Brazilian snacks & cocoa juice at Sabor Brazil & Ninos Pizzeria
Sabor Brazil has interesting fresh Brazilian juices.
Today it was cocoa juice. It turned out to be white, not chocolate-colored with a unique taste that was buttery, tart and tangy. One of the few references I saw about it on the web said it tasted like lychee. Well, a little with some passion fruit thrown in.
As far as I can tell, this is the same as the cocoa that makes chocolate, except it is the pulp of the pod and not the seed. It taste nothing like the chocolate made from the seed.
Asked if I wanted cocoa with cream sure. So they used milk as the base, threw in a little sugar and squirted a white-ish liquid in and blended it. The frothy, slightly pulpy drink was different and good.
IMO, after trying three coxinha, Brazilian chicken croquettes, Ninos Pizzeria marginally gets the nod as best. Im thru with coxinha. They are almost like pupusas if youve had one you pretty much have had them all.
Ninos has two versions, regular and cream cheese. Also they have the advantage of serving these with a jalapeño-spiked ranch dipping sauce which peps them up a bit. For me, the stewed shredded chicken filling of the coxinha seems a little bland. The cream cheese is mixed into the dough around the filling.
A snack like this needs catsup and mayo which seem so popular. At Sabor Brazil, each table has a large glass bowl filled with packets of those condiments.
I also tried the black bean soup at Ninos which makes for a filling lunch for $3.50. The puree of black bean had a roasted garlic note and was topped with green onions. Not great, but satisfying enough.
Ninos has other Brazilian appetizers, but they are sold four to a plate, so maybe sometime in the future. This was my first time at dinner and there were quite a few Brazilian families eating there. If almost felt like when I worked out of the country with everyone speaking Portuguese.
Brazilian cable plays on the TV. Since it is World Cup time of year, the place is decked out in green and yellow flags with matching table cloths. Now I understand why the ceiling is painted green. Its one of the colors on the Brazilian flag.
Ive done most of my snack tasting at Sabor Brazil. This is what I like in order of preference:
Disco This is a meat patty covered with flavored bread crumbs and deep fried. This was delicious. It reminded me of my mothers meatballs when she splurged for the more pricey but authentic Italian breadcrumbs from the Progresso.
Empadeo Goiano Brazilian chicken pot pie. This is one of their most popular items. It has a nice brown crust, looking almost like a Brioche. I was told to heat it a minute in the microwave, but I tried a tiny bit cold. I was thinking there was quite a bit of dough in it.
However, when I heated it, it turnout out the dough was a delicious thick layer of cheese. The chicken was similar to the coxinha, sort of a shredded, stewed chicken, but mixed with green olives, diced potato, some spices to give it character and of course corn niblets. .
Rizole de milho Yep, another deep-fried, breadcrumb-covered snack filled with a mixture of creamy cheese, corn niblets and some sort of chopped green herb. Shaped like a hot pocket.
Quibe - a mix of minced meat, mint and couscous and fried in oil. Similar to falafel, which Im not a fan of. The mint and spice was pleasant. I was about to write it off when I hit an oozy cheese center. Well, sure, stuff that falafel with cheese and you have something.
Pao de quiejo little walnut-sized cheese bread. Id give Sunstream in SF the edge on these, but they are still good heated.
The cheese rolls are not listed on the menu and Im finding that there are things sold that are not on the menu. Also, some of the menu items are not always available. They had a pretty good-looking bundt called a Florentine cake. This cake originates in Italy.
The only thing that isnt too interesting is the coffee. The basic cup of coffee is good, but the others are only ok to me. Stick to the juices and smoothies. Coffee you can get anywhere. The juices are unique.
Caf Enzinho I dont see the difference from cappuccino, which is also on the menu
Pinguinho was just regular coffee with a ping of milk.
The owners are from Minas Gerais, the second most populous of Brazils 26 states. Today was really lively since Brazil was playing in the world cup, so music was playing, people were dancing, and there were balloons the color of the Brazilian flag floating along the ceiling.
They seem to have some Brazilian women making the snacks, dishes and baked goods. There is no kitchen in the place, so they just deep-fry the snacks and keep them warm in a glass case.
Ive really enjoyed this coffee shop and look forward to trying some of the other items, especially the lasahna that looks like enchiladas and maybe that Florentine cake. Im also looking forward to the monthly Sunday dinner they are planning.
Ninos Brazilian Restaurant previous post
Thats Brazilian kebabs.
Theres a Brazilian guy who doesnt speak a word of English in the lot with a BBQ grill. Right now its chicken or beef. Then there is a choice of stewed manioc or manioc powder farinha, I belive.
The link at the bottom talks about Brazilian food and says
Traditionally, the gaucho, or cowboy, placed meat on a spit end, barbecuing it slowly, and then basted it with a mixture of salt and water using a cornhusk or a leafy branch. When the meat was done, he would dip it into manioc flour before eating.
Very nice guy. He chatted away in Portuguese and I kept up my part in English. I was a little frustrated that the one word I know in Portuguese, frango (chicken), wasnt understood, but pointing eventually worked. I think he told me what part of Brazil he was from but I just have problems understanding Portuguese. Im getting so that I can read it, but the sound is just so different from the words.
The kebabs were decent enough but not as tasty as the sausage kebabs I had at the festa Junia. Both the chicken and beef were a little chewy. The stewed manioc, retrieved from a huge pot, was similar in taste to boiled yucca or potatoes, kind of a bland veggie. Ditto on the farinha. I'm thinking this is an aquired taste. It is not bad, just not more exciting than bread crumbs. I'm starting to guess that farinha is what a lot of those snacks are coated in.
Theres always something new and interesting at Sabor Brazil . I still think that the star in this place are the fresh Brazilian fruit drinks, but it has been a tasty education.
The owner said they had the churrasco on Saturday and Sunday. You pay at the counter ($3) and bring a yellow post it to the guy in the lot.
New snacks I tried breaded kabobs. Im guessing it was coated with the manioc flour but it was a slightly peppery coating. There was a faint pineapple taste and it seemed there was some sort of yellowish marinade between each piece of chicken
I tried a piece of, for lack of a better word, a pot-pie in a huge lasagna pan which was similar to the individual pot pies but with tomatoes. This was cut into lasgana-like squares. I like the individual pies a little better because of the thicker layer of melted cheese.
On every visit there are new items on the shelves. I noticed that there are now jars of yellow pequi sauce.
I think this may also be an internet cafe since they were two computers against one wall of the cafe.
The people running the shop are very nice and asked why I didnt come over to watch the soccer game. When Brazil is playing, this is the place to be.
This is answering a question on the General Board about where to buy Café caboclo in San Francisco.
I bought my package at Nino's Pizzaria in Berkeley. It has a few shelves of groceries. Sabor Brazil mentioned above has more brands.
I haven't been to any of these places in San Francisco, but they say they sell some Brazilian groceries.
2105 Van Ness
San Francisco, CA
Hmmm ... thier website says you can stop by, relax and enjoy some Brazilian coffee ... have to check this out. Actually, if you look under the products link they have an internet cafe
1252 Valencia St
San Francisco, Ca
Here are other places in the Bay that sell Brazilian groceries. Most of these are small with only a shelf or two of groceries. The BIG Brazilian market with a full fresh meat counter and bakery (haven't been yet, just saw pictures in the ad
AVP International Market
175 W. 25th Ave
San Mateo, Ca 94403
Other places courtesy of Brazil's Best Magazine ads
1137 California Dr @ Broadway
Burlingame, Ca 94010
Paraiso Brazilian Imports
6564 Mission St
197 87th St
Daly City, Ca 94015