Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Meals at the Metro: Venda Mineira

There's a road near the Botafogo Metro that is lined with restaurants. Fourteen of them to be exact. In an effort to get to know my own city, I've challenged myself to try all of them at some point throughout the year. 

Kelly is joining me on this quest and last night, while trying out our first restaurant, we came up with a grading scale of sorts. Because we're obviously the newest food critics here in Rio.

We're going to grade each restaurant in five categories-- ambience and environment, service, menu, wait time, and food quality. And when we've finished all fourteen restaurants, we'll probably have our own Food Network show and, more importantly, we'll actually be able to make some suggestions when someone says "Where do you want to eat tonight?" besides Bibi Sucos.

Restaurant #1: Venda Mineira

Venda Mineira specializes in food from Minas Gerias, which is another state of Brazil. I've eaten at a couple of different restaurants that serve food from Minas Gerais, and in my opinion, the food is always very hearty and warm. It's stews and meats and food that I want to eat when its cold outside. 

Linguiça Acebolada com Cachaça-- Sausage and Onions with Cachaça

Ambience and Environment- 3
Like most of the restaurants near the Metro, Venda Mineira had some seating inside and some seating outside. Kelly and I sat outside and it rained pretty hard while we were there. Luckily there's a fairly large overhang, so we didn't get wet at all. Point for Venda Mineira. The restaurant didn't inspire me to take photos of all the cool decor, but I also didn't feel like I was in danger of catching any weird diseases from just sitting at the table. Which, I suppose, is a win.

Service- 3
Our service is rarely stellar in Brazil (that isn't to say that it's always bad, it's just rarely AWESOME) and I think its because a lot of waiters get nervous when they see that we don't speak Portuguese. I really just want to give them all a pat on the back when we walk in and tell them that it's going to be more painful for us than it will be for them.

Our waiter at Venda Mineira was really friendly and apologetic when he had to come to our table twice to say that they didn't actually have what we had ordered and a third time to say that they didn't actually cook what I had ordered. As we were paying, he complimented our Portuguese which definitely won him some brownie points.

Menu- 3
I'm a fairly picky eater, though I'm trying to be adventurous, and I had a bit of a difficult time choosing what I wanted to order. They didn't have a ton of choices and out of those choices, they weren't even serving a lot of those foods. I settled on shish-kabobs, and then feijão rico (like a bean stew), and then finally sausage.

Wait Time- 2
We timed it. We waited for 50 minutes before receiving our food. FIFTY MINUTES for some sausage, pastel, and french fries. We spent 10 of those 50 minutes looking at the menu and then proceeded to spend 40 minutes waiting. Un-happy campers.

Food Quality- 3
Despite the long wait, the food was actually delicious. It was so. much. sausage. I also got a little loaf of French bread with the meal and eating some sausage and onions with bread was a good choice.

Overall Score- 14/25
If I'm looking for a hefty helping of linguiça acebolada, then this is definitely the place where I will go. Other than that, I could kind of take it or leave it.


  1. Sooo, I'm pretty sure most places in Taiwan near my home would fail this rating system! I mean wait time is great, but English menus are far and few between, and speaking of catching a disease from these places...I think their motto is like Pokemon "gotta catch 'em all!"

    1. Hahahahahaha, Honduran restaurants wouldn't pass that scale either. Ambiance is basically a table on the side of the road, so if you're into your food tasting slightly like exhaust fumes, then you're good to go.