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J & J Restaurant & Takeout is not the kind of place you happen upon. Even if you were to find yourself at the front door — on the eastern outskirts of Union Square, practically beneath the groaning overpass of the McGrath Highway — there are few clues that inside, to the right of the counter selling lottery tickets, phone cards, and takeout subs, there is a restaurant that’s been serving authentic Portugese meat and seafood specialties since 1990.
Head down a narrow hallway, and suddenly you are in a tidy little dining room. Once you seat yourself, a petite waitress with a warm smile, who speaks very little English, will bring you, along with crusty dinner rolls and butter, a saucer of chickpeas swimming in an addictive olive oil.