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Newark’s Iberia, R U Hungry & La Rouge get shout outs at the VMAs

When MTV launched in 1981 with The Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star,” the service was only available at homes in New Jersey.

Thirty-eight years later, New Jersey hosted its first MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center in Newark.

The red carpet ran deep with homegrown musicians and television personalities: Ice T, Queen Latifah, Wyclef Jean, Naughty By Nature. But, where do New Jersey’s famous natives go out to eat in Newark?

Rappers Dupre DoItAll Kelly and Redman walk the red carpet at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards, held at the Prudential Center in Newark on Aug. 26, 2019. – GABRIELLE SAULSBERY

MTV host Kevan Kenney’s tastes are, in his words, “admittedly low rent.” He raved about fat sandwich purveyor R U Hungry.

“I’m a dive bar kind of guy. It’s very low rent, but it’s from the heart,” Kenney said. “R U Hungry…I live in Jersey City now and I crave them because you really can’t find that kind of sandwich anywhere else.”

His favorite sandwich, he said, is the fat moon: mayonaise, bacon, lettuce—it’s like a BLT, and then you throw chicken tenders and french fries on it.

Cake Boss’s Buddy Valastro recommended Mediterranean eatery Iberia on Ferry Street and said he’s “very excited and very proud” to have the VMAs in New Jersey. “It’s our home. We’re really proud of it, so it’s been amazing, and we’re just happy to be here,” he said.

La Rouge restaurant on Broad Street has the admiration of Grammy-award winning hip hop group Naughty by Nature member Vin Rock.

“You gotta go see my guy Chef Dom. He whips up the illest lobster, salmon, shrimp, you name it,” Rock said.

Rapper Dupre “DoItAll” Kelly echoed La Rouge as his favorite. And rapper Redman, one-half of the rap duo Method Man & Redman and an honorary member of hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan, gave a shout out to new sports bar and lounge on McCarter Hwy Lit 21.

“They got some bomb shrimp in there, some garlic shrimp that’ll blow your draws right off your body,” Redman said.

Gabrielle Saulsbery
Albany, N.Y. native Gabrielle Saulsbery is a staff writer for NJBIZ and the newest thing in New Jersey. You can contact her at

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