April 14, 2024

Lives Worth Eating – Santana’s

Courtesy of Talita Elizeu

By Talita Elizeu ‘17

Food Columnist

Over the last few months, I have had the opportunity to share with you my philosophy of food and the tradition that has shaped it, but I have never shared the cuisine that accompanied it. To give you a window into Brazilian-American life, I visited a great Brazilian bakery and restaurant a few minutes from my high school, Santana’s in Everett.

X-Tudo. Photo by Talita Elizeu

Brazilian cuisine is usually known for the barbecue, but you would all be at a loss if you side stepped the assorted fried delicacies. The coxinha (translates roughly to “little thigh”) is a little pocket of dough stuffed with chicken and cream cheese and deep fried. It is lightly crispy on the outside, the soft dough lightly sticking to your teeth as you sink into savory chicken and the smooth and tart cream cheese. In Brazil, the coxinhas are traditionally stuffed with a cheese called catupiry, but since you can’t find it here in the U.S. the cream cheese does the job. If you like ketchup, drizzle a little on every bite. Wash down with Guaraná Antártica. Order two and be deeply satisfied.

Next up is a sandwich that is not for the weak of heart (you’ll see why). The X-Tudo has got a burger patty, chicken, ham, cheese, bacon, tomato, lettuce, corn, peas and potato stick between two buns held together by a toothpick. Biting into it requires unlocking your jaw; finishing it requires stamina and demands a food coma.

Coxinha. Photo by Talita Elizeu

Easily enjoyed between two people, this experience is like no other. The bacon and potato sticks are crispy, and the different meats come together perfectly in every savory bite. Ultimately, I think it is the egg, corn, and peas that make it taste distinctly like a Brazilian burger, and for me, like home. And for both of us, like a post-cardiovascular attack paradise.

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