RE: Portuguese BBQ in New Jersey
Va-E-Volte, Phillipsburg, NJ
I noticed this place on several recent trips to the P-burg/Easton area. I finally stopped there today.
They are located at 559 South Main Street. I walked in not knowing what to expect. I sat at the counter and studied the menu for a few minutes. I was not extremely hungry. I decided on the half order of pork steak.
I watched as the cook/chef/owner took three large slices of pork out of the marinating tray and put them on the grill. While the pork was slowly grilling I watched as a plate was piled with rice, black beans, and red beans.
When the pork was piled on top of the rice and beans I realized this was my "small lunch." I noticed the chef cooking some fresh french fries. My jaw must have dropped to the counter when he piled a huge portion of piping hot fries on this already overfilled plate. So much for eating light today. Did I mention that I was also served a small sliced loaf of bread?
About this time I cursed myself for having left my camera at home.
I checked with the waiter and he assured me that this was indeed the half order. I do not think I have ever gotten this much food for only $6. That's right, $6 including tax for a meal that would last you all day.
The pork was delicious. Cooked to a medium it was soft and tasty. The garlic based marinade flavored these tender slices with a subtle but persistent bouquet. The flavor did not hit you over the head, but it pleasantly lingered on my pallette for most of the ride home.
These three huge slices of porky goodness were about 3/4 of an inch thick, 4 inches wide and 6 inches long. This was close to a half pound of meat. Anthony Bourdain would be at home here.
The rice was excellent. Light and fluffy with a few spices, it was the perfect compliment to the pork. The two types of beans held up their end as well. They were not merely plate fillers.
You would be hard pressed to find fries fresher and hotter than the ones that topped the plate. Although these were not hand cut home made fries, they were still very good and an excellent balance to the rest of the meal.
This was my first adventure into Portugese BBQ. I enjoyed it very much and am looking forward to future visits to this and other Porugese BBQs in NJ.