Bar do Juarez of Sao Paulo

Bar do Juarez

Bar do Juarez Picanha no RéchaudBar do Juarez has long been my second favourite restaurant in Sao Paulo, they serve a steak dish that they’ve become famous for called “Picanha no Réchaud”, which is a cut of beef that arrives at your table un-cooked but thinly sliced and in the accompaniment of an extremely hot brazier, upon which you grill your own dinner, just the way you want it.

The serving of “Picanha no Réchaud” is easily enough food for 3 people, or can be shared amongst 4 with a large salad or the best antipasto I know of in Brazil. However 2 hungry diners can also finish this meal, with some hard-work and patience. The side dishes are coleslaw, vinaigrette, and farofa, which is a popular toasted cassava flour mixture and this tasty ensemble is served with fresh Italian bread. In my opinion this is a really excellent way to eat, it’s a really fun meal to enjoy with a friend.

Bar do Juarez History

Juarez Alves is the owner of the trendy Bar do Juarez, which has four locations in São Paulo: Itaim, Moema, Brooklin and Pinheiros. Originally from Ibitira in the state of Bahia, Juarez came to the city of São Paulo in 1973, at age 12, and from an early age dreamed of setting up his own business. He achieved this goal with a lot of hard work to make the money, then discipline to save the capital: he worked as a cafeteria clerk, fry cook, then a waiter in various establishments. From the beginning Juarez discovered the pleasure of serving the people, contributing towards making it a nice time for family and friends.

In 1986 with his brother and a partner opened the “Restaurant Bier Bier”, serving German food. In 1997, the house was sold and the following year opened the Juarez Moema, the first location of Bar do Juarez. Inspired by the famous pubs of the old center of São Paulo, places where a “good conversation” going through the night and people ended up almost forgetting to return home, the “Juarez Bar” soon became a reference and point meeting to the public that goes to the region for happy hour or to stay in the neighborhood through the night. With the successful establishment, it was opened in the following years the bars in Itaim (2001), Brooklyn and Pinheiros (both in 2008). A success story that has lasted 15 years.

Of the 4 locations, Brooklin is my favourite, which naturally, is the reason I made a video about it. Here’s some photos of the Brooklin Bar do Juarez from their website.


The Last Caipirinha

Cachaça Caipirinha

The last Caipirinha was the best one, exactly because it was the last one. The time had come and past, it was time for me to hit the wagon for good. My romance with the Cachaça had lasted long enough, the magic was gone from the relationship and all that was left was drudgery and boredom but that wasn’t the worst of it, watching my own destruction, as I drank those frozen concoctions, which “yes” I falsely thought they were helping me hang-in, as if I were living in Margaritaville but this is much worse because Cachaça, or “pinga” as it’s called in Brazil slang, is more powerful, more prevalent and can be ridiculously cheap.

[box]For example, imported cheap tequila is at least ten times more expensive here but it’s not just that it’s the formula for a Caipirinha and how they’re constructed, plus with which Cachaça.[/box]

Listen to my love of the Caipirinha (above), see it was totally out-of control. Plus I liked to drink ice cold Heineken of Stella Artois at the same time, which I was always warned against. Brazilian tradition has a huge reverence for Cachaça, a folklore’ish belief in how, where, when and how much is a safe and smart amount. It’s free from small kegs, with little shot glasses, in most decent Minas Geriais (type of cuisine) restaurants. On the beaches they have some of the best hand-made drinks. All that’s needed is lime, sugar, ice and pinga for the absolute perfect beach cocktail.

It was a crazy, impulsive decision to join One Year No Beer and take the 90 challenge. It’s a social network for people like me, who want to win our lives back from booze and in particular beer. I also had respect and reverence for the mighty Cachaça and the oh-so-sweet Caipirinha, so I had a weekend’s only rule but would often break that rule. The thing of it is, beer is the ultimate gateway drug. My Dad gave me my first beer, everyone in Canada drank beer, it’s a national pastime to accompany, for watching hockey during the long cold winters.

Brazil has the best beer culture in the world, just watch some of our programmed Television and you’ll see a ton of sex-appeal selling billions of dollars of beer. There is cold beer everywhere here in Brazil and although I drank mostly imported, partly because it’s $1 or $2 USD cost, whereas I paid up to $10 USD in Europe.

My drinking days are over and I’m glad to say “tchau  Cachaça”.