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Restaurants in Goiania: Gastronomy and Typical Cuisine
The floral aroma of the city of Goiania fuses with the exquisite smell wafting from the numerous local restaurants. The main ingredient in the local cuisine is the "pequi", a native fruit from the extensive Brazilian tropical savanna region. It's used in preparing sweet and salty dishes, such as "galinhada" (a traditional stew with rice and chicken), milk and as a base for dessert liquors. The aromatic pequi should be eaten and prepared extremely carefully, since the inside part, underneath the thin pulp, contains hundreds of tiny thorns.
Influences from the Brazilian states of Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo combined with the fusion of traditional indigenous cuisine are what make Goiania's food truly amazing. The main local dishes are rice with pequi or "sua" (pork ribs), "arroz-de-puta-rica" (rice with smoked meat), "angu" (cornmeal made from tender, grated and cooked corn), surubi fish roasted on clay tile, "galinhada", "carne de sol" (sun-cured salted beef), roasted ham with "farofa" (manioc flour), "leitao pururuca" (oven-roasted sucking pig), chicken with pequi, "empadao goiano" (chicken, pork, sausage and cheese with guariroba - a native Brazilian palm leaf), "pamonha" (paste made with corn and wrapped in leaf, similar to a sweet tamale, very popular in Brazilian cuisine), "curau" (cream of corn and sugar), sweets made from fruit rinds, crystallized fruits, cheese-flavored sponge cake, and much more.
This excellent venue received the title of "best restaurant in the city" in the first edition of Veja Goiania magazine. It's often frequented by politicians, businesspeople and some of Goiania's high society. Its two locations offer a variety of menu options, ranging from sophisticated international cuisine to unique regional creations. Don't miss out on the chance to dine at this restaurant, which has captivated its guests with excellent service for more than two decades. In the evenings, the younger crowd often gets together here for some beers and snacks.
Known as one of the city's best steakhouses, Caterete offers personalized and unique service. Once the customer orders, the uncooked meat is brought to the table so that the customer can confirm the quality and choose a cut, indicating how they would like it cooked. The meat is then taken to the grill. The menu features thirty types of meat, including beef, lamb, pork, fish and poultry.
Outside the restaurant, there's a lovely wooden terrace looking out over the beautiful lagoon in Parque Vaca Brava. Chosen by the magazine Veja Goiania as chef of the year, Geraldo de Souza is always innovative, designing a menu with recipes based on classic favorites and contemporary fusion. Much of his inspiration is a result of his trips to local street markets, where he buys pequi, baru (the seed from a local fruit) and an endless amount of fruits and regional spices to enrich his repertoire.
This is the best local restaurant serving Middle Eastern cuisine. It has a small vineyard planted in the greenhouse, where chef Joana D'Arc Abrao picks off leaves from the vines to roll into "dolmas" (a series of stuffed vegetables). She's responsible for recipes such as the rice with lamb and chestnut, codfish bread rolls, and eggplant with "ariche" (a kind of cheese made with rennet). The "rodizio" service includes 21 dishes to choose from, including sirloin and rice with vegetables and fried onion.
Hakone Japanese N'Fusion
The restaurant is divided into eight rooms with granite walls. It has a glass staircase suspended by steel cables, leading to the temperature-controlled wine cellar, which holds 1200 bottles including 37 brands of sake. The menu combines delicious dishes from different eastern cuisines, specializing in sushis made with pequi and smoked loin, tilapia sashimi, bifun hakone with giant grilled shrimp, salmon cubes, white sauce, "pimenta-vermelha" (red chile) and much more.
Chef Leila Mariano uses old family recipes and incorporates different cuisines when creating new dishes for her restaurant's buffet. The decor is full of country-living references, such as old clocks, coffee grinders and antique kitchen utensils. Many of the dished are cooked in the restaurant's wood-burning stove. House specialties include "carne de lata", pernil a pururuca adorned with pequi and saffron, and pacoca de pilao with carne de sol and wild butter. Twenty-five types of salads are displayed on an old donkey cart. Shots of liquor made with pequi, cinnamon, mandarin and jaboticaba are served on the house.
Cabaca de Mel
Eighteen salad choices are served on an old donkey cart, and forty main dishes are cooked in the wood stove at this unique restaurant. The venue is decked out in photographs of the owner and his family, along with some of the restaurant's regulars. The most intriguing recipes offered in the Goiania-style buffet are the pequi-inspired dishes, like the galinhada and the house lasagna. The fried "angu com quiabo"(cornmeal with okra) is a big hit with customers.
This restaurant is situated on a 45-acre estate, which you can tour on foot or by train, whose last stop is at a 65-foot high lookout point. If you choose to explore on foot, you'll have a chance to relax in the hammocks on the balcony. The pernil a pururuca and the galinhada (with pequi and guariroba) are particular specialties. The restaurant also serves a variety of sweets and liquors.
Assoluto Ristorante e Pizzaria
This Italian restaurant offers a menu filled with delicious traditional recipes combined with unique international cuisine, such as "penne tailandesi" with shrimp, mango slices and dried tomato in an herb sauce, or the popular "farfalle siciliane" with flambeed shrimp in white wine, zucchini, shiitake, pepper and an herb sauce. As an appetizer, the popular "foccacia di roma" is highly recommended (crunchy pizza crust with salt, rosemary and spicy tomato sauce). For dessert, don't forget to try the "fantasia de fragole" (delicious almond cookies in white semisweet chocolate, covered in strawberry sauce).
The restaurant's interior features wood floors, exposed brick walls, and romantic lighting. The outside is divided into an amazing terrace and a charming garden full of ivy, bamboo, palm trees and banana trees. It's considered to be the best pizzeria in the city by Revista Veja magazine, since it offers 52 kinds of different pizzas, ranging from thin crust to wood-baked medium crust. One of the best menu suggestions is the "via luce", made with turkey breast, ricotta cheese, basil, mozzarella cheese and catupiry (a kind of cream cheese). For dessert, try the flambeed strawberries with brandy, served with simple vanilla ice cream.
Companhia do Peixe
With a beach-style decor and ambiance, this restaurant is always packed. It has a spacious balcony under a mission-tiled roof, along with romantic bamboo lanterns and unique fish sculptures made out of recycled materials. Companhia do Peixe is without a doubt the city's best fish and seafood restaurant. In addition to indigenous Brazilian fish like pirarucu and tucunare, the restaurant also serves Scottish codfish, Chilean salmon and Norwegian codfish.
The secrets of Syrian cuisine are brought to your table at this restaurant, serving affordable meals. Make sure to try "muhamara" (hot pepper dip), grilled lamb, "quibe" in cheese sauce with mint, and grilled fish with "tahine" sauce. The mouthwatering house specialty is the "toshca" stuffed with a variety of ingredients, chosen by the customer.
Cantina San Marco
Cantina San Marco has a romantic ambiance, decorated in antiques, lamps and candelabras. Popular menu items include the "penne toscano" with strips of filet, mushrooms and basil, and the "penne fiorentino", made with cream of parmesan, shrimp and shiitake.
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