Monday, June 07, 2010

South River, NJ Food Safari

Brownie organized an excursion to South River, NJ. She had read about this small town close to New Brunswick that has had an influx of immigrants through the years from Mexico, Eastern Europe, Brazil and Portugal, the Middle East, etc. and has the food to show for it. The town itself is only 2 square miles, so just the few blocks on Main Street are an easy international walkabout.

We started off at Tapatio Restaurant and got some Mexican picaditos. We got an order of 3 sopes (ridiculously cheap!) and an elote and a pork tamale. The elote tamale was my favorite - really nice corn flavor, sweet but not too sweet, and really satisfying texture to the masa. The pork tamale had a finer masa, but I thought the filling could have been more flavorful. The sopes were disappointing because we had ordered them with pork al pastor (which I think got delivered to the table next to us), and the ones that showed up at our table were kind of bland dry chicken. Service all around was slooooow.... and we were anxious to get more eating on!

Next stop was the generically named Eastern European Bakery. In addition to bread and baked goods, they also had sausages - lots and lots of sausages. I brought one home for Redneckhunter for later. We also got a tasty berry crumble, a cheese roll and other assorted cookies.

Then it was down the street to another bakery - this time Portuguese -- Nossa Aldeia Bakery. They had both sweet and savory treats. We tried a variety of mini pies and croquettes. The texture of the potato in the croquettes was amazing!

I also couldn't resist getting a custard tart. I love the Chinese egg custard tarts, derived from China's Portuguese colonizers in Macau. This Portuguese version was creamier and less eggy than the Chinese kind I like.

There were also ginormous meringues. These were just so big and happy looking, we had to get one, though personally it was too sweet for my taste.

Tapatio Restaurant
56 Main Street
(732) 651-0204

Eastern European Bakery
46 Main Street
(732) 238-5877

Nossa Aldeia Bakery
30 Main Street
(732) 257-1029


Rebeca Brown said...

sure it was Portuguese? Looks Brazilian. The pastries with the little tip (looking like an eye tear) is called "coxinha" or "Little Thigh" becuase it looks like a chicken thigh.

The ones that look like a half moon is called Risole

The ones that look like mini pot-pies are called empadas :)

fougoo said...

Could have been Brazilian. Thanks for letting us know the names of things for next time we go back!