Traditional Baian Fair Facing Lagoa

After biking around Lagoa (lagoon which borders the Ipanema, Leblon, Copacabana, Gávea, Jardim Botânico and Humaitá) we stumbled upon this cute ‘Bihian’ restaurant tucked away off the bike path, facing Lago: Oke Ka Baianetem

As you approach the restaurant, the first thing you will notice is a woman wearing a colorful costume preparing some of the traditional Baian dishes (see below) and whatever she has got cooking in that pot smells delicious! I mean right away-  ‘very authentic’ was my first reaction. Inside, the restaurant is decorated with vibrant colored ribbons of Senhor do Bonfim, and a statue of Yemanja; the waiters also wear very colorful outfits.

We started with ‘acarajes’ (what this place is famous for), hard to describe, but closest thing I can think to compare to would be a warm lobster roll but with shrimp, and instead of mayo (ew) it is made with a vegetable paste that is actually very good.  Only warning I have with this… they do not ‘de-shell’ the shrimp so before digging in, make sure you remove all of the shells! We also had ‘carne encebollada com aipim frito’ (ie steak and onions with fried cassava) to start.  Ok fine… I’ll admit it.. We also ordered the steak as a back up just in case I didn’t like the main dish which was Bobó de camarão

Bobó de camarão is a shrimp stew (very popular here) served in a clay pot, with white rice and yucca flour on the side. FYI- Bobó is the name given to any dish thickened with mashed cassava.  It was quite tasty, BUT be aware: this dish is VERY heavy and the portion is huge (better for 4 people to share). Personally, I think they should consider serving it with salad to balance out it- girl needs their ‘greens’!

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