Thoughts on Sampaio?
Not my normal area, but wife and I have been in this region due to space aliens, and I'm happy to give you our takes.
We started with the Quiejo Frito. Bland but solid. The brie app at East Side beats this hands down, and the app at Castle Hill is better as well. This survives, but if you've had a good fried cheese app (be it brie or goat) you'll wonder "Wha?" when snacking on this treat. Not that it is bad, merely that it ain't "Real Good!", and for $10.50, that is your right.
My wife and I split our mains: the Camarão ao olho e Cachaça and the coffee-crusted Porco Tenderloin were our ordres. The shrimp were decent, although I must confess that P.F. Chang's is right there on quality. The pork tenderloin was actually quite tasty. The coffee-crusted coating was neither too much nor too little. The meat was also cooked with precision -- I asked for medium rare on a non-beef dish and they did a decent job of getting it there.
I should also add that while our dining experience was only decent, the wine and coctails were pretty darn good.
I doubt I'll return to Sampaio, w/o some motivation. I'm sure I could order a decent meal there, but for the price they really should deliver something more.
re: tom in austin
A little over a year ago I went with a friend to Sampaio for lunch and thought it reasonably good, enough to go back for dinner with my wife. I can't remember now what we had but we decided that considering the quality of the food and the prices, that it was maybe a lunch place only. I do recall that they had an appetizer that was described variously as a Kibbee and another mid-Eastern dish that I cannot remember the name of. It was described as having ground sirloin in it. We could not detect any meat (btw, my wife is Lebanese) and took the thing all apart down to the grains of wheat and could not see any evidence of meat. I asked the waitress(who, btw, was terrifically overworked that night and gave bad service) and she said the meat was in there, it was just ground up small. The dish was more like a falafel.
My son and his BW went recently and he said the food was not good. No detail on what he had, etc.
Sorry, but this is the best I can offer right now. Probablly not much help but it seems that consistenly people are underwhelmed with the place.