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Mu Que Ca
A seasoned spot
BY KATE COHEN

  PREVIOUS COLUMNS

The moqueca at Mu Que Ca comes in four varieties ($10.95Ė$12.95), each containing seafood poached in broth and seasoned with cilantro, onions, tomatoes, and sweet peppers. The Inman Square restaurant shares a name with this traditional Brazilian stew, but not the spelling. Donít sweat the confusion, though; the people behind the counter will be glad to explain this and any other questions about their menu, which can inspire a desire for adventure in even the most trepid neophyte.

Start off with a plate of sticky-sweet fried plantain ($2.75), and donít look back. The Camarao da Casa ($8.50) is a generous helping of shrimp, made in the house style with plenty of cilantro and tomatoes. It comes with rice, vegetable, or mashed potato. Or, try the Picanha na Tábua ($10.95), a sizzling piece of grilled sirloin accompanied by rice, fries, and farofa. The latter is a concoction of fried cornmeal and bacon that, sprinkled over the meat along with a vinaigrette, makes for an intense, savory flavor. Top everything off with a frothy smoothie ($2.85), which can include exotic ingredients like coconut, papaya, and cashew.

Mu Que Caís space, with its two-tone lime-green walls and newspaper clippings celebrating Brazilís World Cup victory, is small and friendly. Many of the patrons seem to know each other, making for a familial atmosphere complete with a Brazilian-TV soap opera airing in the background. Fortunately for us, however, the drama at Mu Que Ca is reserved for the distinct flavors of the food.

Mu Que Ca, located at 1093 Cambridge Street, in Cambridge, is open Monday and Tuesday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesday through Saturday, until 8:30 p.m.; and Sunday, from noon to 5 p.m. Call (617) 354-3296.

Issue Date: August 29 - September 5, 2002
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