The rise of the churrasco craze has given people a narrow, if somewhat authentic, view of Brazilian food. There are, indeed, a lot of churrascarias in Brazil—though in my five trips there I’ve yet to see a red-and-green block that you position according to how hungry you are. You can eat all the grilled chicken hearts you want, but until you’ve had rice and beans made by a Brazilian, you haven’t truly sampled the cuisine.
The cabana bowl is the exact spot where Brazil meets New Mexico, at once humble, elegant, satisfying and full of flavor from both ends of the hemisphere. I recommend green on top and a side of red-chile-dusted potatoes, which are perfectly light.
What I’d like to see next from the chef is feijoada—a Brazilian black bean stew that’s basically a meatier version of his beans, served ceremoniously on weekends in Brazil as feijoada completa. C’mon Jamon, make it happen!