Favorite Dish: Feijão Tropeiro at Regina's Farm in Fort Lauderdale

Favorite Dish: Feijão Tropeiro at Regina's Farm in Fort Lauderdale

If you're fond of Brazilian fare, forget the Americanized steakhouses, rodízio restaurants, and churrascarias of South Florida. When it comes to finding some of the more traditional of this South American country's rustic dishes, nothing quite compares to Regina's Farm in Fort Lauderdale.

Several days a week, Regina and Elizeu Silva — along with their two sons — open the gates to their property in Sailboat Bend for a series of pop-up dinners, multicourse meals the family matriarch who oversees each feast has named Fazendinha da Regina — Portuguese for Regina's Farm. 

Of the many dishes served during each family-style meal cooked at Regina's wood-fired outdoor kitchen, perhaps the best dish is one typical of the Brazilian province from which she hails, a large inland state known as Minas Gerais.

The dish is called feijão tropeiro, one you'll find cooked in small, roadside, open-air kitchens similar to Regina's across much of southeastern Brazil. A basic meal consisting of beans cooked with garlic, onions, pork sausage, eggs, and cassava flour, it's hearty and filling fare from a region of the country best-known for its farming way of life. Often consumed by traveling cattle ranchers, known in Brazil as "tropeiros," Regina says today many consider it Brazilian comfort food.

The outdoor kitchen at Regina's Farm in Fort Lauderdale.
The outdoor kitchen at Regina's Farm in Fort Lauderdale.
Photo by Nicole Danna

Here, the dish is cooked in a massive steal pot over wood-burning heat; it's enough to feed the dozens of people who frequent the family's Saturday-evening meals. As with much of her food, the process for cooking the beans actually begins the night before, a massive portion slow-cooked over low heat until tender.

From there, Regina adds sautéed onions, garlic, chopped pork sausage, and a few handfuls of chard before adding the defining ingredient — a grainy, gluten-free cassava flour that cooks up into a fluffy couscous as it absorbs the juice from the beans. It lends the dish a unique texture and is one of the few products she sources straight from Brazil. 

The final touch: a dozen or so fresh-laid eggs from Regina's own chickens, their golden yolks cooking to a pale yellow over the simmering bean and meat mixture. 

"This is a very traditional dish where I come from," says Regina. "It is a reminder of my home and a familiar comfort food for my Brazilian guests who miss it as much as I do."

Regina's Farm is located at 1101 Middle St., Fort Lauderdale. The all-you-can-eat dinner is $25 per person, served three Saturdays per month by reservation only (weather dependent). All profits benefit the Las Olas Worship Center. Reservations can be made Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. by calling 954-465-1900 or online via Facebook.com.

Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.


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