On the western end of Spring Street, just by the Ear Inn, the exuberantly named Pao! serves Portuguese fare, heavy on the seafood. The most delicious dish on the menu is a filling, savory shellfish bread pudding.
Reminiscent of oyster stuffing, açorda is made with crusty (usually stale) Portuguese bread (“pao” means “bread”). It’s enriched with olive oil, egg, and, often, chorizo or seafood.
Pao’s version is thick and coarse, the bread silken and chewy by turns, all of it suffused with the buttery brine of shellfish. Bits of shrimp, clam, and mussel are unearthed with every spoonful. Shake on a bit of the thick, garlicky peri peri sauce provided. Eat a bowl and fall into a dreamy, contented carb coma.
322 Spring Street