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Cafe do Brasil

440 N.W. 11th St.
Oklahoma City, OK
(405) 525-9779

If your experience with Brazilian food has been mainly with skewered meats and steaks, as mine was, then I think you will be in for a real treat when you visit Cafe do Brasil in the central part of Oklahoma City. Cafe do Brasil serves a churrasco plate, but unlike most "Brazilian steakhouses," is a cafe style sit-down restaurant with a varied menu that reflects the richness of South America's largest country.

The images of the usual American style Brazilian steakhouse were enough to scare me away from trying Cafe do Brasil until e-mails from several readers of the web site informed me that this was a different type of restaurant. I will have to say that I have high respect for the Oklahoma City dining public, whose recommendations have been almost totally right on the money. With Cafe do Brasil, I thought the food was even better than I had expected. This is not only one of the best ethnic restaurants in OKC, it is one of the best restaurants of any type.

The full experience at Cafe do Brasil, with salad, entree, drink, and dessert, can be rather pricey. The way the food is served, though, in separate servings for each item, allows the customer to enjoy the food on a more modest budget by giving up some of the "extras" and still have a substantial meal. The cost category in which I have placed the restaurant probably reflects what the average person would spend, but it is not necessary to spend this much.

Beringela Portuguesa
Beringela Portuguesa at Cafe do Brasil

All dinners come with a complimentary appetizer, Beringela Portuguesa, a cooked relish blend made with red pepper, green peppers, eggplant, garlic, and olive oil. The peppers demonstrate that Brazilian food can be spicy, but the olive oil offsets it. This appetizer almost made me think that I actually liked eggplant, although I would know better if I tried to cook it myself. At least for a few moments, while slowly enjoying the beringela portuguesa with the complimentary French bread, I thought the eggplant was actually a food that could be appreciated.

Salada Tropical
Salada Tropical at Cafe do Brasil

After sampling two of the salads, I would definitely advise ordering this with the meal even though it costs extra. The restaurant offers them at a very good price when you order a dinner, and I thought the salad was one of the best parts of the meal.

The Salada Tropical comes with garden greens, mandarin oranges, roasted almonds, and a homemade sweet and sour dressing. The small dinner salad does not have meat but the large order comes with grilled chicken breast. Everything was fresh, and I particularly liked the oranges.

The Salada Carioca sounded less interesting but turned out to be the one I liked better, with fresh spinach, strawberries, swiss chees, and a homemade sesame seed dressing. The strawberries were quite good, but it was probably the dressing that made me enjoy this more than the other salad. A third salad is available on a large plate but these are the only two served as side salads.

It was not easy trying to decide on a main plate since this was really my first opportunity to depart from the usual grilled meat typically associated with Brazilian restaurants. Of course Cafe do Brasil serves various kinds of grilled meat, since this is as much a part of the Brazilian diet as other types of food. Here, though, you get side dishes that make it more interesting.

Passaro Preto
Passaro Preto at Cafe do Brasil

Passaro Preto was one of the dishes recommended by the waiter, and I think it is one of the restaurant's more popular dishes. This is fried chicken on the bone, marinated in olive oil and cooked to a dark brown color. This seemed like a totally different dish than the typical American style greasy fried chicken (although I like most of them also). The Brazilian version, though, was very enjoyable, and I thought Cafe do Brasil represented it well. This chicken really cannot be eaten successfully with a fork, but the olive oil leaves less grease on the fingers than other types of fried chicken.

Different dishes come with different sides, but this one had rice, black beans, collard greens, and molho campanha (mine also had some pico de gallo). Like my experiences in Central America, the vegetables and side dishes were not really my favorite part of the cuisine. The black beans that came with this dish, though, were more enjoyable than is usually the case.

Puddin de Leite
Puddin de Leite at Cafe do Brasil

After all of this a dessert was certainly not necessary, but as a public service in order to write a more complete review, I ordered Puddin de Leite, or flan. Just about every flan has a good sauce, but the one here also had a very well prepared custard that was better than most. This was quite a good dessert after a good meal.

Like most of the rest of the food, the desserts are reasonably priced. It is only because of the temptation to order so many items that the bill adds up. Bakery items are also available to take home, and I understand the owner started out with a bakery before opening the restaurant.

Brazilian coffee is available, along with drinks from the bar (including cachada, the Brazilian national drink).

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Cafe do Brasil


RESTAURANT DETAILS

RATING: 25

Cuisine: Brazilian
Cost: $$$
Hours: Closed Mon. & Sun. dinner
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No Smoking
Alcohol: Beer, Wine, Drinks
Special Features: Brunch Sat. & Sun., Bossa Nova Bar Thur.-Sat. after 4:30 p.m., Bakery (for dine in or take home)

Most Recent Visit
Jan. 29, 2008

Number of Visits: 1

Best Items
Passaro Preto, Beringela Portuguesa, Salada Carioca, Desserts

Special Ratings
Passaro Preto:
Beringela Portuguesa:
Salada Carioca:
Salada Tropical:
Puddin de Leite:

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