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Rio de Janeiro - Trip Report

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Rio de Janeiro - Trip Report

Mari | Jan 12, 2006 06:00 PM

Rio de Janeiro

First of all, thanks to *Toot* and everyone else for all the posts on Brazil in this board. Upon Toot’s advice, I devoured sucos (fresh fruit juices) everywhere I went. My favorites were the acai (a berry of some sort) and the banana com aveia (banana with cereal).

Mil Frutas – this is a little ice cream shop in Ipanema on Rua Garcia d’Avila. On my first visit I met the owner who gave me about 10 tasting of different Brazilian fruits – she was extremely friendly. I settled on damasco (apricot) and something else. The next day I had the apricot again and passion fruit. I thought the ice cream was a little pricey (US$4.80 for 2 scoops). They also serve panini and salads, which looked good.

Poli Sucos – I hit this juice stand in Ipanema because I think this is the one that Toot mentioned in an earlier post as his/her favorite. I had a banana come aveia vitamina, which was delicious. The guy at the counter was super friendly even though I looked like very confused tourist.

Garcia & Rogrigues – (Rua Ataulfo Paiva, in Ipanema/Leblon) on my first day in Rio I wanted to hit a local café for a quick coffee and pastry. I had read about this place has delicious breads and pastries. Well, I ended up ordering a basket of plain bread, coffee and a juice, so I can’t say whether their pastries are any good. It is a bit formal and posh compared to the normal places where cariocas get their coffee. I would head here only if you are in the neighborhood and want to sit indoors with a/c. Otherwise, there is a huge selection of carryout items and gourmet products – kind of like a small Dean and Deluca.

Arab – I wanted to try a per kilogram restaurant and this one was near my hotel in Copacabana. Given the large Arab community in Brazil, I thought this would be an interesting place to try my Middle Eastern favorites. The place was pretty packed for lunch with locals. They had a huge selection of food – the usual, plus bastilla, fish, greek-style savory pastries. The total for my meal plus pita bread, a soda and coffee was about US$8.50.

Yoruba – I had wanted to try Antiquarius as a splurge restaurant, but we decided to go native instead. Yoruba is a Bahian-style restaurant located in the Botafogo neighborhood. The place itself was very nice and quaint. We ordered a crab appetizer and the bobo de camaro for 2. I expected a coconut-y taste in the bobo since coconut is an ingredient, but the flavor was very mild. For dessert we had a coconut with butter and brown sugar that was so rich but incredibly good. Dinner for 2 with 2 beers, 2 waters and a caipirinha was about US$80. Since the food was only ok, I think we should have tried Antiquarius for a few dollars more.

SobreNatural – this restaurant is located in the Santa Teresa area of Rio. Their specialty is fresh seafood, and there are many Bahian (I think they are Bahian) specialties on the menu. We ordered a dourado fish moqueca with a thick shrimp sauce that the waiter recommended. The order came with rice, and we also ordered a palmito salad. The moqueca was a generous serving of 2 fish steaks with tomatoes and onions served in a clay dish. Mandioca, or cassava, accompanied the moqueca, but I didn’t care for the texture of the mandioca. In addition we ordered a pudding, 1 lemonade and a large beer. The total for 2 was about US$40. The staff was incredibly friendly and the restaurant was packed on a Saturday afternoon.

Churro Stand – I found one of these near my hotel and for 1Real I got a thick churro filled with doce de leite – wow, this was good.

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