New Portuguese restaurant: Adega

Don't get the Portuguese bean soup ($5.95) at Adega, the new Portuguese restaurant in town. Aside from being totally unadventurous, it tastes bland and of mushy, canned beans. (Also, Portuguese bean soup is about as Portuguese as a hamburger is German.) You're probably better off at Zippy's.

The steak sandwich ($9.95) makes for a good lunch, with slices of steak, sautéed onions and peppers in a pleasantly soft, yet crusty roll, as does the traditional Bacalhua a Adega ($21.95), a dish of salt cod fillet, rehydrated into silkiness and sautéed with onions and cabbage (though I could probably do without the pool of oil half-an-inch thick).

Items in the lunch buffet ($12.99) can be hit or miss: when we go, it's an under seasoned chicken and mushroom mac and cheese; tasty roast pork, but dried out; and dobrada, a tripe stew. This, surprisingly, turns out to be the best of the spread, relatively tender tripe in a spiced tomato base, hinting at the flavors this kitchen is capable of.

Best part of the meal? Serradura ($2.95) for dessert: sweetened condensed milk lightened with whipped cream, layered with crushed cookies that taste like Nilla wafers. 

1138 Smith St., 312-2212,