Outside Union Square, Portuguese fare is hiding inside a market

A half rotisserie barbecue chicken with fries and rice pilaf at J & J Restaurant & Takeout.
A half rotisserie barbecue chicken with fries and rice pilaf at J & J Restaurant & Takeout.Photos by Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

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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.

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