October 21, 2007

Brazilian food experience

we all tried this popular Brazilian soda
I think this spaghetti with sliced sausages
in the salad bar (above) can easily be made at home
fresh salsa (below) in the salad bar
a chunk of barbecued beef ribs (shown above)

dessert of the day was this cream cake with caramel filling
To be introduced for the first time to an interesting and different cuisine is always a welcome treat. It's exciting to discover and find out what kind of foodie experience awaits us. A recent visit from my aunt and uncle gave us the opportunity to meet their two new high school exchange students for this schoolyear, one girl's from Thailand and the other from Brazil. It's fun to learn a little about their countries, unique cultures and cuisine during the few days we spent with them. We're very familiar with Thai cuisine, in fact, it's one of our favorites, but I must admit, Brazilian food and cuisine is unknown territory for me. We sincerely appreciate that my aunt and uncle took care of most of our meals and it was our pleasure to have introduced them to a couple of good local restaurants while they were here. We were amazed but not totally surprised (there are several exotic restaurants around here) to have found a local Brazilian restaurant serving traditional churrasco or Brazilian style barbecue. Although my aunt and uncle have tried Texas de Brazil, a Brazilian restaurant chain, this was our first time to try and experience this place and the food. If not for the young student from Brazil, we would never have thought of searching for a Brazilian restaurant here. And what a gastronomic discovery it was! Chunks of barbecued beef, chicken, pork and sausages were brought to the tables then sliced right in front of the diners. Although I would very much like to try the all meat buffet, I had no idea how it would be and afraid that it would be so overwhelming, I tried another dish, a very good fish stew called moqueca, which has a very tasty and creamy coconut milk based sauce and which I didn't regret ordering at all. My aunt and one of the students both had a dish of grilled beef tripe with onions. It was flavorful but the beef turned out to be tough and on the chewy side. The rest had the barbecue buffet which was the specialty of the house. For the meat buffet orders, they gave out round blocks of wood that were red on one side and green on the other. When the green side is turned up, the meat server will keep coming back and loading up the plates with more meat. The red side indicates that one had enough to eat therefore signaling the server to stop. We also tried Guarana, a popular Brazilian carbonated drink.There was also a salad bar which had their staple of black beans and rice. Although filling up with the salad alone wasn't difficult to do since everything in it was go good, it's advisable to leave room for the much better stuff, all the heavy meaty buffet servings. I'm pretty sure coming back to dine at this restaurant will be an easy decision for us to make and next time I'll definitely go for the meat : )

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