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Weekend Chow (Bahia Grill, di Calabria, etc)

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Weekend Chow (Bahia Grill, di Calabria, etc)

Itaunas | Mar 28, 2006 03:12 PM

Bahia Grill on Washington in Somerville is a Brazilian Restaurant that I would love to recommend because they offer dishes that other places do not and I have had good food (an excellent salt cod dish) there, but most of my visits have been inconsistent. I needed something quick Friday night while heading out to 93, so we stopped here. They had several Bahian dishes (vatapa, caruru de camarao)... plus two types of fish (fried, moqueca) on the buffet. However, there was only one table in the restaurant at 7pm and the food was not at all fresh, plus the seasoning of the vatapa and moqueca was very plain. We didn't finish our food and it wasn't for lack of hunger.

They definitely do a bit better when the restaurant is busy on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, but even then the quality has been inconsistent. It could be interesting if they tried more of an a la carte format, but I don't see that changing. The more busy buffet places (Churrasco Grill, Oasis lunchtime) or a la carte restaurants are a better bet (Moqueca, Cafe Brazil). Friday's during Lent are a good time to drop by Oasis, although my favorite is Tuesday when they usually have Oxtail on the buffet.

Stopped by Casa do Pao on Rt 60... Pretty good ham and cheese roll, inconsistent french bread for later eating -- some rolls burnt, and the chicken in the torta de frango was nicely spiced, but I just don't go for the potato puree which covers it (ehh, cold potato sometimes with wonder bread).

I found my way into Caffe di Calabria behind Tabu on Rt1 in Saugus Saturday (just before Karl's). I often find myself in Saugus w/o a big appetite and have intended to stop in here before. It was totally quiet except for a few locals stopping. Their menu was sandwiches and desserts, which all looked promising. They had Arancini, so I took advantage of it and it was good tasting homemade arancini with excellent marinara, but unfortunately microwaved so not exactly Umberto or Domenic's, but it hit the spot. When the food for the owner of the beauty salon next door was ready, she banged on the wall to let him know, cute. They do have a full bar, so looked like an interesting night spot, although as far as I could tell no full menu. FWIW Tabu's lounge seemed to be hopping that hour, but not exactly a chow destination.

On the way back into to town we stopped at the Portugese Sports club near J&J to pick up tickets for a banquet for a friend. There was a game on, so it was almost completely full and there were perhaps two women there aside from the waitresses. Ended up eating salt cod and stewed cabrito which filled 3 of us, fairly light touch on the salt. There was some tempting littlenecks on the half-shell at a nearby table. Never ended up making it to the banquet myself, but tickets were $20 and the buffet included Roast Pig, Carne Alentejana, Cabrito... live Fado and a DJ.

Sunday Feijoada at a friend's house and Braciola at home, so no room for other chow.

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