Death by feijoada crawl part 1 – 25 West Brazil Restaurant … mercy !!!
This may not only be the best Brazilian dish I’ve had in the Bay Area (not hard to accomplish) but one of the best dishes I’ve had in the Bay Area period.
The purple black beans were loaded with sausage and long-cooked pig parts. The pork tasted like everything good about pig … full of flavor. Crisp large bacon pieces garnished the shredded cooked collard greens (couve?). None of it was greasy despite all the pork ... just rich, tasty and satisfying.
The farofa had a few onions mixed in. The moist, perfectly cooked rice was garnished with a slice of orange … a usual accompaniment.
There was also a little green salad (romaine, shaved carrots, cucumbers, and diced tomatoes. All this goodness is just a little over $9.
Opening the Styrofoam container was like opening a gift and finding something wonderful inside. A piece of pigs foot topped the feijoada. I’m Polish and love a good dish of pigs feet, cabbage and sauerkraut and this had all the wonderful porkiness long-cooked pigs feet.
There were other piggy pieces … maybe a neckbone … which was pure pork pleasure sucking the meat off all the bones. And then there were just huge hunks of pork meat dyed purple-black by the beans.
The thin rounds of sausage are not spicy but have lots of nice flavor when chewed slowly.
On a cold rainy day I can’t think of a better dish.
I started a feijoada crawl a few weeks ago and decided to wait after trying a few versions before writing about it. Coming up will be separate reports about Brazil Café and Nino’s Pizza, both in Berkeley. Brazilian markets and restaurants usually sell feijoada on the weekends.
Both were enjoyable and what I imagined I’d be served in the Bay Area. The feijoada at 25 West is what I imagined it to be like in Brazil. It was the clear winner … way out in front of the others. This was not civilized and gentrified feijoada meant to appeal to local tastes … it was the stuff of the Amazon, rain forests, carnival, and everything I dream about Brazil.
The other Brazilian dish on the menu today was shrimp bobo.Feijoada is always served on Saturday. It just smells so good in there just like on my last visit. Previous 25 West report.
This was a great old Chowhound link about how to eat feijoada and what is in it. A lot of what is in this list was in the 25 West feijoada. There were two types of sausage at least … one cut on the diagonal as mentioned and the other coin-shaped.
The 25 West menu describes it as a black bean stew with smoked meats and sausage, sun-dried beef and pork ribs served with rice, collard greens and manioc flour.
That is close to this list from the 'how to eat feijoada' link.
*Custelinha (ribs, but deboned after long-cooking)
*Carne de porco (pork loin, in this case)
*Carne seca ("dried salt-cured beef" per Saveur)
*Rabinho (pig's tail: yes, it's in there! Saveur lists fresh, smoked or dried as possibilities. Silvana's is fresh.)
*Orelha (fresh pig's ears: also possible to use dried or smoked)
*Pe de porco (trotters, deboned after long-cooking; this is the "skin" that you will find; these are fresh, not dried or smoked)
*Paio (according to Saveur, "spicy pork sausages", this is an approx 2-inch-diameter sausage, cut into thin perhaps 1/3-inch-thick medallions)
*Linguica fresca (about 1 inch diameter, cut into inch-long cylinders)
*Linguica calabresa (this is smoked, the sausage is curved, about 1 1/4 inch in diameter, cut on a diagonal)
Really, it is this type of information that would be lost if there was ever a decision to close out the archives. More detail in this great link
P.S - pronounced fay ZHWAda!
Pikanya Brazilian Steakhouse (formerly 25 West
)25 W Richmond Ave, Richmond, CA 94801
This sounds absolutely wonderful - you have a talent rworange for being able to transport someone right there- opening that container! I love your postings!
Since black beans have to be my ultimate comfort food - I am there!
Do you have any idea how hard it was to read "how to eat Brazilian feijoada" after just having eaten a sizeable portion of soon dubu jjigae ~ Korean soft tofu stew? Full as I was, I still managed to gobble up every word! I have a romance for malagueta peppers, their flavor is different from any other pepper I've ever had. Whenever I make moqueca de camarao (brazilian style shrimp stew), I'll chop a few and add them to the dish to give it a little zip.
Had breakfast at Hidden City in 2002 when we moved back into town. Wasn't terribly thrilled with the food or service at the time so we didn't go back. But I have noted a lot of good reviews about them in the boards more recent than my experience, so another visit is in order. I have a weakness for eggs benedict!