Ah, 'tis a lovely sunny morning here in LA, with highs in the upper 60's.
Last night was a much needed break from the non-stop go go go of the past 6 days, so I appreciate you sticking with me.
Yesterday also marked week 5 of the World Series of Food.
In case you're new to the blog: every Wednesday, my friend Christian and I go to a restaurant in Los Angeles that serves a different type of regional cuisine. Since we both love learning about other cultures, but lack the budgets and time to actually travel the world, it's a great way for us to experience various countries' cooking without ever leaving LA.
We try our best to go in alphabetical order and yesterday just so happened to be Brazil.
Which took us to a cute little restaurant/market called Taste of Brazil.
Our waitress was an absolute sweetheart and seemed very happy to have us there, answering our innumerable questions and laughing at our lame jokes (yes, they happen).
I started with an acai juice (hello antioxidants and bitter grape flavor)...
Since Christian had already decided before we arrived (thanks to the internet) that he'd be splurging on an $18 meal, we decided to skip the appetizer and save our hard earned cash (and bellies) for dessert.
Much like Argentine day, I figured Brazil wouldn't be the best country to showcase meatless options, but I wanted to get a sense of their flavor palette and staple ingredients, so I opted for the vegetarian platter.
And what a spread: rice and mashed potatoes, black beans, plantains, delicious veggies sauteed in what I guessed was garlic and a little side salad.
Christian went all the way and chose the "plate of Brazil":
Feijoada Completa- Brazilian stew (sausage, beef and pork cooked with black beans) + sauteed collard greens, white rice and orange slices.
How decadent ;)
The most intriguing thing on both our plates was the farofa-
essentially, ground yucca:
I've been seeing yucca fries in restaurants and across the blogosphere for a while now, but yucca flour was new to me.
It seemed like the farofa on my plate had been dressed up with a little garlic and possibly salt- it's used as a seasoning for meats and beans, after all. Gabriela, thoughts? ;)
Another curiosity I couldn't leave without trying were these super hot peppers:
While Christian was talking away, he suddenly stopped mid-sentence, tilted his head and jumped in his seat a little. The peppers he'd innocently sprinkled on his plate had come back to bite him in the mouth.
I tried one whole, thankfully having been prepared for its spiciness level by my friend's reaction. Phew! But I love the burn!
Then came time for dessert.
I had to try the coconut flan, since our waitress told us it was "unique":
That's a caramelized prune on top (not my fav part)
Christian insisted we get the chocolate mousse, though I think that was straying a bit out of the realm of authentic Brazilian cuisine:
Especially since it tasted an awful lot like chocolate pudding out of a box. But who am I to complain about chocolate?!
Throughout the meal, our background music and viewing was an insane concert by a well known singer down in the country of Order and Progress:
I believe our waitress told us her name was Isetta.... Wow, could she move. And sing. Nonstop. In front of a crowd of what looked like tens of thousands.
It sure beat the soap opera playing on full blast in the empty restaurant we visited on African day, that I can assure you.
Next week we plan to attend a British high tea. I'm looking pret-ty forward to some scone and fancy tea cup action.
Alright, I'm off to get this day going!
What's your favorite type of non-American food?