North Bergen, NJ 07047
- Cost: $$$
- Alcohol: Full Bar
- Parking: Private Lot
January 6, 2012
Head to North Bergen for an ethnic cuisine hard to find on this side of the Hudson – Argentinian food. La Fusta serves meat, lots of meat, cooked the way they do it in Buenos Aires – a la parilla.
La Fusta’s extensive menu is, not surprisingly, beef-centric. To start, order the Matambre Casero (stuffed rolled flank steak), the Argentinian version of Italian-American braciole; or maybe an Argentinian empanada (chicken, spinach or beef) – large and flaky, made with wheat flour. We tried the Grilled Provolone with Prosciuto appetizer. Tasty, but a little heavy in retrospect. Make sure to leave plenty of room for the main course, because portions are huge.
My wife and I, and some friends, had come to La Fusta to feast on meat. We headed straight for the parillada – literally “grilled,” but often translated as barbecue – section of the menu. Unlike a Brazilian rodizio, where different meats grilled on skewers are sliced at your table, Argentinian steakhouses bring you a pile of grilled meats all at once. The Parillada Americana (American Grill) for two comes with sausage, chicken breast, pork chops, skirt steak and short rib, all served on perforated metal platter atop a pot to catch the juices. Those who appreciate lesser cuts should go for the Parillada Argentina that comes with morcilla (black sausage) and tripe instead of chicken and pork chops. You may have different results, but this amount of meat serves at least four adults in my family. Spinach, rice, fries or mashed potatoes are sides. Beef is king here – the menu features no less than five calf’s liver entrees – but there are also plenty of seafood and pasta options, and a large number of salads. Have to try one of those next time. For dessert, if you have even a little bit of room, don’t miss the crepes with caramel.
La Fusta, which has another location in Elmhurst, Queens, resides in a nondescript building on the always busy Route 1/9 North, close up against a towering Comfort Suites. There is a parking lot behind the restaurant. Once inside, the dining room is comfortable and warmly decorated with an equine polo theme (La Fusta means “Whip”). The large dining room is slightly upscale, but not fussy. Customers are a mixture of couple and families. Service is very friendly, and bilingual. Our server happily explained some menu items and made spot on recommendations, like the house bottle of Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina. No gauchos in sight, but we felt like we had just eaten somewhere on the pampas of Jersey.