WESTFIELD, NJ – A taste of Portugal has just come to town.
The Early Bird Portuguese bakery opened last week at 615 South Avenue and has so far been drawing in curious passersby.
“We’ve actually been open for less than a week and have a lot of regulars already,” said Emanuel Mimoso, son of owners Fortunato and Elvira Mimoso.
The bakery features uniquely Portuguese goodies such as custard cups, rolls, milk bread and Portuguese doughnuts, which are filled with a tasty cream.
The menu also includes savory Portuguese dishes like shrimp patties, codfish balls and marinated pork sandwiches. Empanadas, a staple in many Latin American cuisines, are also available, along with soups, salads and hot sandwiches.
Commuters on the way to work can pop in and grab a variety of breakfast sandwiches and coffee. Eat-in seating is also provided.
Cooking at the Early Bird is the handicraft of Elvira, who has made similar dishes over the years for her own family.
A native of Lisbon who has lived in the U.S. for 29 years, Elvira is the daughter of a bakery owner who managed a handful of establishments back in Portugal.
“I opened this in my father’s memory,” said Elvira, who now lives in Mountainside.
While the Mimosos are still tweaking their daily hours, the café opens at 6 a.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. on weekends, Elvira said.
Overall, Early Bird customers seem fond of the Portuguese rolls, but many also enjoy some of the more unusual offerings.
“They like the codfish,” Elvira said. “I’m surprised. They definitely like the codfish.”
For more information, call the Early Bird at 908-301-0478.