Thursday, March 31, 2011

Brasília for Tourists

Brasília is not as human unfriendly as it looks for the first time visitor. I guess that the best thing to do is to take a walk on its Superquadras, like SQS 308, and feel how it is to live here. The main tourist attractions are just there: Congresso Nacional, Palácio Itamaraty, Catedral and so on... Catetinho, the temporary home of the president during the construction of the capital, is far from the center and holds a small exhibition about the city. Interesting, but it appeals only to the Architecture/Brazilian history fans. Skip it if you do not have time to spare.

Brasília is not a place for foodies, but here is my list of restaurants
  • Ethnic or International: Despite all the embassies, the demographics is pretty homogeneous, so ethnic and international restaurants - in general - should be avoided. Palace Long Fu(Chinese) at Academia de Tênis is OK. Pretty much the same thing that you can find at an average restaurant in China. Servus is an Austrian restaurant in the countryside. The restaurant, almost hidden, is located about 40 minute away from the center of Brasilia near Tororó Falls. The owner speaks English and can give instructions. Opens on Saturdays and Sundays. Reservations are strongly recommended (Phone 3339-6180).
  • Brazilian Barbecue: Porcão and Fogo de Chão. The branches in Brasília offer the same top quality as everywhere else.
  • Regional (Northeast) food : Mangai is the one that everybody knows and recommends. It is pretty good, but my choice is Macambira (SCRLN 714 bloco F loja 22). The place is tiny, not well located and opens just for lunch. It is not as good as Mocotó (in São Paulo), but the idea is quite the same.Tia Zélia, Lula's favourite (people say), is just fine (Opens for lunch on Mondays to Fridays).
  • I've never been to Aquavit (Scandinavian). The prices are comparable to two-star restaurants in France. I will wait for the next Brazilian currency crisis to visit the place.:-)
  • Places to avoid: Beirute for its bad food, and Zuu , overpriced.

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