How did I learn about this place?
A couple months ago I had a dining adventure at a Greek place, called Ekkos. I began chatting with Terry, who was dining and also playing a game of chess. He wanted to know if Brazil was on my list yet. "Too expensive." I answered.
There are fabulous Brazilian Steak houses in Houston, but I don't have the time, $ or belly room for those $50. meat feasts! Terry recommended Emporio's and insisted it was a family run, reasonably priced, authentic Brazilian cafe, with "delicious cheesy bread!"
2 bonus points for one dining encounter leading to another!
Even though the restaurant is one of a zillion shopping center restaurants on Westheimer, it lured me in with the black awning, white curtains and lamp post!
2 bonus points for nice appearance in and out!
Our seating area was cozy and quiet, with a nice display of black and white photos of Brazil. Soft music played and the large party (who I'm guessing was Brazilian) on the other side of the bar, kept things feeling festive...without intruding.
Ahh! The cheesy bread, Cesta de Pao Queijo, was delicious, Terry! Smooth puffy dough, surrounding a pocket of warm cheese. I started to have wine, but decided it called for some Brazilian beer, Palma Louca! 3 bonus points for that yummy combination!
When in Brazil, Order Beef
I've had some intense Brazilian feasts where you raise a flag or flip a medallion, to signal your costumed waiter. Then you order you 12th kind of meat. I wasn't in the mood for that kind of adventure at Emporio, but I ordered beef.
The Picanha Na Chapa is the most authentic Brazilian dish on the menu. I took half the meat home, but managed to eat most of my starch! You have to love a place that serves up rice, fries and beans with your dish. I was tempted to order the Brazilian Stroganoff, which had noodles, rice and fries! Wow! I love my starch. But my dining friends laughed at me that Stroganoff did not sound like Brazil. I'm glad they steered me away. This was wonderful, especially with a sprinkling of farofa. (a flour from ground yucca) 5 Points for the meal!
Katharine arrived just in time for dessert and coffee. We were too busy talking, so I forgot to get a review on their dessert. I will however give 4 bonus points to our waiter Junior, who checked on us, but never bothered us as we talked and lingered and talked some more.
Hanging Out After Dinner
I had no idea there was a tiny shop tucked away. I always give a few... let's say 4 bonus points for a cafe with a shop! There were all sorts of cans, bottles and jars of imported things I didn't recognize. I did purchase some potato croquettes from Lorraina, who was delightfully chatty! There is a Brazilian flag behind Lorriana, I always give 1 bonus point for a flag!
Katharine and Lilian are posing with some whimsical art. The cafe had a number of colorful pieces along with the photography. 4 points for that!
You might think our waiter was from Arkansas, with that name. But he's actually from North Brazil. I tried to explain to Junior why I wanted a photo with him. I don't believe he quite understood what I was talking about with my blog, but he was very pleasant about posing.
5 bonus points for Junior! And 1 extra bonus for my friend Sigi, who did more camera clicking than posing on this outing!
A TOTAL of 31 POINTS for EMPORIO BRAZILIAN CAFE!!
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.