As Café Belo turns into a Brazilian-food version of Starbucks — right now, there are seven locations in Greater Boston — it’s easy to overlook other local establishments that offer a culinary introduction to the land of samba, Pelé, and thong bikinis. But Oasis Brazilian Restaurant, located in Medford near Tufts University, deserves to be more than an afterthought.
If you’re a Brazilian-food connoisseur, Oasis’s standard menu offers plenty of single-dish options, most of which range from $8 to $10. On Saturdays, the smart choice is feijoada, a hearty stew seasoned with pork, sausage, rice, collard greens, and bacon. But for the uniniated, Oasis’s majestic lunch buffet ($5.99/pound) is the way to go. On a recent weekday, the array of options included frango a passarinho (fried chicken with sautéed onions and bacon — salty and satisfying), tutu (puréed kidney beans cooked with yucca — think refried beans on steroids), fish and beef stews, a linguine-and-haddock mélange, pururuca (deep-fried pork skins— simultaneously overwhelming and addictive), sautéed chicken gizzard (rubbery, gamey, not for the faint of heart), plus a cabbage-ham-sausage dish that is earthy and comfortingly familiar — Irish, maybe, or Eastern European. And that’s just a partial list. Customers serve themselves, bring their plates to the cashier, and keep a running tab. You’ll encounter a constellation of flavors — and get very, very full — for 10 bucks or less.
Oasis Brazilian Restaurant, located at 373 Main Street, in Medford, is open daily from 11 am to 11 pm. Call 781.396.8337.