Eat Local: Oasis (Churrascaria), São Conrado, Brazil

When we sat down at the Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil, we were immediately presented with a number of snacks and meat accompaniments, the first being some Portuguese empanadas

When we sat down at the Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil, we were immediately presented with a number of snacks and meat accompaniments, the first being some Portuguese empanadas filled with cheese

 

On our afternoon visit to the Rio de Janeiro neighborhood of São Conrado, we had a late lunch at a Brazilian-style Churrascaria restaurant, Oasis, where meat is cooked over coals on skewers which are brought by waiters to each table and carved to order for each person.  While many Rio Churrascaria restaurants have moved away from charcoal burning ovens, Oasis has maintained the same cooking style (see end photographs) for 40 years.  The variety of meats (and salads at the salad bar) was nearly overwhelming, and everything was delicious.  Our favorite was the local picanha (beef top sirloin).  Needless to say, we left very late in the afternoon completely stuffed (and we skipped supper that night).

 

We saved the sautéed bananas for desert, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

We saved the sautéed bananas for desert, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Fried manioc (cassava) – from a shrub that is native to, and widely cultivated in South America for its edible starcht tuberous root, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

Fried manioc (cassava) – from a shrub that is native to, and widely cultivated in South America for its edible starchy tuberous root, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

The first skewers presented by the passadores (meat waiters) were sausage and chicken, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

The first skewers presented by the passadores (meat waiters) were sausage and chicken, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

“A churrascaria is a place where meat is cooked in churrasco style, which translates roughly from the Portugurese word for ‘barbeque’…  In modern restaurants rodízio service is typically offered.  Passadores (meat waiters) come to the table with knives and a skewer, on which are speared various kinds of meat, be it beef, pork, filet mignon, lamb, chicken, duck, ham (with pineapple), sausage, fish, or any other sort of local cut of meat.  A common cut of beef top sirloin cap is known as picanha…  In most parts of Brazil, the churrasco is roasted with charcoal.  In the south of Brazil, however, mostly close to the borders of Argentina and Uruguay, embers of wood are also used.” — Wikipedia

 

As we started our luncheon, our drinks arrived – shown here is a local favorite (Brazil_s national cocktail), a caipirinha – traditionally mixed with lime, and now made with a whol

As we started our luncheon, our drinks arrived – shown here is a local favorite (Brazil’s national cocktail), a caipirinha – traditionally mixed with lime, and now made with a whole array of fruits, from strawberry to kiwi; Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Another starter, freshly cooked, home-made potato chips, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

Another starter, freshly cooked, home-made potato chips, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

The salad bar featured many foods for non-meat eaters, including this section of sushi and (not pictured) hot stations with sautéed fish, fried calamari and a shrimp sauté, Oasis res

The salad bar featured many foods for non-meat eaters, including this section of sushi and (not pictured) hot stations with sautéed fish, fried calamari and a shrimp sauté, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Fresh vegetables at the salad bar, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

Fresh vegetables at the salad bar, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Tomatoes and a local specialty, fresh hearts of palm, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

Tomatoes and a local specialty, fresh hearts of palm, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Dips and salads, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

Dips and salads, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Very tasty steak that is very similar to American flank steak (but more tender), sliced at the table (the diner uses tongs to hold the top of the slice as the passador continues to slice

Very tasty steak that is very similar to American flank steak (but more tender), sliced at the table (the diner uses tongs to hold the top of the slice as the passador continues to slice the meat), Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Our favorite (we had several servings…) was the local picanha (beef top sirloin), Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

Our favorite (we had several servings…) was the local picanha (beef top sirloin), Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Charcoal grilled leg of lamb, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

Charcoal grilleded leg of lamb, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Cheese covered fillet mignon (Chateaubriand) that was sliced by the passador tableside, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

Cheese-covered fillet mignon (Chateaubriand) that was sliced by the passador tableside, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Lamb chops, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

Lamb chops, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

At the end of the meal one of the restaurant owners took us into the kitchen and showed us the charcoal-fired churrasqueira (barbecue grill) at the Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazi

At the end of the meal one of the restaurant owners took us into the kitchen and showed us the charcoal-fired churrasqueira (barbecue grill) at the Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Close-up of meat on skewers on the churrasqueira (barbecue grill) at the Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

Close-up of meat on skewers on the churrasqueira (barbecue grill) at the Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Visiting a sculptress in São Conrado, Brazil

Praia da Joatinga (beach), São Conrado, Brazil

Praia da Joatinga (beach), São Conrado, Brazil

 

One afternoon during our time in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, we had the opportunity to visit a friend, a Brazilian-born, London-based sculptress, in her home in the nearby oceanfront neighborhood of São Conrado, Brazil — located a few miles/kilometers south of Leblon and Ipanema.  Our get together gave us an opportunity to walk around the neighborhood and visit local stores, markets, and restaurants, which gave us some perspective on life in a Brazilian community.

 

Praia da Joatinga (beach), looking south, São Conrado, Brazil

Praia da Joatinga (beach), looking south, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Framed by the peaks of Dois Irmãos (Two Brothers Mountain) and Pedra da Gávea, São Conrado is a seaside enclave known for its condominiums, luxury hotels and the large, upmarket Fashion Mall. Hang gliders land on Praia do Pepino’s breezy surf beach, while the more secluded Praia da Joatinga attracts swimmers and sunbathers.  The renowned Rocinha favela, or slum, sprawls across nearby hillsides.

 

A typical Rio de Janeiro-Brazilian sidewalk mosaic design, along Praia da Joatinga (beach), São Conrado, Brazil

A typical Rio de Janeiro/Brazilian sidewalk mosaic design, along Praia da Joatinga (beach), São Conrado, Brazil

 

A portion of São Conrado, Brazil, looking towards the mountains in the west

A portion of São Conrado, Brazil, looking towards the mountains in the west

 

Condominiums line the beachfront in this view to the north of São Conrado, Brazil

Condominiums line the beachfront (on the right-hand side of the tall buildings) in this view to the north of São Conrado, Brazil

 

Pão de queijo (Brazilian cheese bread), served to us by Brazilian-born, London-based artist Lella Castello Branco in her home in São Conrado, Brazil

Pão de queijo (Brazilian cheese bread), served to us by Brazilian-born, London-based artist Lella Castello Branco in her home in São Conrado, Brazil

 

Lella Castello Branco is a London-based Brazilian artist who specializes in sculpture and site specific installation.  She was born in Rio de Janeiro and has been living in London since 1988.  Lella studied in Rio de Janeiro at Parque Lage, and at the Museum of Modern Art (MAM) under the teachings of Aluísio Carvão and Anna Bella Geiger.  Her works are highly emotive and characterised by natural and geometric forms that are both poetic and elegant.  With a combination of materials such as bronze and aluminum she produces insightful works that aim to connect to everyone.  Lella’s works are housed in collections in the UK, Brazil, USA, Switzerland and Egypt.

 

“Tree of Life” sculpture by Brazilian-born, London-based artist Lella Castello Branco, São Conrado, Brazil

“Tree of Life” sculpture by Brazilian-born, London-based artist Lella Castello Branco, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Her works are exhibited internationally, with solo shows launched at the following prestigious venues:

  • Centro Culturale San Giuseppe, in Alba, Italy, 2011
  • Centro Cultural Gil Vicente, in Sardoal, Portugal, 2012
  • PARAMETERS OF FREEDOM at Cultural Center Federal Justice (CCJF) in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, 2014
  • October 2015 PARAMETERS OF FREEDOM traveled to the Museum Minas Gerais Vale (MMGV) in Belo Horizonte, Brazil

 

“Tranquility” sculpture by Brazilian-born, London-based artist Lella Castello Branco, São Conrado, Brazil

“Tranquility” sculpture by Brazilian-born, London-based artist Lella Castello Branco, São Conrado, Brazil

 

“Time Flies” sculpture by Brazilian-born, London-based artist Lella Castello Branco, São Conrado, Brazil

“Time Flies” sculpture by Brazilian-born, London-based artist Lella Castello Branco, São Conrado, Brazil

 

“Embrace, After Picasso” sculpture by Brazilian-born, London-based artist Lella Castello Branco, São Conrado, Brazil

“Embrace, After Picasso” sculpture by Brazilian-born, London-based artist Lella Castello Branco, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Street Art in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

"Etnias", the largest graffiti mural in the world and a legacy of the 2016 Rio, was painted by Brazilian graffiti artist Eduardo Kobra; it is the largest graffiti mural in the world and

“Etnias”, the largest graffiti mural in the world and a legacy of the 2016 Rio, was painted by Brazilian graffiti artist Eduardo Kobra, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 

Once considered little more than defacement of public property, street art has become an accepted form of visual art around the world.  Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, legalized ‘neo-graffiti’ in 2009, leading to a profusion of outdoor works.  Situated right across the street from our pier, covering 560 feet (170 meters) along Olympic Boulevard, is “Etnias”– the largest graffiti mural in the world and a legacy of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.  Painted by Brazilian graffiti artist Eduardo Kobra, the work depicts a Tajapo boy from Brazil, a Mursi woman from Ethiopia, a Kayin woman from Thailand, a Supi man from Northern Europe, and a Huli man from Papua New Guinea — embodying the continents that represent the black, blue, green, red, and gold rings on the Olympic flag.  Originally named Todos Somos Um (“We Are One”), the artist’s intention was to show that everyone is connected.  It is the largest street mural spray-painted by a single artist and is nearly twice the size of the previous record holder.  Kobra worked 12 hours a day for two months to complete the mural before the opening ceremony of the Olympics.  In total, it took 45 days, 2,800 cans of spray paint and 180 buckets of acrylic paint to complete.  The artist’s bright colored murals featuring geometric shapes and quilted patterns can also be seen in the street murals of New York City, London, Tokyo, and Amsterdam.

 

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, street art- a view of “Etnias" from Terminal 4 at Pier Mauâ (where our ship was docked)

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, street art: a view of “Etnias” from Terminal 4 at Pier Mauâ (where our ship was docked)

 

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, street art- one of the portraits in “Etnias" by Brazilian graffiti artist Eduardo Kobra

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, street art: one of the portraits in “Etnias” by Brazilian graffiti artist Eduardo Kobra

 

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, street art- portraits of two women in “Etnias" by Brazilian graffiti artist Eduardo Kobra

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, street art: portraits of two women in “Etnias” by Brazilian graffiti artist Eduardo Kobra

 

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, street art- another portrait in “Etnias" by Brazilian graffiti artist Eduardo Kobra

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, street art: another portrait in “Etnias” by Brazilian graffiti artist Eduardo Kobra

 

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, street art- a mural on a terminal at Pier Mauâ, #1

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, street art: a mural on a terminal at Pier Mauâ, #1

 

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, street art- murals (with a model being photographed by another photographer) on a terminal at Pier Mauâ, #2

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, street art: murals (with a model being photographed by another photographer) on a terminal at Pier Mauâ, #2

 

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, street art- a mural on a terminal at Pier Mauâ, #3

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, street art: a mural on a terminal at Pier Mauâ, #3

 

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, street art- a mural on billboard between terminals at Pier Mauâ, #4

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, street art: a mural on billboard between terminals at Pier Mauâ, #4

 

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, street art- a mural on a terminal at Pier Mauâ, #5

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, street art: a mural on a terminal at Pier Mauâ, #5

 

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, street art- a mural on a terminal at Pier Mauâ, #6

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, street art: a mural on a terminal at Pier Mauâ, #6

 

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, street art- a mural on a terminal at Pier Mauâ, #7

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, street art: a mural on a terminal at Pier Mauâ, #7

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Here, in the dense fog early in the morning of our ascent, at the top of Mount Corcovado, is the symbol of the city, the concrete statue of Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Here, in the dense fog, early on the morning of our ascent, at the top of Mount Corcovado, is the symbol of the city, the concrete statue of Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 

Rio de Janeiro is a huge seaside city in Brazil, famed for its Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, 30 meter (98 feet) Christ the Redeemer statue atop Mount Corcovado – named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World — and for Sugarloaf Mountain, a granite peak with cable cars to its summit.  The city is also known for its sprawling favelas (shanty towns).  Its raucous Carnaval festival, featuring parade floats, flamboyant costumes and samba dancers, is considered the world’s largest.

“Rio de Janeiro is the second-most populous municipality in Brazil [population of 6.5 million] and the sixth-most populous in the Americas…  Part of the city has been designated as a World Heritage Site, named “Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea”, by UNESCO on 1 July 2012 as a Cultural Landscape.  Founded in 1565 by the Portuguese, the city was initially the seat of the Captaincy of Rio de Janeiro, a domain of the Portuguese Empire…  Rio has a tropical savanna climate that closely borders a tropical monsoon climate.” — Wikipedia

We were fortunate to be able to book an early morning (7 am) van to drive across Rio de Janeiro from the port to the top of Mount Corcovado to visit the symbol of the city, the concrete statue of Christ the Redeemer.  After climbing the last 200 steps to the viewing platform at the base of the statue, we found that the statue, the platform and the entire city were enveloped in fog.  Over the course of the hour we spent there, the fog swirled and a few openings in the fog gave us views of both the statue, which is magnificent, and vistas of portions of the sprawling city, below.

 

Christ the Redeemer is an Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, created by French sculptor Paul Landowski and built by the Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa a

Christ the Redeemer is an Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, created by French sculptor Paul Landowski and built by the Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa and constructed between 1922 and 1931

 

Christ the Redeemer is an Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, created by French sculptor Paul Landowski and built by the Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa, in collaboration with the French engineer Albert Caquot.  Romanian sculptor Gheorghe fashioned the face.  Constructed between 1922 and 1931, the statue is 30 metres (98 feet) tall, excluding its 8-metre (26 feet) pedestal.  The arms stretch 28 metres (92 feet) wide. The statue weighs 635 metric tons, and is located at the peak of the 700-metre (2,300 feet) Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro.  A symbol of Christianity across the world, the statue has also become a cultural icon of both Rio de Janeiro and Brazil, and is listed as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.  It is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone.” — Wikipedia

 

While we were at the platform adjacent to the base of Christ the Redeemer at the top of Mount Corcovado, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the fog had momentary moments of clearing to the east whe

While we were at the platform adjacent to the base of Christ the Redeemer at the top of Mount Corcovado, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the fog had momentary moments of clearing to the east where we could see the main beach of Ipanema, beyond Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon

 

From left to right in the distance are Copacabana (just out of the field of view on the left), Ipanema and its beach, and the Jockey Club on the right; in the foreground are the Jardim B

From left to right in the distance are Copacabana (just out of the field of view on the left), Ipanema and its beach, and the Jockey Club on the right; in the foreground are the Jardim Botânico district, the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, and Parque Lage, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 

A close-up of Ipanema and its beach, behind the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, with the small islands of Monumento Natural do Arquipélago das Ilhas Cagarras in the distance, Rio de Janeiro

A close-up of Ipanema and its beach, behind the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, with the small islands of Monumento Natural do Arquipélago das Ilhas Cagarras in the distance, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 

Museo do Amanhã (The Museum of Tomorrow) is a science museum in the city designed by Spanish neofuturistic architect Santiago Calatrava and built next to the waterfront at Pier Maua, R

Museo do Amanhã (The Museum of Tomorrow) is a science museum in the city designed by Spanish neofuturistic architect Santiago Calatrava and built next to the waterfront at Pier Maua, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 

Aqua Rio (Aquário Marinho do Rio de Janeiro) is the largest marine aquarium of South America and is located next to the waterfront at Pier Maua, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Aqua Rio (Aquário Marinho do Rio de Janeiro) is the largest marine aquarium of South America and is located next to the waterfront at Pier Maua, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 

Across from the the waterfront at Pier Maua, on the hill, is a large favela, Brazilian Portuguese for slum -- a low-income, historically informal urban area in Brazil; Rio de Janeiro-8

Across from the the waterfront at Pier Maua, on the hill, is a large favela, Brazilian Portuguese for slum — a low-income, historically informal urban area in Brazil; Rio de Janeiro

 

A favela, Brazilian Portuguese for slum, is a low-income historically informal urban area in Brazil.  The first favela, now known as Providêcia in the center of Rio de Janeiro, appeared in the late 19th century, built by soldiers who had nowhere to live following the Canudos War.  Some of the first settlements were called bairros africanos (African neighborhoods).  Over the years, many former enslaved Africans moved in.  Even before the first favela came into being, poor citizens were pushed away from the city and forced to live in the far suburbs.  However, most modern favelas appeared in the 1970s due to rural exodus, when many people left rural areas of Brazil and moved to cities.  Unable to find places to live, many people found themselves in favelas…    Although favelas are found in urban areas throughout Brazil, many of the more famous ones exist in Rio.” —Wikipedia

 

The central district of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, hosts a hodge-podge of architectural styles from various decades of the 20th and 21st centuries; the standout building is in the backgroun

The central district of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, hosts a hodge-podge of architectural styles from various decades of the 20th and 21st centuries; the standout building is in the background, with a crucifix design built into the structure

 

Ponte Presidente Costa e Silva (President Costa e Silva Bridge), completed in 1974, is the longest prestressed concrete bridge in the southern hemisphere and the sixth longest in the wor

Ponte Presidente Costa e Silva (President Costa e Silva Bridge), completed in 1974, is the longest prestressed concrete bridge in the southern hemisphere and the sixth longest in the world; it connects Rio de Janeiro with the northern regions of Brazil

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.