There actually IS a Little Portugal in San Jose. It even has banners saying Little Portugal. On Alum Rock it covers two blocks from 33rd to 101.
Food related businesses include:
Sousas Portuguese Restaurant (covered in a separate post)
Café Docanto where you can sip Portuguese espresso or port
Popular Bakery which is a mainland Portuguese bakery and not Azorean
Mayolos Trade Rite Market which sells Portuguese and Brazilian Groceries, wines and liquors.
Popular Bakery had 5 types of those little tarts or queijadas, orange, coconut, almond, bean, and Marie Amelie, named for the last Queen of Portugal. I am embarrassed. I was raving about Hiser and these are 10 times better. I even LOVED the bean. They are moist with intense flavor.
Their pastéis de nata", lemon flavored custard tart, were not overly sweet and had all the characteristics of a good Chinese egg tart. I would serve these at a dinner party. They ar so cute. Maybe my Chowhound picnic contribution if we have one?
This is the place to learn about Portuguese baked goods. When I pointed to the tarts, the guy at the counter said let me give you the tour, and discussed each little tart, what it contained and why it was named the way it was name.
Great Portuguese rolls which are not bagged. Two kinds, a long one and a round one. Sousas serves these.
I found out about those small brown and white rings (witches) with the spice I couldnt identify. They contain allspice, pepper, cinnamon and something else I forgot. The lady at the counter said they were supposed to keep you guessing.
On 2/7 and 2/8 they will have BOTH malassadas and Filhos (Portuguese sugar donuts served for the Mardi Gras). Lots of other hard cookies and breads. No cheese or other stuff because of the market down the street.
On the corner of 33rd and Alum Rock, there is a Portugese coffee shop, Café Docanto, that sells Portugese coffee, port, Popular Bakeries cookies. You can watch Portuguese tv while you sip your tiny cup of slightly bitter with a spicy finish Portugese espresso. There are Portugese sodas as well. There are some sandwiches. But I dont know if they are Portuguese. I had a little white cookie with my espresso. It had a white sugar coating like a Jordan almond. Very good.
Mayolos Trade Rite Market IS the best Portuguese / Brazilian market with a fresh meat counter, hot deli meats, a whole wall of Portuguese and Brazilian wines and liquors. There was this pretty pink apple liquor that I will have to look closer at. They have over a dozen types of Vinho Verde. Here is a link to the General Board where I started a discussion on Vinho Verde or Portuguese green wine.
[BROKEN LINK REMOVED]
They had an excellent selection of breads and cookies from all three Portuguese bakeries, Hiser, the Portuguese Bakery, and Popular. They even had bagged queijadas from Popular bakery.
Wonderful selection of sausages and three big wheels of that Portuguese cheese that Hiser sells. Next to the meat counter, there were two large pans with some sort of chuncks of roasted meats, the Deli, so to speak. Too many condiments, hot sauces, etc. etc. to mention. Market is about the size of Bi-Rite.
Mayolos Trade Rite Market
1555 Alum Rock Avenue
San Jose, Ca 95116
Heres a link to Hiser Bakery which explains in more detail some of the Portuguese Bakery terms mentioned in this post.
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