On Saturday, my half-Portuguese friend, the ever-talented Tanya Bjork, introduced me to Portugal Imports in Artesia.
It’s a small grocery shop/deli that serves up some pastries, bread, sandwiches and various imported items from Portugal and Brazil. Here you will find cheeses, linguica, olives, wines and other specialty items. And of course, port.
Since we got there in the early afternoon, most of the pastries were gone. I did get 2 natas (egg custard in a flaky cup) and 2 almond pastries. The natas were decent but apparently, not quite authentic according to Tanya. I enjoyed the almond pastries which was a cake-bread type thing with an almond filling and almond slivers on top.
There were only two pieces of bread left so we claimed those for our sandwiches. I noshed on a delicious linguica (Portuguese sausage) sandwich. This was a simple sandwich…bread and sausage which seems a little wimpy since we’re used to getting overloaded subs. But it is surprisingly filling! The bread was good but a little dry from sitting out all day. The linguica was juicy and plump and really flavorful. I wish there had been some cheese but I think you could ask for it. Next time… I did try a little bit of the Sao Jorge (St. George) cheese which Tanya told me only comes from the island of St. George…sort of how champagne only comes from that region in France. The cheese had a mild nutty flavor. I picked up a package of the linguica and some wedges of the cheese to bring home.
I also tried the bacalhao bolinhos (deep-fried potato cakes with salted cod) which were awesome. Crispy outside, soft inside, it wasn’t overly salty or fishy which is a sign that the bacalhao (dried salted cod) was rehydrated correctly. Bacalhao can be quite salty if it is not soaked long enough with regular water changes. Also known as Pasties de Bacalhao, these are made in house and can be purchased frozen in boxes of a dozen.
The workers here are really friendly. We chatted about various Portuguese dishes, alcohol and Rockband with the man and woman behind the counter.
If you’re in the Artesia area, I recommend stopping by just to see the shop and, if you get there in the morning, pick up some of the pastries!
I give Portugal Imports 4 NOMs for their food, grocery items and especially their service.
11655 Artesia Blvd
Artesia, CA 90701