So this weekend was mostly devoted to working, although Aviva and I did have a wonderful Shabbat dinner with Paul, Maia and Mordechai on Friday night. Paul made fantastic brisket and Maia made an even better challah, light and fluffy, the half she sent us home with sustained me through much of the weekend. Still, I worked a long day on Saturday and a bit on Sunday, after we had brunch with Aviva's friend Abbie, so Sunday night was a good time to get out and relax.
Fortunately, we had made plans to meet Stacy at Malagueta in Long Island City/Astoria, so after a relatively quick trip to the Fairway (I simply love that market) in Red Hook with our friend Koffman, we headed back up to Queens. Stacy had given us a couple of options for dinner, and I had immediately wanted to go to Malagueta because of my blissful memories of brazilian food from my trip to Rio in 2002. Ah Rio, such a blast ... I had hair then ... In particular, I was interested in the moqueca (seafood stew with coconut milk) and acaraje, a street food made of ground black-eyed peas shaped into balls surrounding a shrimp paste or meat and garnished with salsa and veggies. Kind of like a hamburger, only not at all. I know the acaraje sounds like it would be terrible, but it is really hard to describe (take a look at the picture on the left to see what it looked like in Brazil) and really good.
Anyway, we got a bit confused about the directions and were about 40 minutes late, but fortunately Stacy lives around the corner so she was just hanging out and actually showed up about 10 minutes after us. Just after she sat down the acaraje I ordered was just coming out, and while it was a little fancier than the street food in Rio, it was definitely worth it. Little yucca root pancakes topped with vatapa (that shrimp paste I was telling you about) and a single shrimp. The main courses came pretty quickly after the acaraje, I got the moqueca I had been dreaming about, and although it was not really what I expected (on the right, courtesy of the bridge and tunnel club, not quite as thick or soupy as I expected), it was a beautiful dish and really, really good. Aviva and Stacy got pork loin and top sirloin respectively, and their dishes were also quite good. I was particularly pleased that everything was served with rice and black beans and farofa, a ground root poweder that you sprinkle over just about everything. Overall, dinner was extremely filling and very good, and soon we were all wiped out just from the food, so we paid up (very reasonable, the three of us ate for 74$), said good night to Stacy and headed home so Aviva could make beef jerky. I will let you know how that turns out :)