So last week we abruptly disappeared and left our little ol’ blog a hanging. We kind of kept mum on a lot of the details of where and what we were doing. Truth is, we’d been in dire need of a vacation for some time. We stumbled across some cheap tickets and decided to jump on a plane and try our legs at skiing in Colorado with my best friend Patrick and his wife Jen!
We really didn’t know what to expect. When you buy cheap non-refundable tickets, you kind of have to have a “come what may” attitude with the weather. For the week leading up to our flight, it was in the mid-50s in Denver, with temperatures in the mountains hovering around the thirties. We arrived on Thursday to a balmy 55 degrees, and no snow in the valley. Trying not to be discouraged, we hung out in Denver for the day to collect supplies and try a restaurant that Patrick and Jen thought we’d love.
Cafe Brazil is the type of place you might drive by and never give a second thought to. It’s low-key, and in a quiet residential neighborhood. The moment you open the door however, the amazing smells stop you dead in your tracks.
We started with drinks and an appetizer. Patrick and Neil ordered two rounds of Rum Flights for us to share, while Jen ordered a Dark and Stormy (ginger beer and dark rum). If you couldn’t tell, rum is their specialty. The Rum flights had AMAZING rum. I wrote them down:
- Plantation 5 year (Barbados)
- Ron Pampero Anniversario 6 year (Venezuela)
- Matusalem Classicao 15 year (Dom. Repub.
- Ron Zacapa Solera 26 year (Guatemala)
- Ron Millonario 15 year (Peru)
- Appleton Estate 12 year (Jamaica)
- El Dorado 12 year (Guyana)
- D’Aristi (Yucatan, Mexico)
Our favorite by far was the Ron Zacapa. Maybe I’m a simpleton, but it’s weird to drink something nearly as old as you are.
Patrick and Jen ordered their favorite appetizer to split with us. Sweet potato and shrimp croquettes (Bolinhos). Lightly sweet and savory, so good! We’re actually putting a variation of them together for dinner this week.
Patrick, Neil and I all ordered the special of the evening, a beautiful array of shrimp, scallops and grouper with Brazilian dende oil, garlic, shallots, ginger, tomato and coconut milk, served stew-style over rice.
It is rare that we have seafood aside from shrimp (unless we’re on a coast). It’s hard to come by here in the midwest in good quality, but worth the wait when you do come across the good stuff. The scallops were to die for and I spooned up every last drop of broth. It was a LOT of food, and coupled with the appetizer and complimentary spicy black bean soup, we were definitely stuffed!
And then this showed up! Delightful dessert, made fresh that day. A chocolate custard (tasting almost like Japanese Mochi) topped with whipped cream and sprinkles.
Just as we finished dessert, we got one last surprise, a fruity shot made from rum and fresh grapefruit and pomegranate juice. Nothing like a shot of warmth as you head into the mountains!
From there, we loaded into the car and headed off to Breckenridge!
Stay tuned for Part 2!
Thank you to our wonderful hosts at Cafe Brazil for their gracious hospitality and wonderful meal. It’s unparalleled to anything we’ve received elsewhere for as long as we can remember.
Note: Patrick and Jen are regulars and know the owners and staff. Patrick and Jen mentioned upfront we were bloggers (we aren’t those people, but the food was so amazing we ran out to the car for the camera early in the meal). I don’t know if our experience is typical, but our observations of other guests made it seem so.