BROCKTON – For some Brocktonians, lunch is one of the best parts of their day just to get away from their co-workers and dive into a hot, delicious meal. On average, most people only have 30 minutes to find a delectable treat while enjoying some much-needed time.
In this week’s installment of Brockton Eats with Alisha, I rounded up a few places where the food is hot and ready so you can enjoy more of your lunch time without running around the city waiting in long lines for food that never seems to be done quick enough.
These weekly lists of tidbits and food finds are not restaurant reviews, but they go beyond a bare-bones round-up. Staff writer Alisha Saint-Ciel gives tips and takes to help Brockton-area foodies find those mouth-watering hidden gems, old favorites, and exciting new offerings.
Leal’s Kitchen – 707 Warren Ave., Brockton
Starting the list strong with a Cape Verdean and Brazilian staple in Brockton’s Southside, Leal’s Kitchen. I’ve visited this restaurant since I was a young high school girl in 2013. What drew me close to Leal’s was their made-to-order pastels, which come out hot and flaky. Inside, you can choose from various meats; my favorite is the spicy chicken and cheese. The spices inside the pastels are unlike anything I’ve tasted, making them super unique to Brockton.
The restaurant offers a buffet-style model. Customers can come in and pick and choose whatever items they want, then they are weighed, and the customer is out the door. Popular dishes include picanha with their special Verde sauce, white rice, and black or brown beans with seasonal vegetables. They also offer entrees from the land and sea of grilled salmon, chicken, steak, deep-fried pastels, traditional desserts, salad, and fresh in-house juice.
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Brazil Grill – 789 Centre St., Brockton
Brazil Grill, located deep on the east side of Brockton, is a fast-paced smokehouse of fresh meat grilled daily. If you’re looking for an exotic drink on your lunch break, then this may be the right place for you. The restaurant serves classic cocktails and Brazil’s beloved drink, caipirinha, a mixture of crushed lime, sugar and Cachaça, a Brazilian rum. The menu consists of a buffet-style setup where customers can choose precisely what sides and entrées they want and their favorite fire-grilled meats.
From fluffy white rice to seasoned black beans, salad, and fried appetizers, the restaurant has plenty of creations to satisfy your workday hunger blues. Some popular traditional offerings include Peroa dish: Peroa (a Brazilian fish) with shrimp, yuca, fries, plantains, farofa, rice, and salad. Beef mandicoa: Beef sautéed with onions, including your choice of yuca or fries.
Flames – 804 Main St., Brockton
A taste of homestyle Jamaican food right in the Southside of Brockton. Flames give you those rich flavors and deep spices of curry, jerk, and a twang of sweet and savory.
The restaurant has six locations, but the one in question is located in the heart of Brockton. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served all day starting at 8 a.m. For breakfast, I recommend trying fried dumplings and ackee, and saltfish, which is Jamaica’s national dish. Ackee resembles fried eggs but is, in fact, a fruit. The ackee fruit is a poisonous relative of the lychee and tastes like a more delicious scrambled egg when cooked.
Popular items include jerk chicken, curry chicken, shrimp, brown stewed chicken, sweet chili wings, curry goat, salmon, kingfish, and more. The restaurant also offers hearty sides of baked mac and cheese, seasoned cabbage and carrots, rice and peas, and crispy plantains.
Mainha – 160 Memorial Dr., Avon
Mainha, a Brazilian steakhouse and what some call Avon’s “hidden gem,” has everything you need to have a “successful” lunch. The restaurant lets guests serve themselves a plate of food. You can pick between a glass plate to enjoy lunch or dinner, or a to-go plate to take on the road.
Some of the most popular dishes in the restaurant are cooked from a wood fire grill, which includes steak, chicken, picanha, and other meats and seafood. You can add popular sides of rice, brown or black beans, macaroni salad, thinly sliced Brazilian kale salad, and fruit.
The restaurant prides itself on making everything from scratch and fresh daily.
Do you have a suggestion for the food series? Email staff reporter Alisha Saint-Ciel at email@example.com.