Nowadays, everyone has to check in two or three hours before departures. Most airports capitalize on this fact with plentiful shopping (even up to the gates!) and many food vendors. Newark Liberty Airport (EWR) doesn't have that sort of stuff. There's an Erwin Pearl boutique, a small food court, a Virgin mini store, Duty Free shops that look as boring as it gets, and newsstands. Most are before the security checkpoint. Only the newsstand chain (Relay) and the Duty Free shop had branches near the gates. My experience was with the international terminal and I was not too impressed. Thankfully, I brought reading materials and was able to survive.
On the plus side, the staff were very helpful and the airport was immaculate. The AirTrain ran on time and as scheduled. The restrooms were great. Sadly, "great" cannot be used to describe other aspects of this airport. Don't get me started as to how confusing the access roads here are...and how hard it is to find a gas station amidst the maze of roads in the vicinity.