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Cuban food in NJ


jhlurie
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For the first time I noticed a Cuban restaurant while driving down River Road in Edgewater.  

The sign--painted on the side brick wall of the restaurant--says "Cuban food and Cigars" (but I'm assuming what it REALLY means is Cuban food and non-Cuban Cigars! :) )

The restaurant lookup feature on Yahoo mentions an Azúcar, but without much other detail.  Has anyone been there?

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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Quote: from Rosie on 7:29 pm on Aug. 5, 2001

Rebecca's is WONDERFUL. Read my review at:

http://www.foodbytes2.com/rebeccas.html

BYO and be sure to make a reservation.

There must be TWO Cuban restaurants down there.  Old River Road is an offshoot of River Road... a bit further south.  The restaurant I saw was clearly on the current River Road (actually around the corner from River Road on a street called Dempsey) somewhat further north by the Dime bank.

But I'd rather follow a good recommendation any day than random chance with an unknown place (I do still think the name is Azúcar because while I was unable to see the previously mentioned wall mural completely, the reference on Yahoo matched at least the first letter--I was able to make out the letter "A" while zipping past at 40mph...),

So, Rebecca's will be the first of the two I check out unless someone comes back with absolute raves about this other place.

(Edited by jhlurie at 10:22 pm on Aug. 5, 2001)

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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  • 1 month later...

Jason, JHLurie and I had dinner at Rebecca’s Restaurant on Thursday night. The food was delicious; the atmosphere was more conducive to couples rather than groups, I thought it was a rather romantic place. We shared appetizers of croquettes with horseradish sauce (choice of pork, beef, chicken or salmon (special of the day)), we had pork, they were excellent, jerk chicken skewers which were very good, but only a little spicy (jerk chicken is also available as an entrée), and a green salad topped with warm chorizo sausage and chickpeas, very memorable. The only bad note of the entire evening was the mealy tomatoes in the salad; they are in season right now and should have been better than pink supermarket tomatoes.

For main courses, Jason and Jon both had the lechon, which I believe they enjoyed, but I didn’t care for the pork, it was rather plain. In contrast I had the grilled salmon topped with a mango-mustard sauce. The salmon was cooked _perfectly_, with just a touch of pink rareness in the middle. The side dishes were also excellent. Jason and Jon both had the dirty rice and one had maduros while the other had tostonos. Frankly, these were the best tostonos I had ever had – even after eating them all over Puerto Rico and Miami. My fish came with a zesty fruit salsa (someone on eGullet recently described something they ate as tasting like sunshine, I now know what they mean) and mashed sweet potatoes with coconut, which was deliciously different.

I heartily recommend Rebecca’s, especially if you are looking for a nice romantic spot for couples (in fact it was one of the places we recommended to NYC refugees and eGulleteers Liza and Davy today, they are celebrating their 1st anniversary – Congratulations!). Try to go soon, before it is too late in the season (read cold) to sit outside on the back courtyard with fountain.

Rebecca's

236 Old River Rd

Edgewater, NJ 07020

(201) 943-8808

Directions: just down from the River Gorge Cafe, which is the only reason to mention that place on this website, as it is much more visible than Rebecca's. Turn at the point of River Road where it is opposite the Target shopping center, then turn left onto Old River Road.

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yes, Azucar is the one you are talking about. I've been there several times. My take is that the food is a bit hit or miss. Once time I found it very good, and then a while later, fair at best. A Cuban client of mine told me that they had a new chef who most were not happy with. This was about 1 1/2 to 2 yeasr ago.

Also, I think they only allow cigar smoking upstairs in their so called cigar lounge. Although I could not get a drink up there, as it seemed more like an upstairs waiting room. The bar upstairs was not open, or even stocked so I don't think they use it. I brought my own Havana Club as they had no liquor license.

Noisy? Yes. Service? Questionable at times.

Eric

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Theres also a Cuban restaurant close to the corner of S. Washington and E. Clinton in Bergenfield. Havent tried it yet but its a small cafe and the place is usually packed on weekends.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ok being from Florida I know some good Cuban food. I understand that Hudson county has a large Cuban population especially in the North Bergen area. Any gems up along Berganline or Kennedy Blvd? Doesn't have to be fancy but yummy!

My girlfriend would hate me for posting this, she's Cuban and always wants to cook for me!

-Scott

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