Santa Cruz: Cafe Brasil

I must have been on a Brazilian binge because two weeks after Cafe di Casa, I found myself with my parents at Cafe Brasil in Santa Cruz for breakfast:


We got there early enough that even though there was a wait inside, there were still spaces open in the tiny parking lot behind the restaurant.  We didn't have to wait too too long before we were led inside.

The interior was just was cheery as the exterior:


Cafe Brasil is known for its breakfast items and for its juice bar.  Virtually every table sported an acai bowl.  We ordered the junior size ($5.75):


Acai berries are blended with strawberries, banana, apple juice, and guarana syrup to make a delicious, icy slush, which is then topped with granola, strawberries, and bananas.  Finally, something healthy that I can get behind.

To try a bit of everything, we ordered the mixed appetizers plate ($8.25):


It came with yucca fries, coxinha, and rissole with shrimp:


Before this, I'd only had coxinha from Cafe di Casa.  I thought that all coxinha came the size of small bombs.  So I was understandably surprised by the itsy bitsy teeny weeny coxinhas at Cafe Brasil .  Size may not matter, but taste definitely does.  I was greatly disappointed by how dry the chicken filling was.

The rissole wasn't bad.  But I tried the shrimp rissole from Cafe di Casa a month later and it was much better there.

Yucca fries have never won me over.  I find them dry and bland and easy to choke on.  Meh.

The beef a cavalo ($9.75), on the other hand, was much more appetizing:  


The steak was thin and well done, but you could taste the quality, which, I'm sad to say, was better than what we had at Cafe di Casa.  The steak sat on grilled bread and was buried by two eggs over easy, tomato, and mozzarella cheese.  It also came with a side of potatoes.

The omelette Brasileiro ($10.25) sounded most intriguing to me from the omelette section:


It was filled with cream of chicken and mozzarella cheese.  The best part was the cream of corn sauce on top.  So good.

To add some sweet, we also got the banana pancakes.  Half order ($6.25) rather than full:


My mom complained that she wasn't getting any banana flavor.  I took one bite and BAM, banana.  I have no idea what she was talking about.  My mom is a strange woman.  I worry about her sometimes.

I would definitely recommend hitting up Cafe Brasil for breakfast if you're in the Santa Cruz area.  The Brazilian and Brazilian-Western fusion entrees are all solid.  Just hold off on the appetizers and save the money for a juice instead.  So many of the juice smoothies sound so delicious that even I would be willing to shell out the $6 for a glass.

And if you arrive by bike, you'll get a 10% discount!  At least according to what I read on the menu.  The chances of me ever getting that discount are essentially zero.

But as coxinhas are the closest you'll ever get to discovering the meaning of life, Cafe di Casa still wins.  Sorry, Cafe Brasil.


Cafe Brasil
1410 Mission St
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(831) 429-1855
http://www.cafebrasil.us/

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