Let’s go “DownNeck” for dinner, she suggested.
The accent sounded odd on the second syllable, Jersey-style.
Down-NECK refers to a south-swooping neck in the Passaic River in Newark, New Jersey.
It’s not far actually, just 12 miles from New York’s PENN station on west 33rd.
Ride 15 minutes on NJT and then breeze through Newark’s PENN Station.
About a four minute walk and you’re here.
The Ironbound section of Newark.
It’s a nightlife district rich in Portuguese, with 75% of the people coming here from some other country and with an enviable 97% employment.
They call it “Ironbound” because it is bounded by railroads on all sides.
With the lowest crime rate in Newark (!), it’s been a social place to go for garlicky food and decent drinks for decades.
Iberia is a sprawling complex of restaurants and bars, outdoor seating, live music, a huge parking lot and fantasy brickwork.
Like a theme park with lobster!
This kinda place serves beer food!
and a sirloin steak with insanely garlicky shrimp.
The neighborhood is old school retail with fading signage, glassware and crockery shops, gifts and clothing and Brazilian music.
The food was not haute but it was fun and still memorable.
For a beer-fueled, garlic-laced cultural experience it was ideal.
So inexpensive too, and we took the PathTrain home.
This was fun. Is there an UP-neck in New Jersey?