Located inside Roanoke’s Oak St. Food & Brew at 206 N. Oak St., Azores Craft Sausage & Charcuterie opened March 8.

The family-owned restaurant offers a wide variety of craft sausages, burgers, sandwiches, charcuterie boards and pizzas. Appetizers and salads are also available.

After working in restaurants across Italy, being a chef for NASCAR and most recently using the culinary skills he’s learned over a lifetime behind the grill at Baylor Scott & White The Heart Hospital in Plano, getting the chance to open Azores is a dream come true for owner Roger Evaristo.

“I was born and raised in Brazil, where my family had restaurants,” Evaristo said. “We had a small farm, and from the moment that we slaughtered the cows or pigs, we would use them from head to tail. It’s always been a passion of mine to work with cured meats, spices and time.”

While getting the leanest and cleanest cuts of meat he can and then using his own formulas of spices to ensure the right flavor, Evaristo is also cognizant of how much time plays a crucial role in the curing process. The shortest time he will cure a sausage before using it is 30 days; the longest, 12 months.

“Time is a thing of beauty,” he said. “It’s almost like revealing a product where you don’t know the outcome. You only know six months from now or a year from now what you did six months or a year ago and how it will impact the final result.”

While leaving a job and a steady paycheck to start any business can be stressful, one thing Evaristo is not worried about is serving his customers great food.

“When I worked for NASCAR, we were feeding 15,000, 20,000 and even 30,000 people in one event. I think I can handle this [business],” he said.

Evaristo said that many of his dishes, such as the classic bangers and mash, pao com linguica (Brazilian sausage on a bun) and flammkuchen pizza, honor the flavors that he’s worked with from around the world. He also honors the birthplace of sausage itself with the name of his restaurant.

“The Azores are islands off the coast of Portugal,” said Evaristo. “The Portuguese, back in the day, conquered the ocean and discovered many countries. Once they left Portugal, they would sail to the Azores to refuel, meaning they would drink wine and beer and eat cured meats and sausage before sailing on to conquer the other continents. That’s how sausage got introduced to the world.”