311 - Pork...Portuguese style

By Lauren Gosnell

Bairrada Churrasqueira (roll the rr’s) is a College Street institution. Further west, past the pastas and panzerottis of Little Italy, it stands out in the Portuguese neighbourhood. The family-run business has been serving up essential Portuguese eats to a loyal clientele since 1989 and now has three locations around the city.

The beautiful large patio in the back is at its best on a gorgeous day in summer. Packed on any given day of the week - especially at lunch hour, there’s an extra special treat every Wednesday – roasted suckling pig on the spit.

In Bairrada, Portugal, the “Leitão à Bairrada” is a regional specialty. The suckling pig is prepared in pork fat, garlic, salt and pepper and roasted for up to two hours. The server expertly carves off succulent slices of crackling skin and serves them straight to your table.

Jumbo tiger shrimpThis delicious appetizer is not the only tastebud tantalizer. The chouriço assado – a spicy Portuguese sausage gets even hotter when it is set on fire with the help of a little moonshine called bagaço.

Portuguese cuisine has no shortage of savoury specialties. Bairrada’s jumbo tiger shrimp is soaked in beer and spices, lemon and butter. An essential bar snack, the Gambas à la Plancha is mouth-watering and finger-licking good.

BacalhauOf course, the national dish codfish, or bacalhau, is on the menu. Using the traditional salted codfish, one preparation is to grill it and dress it lightly with a little bit of olive oil. This style retains a simpler, more savoury flavour than the oven-baked codfish, which releases more of its salt content into its own juices while baking. The baked codfish takes on an infusion of flavours from the fresh garlic, onion, red pepper and tomato seasonings.

Bairrada Churrasquiera
1000 College St.
Toronto, Ontario