Craving some quick, cheap, and delicious food but all burnt out on traditional fast food restaurants? Look no further than Capital Brasil, a new Brazilian restaurant located at 99 Broadway in East Somerville. For only $5.20 you can grab a tasty Brazilian-style hamburger and some delicious fruit juice in flavors like pineapple and guava. With a menu in Portuguese and English, all are welcome and encouraged to try out this new spot.
The ‘Brazilian Burger’
According to Capital Brasil owner Geraldo Magela Silveira, Brazilian hamburgers are slightly different from American hamburgers. While the basic parts are the same – bread, beef patty, lettuce, tomato – Brazilians include some extra ingredients to give this classic American dish a little flair. The most basic burger on Gerlado’s menu is the “Hamburger,” which at Capital Brasil is finished off with some corn. From there, the burgers get more complicated (and even more delicious). The “X Tudo” has cheese, ham, egg, bacon, mayo, and, of course, potato sticks. The “X Galinha” has the same ingredients but with chicken in place of the burger. And, for the hungriest customer looking for the ultimate Brazilian burger experience, the whopping “X Guloso” combines all the ingredients you could ever want: beef, chicken breast, bacon, cheese, ham, egg, lettuce, tomato, mayo, potato sticks, and corn. Wash this down with a refreshing açai or passion fruit smoothie, and you won’t leave hungry!
Building the Brazilian Community in Somerville
Geraldo opened the restaurant with his mother about four months ago. Although there were already a couple Brazilian restaurants in the area (Gauchao Cuisine at 102 Broadway and Rodizio Steakhouse at 129 Broadway), business for Capital Brasil has, so far, been good. According to Geraldo, there is a little friendly competition among the owners of the restaurants, but for the most part, everyone has been helpful to him as he starts up his business. One of the other Brazilian restaurant owners, for example, directed Geraldo to Restaurant Depot, where he now goes to purchase ingredients and supplies for the restaurant’s food (homemade by Geraldo’s mother). Although it may come as a surprise that these business owners work together, they do all have one thing in common: they are working to build the Brazilian community in Somerville.
When Geraldo first came to the United States, he moved to North Carolina, where a couple of his uncles already lived. However, there were few Brazilians other than him and his relatives. Somerville, on the other hand, is known for having a strong Brazilian community, of which restaurants like Capital Brasil, Gauchao, and Rodizio form the base. For Geraldo, the decision to open his restaurant in East Somerville was a no-brainer. Brazilian food is in high demand here, and despite the other Brazilian restaurants, he knew his mother’s food would be popular. Along with the restaurant owners in the area, Geraldo works with other Brazilian business owners; the sign at the front of Capital Brasil and the menu inside, for example, were both made by a Brazilian sign-maker, who speaks Portuguese and understands what will work for Geraldo’s clientele. All of this collaboration helps make Somerville feel a little bit more like home for Brazilian residents.
How to Get There
For Somerville residents who tend to stay in the Davis Square area or Bostonians who don’t make it out of the city very often, getting to Capital Brasil might sound like a puzzle. However, there are a few simple ways to get out to East Somerville for some chicken-filled Coxinhas or ham and cheese Enroladinhos.
From Davis Square, take the 89 right down Broadway. Get off at Franklin St. and you’re practically there.
From Boston, take the Orange Line to Sullivan Station. Capital Brasil is about 0.5 miles down Broadway – a bit of a walk but definitely worth it.
If you have access to a car, there is usually a parking spot to be found! Unlike Davis Square and parts of Boston, the streets are much less crowded and are generally car-friendly.
Finally, if you’re in the mood for some tasty Brazilian treats but can’t get yourself out of the house, Capital Brasil does delivery!