BEST BRAZILIAN INVASION Miami 2004 - Cypo Café
The Brazilian diaspora is all over town now, but its most marvelous manifestations are often hiding in places off the beaten path. Like that ultrasmooth Rio de Janeiro-style wax job inside your new girlfriend's old jeans. Or singer Rose Max's euphoria-inducing sets in candlelit bars, beyond the glare of thumping nightclubs. Cypo Café is also tucked away, although its purpose is to bring you pleasure in broad daylight. The owners, from the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil's heartland, moved into the heart of a Shell gas station at 71st Street and Abbott Avenue in North Beach about two years ago, where they set up culinary shop. The cramped café has only a few tables, which is why customers tend to call in and carry out the variety of platos tipicos on the Cypo menu. A daily special rotation includes muqueca de peixe (fish in a coconut, tomato, and pepper sauce); bobo de camarao (shrimp in a coconut, tomato, and creamed yuca sauce), frango com quiabo (chicken with okra, served with cornmeal purée), feijoada (black beans with pork, served with rice collard greens and fresh orange), and meat and mushroom stroganoff. Plates are a very reasonable $7 to $10 each.