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The Portuguese Bakery – Sopas (Savory Beef with mint and French Bread)

Krys Stanley | Jan 30, 200502:21 AM

On the last Saturday of each month, the Portuguese bakery in Santa Clara sells Sopas.

It was a large piece of pot roast, a large wedge of cabbage served over thick slices of bread which was soaked with the juices that the pot roast was cooked in. A sprig of bruised mint was on top.

The two links at the end have the recipe and the history of the dish.

The meat was tender and gently enhanced by the spices. I wasn’t sure about the soggy looking bread, but I liked it and ate everything.

When you enter the bakery there are little plastic cups with samples of their bread and all nine flavors of Biscoitos, a hard circular cookie that looks like a dog’s chew toy. They also sell mini versions. I’m just not a fan of biscoitos. They are fine but not great. I’ve tried them dipped in coffee or in port. My fiancé who is Latino, liked them very much.

I was initially disappointed in the bakery. When you look at the website, it makes you believe there are crusty loaves of bread and rolls. In fact, all of the bread is bagged. None of it is crusty.

Unlike other Portuguese bakeries, the Filhos / Malacadas (Sugar Doughnuts) are not seasonal but always available. They are like a fritter shaped churro either plain or filled with strawberry jelly. When I asked about other flavors, I was told that you could special order lemon or custard filled donuts. They were different from Hiser Bakery. However, Hiser calls them Malassadas. So maybe this is a different thing. When I asked about the difference between filhos and malacadas I was told they were the same. Only called different names on different islands.

Good Portuguese sweet bread which is about on par with the other two area Portuguese bakeries. They make Portugese rice pudding which is lemon flavored and generously dusted with cinnamon. I liked the clean lemon flavor, but the texture was like a Safeway rice pudding. For the ultimate Portuguese rice pudding in the Bay Area, I highly recommend LaSalette in Sonoma.

The quejadas had nothing to do with the Portugese version (as the woman in the bakery confirmed). They were just little pies. The lemon was a nice lemon tart and creamy. The coconut was fine.

If you buy something, you get a free cup of coffee.

When Melanie visited the bakery, she mentioned the linguiça sandwich.


I asked about them and they said they were having problems meeting restaurant codes requiring specific types of equipment they would need. It was too much of a bother, so they stopped selling the sandwhich. They did say they hope to some day get up to code because a lot of customers ask about them.

Sopas recipe

Sopas history

Portuguese Bakery Web site


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