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Boston Area Brazilian

Cafe Brazil, Artu, Market, Bina

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Restaurants & Bars 2

Cafe Brazil, Artu, Market, Bina

Joanie | Jan 21, 2010 03:30 AM

Stopped by Cafe Brazil in Allston for the first time in many years for a good enough dinner. We split both chicken/cheese and beef empanadas, the beef being much better both in taste and style of the turnover. They had both a chicken w/ bacon and beef w/ bacon dish, the latter was recommended but I wish I'd gotten chicken. Beef was fairly tough and I expected a more exciting sauce with it. Not bad, stuffed with cheese, some carrots and broccoli with it plus good rice and beans. I preferred my DC's beef dish with an egg and a side of fries. We also had some fried sweet plantains that were mostly for dessert. Very filling, pretty cheap with most entrees around $15.

Finally made it to Artu (north end location) and almost got an entree but knew I should try the famous lamb sandwich. I had pictured it like a lamb sandwich that a place in my hometown used to have but this almost looked like a steak & onion sub. Very tasty tho and quite large for $7.95. Friend's veal parmesan was a good sized piece and well fried, pasta had to be ordered on the side. Very crowded but room at the bar where a cold breeze came in every time the door opened (and it was pretty nice out that day).

Had a wonderful meal at Market on Sun. The bar was fairly hopping and while it's a little obnoxious, it's a pretty space and the bartender was really friendly. I can see coming back for the clam chowder w/ bacon or clam pizza, both fairly reasonably priced. We then sat down for 8:30 reservations and while it started packed, the dinner crowd started slowing down fairly quickly. Good waiter who brought me tastes of a couple wines. App of black pepper crab fritters was tasty, friend enjoyed his goat cheese something or other starter. But the entrees were great, loved my pork chop with roasted cauliflower w/ nuts and pesto. DC had the lobster and that was great, plus the side of truffled mashed potatoes was excellent. I got the passion fruit souffle which didn't require extra time and was done well, but decided a little passion fruit goes a long way and it was too tart for my taste. The choc. dessert was good. Prices were mostly <$30 and wines come in both small and large sizes so a special meal doesn't kill you. We really had a fun meal.

Wasn't as successful at Bina Osteria last nite. We sat at the bar and it took a while to be noticed, they acted like they were so crazy with a pre-dinner crowd but it didn't seem that crowded and it took a while to get the non theater menu. They were out of a couple items on the cocktail list, the one I ended up with was fine but not what I really wanted. Friend really liked his bourbon cocktail. Good bread basket and olive oil and I enjoyed the pasta of orecchiete w/ spinach and rabbit ragout. It was definitely salty but tasted good at that point. However, everything else seemed to be overly salty as the nite went on. I got a lamb dish that was stuffed with some sort of lard from a certain region I guess but he didn't have the info. It was supposed to be served with grilled polenta and I can't remember what else but when it came, it had unknown things on the side that I think were mushroom tarts of some sort. Friend's steak was supposed to come with spinach and some horseradish potatoes but it was just cubed potatoes and no veg. We asked what was up then someone else came out and I guess we were given the wrong menu, so the meat was the same but nothing else which kinda sucks cuz I order as much for the sides as the main. She said she'd bring a side of spinach, very salty. My dish was pretty greasy. He did offer us a drink on the house but we'd each had two and didn't really want another. We split a warm choc cake w/ vanilla gelato that he didn't tell us would take extra time, we'd have gone with something else. Then it was overdone. They *did* comp all the drinks without telling us beforehand which was very nice but it just wasn't that great. Oh well, I've been living on leftovers and now I can make a lamb sandwich just like Penelope's in Springfield VT used to serve.

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