Argh, have been out to so many places recently, but been so busy that I barely have time to read the board, let alone compose a post.
O Cantinho, since first dining there a couple of weeks ago, is well on its way to become a staple in my life at this point.
On the two occasions that I've actually sat down to eat, a friend and I get two appetizers, a plate of those great fried potatoes, and two entrees - and I can only take three bites of the entree before I have to give up, claiming absolute satiety.
Appetizers favoured have been the fava beans with linguica, thick and meaty, great atop a slice of fried potato and the stewed peas with linguica (and generally I hate peas). We've also ordered what seems to be the portuguese version of a caprese salad - slices of queso fresco served with slices of tomato, a great garlicky sauce drizzled atop. Seriously. Two appetizers (and the fried potatoes, of course) can make a meal for two.
I've been sticking with the salads as an entree (although they do have sandwiches and real entrees as well), and can barely manage to finish any more than a quarter. For salad options, you can get a house salad, black eyed pea salad, and something else (which obviously hasn't been ordered by me yet, since I don't remember what it is), with any one of a number of toppings atop. I found the beef to be overcooked, but I know that the Portuguese tend to cook beef very well, which is not to my taste. The pork loin, however, was great, as was the portuguese tuna salad which is served sans mayo. That same garlicky sauce served with the pseudo-caprese is served with the pork loin, and I don't know what seasonings they use with the tuna, but it's great. I love the black eyed peas salad - and better yet, it's awesome the next day straight out of the fridge and cold.
For desserts, they have a variety of pastries, but so far I've only stuck to the pasteis de nata - which unfortunately doesn't have that flaky filo-esque crust but is still good nonetheless - and the caramel cake, which is simply divine. I don't know how to even begin to describe it. The cake itself isn't too sweet, which is good because the caramel topping is, and they balance each other out nicely.
I only wish they took credit cards - but for two, we've never had a bill over $45 (before tip). I know they're related to Atasca in some way. It's not fancy cooking but rather good homey cooking, which this cold weather just begs for. It's so satisfying that I can't praise it enough.
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