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Broa Café - Doing it Old School

In today’s episode, of Our Portuguese Table, we chat with Michael Casalinho of Broa Café in Jersey City, NJ. The episode was recorded just before one of the last winter storms of the year. With roots in the district of Leiria, Michael dabbled in many careers before devoting himself to the culinary world. Michael grew up in the Ironbound neighborhood of Newark and has had the opportunity to dine around the world.

At Broa, he is working within his so-called “grandma boundaries” to provide guests with the most authentic and traditional dining experience. He wants to transport you to being in a tasca in Portugal, where the day’s menu is dictated by what’s fresh and in season. Michael even designed and decorated the restaurant to include personal family photos and heirlooms. He also discusses the emphasis he places on educating his guests about the origins behind their dishes. For example, did you know that the Portuguese brought curry to India during the Age of Exploration? He also spoke about the importance of being open and learning from others around you—we all bring different experiences to the table and should use them as a learning opportunity.

As Michael said during the interview, “Follow your heart and your dreams. Be proud of where you came from and reach for the stars.”

For more information, visit Broa’s website:



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