Best Feijoada - 2008
Brazilian historians including Luis da Camara Cascudo trace feijoada's origins to stews from southern European countries such as France, Spain, Italy, and, of course, Portugal. Unofficial theories credit African slaves on Brazilian colonial farms for creating the national dish; after all, the meaty broth is prepared with the cheapest ingredients. Feijoada is a smorgasbord of black turtle beans, chorizo, salted pork, and beef, with trimmings such as pig ears, tails, and feet. Then there's the beef loin and cow tongue. It's cooked inside a thick clay pot over a slow fire. It's an exquisite delicacy that requires a lot of patience to perfect, so you won't find it at some Brazilian eateries. At this little bit of Brazil, the stuff is available only on weekends and served on a steaming bed of white rice alongside coarse cassava flour and chopped refried collard greens. While you are there, check out the market's wide array of Brazilian food products, especially unique snacks such as empada, coxinha, risole, and kibeh. The place is easy to find: Simply head along U.S. 1 until you reach the traffic light at SW 93rd Street, just south of Dadeland Mall. Mercado Brasil is on the northwest corner. Pull into one of the parking spaces in front of the store. Or take Metrorail to the Dadeland South station and walk two blocks north if you are feeling green. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays, and 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sundays.