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Oct 17, 2010 02:19 PM

Rio de Janeiro - The Deck on Copacabana for feijoada and other good food.

We’ve been eating at The Deck on Copacabana Beach for four years now and find it the best we’ve had. Unlike some places which bring you a container with various “pig parts” and sides of rice, black beans and farofa, The Deck has a buffet set up with basketball-sized “cauldrons” over a heat source with about 10 or 12 different cuts of slow-cooked mostly pork. There are the more “esoteric” cuts like ear and feet but also different ribs and sausages and roast. They also have, for the non-feijoada lovers, chicken thighs with okra and bobo do camarao (shrimp in yucca cream sauce) and a roasted leg of pork. Two different broth-type soups, white rice, black beans and all sorts of accompaniments like large and small chicharrone type meats, salsas, farofa (toasted manioc flour). I try SO hard to restrain myself but it’s hard. My goal is always to put one piece of each meat on my plate with a small amount of rice, beans, greens, etc. But I have my faves so I MUST take two or three of those. Right???

To back up a bit, although we’re only there one or twice a year, the staff always remember us. They also remember that we want caiparinhas with extra ice. So when we return to our outside table, the drinks are there with an ice bucket and tongs, various sweeteners, a small bottle of sparkling water. Because of their location (Avenida Atlantica and Sequero Campos) one would expect it to be a very touristy place but we’re the exception rather than the rule. It seems to be a place where family and friends meet on Saturday (the traditional day for this dish) for a leisurely lunch.

After eating entirely too much lunch, we rest a bit before tackling the dessert table. You go back inside and there’s another long table with approx. 12-15 desserts. Neither of us are dessert people but we feel dutybound to have just a teensy bit. Our choices are usually some slices of orange, passionfruit mousse and flan.

Four years ago the price was about $10pp. Now it’s up to about $15. A bargain at twice the price.

This is definitely a meal that requires a nap afterwards and maybe a scrambled egg and toast for a late dinner.

In addition to feijoada, we’ve had other lunches there. Once we had the little fried balls of salt cod and also little pastries filled with catupiry, a thin cream cheese type product. Piping hot and the pastry is so flaky and good. One time we had pizza which was pepperoni and onion (the Brazilian onions are so sweet). They make it in a pan that’s about ½” thick but still managed to get it a little crispy as we’d requested.

I encourage all visitors to Rio to have a meal at The Deck. We manage two or three visits in a three week trip. It’s that good.

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    1. Sounds like my kind of place. I'm a big believer in that whole repeat-customer thing. Building relationships over time brings huge dividends.

      Thanks for the post.

      3 Replies
      1. re: steve h.

        I have a couple more posts to do on Rio and the friendliness of the cariocas is always part of it. They're such nice people.

        1. re: c oliver

          Looking forward. Deb and I will be slurping oysters on Tomales Bay on Tuesday. Life's too short for crap food.

          1. re: steve h.

            Oh, that's right. Too bad you can't "swing by" here with some of those:) Enjoy.

      2. AaaaaaAAGH! I HATE YOU!!! (Just kidding)
        I love Brazilian food! And I miss having authentic ingredients.
        I'll definitely look the place up the next time I'm in Rio. Thanks for the tip!

        1 Reply
        1. re: lepetitechef

          It's definitely worth it. And right across from the beach.

        2. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll be back in Rio this week and have been looking for a good place to eat along Copacabana.

          1. Thanks. I'm headed there next month and look forward to enjoying The Deck.

            2 Replies
            1. re: globalgourmet

              Thanks to your recommendation, I've been to The Deck three times in the last two weeks and will return at least once more. Once, I tried their "limitless pizza" for $12 US. Waiters just keep coming around with different pizzas every few minutes; you can ask for a slice or pass. And they keep coming, till you can't handle any more. Also, had meat, seafood and their ice-cold Brahma draft beer. And from the first, they treated me warmly. Thanks so much for your recommendation

              1. re: globalgourmet

                I'm so glad you're enjoying The Deck. But, wait, no mention of feijoada??? Don't be afraid. Many/most of the 'pig parts' are totally benign.

                I've not had the pizza 'rodizia' but will based on YOUR rec. So thank you.

                And, yes, aren't the guys nice?