A tasty, satisfying oasis in Medford
I gained so much after living in Brazil for a year: new friends, fresh perspectives, and about five unwelcome pounds. While adding on five pounds wasn’t exactly planned, it was sure fun doing it over the traditional, hearty lunch of meat, rice, and French fries washed down with the national soda, Guarana. Luckily (or maybe unluckily) for me, Boston is home to the largest Brazilian community in the United States and consequently boasts a wonderful variety of padarias and churrascos. Located on Main Street in Medford, Oasis Brazilian Steakhouse is approved by both Brazilians and Bostonians alike and also happens to be a Tufts favorite. Go when you’re hungry – like, really hungry.
While steak is a safe and satisfying choice at Oasis, I prefer to stick with my two favorite dishes: moqueca or feijoada. First, moqueca is a white fish stew served over rice with gravy called piri. The stew has an aromatic base of garlic, onions, and cilantro. Coconut milk, a little lime juice, palm oil, and chopped tomatoes are added to give it a rich yet subtle flavor. I always add chopped cayenne peppers for an extra kick. Even though the fish might travel far to reach our plates in Boston, the moqueca at Oasis has an authentic taste and always takes me back to Brazil.
Oasis’ feijoada is equally as tasty and also serves as a comfort food as it reminds me of fun times in Brazil. Feijoada is a black bean stew featuring large pieces of sausage, ribs, ox tail, bacon, and other dry meats. Bay leaves and garlic add to the richness of this dish, which slowly cooks for hours until the stew is extremely thick. The stew is served with rice, collard greens, and farofa or manioc flour. Oasis is definitely well equipped to prepare a traditional, almost homemade feijoada.
Encouraging my conspicuous consumption of Brazilian food is Oasis’ bakery section, where my self-control is no match against smells of chocolate, cinnamon, and condensed milk. My favorite desserts include brigadeiros, sweet balls made of chocolate and condensed milk and the passion fruit mousse. Also available are a wide selection of salgadinhos, savory treats that usually include any combination of bread, meat, and cheese in bite size portions.
The atmosphere at Oasis is very relaxed and informal and the Brazilian hospitality puts you at ease. While it isn’t necessarily decorated tastefully, it is comfortable and practical. The ambiance encourages good conversation and laughs. When I go to Oasis, I am going for the food, tossing extra pounds to the wind!
Food (taste): A+
Food (presentation): A+
– Camille Bergsrud
Cover photo source.