New Brazilian Place in Miami
Just saw that Boteco Restaurant has opened, on the stretch of NE 79th Street just west of the causeway to the Beach. I popped my head in a couple days ago just to take a look around and peek at the menu. I have little knowledge of Brazilian food aside from the gluttonous all-you-can-eat rodizios, but the menu looked pretty authentic to me (I didn't recognize many of the items, at least by their names, though they're all translated to English). There was a dish of fried chicken bits, chicken croquettes, several seafood items including octopus, some steaks, some curious-sounding layered thing of shredded beef, mashed yucca and catupiry cheese ...
The folks running it were very friendly, and happy to talk to me about the menu and show me around the place - which is not that big but has an indoor/outdoor bar, and also a nice grassy yard in the back where they are set up to do parties and the like. They told me they're planning to do a feijoada for Saturday lunch.
I will probably try it this weekend and will report back. Anyone want to give me a quick primer on Brazilian food?
79th Street area, both mainland and beachside, is really becoming an international food mecca. We've got Schnitzel Haus for German, Taj Majal (formerly Renaisa) for Indian, Sushi Deli and Katana for Japanese, Siam Bayshore, Tamarind, and a new place, Sawwadee, for Thai, Ouzo for Greek, a couple decent Italian places (Oggi, Prima Pasta), Vacas Gordas for Argentine, El Rey de Chivito for Uruguayan sandwiches, decent Mexican at El Rancho Grande ...
I'm going to need to update my Normandy Island map to cover further west!
1412 79th Street Causeway, Miami Beach, FL 33141
Renaisa Indian Restaurant
620 NE 78th St, Miami, FL 33138
1085 NE 79th St, Miami, FL 33138
Siam Bay Shore Gourmet Thai
1524 79th Street Causeway, Miami Beach, FL 33141
Tamarind Thai Restaurant
946 Normandy Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33141
Ouzo's Greek Tavarna & Bar
940 71st St, Miami Beach, FL 33141
1666 79th Street Cswy, North Bay Village, FL 33141
Prima Pasta Cafe
414 NW 71st St, Miami, FL 33150
El Rey Del Chivito
6987 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33141
El Rancho Grande Mexican Restaurant North Beach
314 72nd St, Miami Beach, FL 33141
Sawaddee Thai (6968 Bay Dr, just south of 71st st.), is a great value, and will give the other Thai places a run for their money. I haven't tried the sushi, but having spent about six months in Thailand over the past two years, I can say they are fairly authentic. The $6.95 lunch special can't be beat!
When Fro said it was "west of the causeway to the Beach," we thought it was that new little Latin place next to the HAPPY STORK LOUNGE (79th and East Treasure Drive). We stopped in last night and they seemed puzzled we bothered.
So - Boteco is west of the causeway to North Bay Village... (we call that area "Miami.")
Will try again.
By the way, has ANYONE actually eaten there yet?
First, I think it is actually "Happy's Stork Lounge" - which I'm not sure makes any more or less sense than "Happy Stork Lounge".
Second, I'm truly sorry my poor directions misled you. But I will note in my defense that the causeway begins from NE 79th St. on the mainland side, and ends on 71st St. on the beachside, and I did say "NE 79th Street just west of the causeway to the Beach," intending, inarticulately, the beginning of the whole causeway, not the last piece that connects North Bay Village to Miami Beach.
Third, I still haven't tried Boteco - went by Saturday day in the hope of a feijoada lunch, but apparently when they said they were doing feijoada lunches on Saturdays, it was more of an aspirational, "We're going to start doing this sometime" type thing and not an actual "We're doing it this Saturday" thing.
Will try again this weekend.
No worries Fro... We BELIEVE in you!
We had fun anyway. Maybe we should all meet at the Happy Stork for a drink before (or after) the feijoada! I had no idea where Boteco was and there is a brand new place in that mini-mall... So in we went and said, "Fro' sent us." We tried the secret handshake too.
They threw us out.
Damn them storks!
Incidentally, Sushi Deli was great. I'm usually a nigiri guy and not so big on maki, but what I love about their rolls is that everything seems to get a nice little unexpected extra touch. The "Marie Roll" is basically a spicy tuna roll, but I think there's a touch of dark sesame oil mixed with the tuna, plus a shiso leaf in the roll for a counterpoint to the richness and spice. A salmon skin roll got a sprinkle of bonito shavings. A "Battera Roll" is an interesting style where the rice is pressed down into a box and the fish (mackerel) laid on top, which then gets covered with a thin strip of translucent seaweed.
Incidentally, they are now carrying "super-frozen" sushi grade fish (tuna and either hamachi or salmon, can't recall which) in the "deli", for the DIY sushi chefs out there. Even before they had the "super-frozen" I used some of their sashimi-grade salmon for salmon tartare (using the Thomas Keller French Laundry recipe) and it was excellent.
Muito Obrigado Frod for the JFK corridor report...
I actually met the owner today. He's an Italian who lived in Brazil for 7 years. He also is the owner of the Piola empire of which there are many throughout the world, unbeknownest to me prior to this meeting of happenstance. It's a neat looking place, I am not yet a Brazilian afficcionado either, especially after gorging mysellf at Porcao recently (which I hope not to do again even though the vista is priceless).
I'd be very interested to know how it is too. Feijoada Saturdays sound superb! And 'should' be a big hit in this black beaneria we call Miami. As I recall it is essentially a black bean stew.
All I can say is the owner is seems well seasoned and hopefully his food is too!
Brazil = Brasil in Portuguese
Feijoada's probably the only Brazilian dish I've had aside from rodizio grilled meats. I'd actually almost call it a latin cassoulet, black-bean stew typically loaded with various pork products and sausages. Found this great description on the web:
"Since "feijoada" is in general a particularly "heavy" dish, it is only served at noon. The recommended post-feijoada activity is a nap. Because of the high fat content in the true feijoada, Brazilians believe that it must be watered-down with a "caipirinha"," a mixture of lime juice, sugar and "cacha‡a" or "pinga," a strong liquor derived from sugar cane (often better than 100% proof!!!). "
Part of why I thought the quote was so funny! I dropped by today to see if they'd started up feijoada Saturday lunch, unfortunately not. Made for a good excuse to eat at Sushi Deli instead - glad to see it was packed (which means the 4 chairs at the sushi bar and the 3-4 tables were full!).
Also nicely busy tonight for dinner was Cheen Huaye, which had pretty much all seats filled. I don't want to hear any more whining on this board about good, reasonably priced neighborhood restaurants not getting support! Evidence I'm seeing lately is to the contrary.
Franga-brazilian version of chicharron de pollo-hacked up small pieces of chicken on the bone deep fried-huge winner
Bolinho de bacalau(sp)-salt cod fritters-fishy and light-need a bracing vinho verde which they don't have yet but I'm working on it-they do have Nova Schin and Brahma beer, Caprainhas starting Monday!
Escondidinho (for those not famailiar, nho is pronounced like nyo in Spanish-my computer won't do tildas)-Ramekin of creamy potatoes, cheese, and what they call beef jerky, which is also called tasajo. Super rich. Already people here-pretty crowded, and, yes, friendly owners-c'mon, their Brazilians! They also own Piola. Decent amount of parking if you're driving. Tuto Ben!