Weekly samba performances complement authentic Brazilian fare at Canto Do Brasil Restaurant, one of San Francisco's longest-standing Brazilian restaurants and subject of two Check, Please! Bay Area features. To commence meals, chefs can sauté fresh calamari with red wine or grill up a sausage that intimidates foot-long hot dogs with its 16-inch length and muscular entourage of bread. For the main dish, forks can tap dance over the galinha na cerveja, a half chicken marinated in dark beer and Brazilian-style spices; or hide away inside the seafood tropical’s pineapple shell, in which a sauce made with orange, apple, and coconut festoons a medley of seafood. Finally, a selection of Portuguese beers or the signature caipirinha’s mix of sugar, lime, and rum's bad-boy cousin cachaça can wash down meals with authentic South American flavors.
Patrons can pluck their daily serving of fruit from piled-high headdresses on Friday and Saturday nights, when Canto Do Brasil hosts live Carnaval samba performances in a relaxed, festive, and romantic atmostphere. Dancers decked out in feathered plumes and sparkly costumes shimmy and shake their way between rustic wooden chairs and cerulean walls for a beach aesthetic, entertaining customers and competing to see whose headdress can attract the most parrots.
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."
Eat an endless parade of succulent meats, salads, sides, and hot dishes at Espetus Churrascaria. With today's Groupon, $20 gets you $40 toward a prix fixe rodizio-style dinner (can't be used toward drinks or dessert) that ensures hunger's defeat at the hands of knife-wielding, meat-serving gauchos. The rodizio dinner costs $49.95, so you'll still need another $9.95 in addition to your $40 Groupon, but that's still 40% off some of the best meats in town.
Gina Gochez and Taylor Maia grew up together in a small town in central Brazil, but moved to San Francisco to follow their dream: opening a pizzeria. They soon founded Pizza Orgasmica & Brewing Co, an enterprise that has since spread to five locations throughout the San Francisco area. At each, these childhood friends fuse their passion for pizza and the cuisine of their native land, blending Brazilian and Italian ingredients into colorful specialty pizzas with names such as Latin Lover, Girl from Ipanema, and Hot Mama. They also give diners creative free rein, helping them create their own using more than 50 toppings and the local library's thesaurus. At the San Rafael location, traditional Brazilian dishes such as stews and rice platters represent the flavors of the founders' childhood. Accompanying all of these dishes are Pizza Orgasmica & Brewing Co's 10 house-brewed beers, which range from a light kolsch to a hearty porter.
From its unassuming corner on Mission Street, the Palace Family Steakhouse has watched the neighborhood change and evolve for nearly half a century. Though the original owner retired in 2009, Palace’s new management continues the traditions of old, serving up a menu of Mediterranean treats and sizzling steak-house fare until 3 a.m. every day of the week. Tabouleh and baba ghanouj starters mingle with juicy steaks, and American desserts such as cheesecake inspire forks to hum suites by Aaron Copland. Chefs also prepare traditional and seafood pasta alongside shawarma and club sandwiches or pizza.
The azure-blue sea and palm-tree-lined beach on El Nuevo Frutilandia's rustic painted sign hint at the Caribbean cuisine served inside. A modest menu highlights multiple courses of Cuban and Puerto Rican dishes, including meatless options such as mofongo vegetariano, a classic dish of fried plantains smashed together with olive oil and garlic. Pork is featured throughout the menu, whether roasted and sliced alongside ham and cheese in the Cuban sandwich, or fried as chops with a spritz of lemon and crown of onions.