Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bar Original (Moema)

Bar Original
Rua Grauna, 137


Heading to this bar in Moema around 5:30 on a Friday with some friends from work, I had high hopes for what had been billed by one colleague (and many a Veja Magazine) as "the best choppe in Sao Paulo". Personally, I don't really get how one choppe can differ too much from another. But Felippe says it has to do with temperature, storage conditions, and shelf-life...and he should know :)

With friends who drink beer that way my friends drink beer, I knew the verdict would be in soon. They were not disappointed...and the beer (claro and escura) kept coming in that way that it only comes in Sao Paulo. The way that makes you ask yourself, "Did I order that?"

While some drank beer, others ordered Johnny Walker Red. By the bottle. Seriously. The cool thing about Bar Original is that you buy the bottle...drink what you can...and leave the rest there (with your name on it, on a shelf above the bar) for the next time you come in. Genius. And, if you are a Scotch drinker, economical.

Normally, I am not too into bar Sao Paulo it tends to be all fried. But if the beer was the best, then I thought that surely the food would not disappoint. And it didn't. Here's the lowdown:

Croquete Original (Original Croquettes)

Although the term "Original" probably refers to the restaurant, it could also refer to the ingredients in these fancy little croquettes. The come stuffed with bits of salami and brie...and kind of reminded of some Eastern European dish my great great great great grandmother probably fried up in the shtetl...and I mean that as a compliment.

Piraja (I have no idea how this translates, but also some kind of croquette)
Also little croquettes, but stuffed with mandioca and carne seca (dried meat, sort of like a beef jerky, but tender). Tasty, if not a little strange. Didn't have the same zing as the Croquetes Originales, but a good compliment to the choppe.

Croquete de Bacalhau (Salted Codfish Croquettes)
Better than bolinhos. A new twist (can you see the croquete theme here?) on the bolinho de bacalhau standy, this croquete came stuffed with potato (I think it was potato, maybe it was mandioca?) AND salted cod. Just the right mixture to make it absolutely delicious, not disgusting.

Small, but didn't have to go searching for the filling in these suckers. Recommended for taste and variety (shrimp, cheese, hearts of palm, or meat). A little something for everyone.

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