. My mind has officially been blown.
For one last moment, I was in Portugal.
It was a thousand times better than the sandwiches and pizza slices I usually wind up with in this part of town.
We have another AHT reader recommendation thanks to Tommy Salami (tommysalami on AHT/Serious Eats). He reviews movies on his blog Pluck You, Too! and you can find him on twitter @tommysalami. Thanks for sharing the burger love, Tommy! As for...
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