Casa Portuguesa is the more casual sibling restaurant to Mercado Negro, serving a hot table of Portuguese cuisine such as codfish, stews, stickleback, and of course, chicken, potatoes and rice.
The hidden gem in an industrial area was designed with the local community of factory workers and design store shoppers in mind, offering lunch that's cheap for labourers and a better option than the drive-thru for shoppers. Note that takeout and dine-in prices differ.
A secret oasis of a sunken patio is totally private and blocked off from a parking lot and busy street. Umbrellas and a wall painted with brightly coloured sardines bring with pops of yellow.
The interior is just as shabby chic as Mercado with mismatched chairs, an even more glorious sardine wall, and light fixtures inspired by bowls in a Portuguese granny's kitchen.
Pick up small snacks like fluffy cod fritters and shrimp patties as well as hot table meals.
House bread is a mandatory start, especially a dense, sweet corn bread.
Deep-fried stickleback ($1 each, can be made into combos) is a typical snack. Open the fish like a book away from the backbone and devour the briny, crunchy flesh.
Staples like steak, squid and barbecue chicken are always on the menu, the chicken cooked in traditional drawers.
A half chicken with two sides ($18) is served with a signature house piri piri sauce, which comes in hot and sweet varieties.
A platter of chicken will be served to you hacked into traditional sections, rather than whole or anatomically divided.
The skin is slightly chewy but caramelized, the meat underneath snowy white, a great vehicle for the mildly spiced, acidic, thick piri piri sauce.
Opt for the usual rice (starting at $4) on the side, garlicky and also a great canvas for piri piri.
Classic roasted potatoes (starting at $5) are equally good with the sauce, with the usual tender flesh and wrinkly surface.
Pork and clams start at $15, a dish that hails from the Alentejo plains region of Portugal. It's a bit of an odd, salty combination, but hearty.
Roasted octopus also starts at $15. Potatoes, very tender octopus, tomato, red wine and onion are roasted together for a simple but impressive dish.
A bean stew starting at $11 is a typical poor man's kitchen food, traditionally made with beans, cabbage and whatever meats are lying around. Smoky chorizo shines most in this dish, paired with pork and veal.
A salad bar has a bit of everything, with standard options like Caesar, Greek and green salads.
Wash everything down with an ice cold Sumol, a Portuguese fruit soda.
Don't sleep on desserts like rice pudding, peach jello, gooey Baba de Camelo and airy chocolate mousse.
Also not to be missed is a pantry section stocked with olive oil, flor de sal, tinned sardines, masks, house-made products, soap and more.