I've eaten the food from Caravela so many times without ever having stepped foot inside. The Caravela (caravel), named after the sailing ship used by the Portuguese during the 19th century, is one of the most popular Portuguese restaurants in Fall River for take out. The entire menu is available for pick up and on the day I dined there, I could hear the phone ringing in the distance constantly as I witnessed person after person picking up dinner. Well, eat here at this family restaurant and you'll know why - the food is great.
Camarão à Moçambique
My love for Portuguese food grew through a series of discoveries throughout my childhood. I don't recall it just existing as a complete menu at home. My parents were young and seemingly were learning to cook during my earliest years. Over time they would introduce new dishes into the weekly rotation. Often it would be something we had at a relative's house during someone's birthday or some holiday. I remember my first taste of Shrimp Moçambique. The flavor was as bright as the saffron sauce that suits the yellow/orange shrimp and slices of garlic so well. With this dish, it is all about the sauce. The strong lemon and garlic flavor mix perfectly with the saffron, or more often turmeric, and sweet shrimp. Unfortunately, Shrimp Moçambique is never as good in a restaurant as it is at home, It just isn't. I think there is generally too much lemon, and not enough garlic and butter. But it is still pretty good. The Moçambique sauce is so popular that its used on chicken, too, but it's best matched with the sweetness of shrimp.
Carne de Porco à Alentejana
In the back of the dining hall, I could see the Portuguese women preparing the food in the kitchen. I liked the fact that the cooks were all Portuguese women. They know the food best. I ordered Carne de Porco à Alentejana. It's a regional dish from Alentejo, a region in southern Portugal, featuring cubed pork, cubes of roasted or fried potato and little neck clams. I used to make this dish for friends as an introduction for them to Portuguese food. It's one of my favorites. At Caravela, it's good with plenty of sauce for your bread.