Saturday, August 11, 2007


Our favorite Portuguese celebration of the year (and there are a lot of them) is taking place this weekend at Église Santa Cruz (a.k.a. the Church of the Perpetual Party), corner of Rachel and St-Urbain. This particular celebration honors Nossa Senhora do Monte and Madeira more generally, and it features elaborate costumes, dance, and song, but the real attraction for people like us is the food: 3-foot skewers (they look and feel like 4- to 5-foot skewers, though) of beef

skewers, portuguese-style

and a curling stone-sized loaf of bread--bolo do caco--which is cooked on a griddle and then baked on an odd rotating platform. The beef on the skewers comes raw, rolled in rock salt and garlic--it's up to you to take it over to the massive barbecue pit nearby and cook it to your specifications. You then tear off hunks of the bread and use them to pull the freshly cooked meat off the skewer, the better to devour it. Plenty of beer, wine, and pop is also available on premises.

You should be prepared for a mob scene and lengthy waits--especially when it comes to getting a loaf of the bread, because they bake them fresh right there in front of your eyes--but the waits, the small talk, the people-watching, etc., are all part of the fun. Have a drink, enjoy the weather, relax.

Technically, the celebration lasts through Sunday evening, but the popularity of this particular festa is such that it's not uncommon for them to run out of beef early on Sunday. Our recommendation: get there as soon as you can.

Oh, yeah: there's also some low-stakes gambling at the eastern edge of the parking lot that has to be seen to be believed:

gambling, portuguese-style


1 comment:

sfllaw said...

This was sooooo good. :)

I'm going to get some more beef tomorrow morning.