I stumbled into Cafe Casal last weekend as I waited for my car to be fixed. Not being that familiar with Inman Square I headed to whatever seemed crowded for some coffee and breakfast. And I'm glad I did.
This little cafe right next door to Muqueca is also Brazilian which I didn't realize before walking in. The decor is bare bones though they have plenty of seating and a TV. It reminded me of a school tuck shop. They serve an assortment of sodas and pastries/breads.
I was pretty excited to see that they had my favorite cheesy poofs aka cheese buns aka pão de queijo (according to wikipedia!). This brought back fond memories of my trip to Brazil. Coffee and cheesy puffs served after every meeting. In Brazil I noticed that coffee (at company events) was served in really tiny plastic cups. Like condiment sized cups. No idea why, but coffee is always welcome! Anyway I digress ....
Back to the cheesy poofs. They are really cheap at 3 for a dollar. On first bite they weren't as good as the ones I had before but they grew on me. In fact, when I was in Inman Square today (the ongoing car saga continues), I went in again and bought another 3. Restrained because I devoured a Zuger Kirsch earlier at L.A. Burdick's.
Here's the cheese buns photo. Forgot my camera so that's it :(
I also tried the egg custard they had (Pastel de nata). The custard was actually lemon flavored which I didn't expect. I would have preferred it plain. They also do a simple toasted Portuguese bread with butter. Pretty interesting and not what you usually get in the U.S.
1075 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02139
Seems like a place where local Brazilians go. Not sure how good the pastries are but it's certainly interesting and the espresso (Brazilian Style) is decent. Do stop by if you are in the area. It'll be fun!