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Bahia: Williamsburg, on Grand Street

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  • deborah May 7, 2001 11:30 AM
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  1. Is it indeed Brazilian? What's it look like? Where on Grand? Hey, even if you haven't eaten here, contribute what you know for the Chow good!

    3 Replies
    1. re: Jim Leff

      (All apologetic). Sorry, I'm still getting acquainted with the rhythms of the board. Bahia actually isn't Brazilian at all--it's Salvadoran, with a list of Italian and American dishes that I thought it best to stay away from in my Italian hood. My husband and I split a plate of chicken tacos, which were unbelievably cheap ($1.50 each) and actually quite good--savory meat and soft tortillas. I also had a chicken tamale, on which my personal jury is still out--tasty, but oversteamed. We ordered arepas as well, but they never came--the service was a bit spotty.

      1. re: deborah

        Hey, no need for blushing! It's just that these boards are about exchanging--not just soliciting--information. We're like worker ants/hounds, adding our pieces of the puzzle to build up a complete whole picture of the universe of chow possibilities.

        I'm a bit puzzled about one thing: arepas are Columbian/Venezuelan. The Salvadoran versions (only distantly related) are called pupusas. As for the tamale, it's important to bear in mind that various countries have very different tamale stylings. If you're used to coarse-grained dryish Mexican tamales, the finer, more slippery Salvadoran type take adjusting to.

        Though, again, with arepas on the menu I'm not sure they're actually Salvadoran. Do you have a takeout menu? Does it even list pupusas (if not, it's DEFINITELY not Salvadoran).

        Hybrid cuisine places in the boroughs can often be quite good. There are sometimes two chefs (often an inter-married husband/wife team). I'd try the Italian stuff. Though....hmmm....y'know, I'm starting to think these guys may be Venezuelan. Their tamales ("hallacas") are REALLY slimy and likely to turn you off, they make arepas, and there's a lot of Italian blood in Venezuela. If you've discovered a Venezuelan restaurant, it's an important thing. It's a rare cuisine.

        1. re: Jim Leff

          Was there a few months ago--Definitely Salvadoran. The pupusas were excellent--served hot off the griddle, and the fillings--pork, chicken, cheese--had a nice, long-stewed flavor. The other dishes we had, steak, beef stew, chicken stew, breaded steak, were mediocre. I would go back, but next time I'll order all the pupusas the menu offers and nothing else.

          Oh, and Asimov wrote about it a while ago--maybe it was late last year. You could probably still find the write up through NY Today.com