How to eat well and cheaply in Rio de Janeiro- Pé-Sujo

Discussion in 'Brazil' started by jbcarioca, Mar 15, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Everyone is concerned about the high cost of life in Rio. A very popular solution is Pé-Sujo (translation: Dirty Feet) which are bars and tiny restaurants that open onto the street and are everywhere all over Rio. None of them are even the slightest bit refined. When there is a futebol match (especially if Flamengo is on) they are usually crowded with young shouting fans drinking Chopp (draft beer).

    Some of the best ones have very good food, if you select carefully and they're all cheap. They're all local too. My family has two favorite, both in Copacabana:
    Galeto Viva Flor,Rua Paula Freitas, 66. This one has great galeto (roasted spring chicken, a southern Brazil specialty), an outstanding caldinho de piranha (soup made from the carnivorous amazonian fish, specialty too R$7) and great pork. All meats take a while because they are spit roasted to order. Yesterday we had a large lunch for two with beer and paid R$55 (US$27).

    Pavão Azul, Rua Hilário de Gouveia, 71. This one is run by two sisters and has clean bathrooms, a rarity. It is packed most of the time but turnover is fast. Lots of people come from far away because O Globo (our best local newspaper) ranked it #1 Pé-Sujo in the city last year. Bolinho de Bacalhau (cod balls) is one of the best anywhere, an essential component of Rio life (R$7.20 for four) Pastéis (filled savoury pastries) are great too (R$1.60 each in several flavors). This place looks ratty even by Pé Sujo standards, but the food makes it very popular.

    Not Pé-Sujo but across the street from Pavão Azul is A Polonesa, a tiny place that has been there since the family arrived from Poland just after WWII. It is the only Polish restaurant anywhere around and most people think it is special. One waiter, slow service dated decor and the best chocolate soufflé (order as soon as you enter the place, it takes an hour or so to prepare). You can have your Polish fix and end out with a bill of less than R$60 (US$30) per person. Either get there early, they open at 6PM or make a reservation 2547-7378.

    The other people from Rio will have lots of otehr Pé-Sujo. Please add good deals.
     
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  2. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    When I would live in Rio, I would try cooking instead. ;) Thanks for the recommendations. :)
     
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  3. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    It is actually often cheaper to go to a good comida-a-quilo or Pé-Sujo than it is to buy food and cook it. We cook at home because we like to, but knowing we often pay more to do so.
     
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  4. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Then Rio must be an very expensive place to live in, it must be difficult for less well off people to properly eat there and pay their bills. Inflation does creep in everywhere at the moment, something I know only too good.
     
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  5. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    True. The Federal government has just removed most taxes from basic food items (famously including fresh foie gras) but thus far no reductions have appeared in supermarkets. However, in our house we often buy more expensive things (e.g. rabbit, frog legs) that raise our in-house bills. The basic point still remains, and explains in part the sudden massive popularity of inexpensive informal restaurants. Another cause is the rapid increase in cost of domestic servants which just went up by 30% or more as a result of a new law taht just passed extending many new benefits to domestic servants.
     
  6. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    It's interesting to learn that at least the government tries to help poorer / needy people, but sadly that's not reflected in the supermarkets. Supermarkets want to make profits, there not in the business to give away tax reductions, that's something they simply bank in their own accounts as "additional" profit. So that's something to think about, it's not working for the man/woman on the street who usually pays rent, healthcare, electricity bills. Also of note is the rise in wholesale prices worldwide which make it much more difficult to find cheaper food alternatives in shops, plus of course shareholders who want every 3 month see "progress" in their invested businesses, nothing wrong with that, but it's hardly good for people who depend on their weekly shop to feed a family and balance life. Sadly again, that's something many politicians have also forgotten about, so there is mostly no "real" will to help the less fortunate. Same here in Ireland, many people must think before spending, mostly it's about food inflation, school costs and health care / electricity bills. For many families, it isn't simply good enough that supermarkets are there, it's important that they offer "real" value, plus give access to affordable health options too. Mostly the unhealthy stuff gets promoted, while healthier food is much more expensive and less accessible on a daily basis. Sad, but true. Here in Ireland the government has been acting to get prices down, so far, without success. Ireland remains one of the most expensive countries in the EU today, regarding food prices. Having said this, we're seeing food prices around the world creeping up, fair or not, that's another matter. [ of taste ]
     
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  7. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    There were several places we found in Rio and Sao Paulo that were buffets selling food by weight. We tried two of them and the food was good and the prices were not expensive. One of the restaurants was in Leblon about one block away from the beach and the name was Fellini. I would highly recommend it, although it was quite busy when we went.
     
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  8. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    This could lead to "weighty" issues and high bills. While the concept is interesting, I personally was never really interested.
     
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  9. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    We like them. In addition to Fellini, there are Couve Flor and Celeiro. There are dozens of very good ones. 'Course they are a Rio thing more than elsewhere, but they're spreading. Places like Souplantation in the US seem similar but have cheaper ingedients and much less variety.
     
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  10. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    Compared to Souplantation, Fellini was a michelin multi star.
     
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  11. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    There are not enough stars in the constellation to convey the difference, I agree.
     
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  12. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    My last visit to Porcao with a good friend in GIG and the family was a great meal... :cool:
     
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  13. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    Wow... the above is a carbon copy of what the fruitcake Kris Kirchner is doing in the southern MercoSur region...

    :eek: :mad: :confused:
     
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  14. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    She is one of the apparent inspirations for our deteriorating government, along with Chavez and the Castro brothers.
     

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