By Tom Sietsema Washington Post Staff Writer Sunday, Oct. 18, 2009 There aren't many places to order caldo verde around here. What a shame. It's one of the world's great soups, composed of shredded kale, potatoes, onions, garlic and spicy chorizo. The dish, a source of pride for Portugal, can be explored locally at Tavira, an underground dining room whose effusive waiters and gentle lighting help us forget we're eating in the modest belly of a bank building in Chevy Chase. Caldo verde is one of many Portuguese staples you should consider. Personally, I can never say no to the piping-hot codfish fritters or the fiery chicken peri-peri served with a mountain of airy, fresh-fried potato chips. Into drama? A request for clams cooked in white wine is followed by the opening of a copper pot and a rush of aromatic steam at the table. Like it simple? Whole dorade -- filleted before your eyes and sauced with olive oil, capers, lime and more -- is a fish to remember. The number of choices doubles in size once the server finishes reciting the day's specials, and if goat is among them, raise your hand. There's more than careful cooking to win your favor. On the last Friday of every month, Tavira offers live music (guitar and violin). Any day of the week, there's the option of a three-course meal for $30. Fixed-price menu per person: three-course lunch $20, three-course dinner $30.