Friday night, Caitlin and I got dinner from Cafe Brazil in Allston. I love Brazilian food - one of the first posts of this blog I mentioned that I love the cuisines of the Iberian diaspora - but I've only ever had it when I've made it myself.
Look at the size of the fried yuca and banana appetizer. This is a large styrofoam container, the size of a dinner plate:
Yuca, if I haven't talked about it here before, is a starchy tuber also known as manioc or cassava depending on the country. In Cuban restaurants it's boiled, fried, and served with mojo (lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic). Here, it was tougher and starchier than I'm used to, and I don't know if the difference was the yuca or the way it was prepared.
Empanadas. On the left, the quibe (cf. kibbeh) - ground beef, wheat, spices, and mint. On the right, risole - chicken, mozzarella cheese, and corn. Both were terrific.
A little of everything. Banana and yuca at 12 o'clock.
Bife rolet at 3 o'clock: "Thin slice of beef rolled up with cheese and bacon, first grilled, then simmered in a fragrant sauce of chunk vegetables and herbs." This was good, but I think might be better in the restaurant.
At 6 o'clock, feijoada completa along with its sides. Feijoada is the national dish of Brazil, a stew of black beans with as many cuts of pork and sausage as possible - in this case, pork knuckle, ribs, pig tail, and linguica (a Portuguese sausage that's like a mild chorizo). Amazingly satisfying, hearty, flavorful ... just so damn good. Served with extremely good collard greens that I think were sauteed with garlic, and (visible to the bottom right just below the white rice) feijao tropeiro: beans mixed with yuca flour, bacon, eggs, and onions. I'd never seen that before, and it's terrific - I'd be perfectly happy with a meal of just that.
What I don't have pictures of are the pastries we picked up from a Korean bakery Friday night, a place we just happened to see as we were walking by. We got two pastries, one sweet and one savory - peanut cream, which was like a delicious donut with more flavor and less overwhelming sweetness than Dunkin Donuts or the like, and one with beef and potatoes, which was like what Hot Pockets should be. Great little place that we need to go back to during the day when they aren't sold out of most of their offerings.