Six years ago, shortly after Jordan and Aline Fowell were married, the couple’s friend Joe Dufault died. In hopes of honoring his legacy, the duo decided to open a food truck in his name, Brazilian Joe’s, in 2016.
Following three years in business, the Fowells transitioned their food truck, which served Brazilian street food, to a brick-and-mortar diner on Kuykendahl Road in February. The transition allowed the couple to expand their menu from five items to about 30, including half authentic Brazilian dishes and half Americanized items—nods to both Aline and Jordan’s heritage.
“That’s the fusion,” Aline Fowell said. “I’m the Brazilian portion. My husband’s the American portion.”
Authentic items on the menu include a Brazilian- style fried banana, fried polenta and stuffed cheese balls as well as the Brazilian hot dog, a common Brazilian street food, Fowell said. The large, housemade hot dog bun is stuffed with two beef hot dogs, American cheese, requeijao—or Brazilian cream cheese—sweet corn, grilled onions, tomatoes, potato sticks and mayonnaise.
“It actually took us six months to develop that bread,” Fowell said. “We needed something that would [hold]all of the items that come inside the hot dog.”
Meanwhile, dishes that fall under American-influenced cuisine include the mini fried cheese balls and the Texas peekaboo—similar to an escondidinho, which is made with beef jerky, Fowell said.
“We can’t really find the same type of beef jerky [here]that we’d find [in Brazil], so we Americanized it and made it with barbecue sauce and pulled pork,” she said.
Fowell said her favorite part of owning a restaurant is seeing new faces enjoying their food and familiar ones returning.
“They come back and bring people that didn’t know about us,” she said.
19640 Kuykendahl Road, Spring
Hours: Tue.-Thu. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri. and Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., closed Sun. and Mon.