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Nov 21, 2011 06:15 PM

Orlando: Fantastic Brazilian Bakery on I-Drive

Hello Central Florida Chowhounds!

I've just returned to Orange County, California from a week in the tourist zone, from a convention over at the JW Marriott and Ritz... while we were driving to a hosted dinner at Texas de Brazil (good caipirinhas, a little short on the meat offerings at dinner) I noticed a sign for a Brazilian bakery called Pão Gostoso ("Tasty Bread") on I-Drive between Kirkman and Oak Ridge.

On the way out to the convention I took a detour in the morning to see what they had. Lots of pão de queijo and Portuguese breads, of course, but they had signs advertising that coxhinas (chicken fritters) would be fried to order. Plenty of Brazilians in their chattering away in Portuguese, though English is not a problem here.

I asked if they had any sonhos, which are beignets stuffed with jam, like the best jelly doughnut ever. They do carry them, but didn't have any at hand. My face fell a little bit and the girl behind the counter went into the kitchen and returned to announce that they'd make them for me on the spot. I ordered two: one with vanilla pastry cream and one with doce de leite (milk caramel). They carry two sizes, small (about the size of a large jelly doughnut) and large (the size of an appetizer plate), and they came out. I also, pig that I am, got a freshly-made folhado de goiaba e queijo—like a cross between a danish and a turnover with guava jam and cheese. Even hours later it was fantastic.

Their cafezinho (little cup of coffee with a little sugar and just a dab of milk, more than a macchiato but less than a latte) was outstanding as well.

There were also lencinhos ("napkins", which are tea sandwiches), trancas de coco (coconut milk bread), queijadinhas (cheese muffins), kibe (kibbeh balls with or without catupiry cheese), and—God help me, I almost bought one of these—quindão (a giant coconut ring-mold flan-type cake). I'm told by people who live in the area that they make excellent Brazilian hamburgers (if you've never had one of these, you should—they've got the bloody kitchen sink in there) at lunchtime.

We don't have Brazilian bakeries in our Orange County, so I'm jealous—and that it's in the middle of the ticky-tacky tourist zone makes me even happier.

Bear in mind that you have to drive PAST the sign, turn right past the building, and then go into the one-way parking lot. Or, you know, just be a tourist and drive the wrong way.

Pão Gostoso
5472 International Dr., Orlando
Open M-F 7:00-22:00, Sa-Su 7:30-22:00

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  1. 2 thoughts:

    1) That's a great recommendation - there are so many crappy "ethnic" options on I-Drive pandering to tourists that we need folks to point out the true winners. For others who may peek in on this thread, also highly recommended are Pio Pio (Colombian), Nile Ethiopian, and Hanamizuki

    2) You are the 1st person I have ever heard of accuse Texas de Brazil of being short on meat - hilarious :) That place gives me the meat sweats, but perhaps you mean on variety of cuts (like no chicken hearts or varieties of Portuguese sausage)?

    Pio Pio Restaurant
    5752 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819

    1 Reply
    1. re: YosemiteSam

      Sorry, I should have been more clear—yes, I meant the variety of cuts, not the quantity of meat. There were maybe five or six choices when we were there; I'm more used to churracarias at night having a dozen. Spoilt for choice, maybe—but the price is nearly as much as Fogo de Chão and the selection is maybe a quarter of Fogo de Chão.

    2. I work near there, need to get out and try this

      1. Stopped by yesterday, tried the burger (double meat one), Huge, thought it was good, liked the egg on it in particular.