Restaurants & Bars

Boston Area Brazilian Fast Food

Brazilian Bakeries and fast food Somerville/Everett/Medford


Restaurants & Bars Boston Area Brazilian Fast Food

Brazilian Bakeries and fast food Somerville/Everett/Medford

Itaunas | | Feb 23, 2006 05:41 PM

There was some recent discussion about Brazilian Bakeries in Framingham. I have my own opinions about those, but spend more time in places around Boston and can provide better reviews of those. I speak portuguese, so apologize that I can only guess to how well English is spoken, but pointing always works.

Note that many of them offer fresh squeezed oj as a relative bargain compared to American cafes, but you will want specify that you do not want ice and/or sugar. Almost all of these have frozen brazilian fruits to make juices (in this case you do want sugar) and there usually is a card with an english translation. Some you can make with milk so make sure you try them, they are good!

Brazilian bread is good and fresh... and what they value is a french bread served as a roll, with a very thin crust. In most places you can get a "misto quente" which is a pressed ham and cheese, or usually bread with mortadello. Bread from Hi-Rise or Iggys would be considered stale because of the thick crust. Their sweet breads are less eggy than portuguese, but are denser than the french bread. They also offer a "broa" which is more cake-like than the portuguese equivalent.

The most well known Brazilian fast food or "salgadinho" is the "coxinha" which has a dough made with yucca and chicken broth, and is filled with a chicken. They come either plain or with "catupiry" which here is usually plain old cream cheese. Next is probably pão de queijo which comes from Minas Gerais along with many of the brazilians here and is wonderful, but most places here do not do it justice (and do not buy it day-old, it has to be hot). Quibe (Kibe) is the same thing middle-eastern ground meat and bulger wheat delicacy you would find at the Middle East Restaurant, but its always shaped into a single-serving and fried. "Camarão" is anything with shrimp and a risole is the most common (a thick fried half-moon) or "bolinho" (ball).

Brazilian empanadas are always baked and either come as pieces of "empadão" (a large pie) or "empadinha" which is baked in a small muffin tin. A fried one will be a "pastel" and its usually retangular and the dough is like an empanada, but has some influences from Chinese dumpling dough. These you should always ask them to fry to order. Another common baked pastry is an Esfirra which is usually triangle-shaped and has a bready-dough. These can be very good or very plain, so are suggested when you already know you like the chicken or meat filling.

Some of these places have Espresso machines, but it doesn't mean it will be well made (eg not tamped) and the beans used will be more along the lines of a portugese espresso than an italian one (good, but a different taste). The brewed coffee also varies grately.

Bread & Co, Norwood St, Everett

This is the most elaborate of all these bakeries and is more welcoming to English speakers. They have good yucca and coconut cakes if you like sweet things. Ask them to fry a pastel for you. I would also try the empadas here. If they have fresh baked pão de queijo, make sure you leave with a bag-full! They also have croissants and italian style pastries. Some things may have american-size prices.

Casal Bakery, Cambridge St, Cambridge

This is a portugese bakery and cafe, but most of the help is Brazilian so they offer some brazilian things. I would stay away from the Brazilian snacks here and have a portugese espresso with a pastel de nata or the coconut cake with brazilian dulce de leche. Their bread is first rate and just about anything you get in the bakery is good. Very welcoming to English speakers. If you want a salgadinho, check out Moqueca which is next door and has a limited, but tasty variety.

Padaria Brazil Bakery, Pearl St, Somerville.

This is the place to try Brazilian "Broa." They make a nice "misto" to order and I think they have filled churros. This should be a good bet for pão de quiejo, if its hot. It can be really crazy first thing in the morning during the week. Not certain about English, but you should try here!

Petiscos, Medford St, Somerville

This is a fairly new "snack shop" that opened in a Chinese fast food location near Magoon Sq. You can buy a 100 bite-sized "salgadinhos" for $40 or less. They also offer true brazilian style fast food hot dogs, Brazilian-style chicken sandwiches and hamburgers (x-burger, x-tudo, x-chicken).

I am serious about "buger, dog..." but what you should really try is a quibe and coxinha, along with a fruit drink. They offer fresh-made "caldos" (soups) which are recommended and while the "caldo de mocoto" is made with a hoof, it is an aphrodisiac... Canjiquinha is a broth with grits and pork (its good). If you want something simpler "caldo de feijão" is bean soup. The owner's daughter is usually at the counter and speaks english.

Pastelaria Brasil, Broadway, Somerville

This is on Broadway near the Taco Bell and before Vinny's. They have an amazing selection of snacks "salgadinhos" and its usually fresh. Most things are in the case, but if you want a "pastel' you should ask them to make it. The salgadinhos here tend to be "super-sized" and the filling can occasionally be plain, but their specialty is fresh. This is another place to get the pão de queijo. It can be intimidating first thing in the morning as this is a meeting place for people to pick up day workers, but if you go at noontime on Saturday or Sunday its much more relaxed. If its too crowded, try International Market on Somerville ave which has the same owners and they refill the snacks as needed. Minimal English service.

"Brazilian Bakery," medford St, Somerville

This was called "Casal" and something else, so I am not sure the name of it. It is nearby Petiscos.

If you want snacks, go to petiscos, but this is a great place for fresh bread, cake, and has all sorts of cookies that other places do not have. It can also be hectic first thing in the morning and they try with English speakers.

Roque Bakery and Cafe

This is new and was mentioned on the board already. They have another location which I have seen, but can't tell you exactly where it is I caution you against buying bread here as its baked at the other location and often not sold fresh.

The OJ is inexpensive and they make all the salgadinhos freshly here. Its bright and not at all crowded. I think the cakes are also brought in, but its a good place to try a yucca cake (mandioca). They have a nice torta de frango, but it has a *lot* of crust.

Gol Supermercado

This opened as "Supermercado Brasileiro" which already had a location in Florida. They have since been renamed (acquired) by "Gol" which is also in Framingham and I think based in Florida. They had lots of variety when the $$ was strong, but their stock has gone more Goya as the $$ got weaker. When they opened they had all sorts of Empadas and Torta de frango freshly baked, but this has mostly gone by the wayside and their snack counter is pretty bleak. Their coxinhas (large, thick and soft) are among the best when they are good, but aren't its pretty plain.

If you like pão de queijo, you should be able to pick up a frozen packet or the mix and make it equal to most places on the list. Or pick up a recipe on the internet and povilho doce to make your own. Look for the grated "da roça" cheese to use or if necessary, use parmesan and mozzarella to aproximate the right taste/texture.

International Market/Brazilegal/Brasil2000

These are well established brazilian markets and convenience stores, which bring in "salgadinhos." They generally have passion, guava, and cashew juices. The owners will tend to speak English, but workers may or may not. They see a lot of traffic and the food stays fresh. All are in somerville and you can find their address via google.

Name Unknown, Rt 60 Medford

This is a new bakery that is next to Joe's Pizza's second location and just after the rotary with 93 heading towards Malden. It is a second location of something else and looks like both Bread & Co and Roque inside. It has a good selection of bakery goods and what I tried was good, but I don't know about snacks (salgadinhos).

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