Eating and More: Belo Horizonte, Brazil

The Whole Family

The Whole Family

Pretty much all the events we attended in Belo Horizonte revolved around food, so here are some of the places we’ve been to and the things we ate. Everyday my mom, my aunt, and my parents’ maid would cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner for us. The highlight for me was pão de queijo (cheese bread), since it was homemade and warm. If there were any left from breakfast, we would also eat it as a snack with coffee in the afternoon. My mom’s maid also found out that palha italiana (a chocolate and cookies patty) was one of my favorite desserts and made that for my last day in Belo Horizonte. Since açai was one of the boyfriend’s favorite juices in the Amazon, my mom also defrosted the special pulp for him. Another thing that cannot be missed at my parents: bacalhau, the salted cod fish baked Portuguese style.

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Some days it seemed all we did was eat, watch a World Cup game on television, eat again, watch another game, play with the dog Sucki, and eat again before going to bed. There was always a snack too, like banana frita (fried bananas), goiabada (guava candy), and ovo de pascoa (the huge chocolate Easter eggs they had been saving for me).

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While we were there, we also had a couple of birthdays: my mom’s and my nephew’s. My mom’s was a low-key one at home, with chocolate cake. My nephew’s 6th birthday was a whole production with Batman decorations, huge cake, an entertainer and bouncy house for the kids, and, of course, salgadinhos (Brazilian appetizers, like croquettes and mini-quiches) and brigadeiros (chocolate-caramel little ball).

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Of course, World Cup games were also an excuse to eat. For Brasil vs. Chile we went to my sister’s and had more salgadinhos and brigadeiros, along with other dishes brought by her neighbors, like hot dogs and lasagna. For one of the USA games we met my friend S. at Bar Itatiaia for some beer, and then for the Germany vs. Brasil I met her again, but at Bar do Carmo. During Brazil games, downtown streets were closed for people to watch the game on big screens. Very crowded, but I went there anyway to see my friend M. and his family.

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Belo Horizonte, being a big city without a beach, has many malls as a pastime. I went many times to Pátio Savassi Mall since it is so close to my dad’s office. There I met my friend M., walked by our old high school that is nearby, and ate at Graciliano, one of my favorite places because they have an upscale all-you-can-eat buffet. Also, one of the only places I can find this almond cookie called “financier”.

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When you think of Brazilian food and drinks, you think of two things: caipirinha and churrasco. Caipirinha is a cachaça (Brazilian rum), sugar, and lime juice drink best found in “botecos” (bars), like the one we went to with my siblings: Armazém Medeiros. Now for the churrasco, we went to churrascaria Ambrosios, which is an all-you-can-eat Brazilian steakhouse/barbecue place. The servers bring each of the several cuts of meat on a big skewer to your table, one by one, for as long as you can eat them. All the side dishes are on a buffet, but the meat will be brought to you if you have a green coaster that says “go” near your plate. Are you hungry yet?

 

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