Friday, April 11, 2014

Portugal: Não, obrigada

Having spent a few days in Portugal and loving everything I tasted - the cheese, the fish, the bread ... nothing was fancy or complicated and everything exploded with flavor - Sweet Diablo was a real letdown. First of all, diablo is the Spanish word. The word for devil in Portuguese is diabo. One might argue that Sweet Diablo isn't officially a Portuguese cafe, but the website exlaims "bemvindo!" or "welcome!" and references "childhood experiences in Portugal." Still, I'm confident I wouldn't have noticed this if the food had been more than fine. We shared two sandwiches (a Porto and an Evora), which tasted oddly similar and were pretty small for the price. My biggest issue was that the sandwiches were warm and the arugula in the Evora was cooked, i.e. stringy and flavorless. We also had a soup of the day (beef and bean), which was wan beyond belief. My soup-fiend of a one year old wouldn't touch the stuff. And this kid eats unsalted rice cakes and sugar-free cheerios. To be fair, we didn't try any of the desserts and they do claim to make the world's best chocolate cake. Sadly, this is another example of a restaurant trying to serve food they think people want because they are eating it other places. But DC doesn't need another fancy sandwich shop (especially mediocre fancy sandwiches). A cafe serving the food that office workers in Lisbon enjoy might really be something.

Sweet Diablo 1200 19th Street, NW, DC

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