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Restaurants & Bars 5

Cafe Brazil, Allston

Limster | Oct 2, 2003 11:22 PM

My favourite are the tira gostos, neat little handheld foods, deep fried and zested up by a squeeze of lemon. Quibe recalled Lebanese kibbe, an aromatic ball of minced beef and wheat. Also a tasty empanada like piece filed with chicken. And another with ground meat and vegetables. A fourth was somewhat like a tuna croquette, browned and breadcrumbed. The last was another pasty piece filled with chicken and corn iirc.

Feijoada here is quite good, a dark deep porky stew, slightly smoky from the amazing linguica (sooo tender on the inside and great flavour) that they use. Pretty good soft textures on the various meat parts and beans for a honest hearty feast. The rice one the side is gently oil, very tasty, somewhat addictive. Farofa comes with more ingredients than usual, fried with with ham and eggs and onion -- it's a tropeiro-ized version. That's more moist than the usual toasty-dry farofa that I like to mingle with the stew, but they didn't (!) have regular farofa. Excellent couve, a tangle of very thinnly shredded collard greens, a potent emerald and full of a surprisingly substantial crispness to contrast the feijodoa.

The pieces of grilled and fried meats in the Brazil 2001 are a mixed bag. The unbattered spiced rubbed chicken looked dry outside, but is very moist inside. The same great linguica. Pork and beef are dry. Some of the best plaintains I've had in a while, puffy, cloud-light, a rich ripe flavour within the soft interiors contrasting with thin crispy dark caramelization on the surface.

Fairly tender chicken in the Minas Especial (a fellow chowhound clued me into the fact that these guys are likely from Mineiro, a cenral Brazilian state). Nice with the cabbage and rice. And more of the awesome plaintains.

The steak is fairly good in the churrasco na tabua, and onions add that extra flavour.

Frango com quiabo is stewed chicken with okra, the chicken a bit dry, perhaps from the pan browning process. Okra is not slimey, and come across as soft but without too much mush. A satisfying spice touched sauce. Pretty good polenta to go with this.

No caju (cashew fruit drink) but the guava juice is very pleasant and the cream soda like guarana is light and enjoyable.

Great cheap food. Keywords are plaintains, linguica and tira gostos.

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