If you´re watching your weight, you might want to stop reading. If you´re a gourmand watching your budget, read on. Rio's Bar do Arnaudo (a bar in name only - try acting like a barfly here and you´ll get some odd looks), is a cosy little corner restaurant serving absolutely enormous portions of the type of rich, satisfying comfort food that the Northeast of Brazil is famous for. The prices are extremely fair, and there´s always a warm welcome.
Aipim is always on the menu at Bar do Arnaudo — Photo courtesy of L.Marcio_Ramalho
The best option here is to go for one of the set plates - meat eaters can order sundried beef with butter-baked aipim (cassava), brown beans, rice, and farofa (seasoned manioc flour) while vegetarians can swap the meat for thick slabs of grilled white cheese - plates for one person easily serve two or even three.
Everything comes served with a pot of fiery pepper sauce - the recipe is a closely guarded secret and the sauce itself has attained legendary status among spice-lovers such as myself. Do be cautious with this liquid fire - it can take the roof off your mouth if you are unaccustomed to such fiery flavors.
To cool things down, order a coconut of passionfruit batida - a yummy mix of fruit, condensed milk and cachaca rum. Note that, while there is no wine list here, the friendly staff will be happy to uncork a bottle if you bring it along.