The World Cup preparations this year have not gone without controversy. The romantic allure of football’s return to its spiritual home has been marred by massive overspending (around $US14bn), corruption, police crackdowns in the favelas, unbuilt stadiums, protests and the hilarious cancelling of all speeches at the opening ceremony after Sepp Blatter and Dilma Rousseff (the Brazilian president) were booed by thousands during the Confederations cup last year. Indeed it’s the protests that took place in 2013 that are one of Brazil’s biggest worries.
|Brazil is about the size of Europe with 10 hour flights in all directions to see matches…|
30, rue du Docteur Nancel – Pénard 33000 Bordeaux – 05.56.51.34.00
A friendly chilled out resto near Place Gambetta with a formidable range on Brazilian bites and drinks. Open for 17 years the place is well known amongst the locals and has a weekday lunch menu for €10. They have an array of screens so you’ll never be far from the action.
The Churrasco (otherwise known as Rodizio or Brazilian BBQ) is an absolute MUST. €28 per person on the evening menu it involves all-you-can-eat flame cooked Linguiça (sausage), costeleta de porco (crispy pork), frango (BBQ chicken), carneiro (lamb), peito de perù (bacon wrapped veal), picanha (incredible melt-in-the-mouth BBQ steak). It is accompanied by Feijào (Brazilian black bean stew), arroz (rice), banana (fried banana), farofa (grilled manioc flour), churrasco sauce (to die for…).
|Simply amazing (not Caipirinha at rear)|
|Feijoada – awesome…|
Camarao Carioca – €17
King prawns marinated in garlic and lime, fried and served with Carioca rice.
Xinxim – €15
A Bahia speciality – Chicken stewed with dried shrimps, cashew nuts, grilled peanuts, coconut milk and palm oil – served with rice.
The starters are also a winner – do not miss the Bolinho de Bacalhau (€6) – potato and cod bites. For desserts there are a range of exotic fruit ice creams and cakes – we shared the Maracanàzinho (banana, coconut, mango and fresh fruit – €8) which was superb.
Obviously no Brazilian experience is complete without a legendary Caïpirinha and the Carioca version is about as authentic as they come (apart from obviously sitting in a Recife beach bar…). Here are the drinks on offer:
Caïpirinha (€6) – THE drink of Brazil – for the uninitiated it’s Cachaça and lime over crushed ice and is the most refreshing beverage on planet earth.
Caïpiroska (€6) – the vodka version
Caïpirissima (€6) – the rum version
Caäpigin (€5) – …
Batida de coco (€4) – white rum and coconut milk
Batida de abacaxi (€4) – pineapple
Batida de manga (€4) – mango
Batida de maracujà (€4) – passion fruit
They also have Guarana which is a soft drink made with Amazonian fruits…
The cafezinho is Brazilian coffee and the Caioquinha (€5) is coffee with cachaça.
World Cup Party: On the 23rd June (Brazil-Cameroon, 10pm) Carioca are hosting a band Brazilian female dancers from the Ypioca Cachaça brand. It promises to be a hectic evening which “may or may not spill out into the street” and where the ladies will remain clothed “depending on the alcohol levels involved”!!
The other Brazilian address in Bordeaux is right on the other end of town at the edge of St Michel and the Quais.
The Centro do Brasil, 6, rue du Port – Wednesday to Sunday, 7-11pm – 05 56 92 38 67 (just behind the TNBA – Théâtre National Bordeaux Aquitaine) has a similar menu to the Carioca and brings a warm family-run atmosphere with regular concerts on offer.
|A concert @Centro do Brasil|
|Brasilis @the Epicurials last year – it’s rammed by 6pm…|
The unofficial home of Bordeaux salsa is at the Casa Latina at 59 Quai des Chartrons (05 57 87 15 80). They also have regular samba and Brazil themed nights. They had the Pagode do Jambo Taïnos in at the end of May – click here for the video.
|Fun at the Casa Latina..!|
There are plenty of Salsa clubs in town to look up as well : http://www.bordeauxsalsa.com/. The ‘Maquinaria del Sabor’ Salsa festival is taking place from the 26th-29th June in La Teste de Buche with the Cohiba Salsa dance group based in Cestas. Look out for various events on: http://www.danse-bordeaux.com/ as well such as the Salsa/Kizomba/Bachata night this Friday at Chez Auguste, Place de la Victoire with the Salsa WAWA (www.facebook.com/salsawawanco) & Co (Tel 06 50 41 31 85). Watch out for flashmobs as well via facebook.
|Salsa on the Quais last summer…|
Shops are cashing in on World Cup fever and there are special offers all over the place. Pick up a Brazil shirt (or indeed your team of choice) at Intersport, Go Sport or Decathlon for around €10 (personalised shirts are available for a few euros more). Special tournament footballs are on sale for around €15-€20 to kick around the park and a special range of yellow fluo football boots are available in Intersport to create your own AllStar Brazil team.
|A snip at €4300…|
|For the courageous…|
So you’ve got your shirt, kicked a football around for a few minutes and have had few warm up cocktails – where to go watch the fanatical feast of football? Here are some of the bars/pubs around town which are worth a visit (in the order that I would visit them from my flat)
The Cock and Bull
Friendly English welcome and a range of screens (2 large screens and 3 smaller TVs). They have recently installed their terrace which will allow fans to spill out on to the side street giving you better access to the bar.
Each of the bar staff has picked a team and will be wearing their shirt – they have flags behind the bar which will be given away to the nearest punter as the corresponding team gets knocked out.
They have Caipirinhas and Brahma beer on offer and there is a happy hour from 4-8pm.
The countdown is on their FB page and the manager is Julian.
The HMS Victory and HOP
The Frog and Rosbif
With three recently installed brand new HD screens and 2x HD projectors (they basically have a full size cinema screen!), high ceilings and lack of windows this is a superb place to, a) see the screen and, b) not be crammed into a small sweaty pub space while you hug your pint… They also offer ENGLISH COMMENTARY during the non-France games. The staff are friendly, will be wearing Brazil shirts and the place is decked out with flags and will play Brazilian tunes to get you in the mood. They are doing a Rio burger with secret ingredients and have special guest beers on tap such as the Wham in June.
The Sweeney Todd
In close proximity to the Pont de Pierre and Place Fernand Lafargue the Sweeney’s is one of the main UK pub addresses in Bordeaux. They have just put up an array of World Cup decorations, have 4 large HD screen screens on offer and will be screening all the England and France games. There is Happy hour for the opening ceremony (as well as most day during the tournament) with Caipirinhas at €5/€8 and a FREE SHOT TO ANYONE GOING IN FOOTBALL GEAR!! They will be playing Brazilian music to get the party vibe flowing and are doing a Brazil spicy tartar burger to add to their decent food menu.
The grimy American pub/Bar at 24 rue Gouvea is locally famous for its epic Beer Pong tournaments. They are running a special offer during the WC with different happy hours on offer for different teams: France/USA – all drinks, Brazil/Portugal – Caipirinhas, Holland/Belgium – Carlsberg, England – Wel-Scotch (say no more), Germany – Jägerito, Spain – Pina Colada, Italy – Sex on the Bar, Mexico – Maguerita, Russia – White Russian, Argentina/Uraguay – Loco… Could well be Loco.
The Black Velvet
Easily the best Irish bar in town 9 rue du Chais des Farines, as well as serving a serious pint of Guinness they are screening most of the matches. For the opening ceremony there will be goodies, gifts and free drinks to win with two different games on beer mats. Make you sure you ask the owner on the various techniques for pouring the perfect pint of the black nectar.
The City Bar
At 21 rue de Palais Gallien this well known locals bar has a range of large screens as well as an array of spectacular cocktails. Damien will sort you out with a pint (they have Peroni on tap!) for €5 if you’re wearing an England shirt for the opening game against Italy on Saturday at midnight… Watch the FB page for more offers in the future.
A small cheeky tapas bar at 29 rue du Loup (near the rue St Catherine tram stop) this is the ideal place to catch one of the games on the fly with a cocktail and snacks. They have Portuguese/Brazilian flags outside and a local friendly atmosphere. €5 gets you a cold beer or sangria with tapas; for €6 you can have tapas with one of the tantalising cocktails – Mojito, Cubalibre, Pina Colada, Martini Piscine (Martini, Champagne, Lime), Americano and Sex on the Beach. They also offer oyster platters, charcuterie plates and cheese trays.
TBC – Giant World Cup screen
As with past tournaments, if France without Ribery make it through the internal quarreling, self-doubt, endless tortured angst and bitter home criticism and out of the group stage, we may well see the appearance of a giant screen in Quinconces or Place Victoire. Still the area inevitably will be over-policed, alchohol free and will just involve a lot of sweaty French people getting upset (like the RER in Paris). STAY AWAY AT ALL COSTS!
One of our personal album favourites is the Gilles Peterson in Brazil selection from a couple of years ago. He has also done a Brazil compilation called Bam Bam Bam which is worth a listen. Another ace compilation to hunt down is 4hero Brazilika which came out a few years ago and features superb lounge chill tunes from Azymuth amongst others.
For World Cup themes, amongst the quagmire of tunes out there, the BBC has picked the winner in Stevie Wonder’s Another Star. There is also the Strikers alternative World Cup song, Welcome to Brazil (as featured on TalkSport radio in the UK!)…
For World Cup comedy look no further than the Sao Paulo Osama Bin Laden bar that’s going down a storm with England fans as reported in the daily Mirror.
Let’s hope that this year’s tournament brings the usual range of emotion and that we can avoid a repetition of the brutal Battle of Bordeaux in 1938. Brazil against Czechoslovakia in the quarter final, several players were red carded with the most match fouls in history. The Czech captain has his arm broken (he carried on plying to the end of the match!) and another Czech player got a broken leg while several others on both sides received stomach and head injuries…Brazil ended up winning the replay 2-1!
|They were only mates at the start of the match…|
So Gents (and ladies), the time has come to get the beers massively IN and sit back to enjoy the most amazing football tournament the World has ever seen.
COME ON EN-GER-LAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!