I'm in Newark, NJ, for a wedding right now (this is actually my second trip to Newark this year). We went out with some friends trolling for a restaurant along Ferry Street, near Penn Station. Ferry is filled with a bunch of lively, moderately pricey Portuguese restaurants that seemed to be doing some brisk business. We ate at a pretty decent, inexpensive Mexican place (Mi Pequeño Mexico) with the kids.
I'm not saying Newark is the next big thing. But I've seen worse.