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Restaurants & Bars

Broa disappointment at International Market

itaunas | Mar 13, 200801:47 PM

International Market is a Brazilian store across from La Internacional in Union Square that has always had a lunch counter, but used to be a large market. Before they were associated with Pastelaria Broadway and served salgadinhos from there, but for the past 2 years they have expanded the lunch counter and have been trying different offerings including a bunch of sweets. They have various types of salgadinhos as always and they are now fried on site (not certain if they make them, but the coxinhas are smaller than the ones from the Pastelaria). They do a misto quente (hot pressed ham and cheese), other brazilian "lanches" such as a x-tudo (this was a bit of a disappointment one time I ordered one). The salgadinhos are decent if you stick to the basics (one time there we ordered a shrimp pastel which was eck), but still nothing exciting. However, the last couple of times I have been there I noticed small snack sized "broinha" or brazilian corn bread in irregular ball cake shapes. They looked really intriguing and I wanted to try them with an open mind (despite having eaten broa made with leftovers syrup from "doce" (like guava paste) making and baked in a wood-fired oven that will be impossible to match). They even have a deal for 2 broinhas and coffee for $1.4, I believe.

Today I got to try them and unfortunately they didn't live up to expectations. Nothing at all surprising (no hint of anise), sort of mushy texture... tasted like northern corn bread. They also were offering croissants (not true french croissant dough). Still an ok deal with coffee, but such a disappointment after thinking about them for a while. They had a croissant with goiaba (guava paste), which was worth the calories -- much more like a danish and had cheese like a danish, but quite good bottled guava paste which really made it special. So the broa is ok for a cheap pit stop with coffee as fuel, but look for guava paste sweets there for something better (they also had a pineapple based mini "croissant," but had a funny taste).

BTW, for excellent Broa (portuguese style) I do really recommend the Portuguese Bakery in Lowell, truly superior. I think they do have malasadas from time to time....

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