First Look: Lia Cafe Brazil in Mt. Pleasant

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DC isn’t exactly home to a plethora of Brazilian cuisine options.  That’s why we were excited to hear about the arrival of Lia Cafe Brazil in Mt. Pleasant.  Located at the busy corner of Mt Pleasant St and Irving St NW, this promising newcomer offers coffee, sandwiches, salads, and a variety of sweet Brazilian treats in a relaxing, almost homey atmosphere.

Here’s what we ordered and our general impressions:

  • Cortado and Cappuccino. Both were delicious. Though the cappuccino was a bit small, it offered a nice texture and taste.
  • Chicken Sandwich. This was a lighter, gentler tasting chicken salad sandwich.  It delicately balanced the flavors of olives, raisins, mayonnaise, and corn without overpowering the tender bits of shredded chicken.  It was delicious and surprisingly filling.
  • Carioca Sandwich. A staple of Brazilian cuisine, this Carioca featured ham, arugula, tomato, gorgonzola cheese, and fig spread on ciabatta bread.  It was good, though the arugula sometimes flew out of the sandwich while eating it!
  • Esfirra de Frango. This is a fried pastry stuffed with shredded chicken and spices.  The dough is thick, rather than flaky. It would make a nice savory pairing to one of the lighter salads on the menu.
  • Pao de Queijo. This cheese bread was delicious. A staple in Brazil, the Lia Cafe version is larger than what you might find in Rio, but no less tasty.  It was freshly baked and warm, with a soft yet dense quality.
  • Tres Leches. We recommend this one only if you have a serious sweet tooth because it was very rich and very sweet.  If you do decide to get it, it would be best to share among several people.

We visited Lia Cafe Brazil during its soft opening, so the staff was still working out a couple of issues – namely, that they had already run out of several ingredients during our visit.  They were quick to suggest substitutions and, overall, it had no impact on our dining experience.

We recommend Lia Cafe Brazil as a nice, casual coffee spot and a cozy place to get a delicious, affordable lunch.

Lia Cafe Brazil is located at 3103 Mt. Pleasant St NW.  

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