Foodie Bucket List: The Ironbound’s Bounty and More Urban Delights

A walking tour of Newark's Iberian delights, plus tamales in Hoboken and soul food in Camden.

Taste Your Way Through Newark’s Iberian and Latin Riches

Unfolding east of the railroad tracks that gave it its name, Newark’s Ironbound section has welcomed waves of immigrants. Originally Irish and German, then Eastern European, the area became known as Little Portugal by the mid-20th century. Today, Portugal’s vibrant cuisine vies with those of Spain, Brazil and much of the rest of Latin America for the attention of visitors strolling the main drag, Ferry Street, and its offshoots. With about 200 eating and drinking establishments, the edible Ironbound is best absorbed on a Nosh Walk tour. Stops vary, but along Ferry Street, they often include Spanish tapas at Mompou and Portuguese breads and pastries at Texeira’s Bakery. Other tour favorites include Lopes Sausage Company and Lisbon Wine & Liquor. Says Tony Almeda, Lisbon’s owner, “When the tours come here, we break out some special bottles of port. People love it. They come to Newark and end up surprised at how great the wine is in Portugal.”–TLG

Corn Reborn
Tamales at Cucharamama in Hoboken

Photo by Laura Moss

Of the core constitutents of Latin American cooking, corn is the one chef Maricel Presilla calls “eternal, because it is so versatile.” At her James Beard Award-winning restaurant, humble cornmeal—mixed with an array of  enhancements, wrapped in corn husks and baked—achieves splendor. “Tamales are eaten in every single Latin American country,” she says. “And there is a mystery to them; you can’t see what’s inside. People ask me, ‘If you were a food, what would you be?’ I always say ‘a tamale,’ because there’s always that element of surprise.”—EL
233 Clinton Street, 201-420-1700.

Soul Station
Fried Chicken at Corinne’s Place in Camden

Photo courtesy of Corinne’s.

Since 1990, people have come from across South Jersey and even Philly to feast on Corinne Bradley-Powers’s soul food, especially her $11 fried-chicken platters (three big pieces, white, dark or mixed). Each comes with a righteous hunk of cornbread and two mammoth sides—mac ’n’ cheese, made with mild cheddar and Monterey Jack, being the must-have. Her food is so flavorful, customers seem stunned when she tells them she spices with nothing but seasoned salt and black pepper. They recover. The usual response? “People say, ‘I won’t eat no fried chicken but yours.’”—TN
1254 Haddon Avenue, 856-541-4894.

Click here to leave a comment
Click to enlarge images

Get dining articles like this delivered straight to your inbox

Read more Eat & Drink articles.

By submitting comments you grant permission for all or part of those comments to appear in the print edition of New Jersey Monthly.