Yemanja Brasil (2900 Missouri Avenue; 314-771-7457), a dinner-only establishment for the past ten years, recently reined in the return of a long lost lunch menu, featuring plenty of affordable appetizers, sandwiches, lunch-size portions of main dishes and desserts to satisfy mid-day mealtime cravings.
The casual and colorful Benton Park neighborhood restaurant with exposed brick adorned in Brazilian artifacts originally served lunch for about five years when it opened in 1995, but adjusted its menu and dining hours to meet changing consumer demands.
"The neighborhood has changed since then," says owner Lemya Sidki, a native of Brazil. "Dinner has become more of a special occasion type of affair, so I thought we could give lunches a try again."
Items on the menu range from $5 to $14. Sandwiches, like the "Linguica Jobim" ($8), a flavor-packed blend of grilled smoked sausage topped with grilled onions, poblano peppers and tomatoes, are served on a toasted French baguette with sauce choices of spicy chipotle, creamy curry and creamy Italian.
Sidki also recommends "Feijoada de Ogum," or "The National Dish," ($11) a dish made up of black beans stewed with Brazilian dried beef, smoked sausage and pork ribs served with rice and farofa, a unique blend of toasted manioc/yucca flour, fruits and veggies. Sides of yucca, black beans and rice, soup, salad or potato salad can be added to any sandwich or entree for $3 each.
Sidki credits her husband, chef Raul Uribe, as a driving force behind the creation of the lunch menu items.
"I married my chef eight years ago," she says. "I hired him initially. He likes to cook and I like to eat. He puts things together for me to try, and we've kind of become partners."
Treat your taste buds to an exotic flavor vacation during Yemanja Brasil's new lunch hours on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available, and the food packs all the flavor you'd expect from its beautifully colorful appearance with just the right amount of heat.