Nossa! Brazilian Grill
Eclectic, South American-themed restaurant boasts diverse ethnic influences in Downers Grove
Brazilian cuisine reflects that nation’s colorful heritage, in dishes made with native ingredients as well as fare influenced by European, Asian and African émigrés.
If you’re a meat lover, you’ll appreciate signature sirloin offerings like picanha na chapa and sirloin a la minuta, a specialty from southern Brazil consisting of a tender piece of sirloin topped with an egg and served with rice, beans and a salad or polenta fries. Roast beef and sausage is another option, as is the piled-high roast beef sandwich. (Brazil knows beef: it’s the second largest producer behind the United States.)
If you’re a committed vegetarian or vegan, you have your choice of meatless dishes that incorporate a host of colorful and often-native vegetables, fruits and beans. The menu includes chicken and seafood items as well, from blackened tilapia to the Brazilian staple of peito de frango grelhado, a.k.a. seasoned grilled chicken.
This fast-casual restaurant, run by native Brazilians who know their way around a kitchen, is geared to meet different service preferences. Guests select appetizers — we recommend the hearts of palm croquettes, fried yuca and crunchy polenta fries — salads, sandwiches, entrées and desserts that are ordered at the counter and brought to the table. Meanwhile, those who are in a hurry can select wraps and bowls to go, made to order along a food line, similar to the way the Chipotle quick-service chain operates.
Patrons choose a base of brown or white rice, beans, lettuce, tomato and corn and build their wrap or bowl from there. Starting with proteins — skewered sirloin, chicken, sausage or cheese — you can add sides like tabbouleh, steamed broccoli, sautéed cabbage, cucumber salad, green peppers and onion. Sauces include chimichurri, hot sauce, sour cream or vinaigrette. Vegans and vegetarians can skip the skewer.
An authentic standout is the Brazilian cheese bread, which is at once flaky and chewy. A traditional black bean stew, feijoada, is only offered on weekends but is worth the special trip, thanks to the sumptuous blend of black beans, beef, smoked pork and sausage, paired with rice, collard greens, farofa and orange slices.
One might not expect a beef stroganoff at a Brazilian fast-casual eatery, but, reflecting the various ethnic influences on Brazilian fare, here it is, along with pasta choices. Gnocchi a brasileira, for instance, is made with a creamy cheese and butter sauce and rotini comes with classic tomato sauce.
The ambiance at Nossa! is likewise eclectic. There are several café tables for sit-down dining, as well as a comfy couch area ideal for sipping the house-made black orange iced tea or spooning some homemade Brazilian flan (pudim de leite), chocolate truffle (brigadeiro) or other desserts. To transport you to the namesake nation, video screens show footage of Brazil’s gorgeous coastlines, while background music keeps a catchy Latin American beat.
1340 Butterfield Rd.,
Hearts of palm croquettes, Brazilian tacos, crunchy polenta fries
Appetizers: $2 - $3
Entrées: $9 - $15
Desserts: $2 - $6
M - Sat: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m
Sun: noon– 8:30 p.m.