Restaurante Xapuri: Farm to Table to Horse Ring in Brazil

By on August 29, 2012

On the outskirts of Belo Horizonte is a utopian notion of a restaurant called Xapuri.  Located high above the fray, in a neighborhood filled with estates behind high walls with broken glass tops, sits this interesting and delicious notion of how to feed people.

Xapuri Restaurant on a farm outside Belo Horizonte

Yes, its the tail end of winter, here in August, but the restaurant seats everyone in this nearly outdoor restaurant.  You can see the pots gurgling away over the traditional wood fired stove, they have a room full of these stoves which looks to me like a cooking school for the day time Brazilian wishing to learn the traditional ways.

The food is fresh, roasted, sauced, and served by efficient, handsome waiters dressed in black tie.

And as if that isn’t enough,  behind the joint is a riding school where you can watch horses and riders do their hi-toned stuff.  Dressage, Pure English riding,  it’s pure Arabians and pure Brazilian upper class men and girls, practicing, practicing, practicing.

behind resaurante Xapuri is a riding school. Who knew?

 

We sat on a bench at a long table and they brought us dish after dish.  Crisp, fried finger foods of cheese enclosed in polenta,  manioc with cheese or chicken filling,  pork ribs, many other fresh and delectable dishes.

It was the first restaurant we’ve eaten in here that didn’t seem to me too salty.  But that’s just me.

The Brazilians like their salt and sugar.  Yes they do.  And it doesn’t seem to be hurting them.  The people here have the look of health and you just don’t see the hordes of fat and sick folks like we have in America who love off fast foods.

Grilled Ribs with vegetables at Xapuri

Come to think of it,  I haven’t seen any fast food joints here.  I’m told they have invaded the cities, but blessedly,  I haven’t seen anything except six packs of giant sized cokes in cellophane. More later.

Restaurante Xapuri, Rua Mancacara, 260 – Pampulha.  www.restaurantexapuri.com.br.  phone 31-3496-6198.

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About Linda Eckhardt

Linda West Eckhardt, is an award winning journalist, food writer, and nutritionist. Her more than 20 cookbooks have garnered prizes including the James Beard prize for the best cookbook for a text she wrote with her daughter, Katherine West DeFoyd, entitled Entertaining 101, Doubleday. Their follow-up book, Stylish One Dish Dinners, Doubleday, was also nominated for a James Beard prize. Their next book, The High Protein Cookbook, Clarkson Potter, remains a best seller after 12 years. That book was designed to accompany low carb diet plans. Her ground-breaking book, Bread in Half The Time, Broadway Books, was named the Best Cookbook in America by the prestigious IACP, The Julia Child award. Her award winning radio work with Jennifer English, for a national show on the Food and Wine radio network, was nominated for a James Beard Prize for a show called, “I Know What You Ate Last Summer.”