What I ate Wednesday| Veggie meals in Santos, Brazil

Here I am again. One more trip to Brazil to spend some quality time with my family. Another post about veggie food I the city. If you have been here before, there was a post with the best veggie bites in Santos with tips on where to find tasty vegetarian meals. By the time you are reading this post, I may be on my way back home to the UK.

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This time, my visit was quite short. Only one week spent here, but I managed to try some different vegetarian restaurants anyway. Starting with the first night in Sao Paulo.

I usually stay in a hotel near the Guarulhos’ airport at the first night in Brazil. It has been this way for nearly three years now because I think it’s more convenient to us.

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The nice food provided at this hotel is one of the reasons to do it. The restaurant’s hotel serves homemade Brazilian food. It’s mainly meat-based but they are very flexible when asking for portions of beans, vegetables and salad. Besides, the breakfast at this hotel is outstanding.

I always have my pao de queijo (cheese bread – cheese bread – a small, baked, cheese-flavored roll made with cassava or corn flour) fixing there. The variety of fruit is also another plus.

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I always find juice melons and papaya, which is a very typical fruit in Brazil. I don`t usually find papaya in the UK. So, I make the most of it when I am here.

At the first night in Santos, I also decided to ask for some takeaway. As you already notice, I use IFood. It’s a versatile app where I can find health food restaurant options quite straight away.

I was so curious about the Coxinha de Jaca (a pear-shaped, deep-fried croquette filled with Jackfruit). Coxinha is one of the most popular snacks of our cuisine, but it’s usually filled with chicken. The vegetarian version is filled with Jackfruit. So, I needed to give it a try!

I have found this one at Cantinho da Terra  – a lovely vegan emporium where creative Brazilian food gained delicious vegan version. I also asked for a Pastel de Acelga with tomato (a thin pastry envelope with chard filling, deep fried in vegetable oil).

Both snacks were delicious.  I will certainly ask for more of Cantinho da Terra’s food. They know how to cater for vegetarians and vegans. Besides, it’s an independent business that deserves all credits.

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When it was Thursday, I have decided to visit a shopping centre with my parents. Shopping centres in Brazil have typical restaurants that you can eat (by kilo). We call it self-service.

When you eat what you want since you pay for quantity of food in your plate. I love this kind of places because you can eat small portions and they usually have plenty of vegetarian options.

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My lunch was quite light this day with a mixing of vegetables, some cassava and pumpkin pure. The restaurant I have chosen was called Divino Fogao.

It’s a chain you can find in different parts of the country. And food there is typical Brazilian comfy “farm” one.

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It was so gorgeous that I also asked for the dessert and had a passion fruit mousse. It wasn`t low caloric but there is nothing can be more Brazilian than a passion fruit pudding!

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On Friday, I also had a lovely meal out with my friend Vivian at Govinda’s Gosto Superior, in Gonzaga. This is a typical and traditional vegetarian restaurant with menu inspired in Indian food.

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Govinda’s is one of the most popular vegan restaurants in the city. I always wanted to try its food and they always offer fixed-menus for set prices. So, you can choose one of the two options available.

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I have chosen then one called Pakora (MEDALHÃO DE BERINJELA RECHEADO COM QUEIJO BRANCO E MOLHO DE TOMATE).

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Acompanha Arroz integral com granola salgada; Dahl (caldo) de grão de bico; Torta de legumes; Salada do dia.

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It’s nothing but (Aubergine medallion stuffed with white cheese and tomato sauce), accompanies with rice with salted granola; Dahl (broth) of chickpeas; Vegetable pie; and the salad of the day.

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Govinda’s food is authentic and delicious. It’s a shame the restaurant just accepts cash or direct debit. So, don`t try using your credit card there. It won’t work there. This is quite disappointing to be honest. But the lesson was learnt.

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On Sunday, I have chosen another takeaway.  This time I really fancied a veggie burger of some kind. Then I reached Ifood again to ask for a super Vegan one by Veg & Veg Burguer and Hello!

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Here’s one of the tasteful veggie meals I ever had in life. Simple gorgeous. My burger was made with super fresh and organic ingredients. I had chosen the soy meat burger with special chilli vegan mayo and vegan cheese. It was juicy!

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Then, Monday – my last night in Santos – I have met my friend Vivian again (that has become officially my gastronomic partner in adventures when I am in Santos) for a casual coffee that ended up in a quick (ish) stop to get some drinks and burgers.

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This time we visited one of the hippest places in the city – The Original Co. It has a good reputation for original met burgers. A bit hype, maybe. But my first impression was: it’s a place to bring friends/family in a casual night out. Or when you just want to grab some bites. You have tables outside, which is a great option when it is hot in the city.

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The menu is original indeed. There are a variety of burgers and drinks that really impressed me. From international beers to ciders and cocktails.

We were lucky enough to visit the place in the “Hamburger Day”.  I had no clue about it, but we ended up paying for just one burger, which was a good deal. Viva la burger! 

We asked for the New Vegan Burger with a mix of potato and mushroom burger, lettuce and special brown bread. The burger is succulent and really well seasoned. It’s not a massive one, the portion is actually pretty manageable. In the right size I would say.

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We also tried some roasted potatoes that were served with rosemary, garlic and their special mayo.  The drinks were all caipirinhas. We had 3 each. I know. It became a bit messy! But they all tasted so good and I am really impressed with the fact they were made with Leblon cachaça – which is a quality Brazilian rum.

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Food was great. Drinks were tasty. Is it a bit pricey? Oh yes. But you pay for the experience and I guess they are doing a great job. The place was packed and there were massive queues by the time we left. I will go back for more.

Now I just need to start planning my next trip to Brazil and start everything again. Looking for veggie meals wherever I go can be challenging and rewarding. There are so many outstanding businesses offering quality healthy food out there. You just need to be a bit selective and creative!

 

 

 

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I'm a Brazilian journalist based in West Midlands. In Brazil, I have worked with International Trade and Logistics publications. Now in the UK, I keep writing and I dedicate myself to a new project : Midlands Trade - a blog focused on business in Europe and Brazil. It's also supporting small businesses throughout the #MeetTheBusiness.

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