Gothamist serves up a guide to Portuguese cuisine in the Ironbound

How To Devour Newark’s Vibrant Portuguese Food Scene

Gothamist provides a nice overview of how to enjoy Portuguese food and culture in the Ironbound. I’ve been to all of their recommendations—while none of them are off the beaten trail, they’re all a great introductory walking tour of the neighborhood. 

If you don’t have the time or money to cross the Atlantic to visit Portugal, then you can just traverse over another body of water (the Hudson) and find some great authentic food in New Jersey. If you take the PATH or NJ Transit into Newark—just a 30 minute ride when the trains operate as scheduled—you can explore Portuguese food and get a genuine sense of the culture.

Chef David Santos is one person who’d like to see Portuguese food get the credit it deserves. Most recently of the now-closed favorite Louro and currently heading up a series of pop-ups, the New Jersey-born chef grew up in the town of Perth Amboy, where many Portuguese immigrants have settled. He spent his youth surrounded by Portuguese food, from baking bread at home to butchering rabbits and pigs. He seemed the perfect companion to give us a tour of Newark’s historic Ironbound neighborhood, home to many Portuguese residents since the 1960’s.

Most of the Portuguese restaurants and shops are clustered around Ferry Street, which is an easy, direct walk from Newark-Penn Station.

Former Newark mayor Cory Booker publishes his first book

Booker explains mistakes he made running Newark, other lessons he has learned

The now-NJ state senator is releasing a book that seems to hint at his future aspirations. 

Following a trend set by many presidential candidates, Booker’s writings were released in the midst of a campaign. Booker, however, is not running for president, though he has been mentioned as a potential running mate for former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose candidacy he has endorsed.

“I didn’t write this to speak towards an election,” Booker said in an interview to discuss the book. “I wrote this to talk about us as a country. The best of our culture has been seen when we as a nation recognize that we have more in common than divides us and do the very difficult work of reaching out, going beyond our comfort zone to work with other people.”

Booker’s book will be available in numerous formats on Amazon (including audiobook narrated by the senator) on Feb 16. 

Whatever happened to last year’s $1,000 Valentine’s Day lots?

After Setbacks, Newark Alters a Program to Encourage Home Building

This is what we came here for, to build a better life,” Gilbert Gomez said, standing amid the discarded cups from Popeyes, plastic shopping bags and concrete chunks that littered the street.

Fascinating piece on the challenges of winning one of last year’s Valentine’s Day lots that the city was selling for $1,000.

The new plan is intended to remove obstacles that have slowed the process, including designing a home, getting permits or, most challenging of all, finding a bank willing to provide not just a mortgage but a construction loan in one of the most depressed real estate markets in the country.

Construction loans seem to be one of the biggest deterrents—banks are wary about financing homes in some of the most economically challenged neighborhoods in the city.