Mineola resident Monica Oliveira is hoping to take a Portuguese delicacy from a small beach community in Portugal and turn it into a hot commodity in downtown Mineola with Costa Nova Waffle. Oliveira called the food “a specialty from the region” after getting approved to open at 211 2nd St. in Mineola from the Mineola Village Board on Wednesday, Sept. 9.
“This is where our roots come back to,” Oliveira said last week.
Oliveira hopes the nuances of the sweet treats will serve the on-the-go nature of the downtown, with the Mineola Long Island Rail Road Station just steps away. They plan to open at the end of this month or early October.
“Unlike a crepe, our product is portable,” she said. “You can eat it while walking and to the train and hospital.”
The waffle comes in soft (tripa) and crispy (bolacha) form, Oliveira said. The former is undercooked, with the consistency of a crepe, folded over into a square pocket. The latter is folded into a “fan-like” waffle cone.
“It’s not the traditional waffle that you would think of,” she said. “It’s a hybrid between a crepe and a waffle cone.”
Costa Nova also plans to serve cappuccino, espresso, Portuguese fruit juices and Galão, a hot drink from Portugal made of espresso and foamed milk. It’s similar to a caffè latte or café au lait.
Costa Nova showcased its culinary prowess at the Portugal Day Parade and Portuguese Fest earlier this year. They also commandeered a spot at the Mineola Street Fair on Sunday.
“It’s an exciting time to be in Mineola,” Oliveira said. “We want to be involved in the community. Sometimes late at night, you’re looking for a treat. I think this could be that.”
Monica and her brother, Andre, routinely visited Portugal every summer as children, spending time in the local fisherman’s town of Costa Nova. Most of the homes are painted in stripes, which is showcased in Costa Nova Waffle’s logo.
“It’s different and exciting,” she said. “It adds to the diversity that we’re trying to bring to the downtown with its revitalization.”
Deputy Mayor Paul Pereira, says shops in Portugal that carry the dessert have become hotspots for local gatherings.
“I happened to be in that village this past summer and I had quite a few of them,” he said. “My favorite is the Kit Kat.”
Costa Nova plans to operate Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. with hours on Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
“The lines in Portugal are down the street for this food,” Pereira said.