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.
For a taste of South America, Cafe Brasil is home to some of the tastiest Brazilian fare in town.
You won't find fare that's low in fat here
Cafe Brasil is the perfect place to indulge.
Unwind with a glass of wine or cocktail with your meal — Cafe Brasil has a wonderful selection of drinks to accompany your dinner.
At Cafe Brasil, kids of all ages are welcome.
The patio tables outside of Cafe Brasil are the perfect spot for a summer meal.
You'll want to save quiet conversations for another spot, though — the restaurant can get noisy.
It's strictly first-come, first-served at Cafe Brasil, so plan an early arrival for your pick of tables.
Drift away from stuffy dress-code conventions and dine in comfort at Cafe Brasil.
You can also grab your food to go.
Impress the visitors at your next gathering by calling in Cafe Brasil for catering.
Cafe Brasil's diners can park in a nearby lot or on the street.
Bicyclists will also find lots of space to safely lock up their bikes.
You can take it easy on your wallet at Cafe Brasil — prices are generally less than $30 per person.
The restaurant serves lunch and dinner, but it's the brunch menu that draws the most rave reviews from patrons.
There's no better place to stock up on your grocery necessities than Trade Rite Market in San Jose, a highly rated grocery store.
When you need some essential proteins, you'll definitely be covered with the great meat selection here.
Do you meet your recommended calcium intake? If not, pick up some dairy products and put yourself on the path to a healthier lifestyle.
Going on a road trip or heading to the office? Easy to take anywhere, this snack will hold you over between any meal.
A staple in every household, cereal is sure to please every palate in the family.
Purchase some new spices and seasonings from here and treat yourself to a fun and creative night cooking in the kitchen.
This fixing adds that little something extra to any baked good, so include it in all of your favorite recipes.
Who's hungry? A frozen entree will fool anyone's palate, so why waste time cooking up a storm?
Dial down your thirst with some delicious drinks that are both refreshing and cool.
When you're looking for a little tart flavor to add to your meal, you'll want to grab some vinegar. For something a little more savory, that definitely calls for oil. When you shop here, you can stock up on either to ensure your food is tart and savory in equal measures.
Trade Rite Market understands what it's like having no time at all. That's why they make sure they're well stocked with the canned foods that help save you time.
For that late night at the office or a last-minute change of plans, this frozen food is both scrumptious and convenient for your schedule.
Keep your energy and mood up all day long with a tasty coffee or refreshing tea from Trade Rite Market.
Pick up a loaf of bread from Trade Rite Market and get creative with your breakfast, lunch and dinner meal planning.
Take care of your thirst quickly with a bottle of refreshing water from Trade Rite Market.
Pick up some fresh and tasty pasta from Trade Rite Market and slurp your way to happiness.
Ready, set, fish! For heart-healthy fare, super fresh seafood is readily available.
Whether you cook it or eat it raw, the produce from Trade Rite Market will be tasty no matter what.
The parking lot near Trade Rite Market will have you in and out in a jiffy.
Trade Rite Market is home to many cyclists who appreciate the parking racks outside.
So break out the cookbook, grab your recipe ingredients at Trade Rite Market in San Jose and get down in the kitchen tonight.
Taurinus Brazilian Steakhouse combines the flavors of outdoor campfire cooking with the comfort of an indoor dining room. The restaurant takes its inspiration from the churrasco cooking style of southern Brazil's gauchos, who would gather after long days of ranch work and sear sizable cuts of beef above a roaring fire pit. At Taurinus Brazilian Steakhouse, the pit is replaced by a grill, although smoldering mesquite charcoal still lends a smoky flavor to the meats while sealing in the succulent juices. Servers wander the dining room carrying skewers of more than a dozen different meats, stopping to carve cuts of pork loin, leg of lamb, and bacon-wrapped filet mignon tableside.
To let servers know to hold off on the all-you-can-eat servings of meats, diners flip a card from green to red. This break also provides an opportunity to peruse the salad bar's selection of crisp vegetables, imported cheeses, and hot side dishes. Meanwhile, diners can refresh their palates with a slew of drinks, including beer, sangria, and caipirinhas—Brazil's iconic cocktail. The steak house even features a number of international wines stored in a walk-in, climate-controlled cellar that extends all the way to Brazil.
In Focus: Pampas Palo Alto
The theme: Brazilian-style churrascaria
The atmosphere: casual-chic, with exposed brick walls, a mahogany bar, and low couches
The meats: unlimited
The non-meats: a bar stocked with noodles, rice, and veggies
Classic protein: house-made chorizo
Option for the bold: marinated chicken hearts, available upon request
Unique cocktail: cosmo do diabo with house-infused pepper vodka, pineapple, and passion fruit
Sweet finish: chocolate torte with caramel ice cream and bacon-pecan toffee
Kid friendly?: Yes—youngsters 10 and under can dine off a special menu
Fun fact: consulting pastry chef Marisa Churchill competed on Bravo’s Top Chef
Samba's menu spans continents, uniting dishes toasted over the leaping flames of a Brazilian grill with those cooked in the heated clay interior of a tandoor oven. Samba's signature rodizio dinners deliver skewered meats to tables, where they are carved by servers directly onto diners' plates. Picanha, a cut of beef, is a popular choice. For those who would rather not indulge in the all-you-can-eat option, the picanha burger—covered in mozzarella, grilled mushrooms, and peppers—offers a taste of the Brazilian beef.
Indian offerings include seven types of naan bread, chicken tikka masala, and biryani rice entrees. Samba serves Mediterranean as well, from hummus appetizers to shish kebab lunches and pizzas dotted with feta cheese.
Though the food comes from various regions, the venue positions diners under the same sky—or at least a ceiling charmingly painted to mimic the clouds. Samba also celebrates birthdays with exceptional fanfare: drums, tambourines, and song, instead of the traditional treat of fine-dining establishments, a lobster clutching candles in its claws. This excitement also extends to the upcoming 2014 World Cup beginning in June, during which the restaurant will air the contests with a family-friendly atmosphere.