Bringing America to Brazil One Restaurant at a Time

I know I am a little obsessed with blogging about food but I can’t help it; it’s one of my favorite subjects. On a recent trip to Curitiba to visit the in-laws, I noticed a sign while we were driving, it said Cold Stone Creamery. Yes, that’s right, Cold Stone is in Brazil. My husband and I visited the store and as soon as I walked in I knew it to be true because it even smelled the same. We talked to one of the employees briefly and she said that Cold Stone would come to Sao Paulo next semester to the Jardins neighborhood.

Also I read a recent article that said that Red Lobster is coming to Brazil, along with Olive Garden and Longhorn Steakhouses. Here is the link is you don’t believe me;) (http://www.undercurrentnews.com/2013/02/22/darden-to-bring-red-lobster-to-brazil-columbia/#.UXh7OcXciSo) It amazes me that so many American chains are popping up in Brazil. As it is there is already: McDonald’s (of course), Burger King, Subway, Pizza Hut, Domino’s, KFC, Applebees, Outback Steakhouse, Chili’s, and Starbucks. Wendy’s was once here but has since left Brazil. There may be more but these are the ones that I’ve seen.

My husband and I were having a discussion the other day in the car about which restaurants we would want to come to Brazil. We both think Taco Bell should come and we’ve heard rumors but nothing concrete yet. But I also think that The Cheesecake Factory would be a big hit here.

The food at Cheesecake is pretty well rounded and I think Brazilians would like it, but I know they would love the cheesecakes! Brazilians are really into sweets and I have already seen cheesecake in Brazil so it’s not like they aren’t familiar with the concept. Also The Cheesecake Factory could adapt to Brazil similar to what Starbucks did, they could make signature cheesecakes like a Brigadeiro cheesecake or Dolce de Leite cheesecake. Come on all you entrepreneurs out there, this is a great idea and Brazil is a great market right now, bring The Cheesecake Factory to Brazil!

The Airport Just Got Tastier

I know I know long time no blog but in my defense I did just have a baby. Pregnancy part 2 should be out soon, so keep an eye out.

In the mean time, I have some wonderful food news. For those who are craving American fast food, a new chain has come to Brazil. A west coast favorite of mine, Carls Jr.!

My husband was dropping my mother off at Guarulhos International Airport when they spotted the new restaurant.  On the way home my husband called me and told me about it. So the following day we made a special trip to have lunch at the airport, an hour drive each way. Let me just say it was totally worth it!

Check out their FB page at http://www.facebook.com/carlsjrbrasil

Italian Cantina

My husband took me out for a date night on Saturday night and we went to a lovely Italian Cantina called Piolin. You would never find this place if you didn’t know about it because it’s entrance is a hidden staircase in a part of town full of bars and brothels.  Cantina e Pizzaria Piolin is a very authentic Italian place with homemade pasta and great ambiance. It is well known to the area by artists, actors, and intellectuals and has recently expanded because it is such a popular place. I highly recommend it!

http://www.cantinaepizzariapiolin.com.br/

Mexican food on Cinco de Mayo

My husband, two of our friends, and I went to a Mexican restaurant in São Paulo this Saturday to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Americans, especially Californians, often celebrate Cinco de Mayo probably because America and Mexico have such a close relationship and Mexican food has a huge impact on America culture. Brazilians on the other hand could care less about Cinco de Mayo and most Brazilians don’t even like Mexican food. This makes it extremely difficult to find good Mexican food in Brazil.

After a little bit of research and reading of reviews we decided to go to “El Kabong.” http://www.elkabong.com.br/ Like almost all Mexican restaurants in Brazil, El Kabong is a nice sit down restaurant with prices averaging about R$40.00 a plate, with drinks included you are looking at a bill of around R$260 for 4 people. But if you like Mexican food and are craving it, this place is worth it. The four of us ordered three different plates and all shared to get a good range of Mexican food. My favorite out of all of the dishes was the Fajitas; they were awesome! The Fajitas are actually for two people and comes with a lot of food including chips, refried beans, sour, cream, guacamole, cheese, and of course the Fajita meat. My only disappointment was that they only gave us four tortillas which were not enough and so we had to order four more which they charged us R$2.50 each.

We also order two combination plates which included a taco, burrito, taquito, chimichanga, and enchilada. Everything was good but the enchilada was terrible. The cheese had a weird taste and the enchilada sauce had much to be desired. All of the plates also came with chips, a small amount of refried beans, sour cream, guacamole, and salsa. It was a lot of food!

For drinks I ordered a red fruit margarita and our fried ordered a regular lime margarita, we both agreed not the best margarita we’ve ever tasted. So if you are planning on drinking I recommend sticking to the imported Mexican beer.

As for El Kabong, I recommend going there if you are in the mood for Mexican food and I am definitely planning on going back.