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Portuguese food in Inman

I think I had my first Portuguese food tonight. Can't remember a time before. Of course, memory is imperfect. Anyway, I've believed for a while that there was a fair bit of Portuguese or Brazilian food in Inman and Union Squares, and never checked them out before because the squares are somewhat far on food and the crappy bus system means you can't just go hop on a bus and I just never biked there for the food. But after my Waltham I've been looking up varieties of Latin American restaurant in the region and finally made it over today -- on foot, even between a library visit and finally returning to contra dance.

There's not *that* much there and they're not in Inman proper. Casa Portugal is several blocks SE of Inman, down Cambridge; right across from it is Tupelo, which is Cajun so wholly unrelated, but also looks interesting. "Crawfish boil" was scrawled on a board. A bit further down is Midwest Grill, which claims to be a Brazilian BBQ, and across from it is Bom Cafe, which yelp had down as another Brazilian BBQ, but which closes at 5, so I dunno what it is now. Cafe with some Brazilian options, I guess.

I ended up eating at Casa Portugal, and it was tasty! I didn't pay too much attention to the decor, but it was both nice and intricate. Table bread had an interesting flavor to it, and came with bland olive oil. Hmm, which after a recent article on how real oil is peppery, makes me wonder. "Little necks" were frequent on the menu, and mean 'clams' as I'd guessed; 'linguiça' if I remember the word right was some pork sausage. I had steak with linguiça and onions, and it came with rice and thin fried potato medallions, and it was excellent. The dessert menu had chocolate mousse, which I'm a sucker for trying... and felt like a bit of a sucker; it wasn't *bad*, but it wasn't properly ecstatic either, and the texture was firmer than I expected.

$15 for the entree, $4 for the mousse. There's a lunch menu in the $9 range.

Not a place for vegetarians. Entree lists are Meat, Fish, Shellfish... and one lonely vegetarian plate entree. Appetizers feature a lot of sausage or shrimp, though I don't know if they all did. If you got dragged there you could probably eat very cheaply on sides of rice or potato -- possibly cooked in animal fat, I suppose -- but it's not a place for you.

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Damien Sullivan

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