Baixada wins most of Buteco’s Comida awards in Rio

Horn, fireworks, screams of those who no longer have a voice to whisper and a barbecue scheduled for the weekend. It could be the end of a football championship or the result of checking out the parades of another off-season carnival. But no. There was the party for the result of Buteco’s Comida, released on Wednesday evening. In its 15th edition in Rio, four of the top five places in the competition (there were 103 participants) were bars in the Baixada Fluminense. The exception was the Bar do David, in Chapéu Mangueira, in Leme, which took first place for the third time.

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– The Baixada is seen as a dangerous region, but the contest has come to prove that it is a place with good bars, good snacks. It is not this seven-headed beast that people paint – says João Duque, of Pasta da Nonna, to Duque de Caxias, happy to see the region grow with each edition of the competition. – The best thing is to get people from the outside to know your place, your bar. People come here for the snack, but they end up learning more.

Buteco food. The brothers João and Giam, from Pasta da Nonna, in Caxias, celebrate winning the second place in the 2022 competition Photo: Fabio Rossi / Agência O Globo

The bar took 2nd place with “Virando a laje”, which simulates a work in progress, with mocotó gnocchi served in wheelbarrows along with buckets full of peppery rapadura and olive vinaigrette to ensure that “sustenance”.

– We prepare a dish for people to take pictures. We thought of the mocotó cupcake in honor of our father, and we saw that it went well with turning a plate. For this, you must have the slab. So, we made 50 models, one by one, by hand.

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Boteco do Teixeira, in Caxias.  Sandro Teixeira and his wife Margareth celebrate yet another award from Buteco's Comida
Boteco do Teixeira, in Caxias. Sandro Teixeira and his wife Margareth celebrate yet another Buteco Comida award Photo: Fabio Rossi / Agência O Globo

A veteran of the region, Boteco do Teixeira has participated since the competition’s boundaries were expanded at the Baixada in 2016, and brought to the table “Teixeira Apelou!”, A cream of cod au gratin with parmesan croutons and olive oil topped with garlic and butter .bacon. Since then, the bar has only come out of the awards phase once. But Baixada has always had one of the best representatives.

For Sandro Teixeira, known as Teixeira, the results achieved in this period were gigantic. Starting with the number of bars. If there were only four in the first year, today there are nine: four in Caxias, two in São João de Meriti and three in Nova Iguaçu.

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Boteco do Teixeira.  The Teixeira Apelou! Appetizer, creamed cod au gratin, colored peppers, onion and garlic, with parmesan croutons and olive oil seasoned with garlic and bacon, took third place at the Comida di Buteco 2022
Boteco do Teixeira. The Teixeira Apelou! Starter, au gratin cod cream, colored peppers, onion and garlic, with parmesan croutons and olive oil seasoned with garlic and bacon, took third place at the Comida di Buteco 2022 Photo: Fabio Rossi / Agência O Globe

– The first year we had a trailer. This year there were 11 – Teixeira celebrates, citing the differentiated service in Baixada. – Guys are blown away by the place and the service when they come here. We don’t just deliver a snack, we present the dish, all the service, with affection.

This is not the only secret. One of the characteristics of the snacks that come from there is precisely that of planting flags and telling stories. In this climate, Boteco do Portuga, in Nova Iguaçu, was the first bar outside the capital to win the title of best bar in Rio, in 2018. This year’s award-winning snack, “Next stop: Estação Maxambomba Volcão Adormecido ”, Is a tour of the municipality.

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Boteco in Portugal.  Fourth place at the Comida di Buteco 20220 with the Estação Maxambomba snack!  Dormant volcano, potatoes stuffed with shrimp cream
Boteco in Portugal. Fourth place at the Comida di Buteco 20220 with the Estação Maxambomba snack! Dormant volcano, potatoes stuffed with shrimp cream Photo: Advertising / Fernando Salles

The train, the main link between the region and the center of Rio, is represented in the snack, carrying slices of orange. Producer of the fruit, the region has become known as the “Perfume City” due to the aroma coming from the plantations. Also depicted is the hang gliding ramp in Serra do Vulcão, 885 meters above sea level, with gliders flying over the potato stuffed with shrimp cream.

– We told the story of some tourist attractions of Nova Iguaçu. It is a tribute to our municipality, to our origins and to our education – explains Paulo Sérgio, skilled in the preparation of themed snacks, such as the “Marmita do Cabral”, a meal based on cod flakes, vegetables and curd and olive oil. ‘olive, and the “Old Clothes”, a tank full of cod. “It’s not just putting a treat on the table, it’s knowing why it’s there

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Carpaccio.  Fifth place of the Comida di Buteco 2022 with the Siri Cascudo snack, crab meat dumplings stuffed with provolone and breaded with Panko flour
Carpaccio. Fifth place at the Comida di Buteco 2022 with the Siri Cascudo snack, Crab meatballs stuffed with provolone and breaded with Panko flour Photo: Advertising / Fernando Salles

Entering the competition for the second time, the youngest of the team, Carpaccio, in São João de Meriti, turned one of his flagships into a snack. This is how the crab shell became “Siri cascudo”, crab meatballs stuffed with provolone and breaded in Panko. Alexandre Gomes da Cunha got the help of his friends from the bar to give the final go-ahead for the snack served during the contest.

– They are all very close here. Before presenting the final version of the snack, one shows it to the other. Everyone has a guess – says Alexandre, who already has a weekend program. – We plan a barbecue with everyone, but until then we will not stop celebrating too.

breaking down borders

David Bispo, with his wife Shirlei Lima Tavares and daughter Gabriela Bispo celebrate the third title of Comida di Buteco
David Bispo, with his wife Shirlei Lima Tavares and daughter Gabriela Bispo celebrate the third title of Comida di Buteco Photo: Disclosure

Great champion of the 2022 edition, David Bipso, of Bar do David, recognizes the strength of Baixada and understands, more than anyone else, the importance of breaking down yet another border at a bar table. In 2016 the bar was the first in a favela to win the contest, repeated the following year.

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After three years of absence from the competition, victory came with the “Ousadia” snack, pumpkin gnocchi with ora-pro-nóbis and coconut, filled with prawns, created in honor of the bartender’s mother.

Davide's bar.  Champion of Comida di Buteco 2022 with the Ousadia snack: pumpkin cupcake with ora-pro-nóbis and coconut, stuffed with prawns
Davide’s bar. Comida di Buteco 2022 champion with snack Ousadia: pumpkin dumpling with ora-pro-nóbis and coconut, stuffed with prawns Photo: Advertising / Fernando Salles

– They have done a good job over time, they are very dedicated to the competition – says David, who celebrates the inclusion of new gastronomic centers in the path of Rio’s bars. – This only adds to the competition and Rio’s entire food scene.

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