so i just came back from my great three and a half week adventure in the beautiful country of brasil!
thank you to those of you who gave me many wonderful recommendations! i didn't have enough time (or money) to try each and every recommended place, but i did try many of them. and have a few recommendations of my own for others who might be lucky enough to venture down to brasil in the near future.
in Sao Paulo we ate at a churrascaria called "rodeio"; rua haddock lobo 1498. it wasn't like a typical churrascaria that i have become used to. they brought a bowl of salad, some old slices carrots, onions, and sliced meat of your choice to the table. there was no swords or variety at all. the service was awful as well. what a bad start to my trip.
but we then went to parati and i took a wonderful cooking class by a woman named yara roberts. firstname.lastname@example.org it was set in her beautiful kitchen and we made a five course dinner all from the bahian area. everything was delicious and made for a wonderful evening. we prepared acaraje with a shrimp-dende bechamel sauce, acaraje souffle, a beautiful salad, chicken xinxim with acaca (steamed rice flour polenta), and a wonnnderful quindim for dessert. i highly recommend taking her cooking course. each night she prepares a class from a different region of brasil, so make sure to ask her ahead if you are looking for something specific.
in rio de janeiro we ate at porcao in ipanema. everything was absolutely wonderful! the entire salad bar was full of delicious salads, fresh vegetables, and great hot dishes. and the meats were prepared very well. i had an amazing chocolate-doce de leite cake for dessert! highly recommended.
we ate at a very delicious per kilo called "all natural" in the ipanema area as well. everything was fresh and healthy.also highly recommended.
we also went to "da silva" (another per kilo restaurant) that specialized in portuguese dishes. everything there was absolutely wonderful as well! thank you so much for guiding me here!
the juices (sucos) were delicious in any of the little stands around ipanema and copacabana where i walked. i tried my best to give all the brasilian fruits a try.
at "bar and restaurante marco" in santa teresa area we just missed the feijoada so we ordered a wonderful moqueca and bobo de camarao. the restaurant was lovely with a beautiful view of the city.
sitting on the beach everywhere you get attacked by men selling queijo coalho. i tried it in ipanema beach and also a small beach village up north called arraial d'ajuda. for some reason the cheese tasted much better in arraial d'ajuda than rio, but both were extremely tasty! defininitely give it a try when you are sitting on the beach with a matte leao. ;)
i throughly enjoyed the snacks they sell at every bus stop and coffee shop. especially the coxinha de galinha (little pear shaped chicken and catupiry cheese dumplings), and pao de queijo. i ate one or both of those quite often!
ACAI.... what can i say about acai? i ate it every single day of my holiday. acai juice and acai in a bowl blended with banana and guarana syrup, topped with sliced banana, and granola. the most delicious, healthy, and addicting thing i have ever eaten in my life!!!!! thank god for whole foods selling acai or i would need to move to brasil right now!
in arraial d'ajuda we ate at an excellent per kilo called "a portinha". bahian specialty dishes all kept hot over a wood fire. everything was excellent (except for the desserts, bleh!) there is also a man from argentina selling freshly made schwarma and falafel which he rolls out the lafa dough to order! its a nice change from the constant brasilian cuisine and he's got the hottest chili sauce i've ever tried! ;)
in salvador we ate at "trapiche adelaide" on the dock area. a wonderful finer dining experience. the decor was all white with natural woods with a beautiful view of the ocean. we ordered a nice salad with smoked salmon, fois gras, lobster, and a curry vinaigrette, vatapa and mixed seafood, local caught fish with shrimp and these interesting green chive like veggies, and a WONDERFUL sun dried beef dish on a bed of fluffy yam puree and fried onions. this dish was the highlight of the restaurant experience. unfortunately the dessert was a doce de leite ice cream in a stale tuile cup, and a really strange berry coulis. i don't know if they mixed it with champagne or if the berries were rotten and fermented. we just didn't eat it. a disappointing end to a really great dining experience.
we tried acaraje from the streets filled with vatapa and shrimp. delicious!
i also tried feijoada at an unknown restaurant in the pelourinho. i was througly disappointed with this experience. i'm an adventurous eater but this dish was filled with stomach, heart, colon, and other unknown parts that i just prefer to leave to the dog food canning factories. ugh...
i hope i didn't forget anything! thanks again to those of you who helped guide me to restaurants. next time i go i will try and go to the rest. and if you have other recommendations PLEASE include them!