May 18, 2013
50 Marshall Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07206
  • Cost: $$
  • Credit Cards: All Major
  • Alcohol: BYO
  • Parking: Street
  • Take Out: Yes

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May 18, 2013


Don Julio, a neighborhood restaurant facing the Elizabeth waterfront, is the perfect place to sample Peruvian “Chifa” cuisine. 

Arroz Chaufa Especial

Chifa, from the Mandarin “to eat rice,” is the name for the distinctly Peruvian versions of Chinese food originating in Peru’s immigrant Chinatowns. Chinese-influenced Peruvian specialties like arroz chaufa , lomo saltado (stir fried beef) and tallarines (noodles) are served family-style in the comfortable dining room, in the back of the restaurant behind the take out food counter.

Order off the Peruvian or the “Chifa” Menu.

Don Julio has two separate menus, the “Peruvian” and the “Chifa.” From the latter, you can choose from eight versions of chaufa — shellfish, shrimp, chicken, beef, roast pork, Chinese sausage, vegetable, or my favorite, the Chaufa Especial, which shows up with a little bit of everything. The cafeteria-style dining room in the back of the restaurant fills with large families. The wonton soup, for six people, arrives at your table in one huge bowl. Winning options off the Peruvian menu include the ceviche de pescado and a ginger-inflected seafood soup.