Once a month on Sunday Sabor Brazil sets up tables in the parking lot and has a sit down meal serving food like feijoada.
The rest of the time this is a combination grocery store and coffee house serving fresh Brazilian juices, snacks and bakery items.
The fresh caju juice was the best I have ever had and it is amazing what this really tastes like. Tart and tangy, it almost reminded me of pineapple juice without the fruitiness and acidity. Highly highly recommended, I dont care how adventurous you may or may not be. This is REALLY good.
Theres a list of the fresh Brazilian juices below where I listed both the Brazilian name and the English name because some of the fruits might be incorrectly translated or they are different than what we expect.
Brazilian pineapples, called abacaxi, are quite different from the pineapples we know in America. They are white inside and much sweeter or so I googled.
The bright, airy store/café has two parts. There is a small café with the cinderblock walls painted cheery yellow. Lots of windows make this a pleasant room. There is a couch in one corner. A big screen TV (BIG screen) dominates one corner and plays Brazilian programs.
There is a three seat juice bar. A small glass bakery case has the snacks and baked goods.
The other half of the store has a grocery store about the size of a 7-11. Imagine going into 7-11 and three-maybe four items were recognizable.
I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of items I had never seen in my life. Im convinced I would self-destruct in Brazil just by the sheer difference of everything. My brain would overload.
I'm quite sure I'm not ready to face a bigger Brazilian grocery in San Mateo at this time.
There were all sorts of intriguing sauces, condiments, cookies, canned goods, flours (I guess), spices, etc. etc.
There are lots of bags of Brazilian coffee. There were some bins of beans that could be ground in-store.
There is this really cool little sample set of condiments, some with, uh, nuts (?) and stuff in them. There were fig Newton type of cookies made out of guava. The freezer case had boxes of whole frozen Brazilian fruit like acai, acerola, and caja ($14). There seemed to be frozen sausages and meats.
There were even Brazilian soaps and personal care products. A cooler had Brazilian sodas and juices.
I had two snacks coxinha and chicken enroladino uh, I think thats what the last snack was.
Coxinha (Coh-Shin-yah) is a chicken croquette shaped like a chicken thigh. Actually it looks more pear or tear-drop shaped to me.
Dough is made with flour and sometimes cream cheese or potato and wrapped around stewed chicken, rolled in bread crumbs and deep-fried. The dough has a mochi-like texture which contrasts with the crisp breadcrumb crust. Heres one recipe and a picture.
The Coxinha was good and I liked it as much as the first one I tried at Sunstream in San Francisco. I might give Sunstream a slight edge, but this had a nice crust. The filling had a simpler chicken mixture made all of chicken breast.
The enroladino came in two sizes, one like a large turnover and another bite-size version that looked like a mini-muffin. It was basically pie crust with a soft chicken filling like mashed potatoes. There were a few corn niblets in there.
They had some nice looking chicken-pot pie-looking thingies. About the size of those small frozen pot pies, but with a lovely brown crust on top.
I asked at the counter if they ever sold feijoada, explaining that my Portuguese was pretty non-existent. Well, my pronunciation didnt get me anywhere. So then I took a stab at describing it. Ok, next, I spelled it as best as I could remember. Bingo.
Thats when he explained they were planning the dinners once a month. The next time would be in July. It is currently soccer season and it is too busy or something to put together a dinner.
Very nice people. He said hed be happy to help me with my Portuguese if I wanted to learn it.
He mentioned that there were 10,000 Brazilians living in the Richmond area. Last time someone told me 8,000. The Brazilians are gaining ground. Break out those Porguese dictionaries.
I don't feel too bad not finding the place now. I was told at Mr. Pizza Man that there was a Brazilian Grcoery on Bissel. I drove up and down that street not finding it.
It turns out there is a little portion of Bissel right on San Pablo that dead-ends after a block. It is just after MacDonald between the Italian Deli and gas station ... right in back of Bank of America. Also, they have been only open 15 days.
Heres a copy of the menu and what the café currently serves.
JUICES AND SMOOTHIES
Palm Berry acai
Wild Cherry Acerola
Brazilian Pineapple Abacaxi
Passion fruit maracuja
Orange juice Laranga
Acai na Tigela
Add: Polpa and Laranga or Polpa and Leite
There were no descriptions, so heres my best stab at some of this.
Mousse chocolate (anyone can guess this)
Mousse maracuja (passion fruit mousse)
Cural de milho (uh, the best I could do was a google translation green maize candy)
Pudim de leite condensado (pudding made of condensed milk?)
Tortas sabores variafos (various cakes)
Coxinha Brazilian chicken croquettes
Pastelao de carne, camareo - fried, filled, thin pastry (meat, shrimp?)
Rizole de milho (crumbed, half round pastels. Im guessing corn)
Quibe - a mix of minced meat, mint and couscous and fried in oil.
Empadinha (a small pie, which has various fillings
Disco (good luck trying to google this)
Enroladinho de queijo cheese bun or roll, Im guessing
Enroladinho salsicha Im guessing this was the hot dog baked in a bun)
Esfirra de carne (pastry stuffed with spiced meat)
Esfirra de frango (pastry stuffed with, uh, frango)
Pamonha (from link below with pictures ... looks like a tamale)
rolls of corn-cob leaves filled with corn purée and then boiled. That is the sweet version. The salty version is made with a filling of cheese or a sausage. Sabor Brazil has:
Pamonha de sal e quiejo
Pamonha a moda
Pamonha de Doce
Lasanha Brazilian lasagna? Didnt see that, but something that looked like tamales
Empadeo Goiano a meat pie maybe that chicken pot pie looking baked good.
Google and I ran out of steam at this point. I cant believe Im finally googled-out. Enjoy the surprise of anything unfamiliar here.
Café con Leite
Pictures of Brazilian street snacks, some of which are mentioned above