Vegan travel: Brazil, part 2

Açai, guarana, banana and peanut smoothie

In addition to enjoying Brazil’s many delicious fruits in their natural state and as juice, you can also have them blended up in a smoothie. I got a delicious açai, guarana, banana and peanut smoothie, called “energetico” at Marietta’s in Brasilia. It was wonderful, through the banana-peanut taste kind of overwhelmed the açai and guarana. The menu at the juice place was a bit over-whelming. In fact, I don’t even know what a bunch of these fruits are, and unfortunately I didn’t have a computer with me to look them up.

juice menu @ Mariettas, Brasilia

In addition to simple juices, there was a full menu of combinations as well, organised by their “therapeutic” qualities (e.g. aid digestion, weight loss, anti-depressive, etc):

"therapeutic" juice menu at Mariettas, Brasilia

Apparently Marietta’s is actually not as well-stocked as some juice bars. Some places apparently have close to 100 varieties!

I checked out another (mostly) veg place, Natural Greens. They have two locations in Brasilia. I opted for the buffet, though they also have a pretty decent-looking a la carte menu. While there were lots of nice greens on the buffet, there were quite a few salads and cooked items with dairy and chicken as well. That was a little disappointing– I understand the desire to reach out to a broader clientele, but I’d hope it wouldn’t be at the expense of providing a wide variety of raw and vegan dishes.

Natural Greens buffet, Brasilia

As seems to be the norm in Brasilia with health food restaurants, this place also had a little shop with some natural/ organic/ gluten-free/ sugar-free products.

Natural Greens buffet & shop, Brasilia

I had lots of greens, sprouts, marinated peppers, some fresh tomato salsa, and a delicious tofu and hearts of palm dish. I think there were a few other items on my plate, but I can’t remember any more.

My plate at Natural Greens, Brasilia

In addition to my meal, I decided to try out another açai and guarana drink. I definitely felt super-charged after all those anti-oxidants. I could really get used to all these amazing fresh fruit juices!

Açai and guarana juice (with a strawberry & orange juice in the background)

There seem to be an awful lot of ice cream places all over Brasilia. It makes sense, given the crazy heat (it’s been about 32 degrees C/ 90 F  most days). Most of the bigger places have at least one dairy free flavour. I tried out a chocolate one, but found it a bit too sugary-sweet for my taste.

Dairy-free chocolate sorbet

I also went to one of the few 100% vegan restaurants in Brasilia, a cute little place called Cafe Corbucci.

Cafe Corbucci, Brasilia

They have a small but well-chosen menu. Did I mention it’s all vegan? So nice not to have to ask a million questions before ordering.

Cafe Corbucci, 100% vegan menu

The drinks menu had both soy milk and almond milk options for the cappuccinos and chai. Sadly, I didn’t get a chance to try either. I had a nice tempeh satay sandwich with an almond-coconut sauce.

Tempeh satay sandwich, Cafe Corbucci, Brasilia

And for dessert, a ginger and cardamom flavoured chocolate truffle. I couldn’t resist! Though I must say that now that I’m used to raw chocolate, this was a little sweet for me.

Vegan ginger & cardamom truffle

While I have generally spent my non-working hours searching out nice vegan food in Brasilia, I did manage to squeeze in a little entertainment. I caught a live performance by Elza Soares, a legendary Brazilian singer (now over 70 years old!). Her work covers a wide range of genres, from samba to bossa nova to hip hop. She played with a DJ and a great trio of musicians: Rômulo Pinto (keyboards), Elcio da Costa (bass and violin) e João Melo (drums). The crowd loved her and sang along to all the songs. It was a great atmosphere.

Elza Soares, diva of popular Brazilian music (MPB)

Stay tuned for part 3.

 

 

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