Return to Brazil Flavor: Feijoada

Brazil Flavor opened a few months ago in my neighborhood as a small grocery store, selling Brazilian dry goods, beverages, as well as meats and cheeses. All of that is fantastic, but what got me really interested was the empty kitchen in the back.

This week, they opened the kitchen.

There’s not a menu yet, so expect different dishes each day. I would recommend following their Facebook page, which is how I learned that they were going to be serving feijoada on Friday. I put the date in my Google calendar immediately.

My closest pronunciation for those unfamiliar with portugu├¬s: fayj-WA-da. It’s considered the national dish of Brazil, and its simplest form is rice and black beans with stewed meat. I’ve made some half-hearted attempts at home in the past, but there’s nothing like the real thing made by people who grew up eating a dish.

Brazil Flavor
8014 Club Center Suite #8
Cordova TN, 38016
Monday-Saturday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

The takeout version from Brazil Flavor features rice and fried kale, and in the left corner is a pile of farofa, which is toasted manioc flour mixed with salted meat. On top you can see some grilled plantains and two green vegetables I was unable to identify (little help?). UPDATE: the vegetable on the left is a green sweet potato. Finally, and most importantly, the purple-black back section there is the stew itself, rich with black beans and a wide range of meats. I don’t know precisely which cuts were included, but I’m pretty sure I got some chouri├žo sausage, beef roast, and pig ears. Ham hocks and feet are also common, but none of this should be surprising or new to anyone who has grown up in the Mid South with our long tradition of eating the “leftover” cuts of the pig. And what do you need after consuming more than a pound of offal and starch? The orange slices are there to aid digestion.

I loved it, particularly with the cold weather we’re having. It’s a hearty, savory dish, not particularly spicy, although I added a little hot sauce after trying it plain. Highly recommended if you’re in the area and want to try something new. (Or something familiar–every time I go there I’m surprised at how many Brazilians are in the Memphis area.) They’ve got some plans for a buffet line that would allow you to sample different dishes at will, and I’m sure over time we’ll see more regular menu items as they ramp up production. And for fellow Memphians that live in Midtown and Downtown, I keep telling you: there’s some exciting stuff happening in the suburbs. Don’t be afraid to leave the I-240 loop.
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