Sampa’s birthday was actually quite a while ago (January 25), but dut to my incredible ability to procrastinate, I decided to write about it today. As every megalopolis in the world, birthdays are taken seriously and some events are even sponsored by private parties, such as “Chefs na Rua” (Chefs on the Street). As the name goes, chefs from famous – read “expensive” – restaurants offer their signature dishes to the public for a pocket-friendly price. Of course, the dishes aren’t exactly full size and they are made by the ton, so the quality is probably not top notch. Even so, their effort is laudable and the food – in my opinion – is delicious!
This is the third time Chefs na Rua take the streets of Sampa. The first time was at Virada Cultural, a cultural festival that goes round-the-clock and usually takes place during the weekend, and the second was in celebration of 100 years of Luiz Gonzaga, a baiãomusician (baião> stands for a rhythm common in the Northeastern region of Brazil). This time, Chefs na Rua occupied the space – not even a square, really – before the Municipal Theatre. It couldn’t be more fitting, since the Municipal Theatre is the pride and joy of us paulistanos*. Really nice for some gorgeous pics!
The lines were organised, not because someone was actively organising them, but because people respected each other. I know it is hard to believe, since Sampa can be quite a jungle sometimes, but I was pleasantly surprised to see civility in a hyped event. The biggest lines were for Bacalhau à Brás (Portuguese dish with shredded cod, fried potatoes, onions, eggs and covered with black olive purée) and Hambúrguer de Pato (duck burger with truffled mayonnaise). Both were lovely, the duck burger was moist and tender and well seasoned and the cod… simply splendid! Moist, crunchy and full of cod, which is very important (since cod is an expensive fish in Brazil, we usually expect people to be stingy with it), and the black olive purée was heavenly. Unfortunately, I lack the gourmet expertise to describe it.
I would love to post the pictures I took during the event, but the presentation of the dishes wasn’t very appealing… The cod was from Tasca da Esquina and the duck burger was from Così. Here is some action inside the duck burger booth.
I also went to another booth, with a much smaller line, and got myself a Rabada com Polenta (ox tail plus… polenta is polenta, right?) and a Sorvete de Cajá (cajá ice cream – cajá is a fruit that is commonly found in Bahia, Brazil). It was good, but not memorable. The polenta was very good, but the ox tail was shredded – and stripped off its bone – and therefore it lacked a bit in flavour. Both the ox tail and the ice cream were from the brothers behind the restaurants of L’Hotel Porto Bay and Tarsila. Unfortunately I could not find any picture of them to post here.
Other restaurants that participated in the event:
- Sotero: acarajé (deep-fried salty cakes, typical of Bahia and the Northeastern region of Brazil).
- Via Carlo Buffet: Italian pasta
- Lá Da Venda: pão de queijo (cheese bread – a recipe from Minas Gerais, Brazil that every paulistano adores) and home-made cakes
- Marcel: French hotdog
- Sabores De Mi Tierra: arepas and patacones (typical food of Venezuela)
- Marcelino Pan y Vino: roasted pork leg sandwich
- 1900 Pizzeria: mini pizza
- Luiz Emanuel: Boeuf Bourguignone skewer
- Nakombi: temaki
- Maria Brigadeiro: brigadeiro (Brazilian sweet made of condensed milk and chocolate
All in all, I recommend the experience. It is a good opportunity to get to know the best restaurants in Sampa for a thrift. If you are lucky enough to be in Sampa when the chefs hit the streets, do not hesitate: go. And go early.*In case you are wondering: paulistanos are usually people born and raised in Sampa. I say usually, because it is not uncommon for people who fall in love with Sampa to call themselves paulistanos. Sampa is just that kind of city.