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Egili Oliveira Samba Master, Video Compilation

Beyond being arguably one of the greatest samba dancers of all time, Egili Oliveira was an integral part of my introduction into the samba community of Rio de Janeiro. She secured my parade opportunities with the samba schools Renascer de Jacarepagua and Mocidade Unidos do Santa Marta. In the videos below, you’ll watch a samba master at work: Carnaval 2018, Series B parades. While she is a notable fixture in the Sambodromo (the stadium where top samba schools parade), she is truly beloved along the community parade route at Intendentes Magalhaes.

(At the time of publishing, Egili Oliveira was queen of the samba school Vigario Geral in Rio de Janeiro.)

Part 1, the start of the parade.

Part 2, crowd interaction.

Part 3, the end of the parade.

Thank you for watching. Please subscribe to the YouTube channel. And check out the other samba videos series. 


Where to Eat in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil… Part 1

I recently traveled to Rio de Janeiro for what turned out to be a glorious vacation. Every day was spent walking along the beach, day drinking and taking in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Of course, I ate some amazing food. Here are just a few of the spots that I recommend for you:

Galitos Grill (Ipanema)
Galitos Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato  This was intentionally my first stop! We didn’t get to our apartment in Ipanema until roughly 10pm BST. After we dropped our bags, we ran down the block to a closing Galitos, they were wiping things down and putting the chairs away. We told them we just arrived from America and had been dreaming about the food. So, to our delight, they prepared us a large feast to-go. If you are a Brazilian food beginner, someone who has never had Brazilian food or has limited experience with it– this is the perfect place to begin. Solid! Legit! My recommended meal (and what I ate every time i ate there): Galito ao molho picante forte (a whole chicken with spicy sauce– its really not spicy at all), Arroz com Brocolis (rice with broccoli shreds– it looks like green rice), Feijao (black beans- get one per person) and Farofa com Bacon (toasted coarse ground tapioca flour– trust me it is delicious on your beans). There are so many great things on the menu, but this is a great start.

Restaurant e Bistro Aquelas Coisas (Madureira)
Aquelas Coisas is so far off the beaten path that they aren’t even listed on most travel sites. This minority-owned bar is an unofficial hangout for the Portelense of Madureira (the supporters of the Portela Samba School in the neighborhood of Madureira). And they are a very warm and welcoming group. Aquelas Coisas makes this list, not because of the food, but for the atmosphere and events. You’ll find mostly outdoor seating, with live music and fresh churrasco (they actually place the grill in front of the restaurant sometimes). Anyway, if you find yourself all the way in the north zone, this place is worth a visit. Recommendation: Visit their facebook to find out what events are happening. You could happen upon a samba de raiz, pagode or block party.


Bibi Sucos (Copacabana 2)
Bibi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Bibi Sucos is a chain of juice bars in Rio de Janeiro. They serve items you can get pretty much anywhere, BUT the atmosphere is super cool. My love described the decor as “so-cal”– southern California surfer style. I recommend this location because they are one of the few locations with indoor seating. The other locations have bistro tables on the street and their menus are very limited to only juices and acai, while this Copacabana location has sandwiches and more. Recommendation: Acai (ah-sah-EE) or a Suco Verde (SUE-coh VEH-jee).


Bar 48 (Rua Teixeira de Melo, Ipanema)
48 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato This bar was just over a block from my airbnb in Ipanema, but I only discovered it in my last week. I missed out on so many cool events. To start: this bar is woman-owned, LGBTQ friendly and multicultural. The space stands out with graffiti’d walls, oil drums for tables, loud, live music and strong drinks! In the grand scheme of upscale and exclusive Ipanema, Bar 48 is a laid back and inclusive environment with patrons of all backgrounds– from the favelas to the luxury high rises. I enjoyed getting to know the staff, the owner and dancing with its regulars. And I definitely plan to return! Recommendation: Get to the “Happy Hour” early and get your check before the happy hour time ends.


Lapamaki (Ipanema)
Lapamaki Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato For me, the best review a restaurant can have is being packed out every night. I never saw this restaurant on any lists. I just walked by it EVERY day and saw it full of people– inside and out. So on one drunken evening, we decided to check out our local sushi joint. They did not disappoint. The food was visually appealing, fresh and delicious. I really can’t say more. If you are in Ipanema, it is worth the wait for a table. Recommendation: Get one of the “combinados”, which are varietal platters appropriate for groups.


Pop Sucos
My airbnb was less than a block away from this burger joint. Yes, I know its called “sucos”, which is juices, but they also served burgers! So after reading the menu a few times, we decided to check it out. My experience with hamburgers in Rio was not stellar, but in watching the food go out to other tables, I realized that these weren’t your average Rio hamburgers. They were actually delicious. Pretty much US/ American quality! While on vacation in Rio, I didn’t really have any cravings for American foods, BUT this was a nice departure from the Brazlian fare that I’d been eating every day. I probably wouldn’t return only because legit hamburger places are popping up all over the city and I’ll want to try them too. But this one is pretty dayum good!  And I dig the pop-art decor. PS– they deliver!


Zaza Bistro
Zazá Bistrô Tropical Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato At the time of my visit, Zaza Bistro had the best reviews of any restaurant in my neighborhood. As I learned that night, it was for good reason. Zaza is located on a corner in what looks like an old house. It reminded me of restaurants in the Poncey-Highland area of Atlanta with bright color paint, wrought iron fence/art and fresh vegetation. The low lighting and middle eastern music actually made the vibe extremely sexy. The drinks, featuring niche ingredients, were delicious. The entrees were small but extremely flavorful and surprisingly filling. Recommendation: Order anything with octopus. You will NOT be disappointed. Its tender, juicy and well seasoned.


Casa de Feijoada
Casa da Feijoada Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato This had to be the most decadent and indulgent meal of my life to date. For some reason my love and I had the entire restaurant to ourselves– so the service seemed almost over the top. Here, there is no need for a menu. You came for the feijoada (fay-jo-AH-dah) completa: black beans, meat, rice, couve (collards), aipim (fried yuca), torresmo fritas (cracklin or chicharrones) and laranjas (oranges). This is basically an all-you-can-eat restaurant. The server replenishes everything as you go. Ours also kept our glasses full of my favorite brazilian drink: batida de maracuja (ba-CHEE-dah jee mah-dah-coo-JAH). This is a mixture of sweet passion fruit nectar and cachaca. I nearly had to be ROLLED out of this restaurant. And I fell asleep as soon as I got back to the apartment. Recommendation: Go early. Pace yourself. Walk home if you can– you’ll need the workout. LOL.


Look out for a second post with more recommendations. Let me know on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook what you think. Much love. Remember, life is good. Eat it up!

Check This Out…Apps to Bring Out Your Inner Chef

I live by my iPhone! I rely on apps to do EVERYTHING. It can tell me what’s new and how to get there, what to cook and what I need to make it, even whats around me and exactly what to order! I occasionally make mention of my favorite apps (scoutmob, opentable, urbanspoon), but Us Weekly actually created their own list based on recommendations from Celebrity Chefs, which I thought I’d share with you… 

-MARTHA’S EVERYDAY FOOD: FRESH & EASY RECIPES: For 99 cents, the app sends alerts for daily dinner ideas. And it uses your current location to find grocery stores near you! Why it’s hot: You can share your fave recipes on Facebook and Twitter.

-FOOD NETWORK IN THE KITCHEN: You can access 45,000 recipes from the network’s stars and new seasonal menus are updated each month ($1.99). Why it’s hot: Save favorite recipes in an online recipe box. Plus, use in-app timers to never burn a meal again!

-GORDON RAMSAY COOK WITH ME: Screaming fits not included! Outside of Hell’s Kitchen, Ramsay offers 56 recipes with guides and pictures ($7.99). Why it’s hot: The app offers wine pairings and an email function to invite to friends to enjoy the meal.

-NIGELLA QUICK COLLECTION: The kitchen goddess guides fans through 70 recipes with 40 minutes of video instructions ($7.99). Why it’s hot: You can make a shopping lists from recipes, then work through the recipes using voice control without even touching your phone.

-JAMIE OLIVER 20 MINUTE MEALS: If you liked his Food Revolution TV
show, you’ll love the British chef’s easy recipes ($7.99). Why it’s hot: Step-by-step pictures illustrate each recipe, and in 90 minutes of video Oliver teaches his tricks and basic kitchen tips.

-TYLER FLORENCE FAST: Picking from the app’s 500 recipes is easy. At the store, type in salmon and 15 recipes pop up! The Food Network chef tells Us ($4.99). Why it’s hot: Need recipe help? Use the app to email the chef or to chat with other users.

Thanks to Tonya M. Fleetwood.

Random Food Knowledge

Food Infographic

“I wouldn’t have known anything about this awesome infographic if not for my internet savvy, fabulously endowed colleague Kristy “PR Empress Extraordinaire” Wright. Thank you Kristy. You are a gentleman and a scholar.”

PS- Kristy wrote that herself as credit for passing along this info. LOL!