Bessa Beach, Joao Pessoa – Brazil


 Besa Beach in Joao Pessoa the next beach over from Manaira and Tambau.  A little more occupied, but not a lot of vendors (sometimes this isn’t always good if you are looking for water, a beer or something to eat.  Its a flatter beach and the shoreline is a bit further.

For Lunch we went to a place called Besa Grill and sat outside.  For the most part I really enjoyed it.  She ordered something I was not aware of, it was basically a shot of Chicelete Cachaca (Bubble Gum Rum).  Honestly, despite the name, it was a really good drink.  Not overly sweet, and the cachaca was there, but I could easily have a few of them.  I already ordered a Bohemia beer, but I also ordered one of these… Its almost like an aperitif in Brazil, but for the meal at lunch, you have to have a cerveja
(beer). Nothing better than an ice-cold beer on the beach with any meal.  Beer is nearly 90% water, so its all good.  Of all the Brasilian beers I still think I love Skol the most, its the lightest, crispest, but Bohemia is my 2nd.  From there I will go for Antarctica or DeVassa.

So, now its on to appetizers.  I always insist on appetizers even if I cannot finish my meal, for me, that is my dessert. You know how many “save room” for dessert?  Well, I save room for the main course only after appetizers.  I’d rather make a meal out of 2-3 appetizers than ordering one main course just to get a variety of of dishes just like tapas.

So we come to the bolhino de camarao, basically a fried shrimp fritter.  Inside it has a single small shrimp with cheese and crunchy shell served with a dipping sauce of combined ketchup and mayonnaise.

The main course to be shared for two should be more like enough to feed 5 or 6.  It is basically a cheese lasagna of breaded shrimp. Or, as I see it, breaded shrimp hidden in a huge tray of melted cheese.  Not very appealing, not for me.  Catupiry is one of the most popular creamy cheeses in Brazil. Ironically It was developed by an Italian immigrant Mario Silvestrini from a century earlier nearly a hundred years earlier.  Its a soft, mild-tasting cheese that can be spread over toast and crackers or used in cooking. Because of its low level of acidity, Catupiry is used various dishes. I think if he knew today it would be used for pizza, lasagna and seafood he would be turning over in his grave, maybe not, maybe he just had bad taste.

It is very ceamy but seriously you don’t put any cheese on seafood.   The potatoes were good, the shrimp balls were good, the rice was great, but seriously, breaded shrimp in an ocean of  cheese. Not working.  The dish for 2 could have easily served 4-6 people, even then, how much melted cheese can you eat?   Caiputiary reminds me of white cheese whiz if it existed.

It was served with Greek Potatoes (whatever that is, but they seem to be boiled soft potatoes with scallions, perhaps some olive oil). And some good white rice as a side with ham, raisins, corn, peas, and some pimento peppers.

 Good eats, reasonably priced, and I hope to return soon.

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