While getting off the subway near my home after work a few days ago, I noticed yet a few more restaurants that had opened for business in the short stretch of Milwaukee Avenue between the roundabout and Diversey Avenue. Sure, that means Logan Square is steadily undergoing more revitalization. However, this also made me wonder what eateries I may have missed in the neighbouring Bucktown. The intersection of Milwaukee Avenue, Damen Avenue, and North Avenue is already a Wonderland of boutiques, cafes, coffee shops, and magnets for hipsters. Still, there could be some enticing spots that are overlooked because the Magic Intersection is “the” draw for the Wicker Park and Bucktown crowd. Well, while trying to find some place off the regular path, I happened by Brasil Legal Cafe at 2161 N. Western Avenue. Much like my neighborhood, Logan Square, Bucktown has its surprises. And I love surprises.
Because I had arrived early, the main dish that I wanted had not been prepared. I had to wait for the feijoada. That alone told me that I was going to the feijoada cooked to order. So, I decided to have a coxhina and a risole camarão while I waited. When I was in São Paulo and in Recife, I basically went overboard stuffing myself with this very same street food and Brasil Legal Cafe did not disappoint. With a Guarana Antarctica soda within reach, this was a fantastic start to my lunch. And when the time arrived that the feijoada was done cooking, I had a plate of the beans and rice, greens, and farofa. Now, although I’m pescatarian and have been bending rather liberally in my diet as of late, I was aware that the beans had ham hock and sausage in them. But I was okay with that, evident of absolutely nothing on the plate except for gravy when I was done devouring everything.
For those of you who may want to delve into some Brazilian cooking in your kitchen, Brasil Legal Cafe has a small selection of grocery items. As small as the cafe and grocery store is, I spent majority of my time looking at the food that I was scooping up to my mouth and occasionally watching some soccer team giving the Brazilian team a run for their money. What I will say is that as minimal as the menu is, the offerings are still worth a visit. I have had feijoada at a few Brazilian restaurants in and around Chicago. Brasil Legal Cafe definitely dishes up authenticity, very much like Taste of Brasil in Oak Park. Give it a try. After you have your first bite of some of the appetizers or a forkful of one of the entrees, I bet you will find yourself shouting, Lay-GOW, and then giving a thumbs-up. Mark my words. And now if some Brazilians would surprise me even more by opening a cafe in Logan Square.