Tia Maria’s

Review by: Michael Stern

Southern New England Portuguese Fare

The full name of this restaurant on a cobblestone street in New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park is Tia Maria’s European Cafe. The Europe to which it refers is Portugal. There is a full selection of familiar cafe food, from bacon and eggs to cheeseburgers. But it’s southern New England Portuguese fare that puts it on the Roadfood map.

How To Start The Day

Come for a breakfast sandwich or an omelet made with your choice of linguica, chourico, or morcela (blood sausage). Give it an Hawaiian twist by mixing in pineapple. (Hawaii was a favorite destination of Portuguese emigrants. In addition to food, they introduced the islands to the ukulele.) Or start the day with an Azorean Bitoque. That is a steak with hot peppers and spicy gravy. Almost any of the Portuguese breakfast plates benefit by the addition of creamy, full-flavored queijo da serra cheese or Azorean queijo de Sao Jorge cheese along with a Portuguese roll.

Pizza Beyond The Norm

How about a pizza? You can order a basic mozzarella & tomato pie or one topped with Buffalo-sauced chicken. Better yet, have one crowned with chourico sausage and rodelas. (Rodelas are thick potato disks that resemble a cross between chips and cottage fries.) Or supplement the pizza’s mozzarella with Sao Jorge cheese and ground linguica.

A Portuguese Roll Makes The Sandwich

Specialty sandwiches come on a Portuguese roll. They include pork steak with hot peppers and blood sausage with pineapple. Hearty appetites tackle the Portuguese Burger. That tops the beef with grilled sausage, rodelas, a fried egg, and hot peppers. And you get more rodelas on the side.

Taste of Home

Shrimp Mozambique evokes home for many of Portuguese ancestry. Tia Maria’s makes it as a gently spiced dish with saffron aura. Or you can have chicken in the same fine sauce. Deep-fried, another kitchen specialty, comes with unique pickle-tomato tartar sauce.

Come For Coffee An’

Tia Maria’s is a great destination for southern New England Portuguese meals. It also is a good place to come for coffee and a fragile-crusted pasteis de nata (egg-custard tart). A full menu of espresso drinks includes iced coco loco, which is coffee, espresso and coconut water. Or have a double-shot with caramel and crumbles of Portugal’s favorite bolacha maria cookies.

What To Eat

Tia Maria’s Recipes


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