Iberia Bar & Grill in Greenacres offers a vast menu of Portuguese taberna fare

Exterior of Iberia Bar & Grill in Greenacres.

Iberia’s pine-paneled dining room.

This casual, rustic eatery transports diners to Europe’s westernmost country with grilled offerings and seafood such as bacalhau, shrimp, and octopus. Terrific, relatively bargain-priced Portuguese wines are a plus.

By Alan J. Wax

Iberia Bar & Grill on Military Trail in Greenacres easily could pass for a typical Portuguese taberna in Lisbon.

It’s a somewhat rustic, casual restaurant, probably a bit larger than what you might find in Portugal’s capital. Some might call it cozy. Some might call it a dive.

The first thing you spot as you enter the vestibule of this eatery is a shiny suit of armor. In the main dining room, paneled completely in pine, large-screen TVs blare soccer matches as lively music thumps in the background. (There’s a second room for catered events.)  Flags of various nations are suspended from the ceiling and the walls are decked out with a variety of knickknacks.

Suit of armor in Iberia’s vestibule.

Iberia’s menu is filled with traditional Portuguese cuisine, a variety of grilled meats, and such traditional fare as bacalhau (codfish) and carne de porco à alentejana (stewed pork with clams).

Owner Carlos DeJesus opened Iberia Grill in 2013 with the idea to bring the Portuguese style of barbecue known as Churrascaria to the area. He added an open-flame charcoal grill, imported from Portugal, and then moved the restaurant to its current location. He also added more authentic Portuguese and Spanish dishes.

We chose to dine here to prepare for a trip to Portugal, planned for later this year.

I’m not sure it provided an accurate preview of what we might find while dining in Portugal, but it certainly represented a change of fare from the usual offerings found in South Florida.

Once seated, a server delivered a complimentary plate of olives, terrific soft yeasty bread, and butter.  It’s easy to fill up on these before you even order from the voluminous and varied menu. Portions, to be sure, are large.

During one visit, a group of us shared various dishes.

Among them was Camarao com Alho ($21.95), shrimp in garlic sauce — a dozen firm crustaceans in a bowl of gently seasoned, orange-hued broth.

The incredibly moist chicken was the star in a combination plate of roast chicken and beef ribs ($28.95), accompanied by nicely browned fries and a dipping sauce.

Peito Frango com Molho Vinho Porta ($18.95) was sort of a Portuguese spin on boneless chicken breast in a wine sauce. Sides of rice and fries made for a carb overload.


Grilled lamb chops.

Chicken breat with Port wine. sauce.

Char-grilled lamb chops ($29.95) arrived at our table as a mound of juicy baby chops alongside the ubiquitous fries and a salad.

Bachalhau a Bras.

Chicken and beef ribs mixed combo.

Shrimp with garlic sauce.

On another visit, I shared two dishes with a friend: Polvo a Lagareiro, ($29.95) a/k/a grilled octopus with olive oil, garlic onions, and peppers; and Bacalhau à Brás ($21.95).

The bachalhau is as classic a Portuguese dish as you’ll find. But the dish here, a hash of shredded salt cod, shredded potatoes, and scrambled eggs with a trio of black olives was dull, lacking salt, the creaminess one should expect in the dish, as well as a blend of parsley and chopped olives that many recipes call for.

The octopus, a classic Portuguese dish made in the style of Lagareiro, was a large, lightly grilled tentacle alongside a melange of onions, red peppers, and small, whole potatoes. While it had great eye appeal, it, too, seemed vapid.

Desserts are not a strong suit here. Creme brûlée ($6.95) was as it should be with a brittle crust, although presented in a small bowl. Pudim flan ($4.50), was a bright yellow half-moon of eggy custard floating in a caramel sauce.

Alas, pastel de nata, a custard tart that is a traditional sweet in Portugal was not available.

Wonderufl wine: Casa Ferreirinha Vinha Grande 2019.

Be that as it may, Iberia, like a typical taberna, has a good selection of Portuguese wines and beers perfect for pairing with the food. If you order carefully, you’ll find wines on par with those of France and at relatively bargain pricing. 

But do your homework before ordering wine. The staff, not Portuguese, is not much help. On one visit, EA ($27.95), a red we were told was popular with guests, proved unexciting. On another visit, a friend and I shared a bottle of Casa Ferreirinha Vinha Grande 2019 ($49) from The Douro in northern Portugal. After sitting in a glass for a while it blossomed, providing us with an explosion of flavors, including red and black fruits with hints of violets, cocoa, and chocolate.

Arguably, as its name implies, Iberia Grill’s strong suit is its grilled offerings. These, along with a bottle of fine red wine, can make for a worthwhile excursion.

Iberia Bar & Grill 

3745 S. Military Trail, Greenacres FL 33463



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