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I Found The Perfect Portuguese Steak in Fall River



If you’ve grown up in Bristol County, particularly in Fall River or New Bedford, Portuguese food is like BBQ in Texas or seafood in New England. Portuguese restaurants dominate the family restaurant scene in our area and the staple of any good Portuguese restaurant is the Portuguese steak.

After years of enjoying Portuguese steaks, this past spring and summer, I decided to see if I could find the best Portuguese steak in Fall River. I visited what I consider the most popular Portuguese restaurants and picking the best Portuguese steak is like a grandmother picking her favorite grandchild, you love them all. Fall River residents are blessed to have so many amazing Portuguese restaurants and I can’t remember ever leaving one of them disappointed.

Now on to the steak!

In my opinion, there are five factors that encompass a proper Portuguese steak; quality steak cut, amazing sauce, perfectly fried round fries, a tasty red Portuguese pepper, and fried egg. Some also prefer rice (it seems standard to have fries and rice), but I double up on the round fries.

After visiting a half dozen of the most popular Fall River restaurants, I determined my favorite Portugues Steak was produced at Estoril on 1577 Pleasant Street. Let’s review the five minimum factors:

1. Quality of the Steak

Estoril’s steaks are high quality and always come prepared exactly how I order it: medium well. Consistency matters. I don’t like any blood gushing out of my steak, and I don’t want it overcooked. Estoril’s steaks are large thick cuts that come with very little fat.

2. Gravy

Estoril’s gravy is the brown, thicker style with amazing flavor and is not too salty. Most places I’ve been to seem to be redder in color and not as thick. I honestly enjoy both equally, but Estoril’s uniqueness makes it stand out.

3. Round Fries

Most Portuguese steaks come standard with potato and rice. Usually, the potato comes in the form of round or French-style fries, and I’ve seen some people eat boiled potatoes. In my view, round fries are the key and I double up here instead of rice. Estoril’s round fries are the major differentiator, large and crisp, not overcooked like potato chips, but also not soggy. I’m not a fan of the French fries that some restaurants offer. To be honest, if the sauce and round fries are excellent, I could eat just round fries and sauce and be happy (like fries and curry at an Irish restaurant).

4. Portuguese Red Pepper

A Portuguese steak must come with some sliced Portuguese red peppers. I’ve seen people shocked and outraged when I reported one place used banana papers and a riot was almost formed with pitchforks and torches. These peppers are nice palate cleansers between eating the steak and round fries much like the ginger at a sushi restaurant.

5. Fried Egg

Last but not least, the fried egg that comes on top of the steak. I like both styles, completely cooked or with a runny egg yolk “sunny side up.” Estoril provides one egg fully cooked. Some places have two eggs, but I feel that is too much.

Former Mayor Will Flanagan and I discussed this on our show on Thursday.

Who else in Fall River cooks the perfect Portuguese Steak? Leave a comment below!

Check out my Perfect Food Series of articles here.



  1. Me

    July 15, 2023 at 4:28 pm


  2. Deb

    July 15, 2023 at 4:36 pm

    Mike, I couldn’t help but notice your comment regarding why you prefer a medium well steak. For anyone that shys away from a tender rare or medium rare steak you show know:

    As it turns out, that “blood” in your steak isn’t blood at all. It’s myoglobin, the protein that delivers oxygen to an animal’s muscles. This protein turns red when meat is cut, or exposed to air.

    • mikesilvia

      July 16, 2023 at 1:11 pm

      Good info – thanks!

  3. MortisMaximus

    July 15, 2023 at 8:19 pm

    Sagres by far the best Portuguese steak and also all of their other offerings are top notch. Manny is the top Portuguese chef in the country.

  4. Kenneth

    July 15, 2023 at 8:43 pm

    Seafood is to New England, you MUST be kidding me. YOU’LL ONLY think you’ll know Seafood. There’s Definitely nothing “special” about the Seafood in New England

    • MeandC

      July 16, 2023 at 11:37 am

      Kenneth, you must have fallen and bumped your head. I’ve lived and visited many different states and countries. Seafood in New England is some of the best in America! I’d love to know who you think does it better.

  5. Charles Alves

    July 16, 2023 at 2:48 am

    I feel embarrassed to say I’ve never had the Portuguese steak here I’ll have to go

  6. Me

    July 16, 2023 at 7:38 am

    We visited estorils will never go back again. The glasses and silverware were disgustingly dirty. They did not seem to care when I complained. They said oh they must of taken them out of the dirty dishwasher.

    • mikesilvia

      July 16, 2023 at 1:12 pm

      I think we all have bad days now and then. I suggest giving them another try.

  7. Franklin Colletta

    July 16, 2023 at 9:29 am

    Estoril ended up being our favorite SouthcoastPortuguese restaurant, as well. For a less-expensive meal and wine-included specials, right up the road is Caldeira’s which is also very good.

  8. Shannon

    July 16, 2023 at 2:53 pm

    Caravela Restaurant in Fall Riv. By far the best portuguese steak. Check it out!

    • HuntersCrackPipe

      July 17, 2023 at 8:39 am

      Yeah if you like a fried leather shoe.

  9. Vasco

    July 16, 2023 at 3:18 pm

    Guess you didn’t visit the Fall River Grill.

  10. Gary Willette

    July 17, 2023 at 10:28 pm

    Over the years I’ve tried 18 Portuguese restaurants in fall river. My number 1 was Caravela then Ogils then fall river grill. I have a new favorite…been many times and always satisfied. JC’s is number 1 in my book. The steak the gravey the roasted garlic the red pepper… they do it rite.

  11. Diana Farias

    July 19, 2023 at 4:31 pm

    JC ‘s is not bad. After Academica closed there really hasn’t been a favorite but Jc is close enough!

  12. Daniel Oliveira

    July 20, 2023 at 3:55 am

    No way! Twins in Fall River has the best of everything and also Caravela’s

    • HuntersCrackPipe

      July 22, 2023 at 7:18 pm

      Twins is bottom of the barrel. Waited about 50 minutes for an appetizer while the kitchen was laser focused on filling take out orders. Food is lower end product. Ate here twice, won’t be back.

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