When I say Brazilian food, what does the average American think of? Most likely, the answer is Brazilian BBQ, which involves all-you-can-eat quantities of endless meats on skewers passed around. The mere thought of that makes me not want to eat anymore.
This is what makes the Brazilian restaurant Muqueca so special. Muqueca is not a grilled meat place at all. In fact, almost all of the food is seafood. This is because Muqueca serves traditional authentic food from a region in Brazil called Espirito Santo. Espirito Santo is a small state in the Southeastern coast of Brazil.
Muqueca is a tiny Brazilian restaurant on Cambridge street in Inman Square. It is owned byFatima (Fafa) and Antonio Gomes, a Brazilian couple who moved to Boston with the dream of showing America “Brazilian food at its finest . . . most principally delicacies from their state Espirito Santo.”
They have definitely succeeded. Muqueca is a wildly popular restaurant.
One of our favorite dishes is the moqueca ($11.95 to $14.95), a seafood stew made with tomatoes, lots of cilantro, onions, garlic, and annatto seeds. Our favorite moqueca is probably the mussels moqueca ($12.95), although they are all very tasty.
The house salad ($5.95) is also very good. It contains interesting vegetables such as palm hearts, apples, olives, and corn. Bryan and I usually like to order one as a starter.
The seafood pie ($15.95) is also interesting and quite tasty. It has a conglomerate of seafood, (salt cod, crab, shrimp, mussels, and fish), all ground up and mixed with olives and eggs to create a pie that is baked in the oven. The blend of flavors is nice, not too overpowering yet quite flavorful.
The last time we went we got the deep fried red snapper ($18.95). Essentially, they take the entire fish, season it, and deep fry it whole. Although it takes a little work to pry the fish off the bone, the flavor of the dish was quite tasty.
We also like the interesting variety of authentic Brazilian appetizers and fruit drinks. They eat a lot of yucca, and thus have some yucca based appetizers. They also make interesting shakes, the most interesting one being the blueberry cashew shakes.
Both of the desserts they offer, the passion fruit pudding and the flan, are excellent and quite a bargain at only $3.
Essentially, almost everything we’ve ever ordered has been very good. You really can’t go wrong with this place.
Well, there is one bad thing. The worse thing about this restaurant is the wait. It is a tiny restaurant (probably only about 7 tables) and super popular. Furthermore, they cook each moqueca to order (takes about 20 minutes) so the service is not what you’d call super fast. If you want to go, try to go at a non-peak time (week nights before 7 PM). Otherwise, you could easily wait an hour for a table.
I highly recommend this restaurant. The food is very authentic and very well made. Moreover, the prices are very reasonable and the people are very friendly.
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