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Thread: Iberia Tavern & Restaurant in Newark

  1. #1
    New Jersey Ambassador Admin & Founder JerseyDevil's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Iberia Tavern & Restaurant in Newark

    My father was out this past weekend and we went to Liberty Science Center. Afterward we were trying to think of where to go eat and I suggested the Spain Restaurant in Newark - let me tell you we should have stuck with that plan. Instead we ended up at the Iberia Restaurant. Several years ago I was told that Iberia was better than The Spain and since I had never been there, we figured we'd check it out. I was in the mood for good Paella - something I love getting at the Spain Restaurant.

    Our meal started out good, I had the Clams Iberia as an appetizer and the decor of the restaurant was really great. Then my entre came out - the thing I was dying for - Paella Marinera. The first thing that caught my eye was that the rice was orange - not yellow like traditional paella. Then I tasted the rice, it was way over cooked. It was pretty mushy. On top of the rice was lobster claws, clams, mussels, shrimp etc. Well I tasted one of the shrimp - it was dry. I had one of the lobster claws - it was dry. I thought maybe the lobster claw was dry because it was one of the smaller ones and so I tried the other claw which was much larger. That one was so incredibly dry that the meat was actually hollow and looked like spider webs inside. After that I just decided I couldn't eat it at all. So we did something that I hardly ever do - I sent it back.

    I ordered Shrimp in Green Sauce - well that was hardly any better. The shrimp they used was the small frozen kind and they were tough. The sauce hardly had any flavor. At least this time the rice was the yellow Paella rice and wasn't overcooked.

    My father had gotten stuffed broiled lobster - which for the most part was okay. However, the stuffing was supposed to be a crab stuffing - which ended up being mostly bread and the crab ended up being imitation crab meat.

    Needless to say, I will not be going back to Iberia Tavern & Restaurant or their sister restaurant Iberian Peninsula Restaurant any time soon. The Spain is MUCH MUCH better and we should have stuck with that. I'm still dying for good paella - so I guess I'll have to take another run up to Newark (anyone want to join me?).

    The Iberia Restaurant reminded me of a tourist trap restaurant in New York. It's a shame - The Ironbound is better than that and when I go to one of the restaurants there - I expect authentic, freshly made food. The only thing I can think of is that the Paella was pre-made (seafood and all), put in the pot (which it is served in) and let sit for hours until someone orders it.

    My suggestion - don't waste your money at Iberia - go to The Spain!
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  2. #2
    New Jersey Tour Guide Jersey Warren's Avatar
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    Excellent review, even though I have never been to either restaurant. Last October, my brother Greg took Martha and me to lunch at a Portugese restaurant in Ironbound. He works at NJIT. Too bad I can't remember the name of it because it was really excellent. I'll have to email him sometime and ask him, since he goes there often.

  3. #3
    Recent Resident 131 Dukes St.'s Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Don Pepe is far better for your money and is near Penn Station on Rt21 AKA Macartur HWY northbound side.

  4. #4
    New Jersey Ambassador Admin & Founder JerseyDevil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 131 Dukes St.
    Don Pepe is far better for your money and is near Penn Station on Rt21 AKA Macartur HWY northbound side.
    Do you know if it's better than The Spain? I'll have to try Don Pepe out sometime though.
    New Jersey is the only state honored by two resorts at Walt Disney World. The Beach Club Resort, modeled after Historic Cape May and The Boardwalk Resort, after Atlantic City. If the Jersey Shore is good enough for Walt Disney to recreate, isn't the REAL Jersey Shore even better for you and your family?

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  5. #5
    New Jerseyan davegering's Avatar
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    Don Pepe is excellent
    DAVE GERING
    MANAGER JERSEY STORE EWR

  6. #6
    New Jersey Ambassador Admin & Founder JerseyDevil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davegering
    Don Pepe is excellent
    Have you been to Iberia and what has your experience been if you have? I'm just curious as to what others think of it.
    New Jersey is the only state honored by two resorts at Walt Disney World. The Beach Club Resort, modeled after Historic Cape May and The Boardwalk Resort, after Atlantic City. If the Jersey Shore is good enough for Walt Disney to recreate, isn't the REAL Jersey Shore even better for you and your family?

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  7. #7
    New Jersey Ambassador Admin & Founder JerseyDevil's Avatar
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    I just wanted to say that I went to Don Pepe's last night. It was really great! The place on the outside doesn't look like much - just a square white building - but the inside was very nice and the food was even better.

    My friend Trish had calamari for an appetizer (we actually shared the appetizers) which melted in your mouth. I had ordered the garlic shrimp - which was very good. Then of course I had my Seafood Paella - which was very very good. The rice was good - the food was hot, it was not over cooked. It's terrible - but it was great - and here I am comparing it to Iberia and there is no comparison. I ended up only eating about a 1/3 of it because I was so full - but on the way home I was just dying to get into the left overs.

    Trish had the Shrimp Premivera - I don't know how it was personally. I didn't try any of that. But Trish had said it was very good.

    The strange thing is - Don Pepe's isn't in the Ironbound District, it's on McCarter Hwy - just across the street from the Gateway Center buildings.

    I'll have more about my Newark excursion soon.
    New Jersey is the only state honored by two resorts at Walt Disney World. The Beach Club Resort, modeled after Historic Cape May and The Boardwalk Resort, after Atlantic City. If the Jersey Shore is good enough for Walt Disney to recreate, isn't the REAL Jersey Shore even better for you and your family?

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  8. #8
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    Has anyone gone to Iberia lately?

    I have been a faithful customer for over 15 years. I must say my last experience gets a meager Ehh.

    I used to live in Jersey and gave up don pepe's for this joint. On my last visit the food was stale, as was the service. It was on a sat eve and not real busy around 9pm. I used to RAVE about this place, but this time I spent my last few dollars there.

    My friend had the rodezio which she said was good. I had the Garlic shrimp that tasted like toilet water. It was an utter waste of money and time. The side dishes were luke warm and the sangria was lackluster and swill!

    For $60. in this economy , I will spend my dollars with a business that appreciates me!

    Ron
    La Jolla Restaurants
    Last edited by ronstevens; 07-05-2010 at 05:10 PM.

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