Keywords: Brazilian Steak House | Rodizio-Style Service | Gourmet Salad Bar | International Wine Selection
Churrascaria: Brazilian-style barbecuing where the meat is skewered and cooked over an open flame or on a grill; the meat itself is called churrasco.
Caipirinha: a Brazilian cocktail made with the sugarcane-based spirit cachaca and lime juice.
When to Go Stop by between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. throughout the week for the hot lunch buffet.
Who’s in the Kitchen?
Inside Tip A splendid crust is guaranteed for all, regardless of dietary preference or geographic hometown. If you’re from the Midwest, go with the thin and crispy crust. If you hail from the Big Apple, then order up a big New York-style version. There’s also a thick and buttery cornmeal option, and even a gluten-free crust. For the non-conformist, pies can also be folded into calzones.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Work up an appetite by hiking at the scenic Mount Davidson Park (Dalewood Way & Myra Way), which is famous for its 103-foot cross and memorial to the Armenian genocide.
After: Keep the fun going by belting out your best “Thunder Road” in a private singing room at K-Net Karaoke (870 Taraval Street).
Today's Groupon gets you $75 worth of Italian/Brazilian cuisine at Mangarosa in North Beach for $35. Mangarosa offers "a dash of Brazil to the Italian menus that predominate in the popular neighborhood," according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Zagat rates Mangarosa's tropical flavors and fine-dining food as "very good," but rates its servers' ability to tune patrons' guitars as "wicked bad."
When owners Vanessa and Ron Wilkerson were opening Samba Rock Acai Café, they encountered many roadblocks along the way. For instance, the city assessed there would be a $30,000 traffic-impact fee for their restaurant. So the duo improvised. They built an indoor bike parking area, reducing the fee while still providing customers a place to park their wheels. This is just one example in which Ron has defied what some might see as a career-ending set-back. In 1988, the former professional BMX Freestyle rider fell into a coma after failing to land a no-hander, no-footer trick on his bike. Though some might have given up after a life-threatening experience like that—he suffered short-term memory loss and even forgot some of the BMX tricks that he had pioneered—Ron got back on his bike. And if he hadn’t, he would never have traveled to Sao Paolo, Brazil, met Vanessa, married her, or opened Samba Rock Acai Café.
The menu at Samba Rock Acai Café pays homage to the country where the Wilkersons met and where Vanessa grew up. Blended Brazilian berries and mix-ins, such as bananas and peanut butter, make up the base for their acai bowls. They crown this base with toppings such as fresh fruit, avocado, coconut cream, and granola. Their smoothies also feature acai, as well as organic ingredients, which have never been tainted by spray tanners to look more appealing to customers. To round out their South American-inspired menu, they serve yerba mate—steeped leaves of the mate plant—with acai to sweeten each sip.
As a youngster, Latif Lamnaouar learned classic Moroccan dishes by watching and helping his mother in the kitchen. After moving to America, the homesick Latif started cooking those meals himself, a process that reduced his homesickness and propelled his culinary aspirations. He now crafts Moroccan specialties at Lateeva's Cafe, from veggie sandwiches with eggplant and split pea hummus spread to lemon chicken paninis with pesto and spinach.
Before noon, Latif assembles plenty of breakfast treats, too, including wraps chock-full of eggs, hash browns, salsa, and a choice of turkey sausage or turkey bacon. Complement feasts with coffee drinks or the apple juice, strawberry, and tamarind blend of the Road to Casablanca smoothie, named for its resemblance to Humphrey Bogart's naturally fruity scent.