Taste of Brazil
906 S Oak Park Ave.
Oak Park, IL
Taste of Brazil is a tiny storefront covered in Brazilian flags, opened in March 2009. The restaurant is bright and sunny with a chalkboard menu and a cooler full of appetizers and cakes. There were Brazilian flags and colors on the wall and stacks of Guarana soda piled high. When we were there, the server, Christiane, couldn’t have been nicer. When she found out we were something of luso-philes, she became even more excited.
We started out our meal with a few snacks from the many enticing options in the case. First, we sampled the Coixinha ($2.25), basically a delicious glorified chicken nugget shaped like a drumstick. There were also a variety of sweet and savory pastries to choose from. We chose a quintessential Brazilian favorite, Pastel Romeo & Juliet ($2.25) a pastry filled with Catipury cheese and guava jelly. For dinner we tried the quintessential North-Eastern Brazilian dish – Moqueca ($9.89) – fish stew with a coconut milk sauce. Their version is made with tilapia. The moqueca came with some piping-hot lentil soup clearly made from scratch. Owing to a large Lebanese population, lentil soup is quite popular in Brazil. The moqueca was creamy and delicious, with a little hint of spice, favored more in the Northeast.
Finally, and the icing on the cake (literally) were the delicious Brigadeiros ($1). Brazilians are known for their love of sugar, and Brigadeiros, little chocolate truffles covered in sprinkles, are a testament to that. From start to finish we were so pleased with our experience at taste of Brazil and we were really excited to support a nice local business.