Beans, beans I don't care what the rhyme says, I love the musical fruit. I delight in my annual Hoppin' John gorge and never get enough of them in the Caribbean whether they're called rice and peas in Jamaica or peas in rice in Barbados or Moors and Christians in Cuba. Cranberry beans, black-eyed peas, pintos, turtles, and navies, I love them all. But my favorite variant is the rich stew of black beans laced with sausage, smoked pork, sun-dried beef, salt pork, and more that is feijoada, the national dish of Brazil. I've savored it on a Saturday in Rio with the sands of Ipanema across the street. I've scarfed it down in homes where variations included chicken, cabbage, and carrots cooked in the rich bean juices. I've covered it with hot sauce and sprinkled it with the fine cassava meal called farinha. I've even sampled it in the oldest house of Candomble in Bahia as the ritual dish served to the orisha Ogum. A midsummer trip to Bahia rekindled my cravings and sent me to Cabana Carioca... More >>>
By Michael Kenneth Lopez
Cabana Carioca overwhelms its kitschy ambience with enormous portions.