Take a trip to Brazil at Regina's Farm, where the evening's hosts — Brazilian natives Regina Rodrigues and Elizeu Silva — invite you to a communal feast at their Fort Lauderdale home with open arms and warm, wide smiles. Anyone nostalgic for the homestyle fare of Brazil's southern region will feel perfectly at home alongside Rodrigues, who began cooking large, family-style meals for friends and church members in 2010, first to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions. As time went on, the events became so popular that she and her husband began accepting contributions to help buy the necessary provisions. Today a $25-per-person donation will get you a feast to remember at their fazendinha — "little farm" — an alfresco pop-up restaurant that takes place every Saturday from 5 to midnight, weather permitting. The experience transports guests to a miniature, more rustic version of Rodrigues' hometown in Minas Gerais for an all-you-can-eat dinner. There's free water and plenty of coffee, but no liquor; guests are welcome to bring their own wine or beer. But, of course, it's the food they're after. Served buffet-style, selections are laid out across the massive outdoor iron-topped stove. They start with baskets filled with steaming-hot pão de queijo — tiny balls of doughy Brazilian cheese-stuffed bread — and soup like caldo verde, a popular pale-green Portuguese classic with the consistency of porridge and made with potatoes, kale, olive oil, onion, and salt heated over a campfire. Around 7:30, the line begins for the main courses, everything from roast chicken with okra and moqueca de peixe (fish stew) to Rodrigues' specialty, feijão tropeiro, a Brazilian staple. The meal ends with ten or so desserts, such as a traditional coconut-and-condensed-milk-sweetened bolo de coco pegamarino ("cake to catch a husband").
Readers' choice: Coconuts