Review by: Michael Stern

Portuguese With A Creole Accent

Not far from the Acushnet River waterfront and the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Izzy’s gives visitors (and homesick locals) the opportunity to eat Cape Verde cooking. Just as the language of the island nation off the West Coast of Africa is based on Portuguese, so are many of the recipes in this kitchen. But Izzy’s gives them a unique Creole twist. That means, for instance, cachupa rafugado for breakfast.

Cape Verde’s National Dish

In case you’re not up on Cape Verde cooking, cachupa is the national dish. A long-simmered stew of hominy, beans, maybe potatoes and other vegetables, sometimes meats as well, it can satisfy the most ravenous appetite. Cape Verdeans eat it for dinner. But they expect — and hope for — leftovers.

Come For Breakfast

The leftovers become breakfast, known as cachupa refogado. To make it, the cooks drain the stew and sautee it in a skillet, then top it with fried eggs. Izzy’s offers it on a grand plate crowned with discs of spicy linguica sausage and maybe sided by a freshly-made pastry. Or, have it in a sandwich or as the basis of a pot pie. For children the kitchen even offers a scaled-down kids’ cachupa refogado with less sausage and a single egg.

How Much Do You Like Garlic?

The Portuguese specialty shrimp mozambique is a highlight for lunch at Izzy’s, where it is more about garlic’s lascivious goodness than piri-piri pepper heat. The kitchen also offers chicken Mozambique, which basks very well in the garlic-forward recipe.

Familiar Food, Too

Being a neighborhood diner in a multicultural city, Izzy’s also serves plenty of traditional American favorites. Even if you aren’t hankering for a taste of Cape Verdean cooking, come for breakfast. Eat eggs and home fries or pancakes or a bagel with cream cheese. If you like French toast, put that at the top of your Izzy’s hit list. It scores among the very best, thanks to its griddle-crisped surface, as caramel-sweet as the cap on creme brulee.

At lunch the menu offers a cheeseburger, a tuna melt sandwich, and a BLT. You can top that off with a piece of cake. But why do that when you can finish the meal with doce de papaia, the Cape Verdean sweet dish of papaya jam, cheese, and bread?

What To Eat

Izzy’s Recipes


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