With its sponged yellow and green walls, Rose Mary is a small, bright burst of Brazilian sunshine on Washington Avenue where you can enjoy fresh-squeezed juices, coxinha (teardrop-shaped empanadas), salads, sandwiches and Brazilian daily specials that include a choice of two meats and two sides.
It’s owned by Marcelo Vieira and his mother, Rosa. Marcelo left Sao Paulo at 16 to drive trucks around his Brazil, and eventually went to work for a man with a trading company in South Africa. He came to Miami to be his boss’s personal assistant, and his mom joined him to help care for his two daughters. Four months ago, he struck out on his own, opening Rose Mary Brazilian Style Café with Rosa in the kitchen and help from his cousin Joao Silva and Joao’s wife, Mary.
The namesake herb grows in a large pot by the door and is used in many of the dishes including empadinha (small potpies filled with shredded chicken and heart of palm) and chicken drumsticks cooked in beer with seasonings.
Most days there are tutu beans (creamy pinto beans thickened with toasted yuca flour) and vegetables like steamed cabbage shreds and sautéed green beans and broccoli. Other days might bring fried chicken with okra, rice with lentils or bife rollet (steak rolled with bacon and carrots and braised).
The last Saturday of the month there’s feijoada, a feast of black beans with pork parts and smoked sausages served with rice, collards and orange slices. Most Sunday’s there is lasagna made with layers of ground beef in tomato sauce, ham and mozzarella.
Sweets to try are doce de abobora (pumpkin and coconut paste) and soft peach mousse.