São Paulo – the weekend continued

The plan:
-Zoo to see the “House of Cold Blooded Creatures” bc Fodor’s Rio & Sao Paulo guide recommended it
-Mercado Municipal to check out the produce, meats, and Bar do Mane for the sanduiche de mortadela
-Liberdade, the Japanese community that has an Asian food and crafts fair every Sunday

What actually happened:
R$ 12 for parking, R$14/person for admission into the Zoo. We headed to the House of Cold Blooded Creatures and was thoroughly disappointed. I was expecting to see snakes, instead we see sad little glass boxes where the small reptiles lived in. Oh, so sad. BTW, Muffin tops are prevalent in the zoo. Females just don’t care about showing off their muffin top midriff!

Headed over to the Mercado Municipal around 1:30pm. Throughout the city, there were guys who stoodd around the sidewalk curb and waved at you to park in their spot. For R$ 2, they would watch your parked car. It’s illegal but everyone does it! Anyway, the market was closed!! No one in the office mentioned this! I was quite sad…I wanted to see all of the tropical fruits like dragon fruit, lychee, passion fruit, etc…

As we walked back to our car, we saw someone else with a guide book walking towards the market. We told him that the market was closed and he said uhh, now what? He was also from the states and asked us if he could come along with us, sure why not? It turned out that he recently quit his job, got accepted to b-school and decided to backpack around the world for 6 months…today was his first day! How exciting for him!

We drove to Liberdade.
Sao Paulo has a diverse population which includes Japanese, Korean, Chinese and apparently Vietnamese! Every Sunday this area has an Asian food and crafts fair. Thankfully it was open! Finally, FOOD! There were stands of different foods, how exciting! I noticed everyone had sticks with shrimp on it. We all got the shrimp stick. The shrimp sticks sat in a glass display case, different sized shrimp for different prices. They were grilled with butter and the skin on. Butter, grill and shrimp, is always a good combination, right?

There was also a suco stand! Oh man, you know I’m on that. We get the suco do caja. Caja tasted like a less tart version of a Mexican mango. Delish. Liberdad was a success.

After Liberdade we headed to Estação Luz. One of the paulistas told me that this is where Sao Paulo first had lights! It’s now a train station and it appears to be the trains that take you outside of the city. It reminds me of Union Station in LA.

We had a few hours left to kill and checked out a coffee place. Santo Grão is located in Jardins. Without knowing we found ourselves in the gem of the city. This area was definitely where the high rollers went. I was excited because I identified one of the restaurants that I wanted to try while in Sao Paulo, Dalva e Dito. Chef Alex Atala opened Dalva e Dito last year. This is his second restaurant, his first being D.O.M. Unfortunately D.O.M is closed for this month (hopefully we can check it out in July!). D.O.M. put Chef Atala on the Sao Paulo map of “it” restaurants because he embraces the Brazilian ingredients but pimps it out. Dalva e Dito is like Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc, where Chef Atala focuses on typical Brazilian dishes. It wasn’t open at the time but I’m itching to try both of these places! Ok, totally sidetracked, back to Santa Grão . Parked outside of Santo Grão were luxury cars like Porsches and Maserati. Wherever the money is you’re guaranteed to see gorgeous women and indeed we did. My goodness, I know why so many super models are Brazillian. I felt so inadequate and in awe at all of the natural beauties. The older women reminded me of OC Cougars without all of the surgery! Again I have suco…which has mango, orange and pineapple. What a great way to end the day, with fresh fruit and people watching.

OK, I didn’t end the day with that suco. I ended it with suco de melon, honeydew juice. As mentioned before, most juices are filtered so the seeds/pulp are removed. In this case honeydew should not be filtered…you’re left with not much honeydew flavor and more water. From the photo below, you can tell how watery it is!

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