**This is a Mini Review while working in Austin, TX this summer**
Cuisine: Brazilian, Tex-Mex
Address: 2809 San Jacinto Austin, TX 78705 (512) 473-9988
Links: Sao Paolo’s Website
Atmosphere: Sao Paolo is located near the University of Texas campus, in a long, stand-alone building. The space inside is somewhat of an “L” shape, with one long area emptying into a larger square dining room that offers a combination of both booths and tables. The walls are painted red and yellow with colorful paintings hung throughout.
What we ordered: My companions and I started with Chips and Queso. I have discovered that many restaurants in Austin offer chips and queso but the chips at Sao Paolo were unique. Instead of the traditional corn tortilla chips, Sao Paolo serves chips that are like fried wontons! Paired with the cheesy dip, these may have been some of the best chips and queso I experienced! Yum!
Sao Paolo also offers a few drink specials during Happy Hour, including $3 frozen margaritas. I tried a mango margarita which was very, very yummy. It was more like a smoothie but I could detect just a hint of tequila.
We also ordered Pao de Queijo, which are traditional Brazilian Parmesan Rolls. These are so good! They are little rolls that are infused with cheese. Try ’em dipped in the queso and they are even more sinful! The order actually comes with six but my companions snatched a few before I could get my photo ;)
I had really wanted to try a Brazilian dish but the one I wanted my companions ended up ordering, so I tried the Pollo Magdalena from the Tex-Mex section of the menu. The server assured me that this was a one-of-a-kind creation, found only at Sao Paolo. What a magnificent creation! The chef took a chicken breast, stuffed it with crabmeat, cream cheese and spinach, then rolled it up and crusted it with red tortilla and then cooked it until the tortilla was crispy. It was drizzled with a mild ancho sauce and served with a vegetables medley (fantastic!) and rice. The chicken was not spicy at all but had a lot of flavor; I especially liked the combo of textures with the tender chicken, crispy breading and smooth cream cheese filling. I enjoyed it and the veggies very much.
My companions ordered the Bobo de Camarao to share. This dish tasted even more fabulous than the description. The main components of the dish were shrimp and yucca that were cooked in a tomato coconut cream sauce with onions and bell peppers and served with steamed rice. What a great combination of flavors and spices; I think I liked it even better than the chicken dish that I ordered and I liked mine a lot! The Bobo de Camarao is Sao Paolo’s signature dish and also the most popular. I highly recommend it.
Overall Impression: The server had suggestions that were a very big hit with my companions and I. The food was excellent and they also had great Happy Hour margarita specials. Our service was also very good. Come for the food and stay for the live music. Make sure you get the chips & queso for a new chip experience!