Spotted this place across the street from my window seat at Aneka Rasa while I was scarfing down roti canai and Hainanese chicken rice.
It's fairly new - been open a couple of months and is a small shop with 4-5 tables. It's part of a chain with 2 other stores in Framingham and one in Milford.
They have a wide selection of sweet breads, cakes and pudim (sold by the slice or whole), half a dozen hot snacks, sandwiches, hot and cold drinks.
Pudim de leite (Condensed milk pudding): Brasilian caramel custard. Smooth and silky, rich and egg-y, with a slightly bitter caramel sauce counterbalancing the sweetness. Excellent! A huge serving for.... one dollar. It will be the best $1 you've spent on dessert. (a whole one is $8).
Sweet breads: The bread is similar to the sweet buns in Asian bakeries like Yi Soon Bakery but is less rich.
Sweet bread toppped with grated coconut - resembles a large hotdog roll, with the coconut topping adding a little crunch and flavor to an otherwise plain sweet roll.
Marta Rocha - a sweet bun filled with vanilla custard, topped with grated coconut. The custard was artificial tasting with a funny chemical flavor. Which is odd, given how good and home-made the pudim is, you'd think they could make an equally good custard filling. Didn't like this one.
Sweet bread topped with custard/caramel swirl - this didn't have the chemical taste and was quite pleasant.
Empadinha (Mini chicken pie) - both the shredded white meat chicken filling and the dry crumbly pastry were over-salty and therefore unidimensional. Thumbs down on this one.
Coxinha (Deep fried chicken-filled dough) - a large orange-colored deep-fried dumpling. Again, this was too salty. Same filling as the chicken pie. The dough didn't look like standard pastry dough - had the consistency and color of mashed sweet yams, but wasn't sweet. Maybe mashed yucca? Thumbs down on this one too.
The counter staff are extremely helpful, putting up patiently with my barrage of questions even though I speak no Portuguese and they have limited English. One of them even came out from behind the counter with the menu to point out and explain what some of the items were.
Prices are unbelievably cheap - sweet breads are $0.60-0.70, hot snacks and cake slices $1. The pudim is a steal for the quality.
I've added Padaria to my list of Allston faves and will be in weekly for the pudim, on my way to stocking up on the pork floss buns at Yi Soon and Asian veg at Super88.
Padaria Brasil Bakery
125 Harvard Ave
Allston. tel: 617-202-6783
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