It takes more than a cask of ale and a beginner’s class in pouring a pint (which, unlike Brazilian beers, should have no more than a finger’s width of head) to call a bar a pub. Old-school British boozers have frosted windows, sticky tables, pork scratchings and a friendly landlord or -lady behind the bar, although these fine institutions have become something of a dying breed in the last two decades, losing ground in the UK to blander pub chains and upmarket gastropubs.
São Paulo’s pubs – a motley crew of bars packed with varying quantities of cliché – are joining the gastropub trend, it seems, with the city’s second Pub Food Festival. Ten establishments will each be putting three dishes to a jury test in a bid to win the Best Pub Food crown.
The menus cover everything from dishes that shouldn’t be seen within a half-mile radius of any self-respecting pub, to British classics like fish and chips (R$21), served at the Queen’s Head, a windowless pub inside the Brazilian British Centre.
The Irish-themed live-music joint Dublin will serve pork rib hamburgers (R$25) and lamb hotdogs (R$29), while the recently opened rock-themed pub Cão Véio will serve a delicious-sounding dish of pork ribs marinated in cachaça and molasses with chipotle chile and passionfruit. With the chef of Sal Gastronomia amongst the bar's owners, Cão Véio is a good gourmet bet, though falls short of having the atmosphere of a traditional pub.
See the full list of pubs at pubfoodfestival.com.br.
The winner will be announced at a party on 27 August. Check the site for more details.
Pub Food Festival participants
O'Malley's is at Alameda Itú 1529, Jardins (3086 0780/ omalleysbar.net)
Cão Véio is at Rua João Moura 871, Pinheiros (4371 7433/ facebook.com/cao-veio)
The Sailor is at Avenida Brigadeiro Faria Lima 2776, Jardim Europa (3044 4032/ thesailor.com.br)
Dublin is at Rua Ministro Jesuíno Cardoso 178, Itaim Bibi (3044 4149/ dublin.com.br)
Rhino Pub is at Avenida Cotovia 99, Moema (5095 9770/ rhinopub.com.br)
Queen's Head is at Rua Tucambira 163, Pinheiros (3774 3778/ queenshead.com.br)
All Black Irish Pub is at Rua Oscar Freire 163, Jardim Paulista (3088 7990/ allblack.com.br)
Deep Bar 611 - Rua Barra Funda 611, Barra Funda (4304 0611/ deepbar611.com.br)
Kia Ora is at Rua Doutor Eduardo de Souza Aranha 377, Itaim Bibi (3846 8300/ kiaora.com.br) and Rua Brigadeiro Galvão 871, Barra Funda (2366 3877)
Republic English Pub - Rua Delfina 110, Vila Madalena (3816 7493/ republicpub.com.br)