Pastel & Surf

“Well, I’m a steamroller, baby
I’m bound to roll all over you…

Yes, I’m a cement mixer for you, baby
A churning urn of burning funk
Well, I’m a demolition derby (yeah)
A hefty hunk of steaming junk…”

 Steamroller Blues’, by James Taylor

We ventured into the war zone last weekend – steamroller country, demolition derby, rolling all over the top of businesses… We can’t wait for it to end!

In the face of the Gold Coast’s rail construction, a little ‘light’ relief is needed; some good homestyle cooking, Brazilian style, together with some ‘joie de vivre’ and even a little romance!

Pastel 1 Pastel & Surf is a ‘cheap and cheerful’ café boasting authentic Brazilian cuisine. It’s nothing flash – wooden picnic tables scattered across a tiled floor, surf art on the walls and a large screen tele, but the waitresses’ smiles are real and the place is clean. There’s a happy vibe as young tourists come and go; floating in, flirting, like exotic butterflies in flight.

Churrascarias (the skewered meat dining which originated with gaucho ranchers in South Brazil), have become the most popular representation of Brazilian cuisine abroad, but what about the rest of Brazilian cuisine…what can we expect?

 “Brazilian food and culture can be best understood as a combination of native Indian, Portuguese, and African flavors, due to the leading roles these groups have played in the country’s history.” (www.gourmet.com)

Pastel 3 While it‘s a melting pot of cultures showing variations in regional cuisine, staple ingredients, dishes and techniques feature throughout Brazil. Black beans, rice and farinha (manioc or yucca flour, served toasted or fried) with meat, chicken or fish is a pretty broad sweep, but of course defining any country’s cuisine is complicated, especially when it shows the influence of many cultures.

Pastel 4 The food at Pastel & Surf is a sample of Rio de Janiero’s comfort food:

·         Coxinha – a deep fried potato cake studded with pulled chicken, tomatoes, onions and herbs – shaped a bit like a chicken drumstick, these are simply delicious, especially spiced up with a few drops of jalapeno sauce! I could make a lunch out of a couple of these any day of the week!

·         Croquete – beef, ham and cheese wrapped in an outer layer of potato and breadcrumbs, deep fried. Also yummy, but the coxinha is my favourite!

·         Feijoada – slow cooked black bean and pork stew served with rice, deep fried bananas, sautéed greens and farofa. This is the national dish of Brazil, a ‘Saturday special’ at Pastel & Surf. Interesting for the Australian palate, not fatty, but probably an acquired taste. Other mains include Beef or Chicken a Milanese, Parmegiana or Stroganoff, Grilled steak or Steak Sandwich – more mainstream but simple meals, most served with salad. Pastel 6

·       Caramel Churros filled with a rich caramel sauce. To be honest, the churros looked pretty disgusting (‘a churning urn of burning funk’) but they were sugar heaven. We saw quite a few of these walk out the door!

·         Açai Bowl – Brazilian super berries blended with fruit and served with granola on top – get over the look; it’s totally yummy and very healthy.

·         Pastel – a bit like a huge square empanada, deep-fried pastry with savoury fillings (chicken, cheese, tomato, ham, oregano, catupiry cheese), or the sweet version, Pastel Doce, filled with banana and either caramel or cinnamon sugar. These were the eye opener of our visit, with every sweet young Brazilian female tucking into a pastel, obviously a favourite comfort food…hence the name of the café!

With entrees at $3 – $5 and mains $12 – $15, Pastel & Surf is a great value diner where you can pick up a cheap bite to eat, watch tele for a while, meet fellow travellers, or even practice your ‘Brazilian’. This isn’t ‘haute cuisine’, but interesting national food…but be sure to wash it all down with a Guaraná to keep you in the mood!

Pastel & Surf Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Now only found at: Pastel & Surf, Miami

16/1934 Gold Coast Highway, Miami, Ph: 0451 823 169

Open: Mon – Sun 12 noon – 8.30pm

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Please feel free to contact Good Food Gold Coast at admin@foodgoldcoast.com.au ABN : 76 400 146 716