Jump to content


legacy participant
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by basquecook

  1. Posted 04 July 2012 - 01:43 AM 655 Monroe Ave Elizabeth NJ (908)354-4024 Just moments in between Kean and Route 1 sits this Portuguese/ Spanish Restaurant called Valenca. It's a nice looking spot. The restaurant is divided into a few different parts. There is a place for large parties, there is a casual bar that has a separate entrance and menu and there is the more formal restaurant area. The formal area is complete with table side flaming chorizo presented by waiters in vests. steaks cooked table side on stones and wonderful Sangria. This is very much along the lines of other Portuguese restaurants that can be found in Central Jersey and Newark's Ironbound. Perhaps one could call this Red Sauce Portuguese. When you sit down, you are given a large bowl of salad with olives bread and butter. The salad is great. Nothing fancy, has a strong vinegar taste that is great for sopping up with the dry bread. We started with Flaming Chorico. We also had an order of baked clams Fried Snapper: Jumbo Garlic Shrimp: And the two of us split the Seafood in Green Sauce. Lobster, Plump little clams,New Zealand Mussels, baby scallops and shrimp. 27 dollars for a dinner for two. It comes with chips and yellow rice. Lobster was cooked very nicely as was the rest of the seafood. We were happy/surprised that it was not over cooked. This was done very well. For dessert we had this really lovely ricotta ice cream with toasted almonds and honey. it was delicious. The prices were really inexpensive. Appetizers that fed the table were 10 bucks. Dinners were like 18 bucks for most dishes. Service was ok. What seemed to be the big dish was their stone cooked steak. Large steaks were served on a cutting board that had a hot stone embedded in it. Diners would slice pieces of steak and place on the stone with lots of garlic butter that they provided.. It looked like a lot of fun. The rice and potatoes were disappointing but, overall, it was a fun dinner.
  2. 5 Burgers 510 E St Georges Ave Linden, NJ 07036 (908) 718-5671 Oh my.. This is a seriously good burger.. In fact ,I am trying to think of when I had a better burger in recent memory.. It was just perfect in everywhere. Now, I understand, everyone has their personal favorites, some like thin and smashed, some like a nice big bar burger, this was kind of like a mix between the two.. It was super juicy, needing many napkins.. It was dressed kind of like a Cali Burger and definitely needed to be wrapped up.. Buns were hearty yet, super soft.. Loved the bun. I ordered a bacon burger it had a ton of bacon. Very excited about this place. Burgers came out fairly quickly, seasoned fries.. Staff was super nice. I am a huge fan.
  3. 52 Westfield Ave Elizabeth NJ I have been wanting to try this place for quiet some time. After passing it one morning, it lead me to look it up. I tend to get intrigued by places that don't feel the need to Americanize their name. Torna A Sorrenta is going to get me more interested than say, The Pasta Bowl, The Meatball Shop or something like that. While Torna A Sorrenta means Back to Sorrenta, I found it is also the name of a famous opera song. Anyway, a quick search and you find out the place is family owned and has been there for at least 25 years. That's good enough for me. Our Party of five arrived for our 6:15 reservation. We were the first people in the restaurant. The restaurant is small and homey. Men in tuxedos greet you. That's another thing I like. All male waitstaff in tie and jacket. They have linen on the table. We sit down and order a round of scotch and sodas and gin and tonics. We later find out, each drink is 5 dollars. Crazy, I am so warped as a New Yorker that I am conditioned to accept 12 dollar cocktails. Twelve dollars, please, I am freaking happy when it's only 12 dollars. These drinks my friends, they were 5 dollars. We ordered 12 drinks, the bar bill was 64 dollars. As we look over the menu, hot bread and sesame breadsticks come out with wrapped butter. We also get a plate of olives and pickled peppers. In addition to their menu, they have a page of specials. A roast grouper, stuffed artichokes, a salmon pasta, asparagus with parm, broccoli rabe and sausage. But, what catches my eye is the wine list. it's a pretty fat book but, i later find each wine essentially has its own page. But, they have a decent list, gavi, dolcetta, russian river pinot 2008, a langhe, all at least 5 to 6 years old and around 25 to 30 a bottle. Easily 50 dollar bottles anywhere else. The one wine I remember loving, we were served during a tasting menu at a 2 star michelin in Italy. That was 60 bucks though. We ordered mozzarella en carozza, clams oreganata, stuffed artichoke, a shrimp cocktail and there are also house salads that come with each entree. One thing they really know how to do here is use that eggy topping. The mozarella en carozza was pretty perfect. Fluffy, light with melted mozzarella.. It was very good. I could have used a thing of basil in between the bread slices but, what are you going to do. The tomato sauce here is very fresh and simple. Chunks of tomato mixed with the bright fresh sauce. Clams a very nice rendition. I have definitely had better artichokes. I would skip these. No real flavor. stuffed with garlic and breadcrumbs. I had the veal marsala. It was dunked in flour then egg, then fried. It had the light shell. It was fork tender. The problem was, the marsala sauce was not cooked long enough. It still tasted off cheap marsala and was not finished with butter. It was a light sauce of weak marsala. The mushrooms and veal were very nice though. Someone went off the menu and order the chicken picatta. This was really nice. Fresh lemon, perfectly cooked and tender chicken. This dish I split with the other person. We had a really nice tiramisu for dessert. A slice of ricotta cheesecake that felt like a couple days hardened in the fridge but,the taste was there. All in all, this is a really nice place to go in the area. There were a lot of fish items on the menu. Our waiter recommend i have the lemon veal, next time i will get it. Their tomato sauce was very nice so, i would try the baked ziti or a lasagna or something along those lines. Just don't get the marsala. It's open for lunch, I think it's a great lunch spot to go with a customer. For meeting people in the general vicinity, i too think it's a nice place to go. Entrees were 17 dollars.
  4. I have yet to go to Dispirtos or DiCosmo's.. Dispiritos only opens at 5 and i am out of there by that time.. But, will have to look into DiCosmo's.
  5. So, went to the fish market. It's the other fish market, it caters to a lot of the local people in the surrounding public housing. It is not like my main fish place because, those guys are distributors as well. This place is a small little place with 12 feet of ice for a few different cuts of fish filets. There was Basa, Catfish, Salmon, Whiting, two clams and a bushel of blue crabs.. I will come here if my other spot is out of Crab. But, it's a rarity. What they do have is a pretty nice set up. It's a small counter on the opposite side of the room. You are standing perhaps 8 feet away from two deep fryers which are always on. Note: I would not eat anything off that bottom shelf. Behind the top shelf on the counter is the new stuff. I ordered a whiting sandwich as, I was nudged in that direction. When someone suggests something to you at a suspect fish place, you go with the flow. Three large patties on white bread. As she was finishing my fries, the lady gave me a bowl of tartar sauce and had me dressing the sandwich. I firstly salted the fish real quick, tartar'd in between the fish, a little hot sauce and put a healthy shot of t sauce on the bun. Lettuce and Tomato got you a look. Fries, as, you can almost reach into the fryer yourself, you should make sure she drops the fries a 3 or 4 prior to the fish. Not wanting to sacrifice the sandwich for the fries, she took them out medium Sandwich was still hot and crispy by the time i got to the office.. Fries were eh, i am happy not to eat many fries any how. Sandwich was $4.00. A very good sandwich, better than my other fried fish sandwich last week.. The bun with the tartar sauce melted, which was great. I added some fries and hot sauce to the top bread and ate it with a fork once the sandwich broke apart. Next time I would most likely ask for only two patties of whiting. As, it's too much for me but, hey, 4 bucks is an awesome deal if it were 2 or 3 filets. Lady was super nice.
  6. Stopped by this newish place called Orientale something.. I thought it was going to be another Peruvian Chinese spot but, it is just a Cuban sandwich spot.. Two Cuban ladies eating some snack when i walked in.. They got up from the table to help me. I ask for one sandwich to go, not heated.. It was 1030 in the morning so, i wanted to heat it myself.. I don't know if the photo translates but, the bread was this wonderful eggy yellow The best part of the sandwich was the pork.. expertly cooked.. the best pork in any Cuban sandwich i have had.. So good.. The burnt little edges, the best part of the best part.. You know.. when you have an office in a Cuban Neighborhood, you need to be prepared..
  7. Le Perrada de Chilache 940 Elizabeth Ave Elizabeth, NJ 07201 (908) 629-9692 Thanks to Mr. Rail for the suggestion. Literally translated it means a pack of dogs.. But, in the terms of restaurants, it's a Spanish Hot Dogeria.. There are several of these Perradas popping up now around NY.. A big chain of over a 100 strong out of Columbia has recently landed in Queens I think.. So, On a beautiful Friday afternoon, I decided to head on over and see what was doing.. On top of hot dogs, they have several items on the menu. Chorizo, Arepas, fried chicken, hambugers, and polla a la brasa.. But, today, we came for the hot dogs.. Here is a chorizo con arepa.. I was expecting something completely different.. But the chorizo was a wonderful garlicky sausage.. My dad, who was rolling with me today, went for the super Hot Dog.. This was a foot long bady boy with shredded chicken, potato chips, russian dressing, and ketchup.. A pretty bold move for the guy.. I was expecting him to go grilled chicken sandwich... Here you have hot dog, then shredded chicken, then a crumbled potato chip layer, then ketchup, then ketchup mayo dressing. I went for the Caribeno which was hot dog with bacon and potato crumbled potato chips.. Here is a biten dog Hot dogs tasted like they were pork hot dogs.. A little smokey. Buns were great as were the toppings.. My father said it was his first hot dog without mustard on it since he was like 6. Really impressive, love the twist to the dogs. I am looking forward to the Perradas trend hitting NYC
  8. 558 Elizabeth Avenue (908)289-5533 I have been to Kylie's Place a few times in the last couple of months. My mother comes to have lunch with me and we like to explore various places in Elizabeth NJ. Our most recent place has been Kylie's Place Restaurant or Kylie's Restaurant Place. All we know for sure is, this place is a restaurant, serving some really lovely food from El Salvador. Whether or not a Kylie exists, has yet to be confirmed. The restaurant itself is not much to look at. It's the type of place you would drive by a hundred times and not even notice it. Then, after getting out of your car and noticing it, you might not even want to enter the place. It's tiny, there are plastic sheets of fake brick screwed to the walls, there is a tiny little steam counter and a small fridge holing some sodas. There may be room for 6 tables. The first time we came here there were two options for lunch. The first option being this green bean and mozarella cheese stuffed egg foo young type dish, sitting in a tomato sauce.. It was called, Ejotes Rellenos de Queso. It was delicious. My mother ordered this dish and was in love. For the next two weeks, everyday she would send me an email asking to go back there for lunch. Finally, we went back and they had a similar dish but, with potatoes. Some fried egg foo young shell, stuffed with potatoes and cheese sitting in a tomato sauce. It was served with plantains and rice and beans. The plate was 7.5 dollars and comes with a drink. The first couple of times I had gone there, I ordered a stuffed cod fish dish which is delicious. The next time or two I went, I ordered, the pupusas. Now, if you are not familiar with what a pupusa is, I suggest you run out and find your nearest pupusaria. These are wonderful little stuffed discs that are made with masa. You essentially make these discs and then stuff cheese and pork or whatever you like into them. You then put them on a griddle and serve them with a slaw and a salsa. Similar to an arepa but, better. Very traditional in El Salvadoran Food. Homemade salsa, homemade pickled peppers, homemade coleslaw. Topped: \ I am telling you, you need these guys in your life. You will be a better person for it! Great little spot. If you are in the area,
  9. So there is this Dominican Place that has been around for at least two years that I go to sometimes.. The place is dirt cheap, the food is honest, stick to your ribs, and often times delicious.. This morning I wanted to get the typical breakfast.. It includes some baked eggs, beans, sausage, pork rind, plantains and creme.. You know, a light little something.. But, their mofongo is great, their daily specials on the steam table are really nice. I like their soups, their stews, pretty much everything they serve.. as I walked in , they were taking two huge pernils out in a metal baking container.. They were beautiful, it had that dark crusty sticky glazed top.. Half way submerged in its cooking juices, Well, how could I resist.. I got a large plate of boiled yuca with garlic, lime and onions, I asked for extra mojo.. They then topped the yuca, which I had them stop adding to the container as I was certain to eat it all.. It was all topped with the pernil or roasted pork... The tongs sunk right into the soft meat and they portioned off about a half pound or so.. They offered me rice and beans and a side of chicken soup.. I declined.. Breakfast/lunch was 5 dollars on the nose.. It is so good.. Only depressing thing, being done eating for the day until dinner.
  10. We sat at the bar, talked, drank some wine.. It was fun. It's a working class bar.. Parking lot is filled with every roofer, contractor, or commercial van within a 10 mile radius. The guy behind the counter today was this guy about 20 years old.. One week in America. His uncle is the manager. I asked for a glass of wine.. I got a frosty glass of red wine. Carlos Rossi or something to that nature. I normally get the BBQ chicken or frango. It's delicious., not as good as the old Portugal BBQ but, that is closed. I have had their soup, their garlic chicken, the sardine stew. They have a regular menu but, you order from the small daily specials. Today, I had the BBQ Squid. Squid cooked over coals, served with olives, potatoes, peppers and onions in a wine sauce. It was pretty good. I love squid and make it at home quiet a bit. Wanted to see a new preparation. I wouldn't get it again but. it was good. Had more sauce than the photo appears.
  11. More from Kylie's Place.. I had this vegetable for the first time.. It's called pacaya.. It's slightly bitter, a little crunchy.. I really enjoyed it.. Apparently it's a big thing in Guatemala. Stuffed in egg with cheese. Served with tomato sauce, rice and plantains.
  12. Started with a 3 dollar salad Basic old school salad. Could have fed 4 people We split the BBQ'd Sardine. 6 per order for 12 dollars and a half a BBQ chicken. This was 7.50 Sardine were awesome.. It doesn't hurt that the guy that runs the fish store directly across the street eats lunch here almost ever day. Topped with coarse sea salt. Nor does it hurt that the guy who runs the butcher shop in town was at the table across from him. Really nicely cooked chicken.
  13. Just labeled as Porco Grelhada (i speak Portuguese Menu-ese) I think I am just getting a simple grilled pork steak.. However, out comes pork and clams.. The pork steak was grilled over coals and has that very Portuguese smoke and salt thing going.. It's awesome.. With these bursting clams, lots of garlic and a little wine. This was outstanding.. Served with rice and fries: And a very large glass of wine and awesome bread: One glass and I am ready for a nap.. Especially when the one glass is a pint glass. I had two espressos but, the dessert brandy did not help. I am pretty sure this is why cigarettes were invented.
  14. Portugal Express 268 S Broad Street I think this may be the best place in Elizabeth for Portuguese Food.. Located directly off of Route 1, parking may be an issue. The place was busy, the clientele ranged from suits to overalls. Portions are huge, prices are cheap. The start you out with a bread basket of Portuguese Rolls and the cornmeal bread. Also green and black olives with red pepper and garlic. I had a couple of glasses of red wine while, my mother had a capuccino. For 12 dollars I ordered a whiting stew. The stew consisted of parsley,garlic, butter, fish stock and white wine.. There were beautiful chunks of whiting. Served over potatoes, I asked for a little side of lemon and I was so super happy there was more than half of the dish left. On the lunch menu, you can order a small version of any of the sandwiches they offer.. Garlic chicken, pork chops, steak sandwich type things.. For $3.50 we ordered this small sandwich with fries If I were to come to Elizabeth on a Saturday night, or the next time a customer visits from out of town, this is where I am taking them.
  15. Skipped the cold carlo rossi and went Portuguese Red,, Tripe and white bean stew.. In addition to tripe there was pig feet pieces and various Chorico.. I tasted sweet and hot.. In addition they had the blood sausage too. It's from the grocery around the corner that makes their own Chorico.. The best I have tried. With a shot of tabasco sauce, it was awesome.. I find a lot of Portuguese Food lends plays nicely with Tabasco. It plays well with the wine and garlic. This was awesome. I was going to go Sardines grilled and get some white wine but, the waitress said it was going to take 15 minutes.. And when someone in Spanish says that it's going to be 15 minutes.. It could be 15 minutes to 40 minutes
  16. Wedge salad again. The end of the green chile pork over white rice.. Miss A made leftovers. Fried up two tortillas and served on the side with creme. the chile is too spicy for Miss K so, we pulled frozen salmon steak out of the freezer. i love "eating for free" Leaves money for wine: [Moderator note: This topic continues here, Dinner 2014 (Part 2)]
  17. sorry, in the heat of the moment, no money shot. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTRs7uU9frY
  18. dinner for the three of us.. miss a made a wedge salad that was really lovely.. this steak from the prospect park farmers market.. it was 22 dollars a pound.. crazy expensive. we had left over potatoes that i boiled and then cooked with onions and whole grain mustard.. crisped it into one big cake Roasted some fennel and eggplant we had around. about a pound good orange wine.. meal held up to the steak
  19. It's like really.. What the hell is this conversation even about. Unless you are sitting in an alley way swatting away flies and watching people die of malaria, you aren't getting the true experience. Going back in a couple of months.. I will try another thread.
  20. Sorry but, I will bite.. Your reasoning is highly flawed.. Firstly, you said, with the exception of the Pinghu photos, all of these are very fancy restaurants. So, while I was eating dumplings on the street, or the food on the street in Xian, you found these to be fancy restaurants? Or the restaurant I described where the people I went with go once a week with their family. When I am in China, I hang out with wealthy people.. I hang out with people who own factories, hotels, businesses. I hang out with government officials, I hang out with the Chief of Police, I go to dinner and lunch with people who are very wealthy. Sorry, those are the people I am doing business with. I told my one Chinese friend that I ate off the street and she almost died. She was like, you can't do that. I don't do that. So, I understand that you have been to China or lived in China but, not everyone is squatting in an alley over a bowl of rice. That would be like someone coming back from a trip to New York who has eaten at Per Se, who has gone to Peter Lugers and a Mario Batalli restaurant and then over to a Le Bernardin and then maybe to the Meatball shop and then over to Maialino and hearing from someone, that is not how real people eat. Well, that is how some people eat, that is not how everyone eats but, that is certainly how some people do eat. There is a large mix of restaurants, I understand that my business dinners or lunches were what they were, business lunches and dinners.. But, there is a large mix of street, family places and fancy places.. And if I hadn't been interrupted and rudely challenged, you would have seen the entire scope but, I chose not to continue. But, I have been going to China for many years and I have been from everywhere from a thousand dollar meal to a 35 cent meal. I truly know what I am talking about. And it''s a big place and everyone's experience is different. But, if my trip doesn't fit into one person's narrow minded view point, I apologize. Please let this thread die.
  21. Roast chicken with vegetables. carrots, fennel, herbs, garlic. crazytown Caesar Salad.. Miss A made especially for Miss K. caesar salad with no anchovy or garlic. so a creamy parm essentially. super buttery croutons on egg bread. so good.
  22. I totally, agree.. 4 people drank 5 bottles of wine. This was the last course and we sat around the island in the kitchen while I was grilling the two breasts. But yeh, when I am cooking for customers or cooking on a normal night, I am very aware of resting meat. Also, because of the photo accent the camera used causing a high red balance , it looks like there is a lot more juice then there was.. It may seem like it is pools but, that was not the case.
  23. Yes, yes.. Dried figs.. Served the sliced duck over the risotto and then topped with the fig sauce. I serve a similar duck dish at catering events. I make a cherry demi glace sauce with a chunk of foie and sliced duck and add a bruleed pineapple ring.. Your fig dish sounds similar and really exciting. Can you describe it more, I will have to give it a go during some event.
  24. tonight we had dinner with old friends.. Started with cooked scallops on the cast iron with Japanese Eggplant. Sliced thin, cooked with a chinese green sauce. pepper, ginger, scallion, cilantro, sweet soy, soy, garlic, sugar, a pad of butter. a few other things. this beautiful broiled mackerel with radicchio treviso, various vinegar dressings. This was so amazing.. fish, cooked perfectly. Duck with risotto: Fig sauce or mustardo thi risotto had this triple cream raw goat thrown in at the end. like 3 or 4 tablespoons.
  25. can you describe what glued means.
  • Create New...