Bay Area Brazilian Markets & Brazilian Easter Eggs
So, instead of just lucking into Brazilian food, I decided to actively seek it out and learn a little about it.
I had lunch today at Ninos Brazilian Restaurant & Pizzeria. Like a few other Brazilian pizzerias, they sell a few shelves of groceries. The doorway to one room was lined with large wrapped chocolate Easter Eggs (ovos de Pascoa) like the type you see at Italian bakeries in North Beach.
Well of course they would be the same with what seems to me a strong Brazilian connection to Italian food.
One of the eggs was white chocolate and supposedly filled with little chocolate eggs.
I asked about other Brazilian markets and they mentioned Bossa Nova on 10468 San Pablo Avenue, El Cerrito which is across the street from Little Hong Kong.
This place is a postage stamp size place that does taxes, cashes money, does some travel agency stuff and has a few groceries. Being Easter time, the entire ceiling was covered with the chocolate Easter eggs from Brazil, colorfully strung up like piñatas.
There are not a lot of groceries here, mainly cookies, juices and snacks. No one speaks English. I did find out that Rincon Latino, the Mexican Market further up on San Pablo, has a few Brazilian groceries.
HOWEVER I picked up a copy of Brasil Best a magazine for Brazilians in California and found all sorts of interesting stuff.
In San Francisco, Mercado Brasil had an ad with the most beautiful dish of those Easter eggs. They are on 1252 Valencia St. 1-800-994-8446.
I think they may be the same type of business as Bossa Nova where they do a little of everything.
HOWEVER the BIG Brazilian market is in San Mateo Supermercado Brasileiro let me repeat that SUPERMERCADO BRASILEIRO
They have pictures and this is a regular market with a stunning meat counter. They have those Brazilian snacks (Coxinha, pastelao e kibe fritos na hora ok some of that isnt food the na hora part)
One weekends they sell feijoada. The caption under the meat counter says acougur completo tenemos todos para seu churrasco
Churrasco ! Maybe they sell those tasty Brazilian sausages. There was an ad for Maranatha Brazilian sausage in another part of the magazine. They looked tasty. Maybe this market carries them.
There is other stuff, but not enough for me to make out, but I believe they have Brazilian wine and liquor.
Of course, they are selling Brazilian chocolate Easter eggs this time of year. Maybe when I go for my Easter Kielbasa in Palo Alto (with a stop for Carribean), I can spend some time in Brazil and check it out.
It seems that most of the other Brazilian markets fall into the one shop does everything some groceries, cash checking, travel, etc. So here are a few more:
Alianca 197 87th St, Daly City Productos Brasileiros
I think Daly City may have a Brazilian population as there are a few restaurants in that area.
Sophias Brasil 1135 California Dr @ Broadway, Burlingame
Paraiso Brazilian Imports 6564 Mission St, Daly City
And if you eat too much, there were lots of ads for liposuction.
There were ads for some Brazilian restaurants, one in Pacifica, but Ill mention those in another post about the other Brazilian restaurants I visited this week.
Brazilian seems to be the cuisine of the day here. Allow me to add another Brazilian restaurant on Laurel in San Carlos. I think the name is "Nino's". They have the usual dishes, hearts of palm salad, fejoada, Brazilain pizza (so-so). I had a huge portion of the squash filled with shrimp and creamy tomato sauce. Very good but could use a bit more seasoning. I added my own to the left-overs I took home. Very small space, casual and friendly service.
You are REALLY getting around this week RW. Magnif reports. I remember seeing and then making
an "authentic feijoada, the national dish of Brazil" in a photo in Craig Claiborne's New York Times Cookbook (1961). I didn't make it until about 1970 and remember it was a big production.
I just looked at it again. He has recipes for fiejoada with ingredients, besides black beans, such as "1 pound carne seca (sun-cured salted beef), 2 pounds raw smoked tongue, 1/2 lb. linguica (and in parentheses: "Portugese sausage" - in 1961 most Americans had never heard of linguica.), 1/2 lb. chuck beef, 1/2 lb. salt pork.
He also has recipes for braised pork loin, collards, onions in sauce, and picadillo with rice and beans.
It's hard to picture Craig Claiborne (who I pictured relaxing with Pierre Franey in the Hamptons each weekend) eating such exotic fare. Quail eggs, caviar, foie gras, yes, but Brazilian food?
He does have an International Cookbook, too. A lot of it looks pretty lame and tame these days.