Austin >Restaurants >
Mexican >Sao Paulo's Restaurante
2809 San Jacinto, Austin, TX | Directions 7870530.291541 -97.735197
Neighborhoods: Hancock, Central Austin
One of the first Brazilian restaurants in Austin, Sao Paulo's serves huge, meaty portions, and complements your meal with live bossa nova on Friday nights.
Eh...not so much – I had been here a couple of times before and never had a problem, but the last time was just awful. We went during happy hour and were the only table inside, so we thought for sure with three workers hanging around that service wouldn't be a problem. While I'm usually a pretty patient person, service was RIDICULOUSLY slow and the waitress was very rude. She sat at a nearby table talking on her cellphone while the food was no doubt waiting (and getting cold) in the kitchen to be delivered. The food isn't bad at all, there are plenty of vegetarian options and the yucca with queso is awesome. The service though I think needs to be worked on. Only one other table came in after us, and the bill took so long to arrive that I ended up paying at the bar instead. I hated to seem rude, but when you only have one table it really shouldn't be that hard. That being said, I probably wouldn't come back here for a lunch break, before going to see a movie, or any other time when I knew I had somewhere else I needed to be soon.
Tasty, well-priced, and friendly – Our service was great, food was excellent. I ordered a caipirinha, and our waitress warned me of the strength of the drink and offered to have it made less-potent. Full octane for me thanks! I was impressed by the concern though, and equally so by the drink. A perfect caipirinha is what I got, like the many I had in Brazil, not the watered-down version served even in some of the higher-end restaurants around town. And the live Brazilian jazz didn't hurt either. We'll be back! Soon!
Blinding Glare – Up until today I would have recommended this restaurant much much higher, but my husband and I had to walk out at lunchtime due to the glare from the cars parked outside. An obnoxious diner would not allow the venetian blinds to be closed and we were practically blinded just waiting for our drinks to be served. The waitstaff did not proactively intervene so we left in order to protect our vision! We have been eating at this location since it was the "China Inn", but have never encountered this problem before because the management and waitstaff were aware and involved in keeping the restaurant comfortable.
On the other hand, the food is great; MUCH better than the new Sampaio's on Burnet Road. Everything we have tried has been wonderful and we have always had fun introducing friends to this restaurant. I particularly like the "Brazilian Paella".
Charming – I think that the review posted on 2/11/07 is talking about the wrong restaurant--Sao Paulo's is great! I eat there on a regular basis (2-3 times a week) and I have never seen "frozen carrots" with the ridges on them!?! As far as the wait staff goes, they are some of the most welcoming personel in the university area. They are always greeting their customers and thanking them upon departure. Are you sure you are not talking about the other Brazilian restaurant?? I highly recommend Sao Paulo's, pricing is very reasonable and the live music on the weekends makes it charming. Although I suggest making reservations they have become quite a little hot spot.
Not worth it – The waitstaff was rude and thought very highly of themselves, while forgetting that we were there and not taking our order but instead taking those from people who came in after us..
They use frozen vegetables (carrots with the grooves on them) and serve generally low quality food. Not worth the price.
Not Worth It. – Slow to bring drinks, overcharged despite asking specifically, would have forgotten silverware had we not mentioned, forgot appetizer TWICE, addressed my friend and me as "boys," sat large group of noisy people next to us. And frankly, I don't think the "lasanha" is worth $8: the $4.95 burrito at chipotle has more interesting flavor. Lots of peas, green beans and diced carrots with thick layer of cheese melt on top for $8. Nah.
Great brazilian food! – I have been eating here for a couple of years and I still love coming here. The food is great and the fact you can order Guaraná is really cool. My family lived in Brazil for 17 years so it was fun for them to eat familiar foods they didnt prepare themselves. I love the Feijoada and the Bobo de Camarao, the fact the prices arent outrageous help too.
Brazilian Tex-Mex – The food and ambiance at this place is great. They have live music frequently, but it's not "in your face" or overpowering and did I mention the food is fantastic? Everyone we take there really likes the Chicken Magdelena and I'm partial to their burrito. They have plenty of good vegetarian choices and a full bar. They recently had an ownership shift and the service has suffered somewhat, but the food is still fantastic!
Nice change of pace – This is a great option near campus for when you tire of dollar drafts and crappy pizza. Very nice brazilian/caribbean fare. The tex-mex on the menu is surprisingly tasty too, but it's the braizilian entrees (esp. the fish) that are the stars of this menu. Service was excellent, and the prices are low for the quality of food you get. If this place was downtown, it would be a hit. Give them a try.
Editorial Review – Campus-area restaurant serving a unique blend of Tex-Mex and Brazilian cuisine and specialty cocktails.
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