DaRosa Cafe is open for takeout and delivery. Masks are mandatory and hand sanitizer is at the entrance and counter.
DaRosa Cafe serves up rotisserie chicken, grilled seafood, and other Portuguese hot meals and desserts.
The owner, Maria DaRosa has been cooking meals fresh every day for the past 15 years from the storefront near the Castlefield Design District.
DaRosa seems to know the name of each and every customer who walks through the doors at the informal eatery where hot plate meals are served from behind the counter.
The offerings which are available change depending on the day of the week. But you'll always find at least three to four different types of meat and about three different fish.
We come on a Thursday when Beef Stew, Grilled Italian Sausages, Grilled Pork Back Ribs, Fried Pork Rojoes, Fried Whiting Fish, Sticklebacks and Grilled Black Scabbard Fish all sit freshly made waiting to be chosen.
Each home-cooked meal comes with two sides. You'll have your pick between Parisienne potatoes, rice, steamed mixed vegetables, and fries.
There's also a plentiful spread of salads with creamy coleslaw, vegetable salad, bean salad, potato and macaroni salad (made with cucumbers and feta), and garden salad. Or you can order a greek or caesar for an additional charge of 50 cents.
Available any day of the week, the barbecue chicken is a constant feature on the menu. It's also said to be one of the most popular.
You can get the fresh and tender chicken as a whole ($13), half ($12) or quarter (white meat: $9, dark meat: $8.50) meal.
The lightly-breaded Fillet of Sole ($8.50) is also available every day and is served with about three pieces of fish and two sides at a really affordable price. Although the day we're there, a Tilapia Fillet stands in its place.
A selection of Portuguese desserts also sit in a clear display beside the counter.
The Portuguese Custard Tarts ($1.75) and Strawberry Cheesecake ($4) are both baked at Doce Minho Bakery. While a full selection of flavours of what's described as cream puddings in a cup ($3.50) are all made here.
Mango, Pineapple, Peach and Raspberry, Cookies, Cream and Coffee, and a Strawberry Vanilla and Chocolate, which tastes just like DaRosa's daughter's favourite Portuguese ice cream growing up, Perna-de-Pau, are all options.
Situated in the corner of the restaurant is a table full of candles in mugs that have been created by DaRosa's daughter, Nicole. The unique scents switch up seasonally.
The no-frills establishment of DaRosa Cafe, which is ideal for hot and ready meals at a low price, has been a well-loved feature of the neighbourhood for nearly two decades and it doesn't seem to be going anywhere.