Cafe Do Brasil: a must-try in midtown Oklahoma City
Cafe Do Brasil
For some reason, I have yet to write about Cafe Do Brasil, which is odd because it is one of my favorites. I know that many of you love this place as well, because I have received a lot of recommendations for it from you guys. So, today we will make this right and take a look at what I consider to be a must-try in midtown, Cafe Do Brasil.
This place is no stranger to those tied into the OKC restaurant scene. It has been written up in most of our major local publications, so I’m guessing that most of you are already aware of it. If you have been here before, please leave your thoughts in the comments below. If you haven’t, I highly recommend you give it a try as it is one of the most affordable and unique places that OKC has to offer.
The location is fantastic. It’s right at the heart of the midtown renaissance and right across the street from the revitalized Plaza Court building. The white, spanish-style building (formerly a funeral home) is very close to my home. I only wish I worked closer to midtown so I could more often take advantage of their fantastic lunch specials.
The interior decor perplexes me a bit. On one hand, the dark-wood tables and chairs give it a sophisticated feel, yet the bright (and I do mean bright) yellow and green color scheme on the walls is quite a contrast. So, you have this sort of tension going on in the interior, but that’s ok.
The interior is spacious. It’s pretty much just one big room, two-stories high (remember it’s in a funeral home’s chapel) and it can be pretty noisy when the lunch crowd is at its peak and the cacophony of voices is bouncing around all of the hard surfaces. On the weekends, they offer a brunch which is really fantastic. They even feature live, one-man-band jazz music during this time which adds to the atmosphere. I can say that every time I’ve been, the vibe is really lively. I have never been for dinner, however, so I can’t speak to that, but I believe they have a pretty nice evening scene complete with their upstairs rooftop bar.
Speaking of the brunch, I really enjoyed it. It features lots of options including spanish-influenced dishes like migallas, brazilian scramble, vegetarian scramble, and ovos rancheros, as well as more international offerings like eggs benedict and a tropical delight of fresh fruit over french toast. Plus, they have a “bionic drink” which is a non-alcoholic fruit and vitamin-boosted smoothie. Everything is fresh and the building just lights up with the morning sun pouring in through the large east-side windows.
Lunch is my favorite. They post three lunch specials on a blackboard out front. Each one includes iced tea (fruity or regular) for about $6.50. This is a great deal, in my opinion. My favorite lunch special is the Prato Sao Paulo. It has been the #2 special every time I have been there so I think it’s pretty much a standard. It features strips of chicken atop of plate of rice, beans, diced onions, and tomatoes served with a tasty and spicy green salsa you can pour over top. I love the simplicity of this dish. It comes out beautifully presented every time. I also love that it’s extremely healthy, a perfect portion, and very tasty.
They offer several other Brazilian specialties. Sometimes these are served as a lunch special and other times they are not, but you can always order them off the menu. They include a Feijoada plate (which they say is the Brazilian national dish) and Xin-Xin, a very interesting shrimp dish including palm oil, coconut milk, peanut paste, cashews and dry shrimp. I tried Xin-Xin once and really enjoyed it. Problem is, I like the Sao Paulo better so I keep going back to it every time. They also offer a selection of sandwiches, salads, quiches, brasilian pies, and some vegetarian specialties like Prato De Minas which is sort of like my favorite chicken dish but minus the chicken and with some other vegetables added.
They even offer a kids’ menu featuring several selections for brunch, lunch and dinner for kids under 12. This is a welcome treat. The atmosphere is good for kids, too, given its lively nature so you don’t feel out of place when the little ones are making a bit of noise.
Cafe Do Brasil has several bakery items that they sell at their up-front counter, or you can order them to your table. I’ve tried the cheese biscuit on the recommendation of a friend. I thought it was ok, but not really worth the cost (it was close to $2, if I remember right). That’s the only baked good I have tried, but many have told me they have some other great offerings. If you’ve tried something, please share your impressions in the comments.
The bottom line is that Cafe do Brasil is a must-try. I have no reservations about recommending it. I know that not everyone will like it as much as I do, but its uniqueness as a thriving South American restaurant in our city and its location in the rapidly-developing midtown area at least warrant a visit. I also think it’s a great place to bring out-of-town guests to or to recommend to out-of-towners when they visit the city. I would throw it in there with Pho Hoa as a place that really showcases our city’s cultural diversity and effectively represents our potential.
Please give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments.