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Sousas buffet is one of the best

Krys | Feb 9, 200511:42 PM

Large, fall-apart tender, cubes of stewed beef with the slightest suggestion of allspice, saffron rice with shrimp and other seafood, a thick, saucy, cheesy lasagna ... you don’t need to be Portuguese to enjoy Sousa’s Tuesday and Friday lunch buffet.

There were three other entrees including lightly breaded snapper, tender pieces of chicken and smoky beans with lincuica. In addition there was fluffy white rice and fresh steamed mixed vegetables. There was a large bowl of mixed green salad. One of the customers asked if the salad dressing was house made because it reminded him of his grandmother’s. It was not house made though.

A large basket lined with a linen tablecloth held the excellent Portuguese rolls from Popular Bakery next door to Sousa’s.

For dessert there was a fruit plate and cheesecake. Pineapples grow in some of the Azores Islands and the slices were ripe and wonderfully sweet. There were slices of watermelon and honeydew. The presentation was very pretty decorated with a spiky green pineapple top. The cheesecake was incredibly creamy, lightly dusted with cinnamon, but very sweet.

On my last visit, I didn’t understand why the faces of Portuguese people lighted up when they talked about Sousa’s. I finally got it. It is very satisfying, well prepared food and more than worth the $10.95. There is maybe a bit more salt in some of the dishes than I personally prefer, but not enough to ruin them.

I wanted to try a Portuguese dessert called a Molotov which was not part of the buffet. Sousa’s version was significantly better than the one I tried at La Salette. The lightest meringue was covered with a caramel colored sauce and generously sprinkled with sliced almonds. At La Salette I found the dessert interesting, but I wouldn’t order it again. I would highly recommend the Sousas Molotov to anyone.

With dessert I had a cup of Garoto, which was a wet cappuccino with nice foam on top.

I also tried a can of a Portuguese soda called Sumol. I tried the passion fruit flavor which was fine, but I wouldn’t order it again. Soda is soda. I don’t order it often and my curiosity was satisfied.

I am getting to like Sousa’s more and more. The pictures lining one wall are of a Portuguese Fado music player, Adeus Amalia. The restaurant is not fancy but lovingly cared for. The tables are covered in white linens and each table always has a beautiful rose. The roses look like they are from someone’s garden. There is always soothing Portuguese guitar music playing. The customers all seem to be regulars.

I look forward to another meal at Sousa’s in the future.

On the way back, I missed the freeway entrance and found out the Portuguese community hugs both sides of 101. Five Wounds Portuguese Catholic Church, which holds a large festa each year, is on the Santa Clara side of the Street. On 27th street, there are Portuguese businesses, some housed in interesting buildings. Nothing is opened to the public, but the street has Goulart’s Sausage Company, Silva Sausage Company and a huge building that houses the Portuguese Band Association. I am guessing that the small cottages with orange and lemon trees, currently heavy with fruit, must at one time or another have housed the Portuguese community.

There’s a little fish store across the street from the Church. Since Portuguese people seem to be fond of seafood, I might stop by next time and see what it looks like.

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