In Fortaleza, the contest ran from April 15 to May 01, and within the past few days, the Comida di Buteco website announced the winning bars (botecos) and the platters which won them their accolades. Winners were chosen based on ballots filled out by diners during the contest period, on which each plate was scored on a number of factors, and the restaurant as well, on such things as cleanliness, quality of service, noise levels etc.
The first-place winner for 2011 in Fortaleza was a long-established favorite bar in Aldeota, one of Fortaleza's more upmarket neighborhoods. The bar is called Bar do Papai (Daddy's Bar) and is known for the quality of its live music as well as its food and drink. Bar do Papai took home the gold with a charmingly-entitled dish called Pedacinho do Céu (Little Piece of Heaven). The dish consists of rolled, breaded chicken cutlets stuffed with cheese and ham and served with a mayonnaise and ketchup sauce. In other words, rolled-up chicken cordon bleu. The bar has been known for this dish for years, so it's likely that a number of voters were already predisposed to vote for Pedacinho do Céu even before they sat down to eat and vote.
|Bar do Papai - Pedacinho do Céu|
A Bahian-style restaurant called Cabana da Negona (Big Mama's Hut) took second place with a dish of chunks of smoked pork loin on the grill, covered with roasted onion sliced, and accompanied by a sauce made from mayonnaise and manioc flour. Interestingly, there is nothing particularly Bahian about their winning dish, though it does sound (and look) delicious. Flavors of Brazil has reviewed Cabana da Negona previously, and the review can be seen here.)
|Cabana da Negoa - Carne do Fumeiro na Chapa|
A surprising (to us anyway) dish from a bar called Flórida Bar received the third highest score during Comida di Buteco. Their offering was Figado Acebolada - or in English, liver 'n' onions. Not that the dish doesn't have its fans, but liver is hated by as many people as those who love it, so we'd think that it wouldn't be a contest-winner. Clearly, Flavors of Brazil was wrong, and the fans of Flórida Bar's liver 'n' onions are legion.
|Flórida Bar - Figado Acebolado|
Of the three bars, only Flórida Bar is unknown to us here at Flavors of Brazil. But it won't remain that way for long - we intend to visit it soon, even if we don't order the liver! Which is the whole point of the Comida di Buteco program - to locate and identify good bar food, and to encourage diners to try out some of the best bar food in the city.