Dined on April 14th.
Right in the heart of downtown Hopkins on the southeast corner of Mainstreet and 10th Ave N. is where you will find Samba. We would have never heard of Samba if it wasn’t for my sister-in-law and husband. They hosted their wedding rehearsal dinner there and often raved about the place. Samba-Taste of Brazil as it is known is where you will find some authentic Brazilian food prepared and served by a Brazilian family.
First Impression: We were greeted and seated as soon as we walked in. The dining area is fairly small, and includes a bar, and a little grocery store, which I assume has a variety of Brazilian food items. The walls are adorned with musical instruments, and art. The restaurant has a nice and relaxing vibe to it.
We started with the Pastel ($6) appetizer, which were described to us as Brazilian Empanadas. The order came with 2 pieces, and we got the ground beef and the shrimp. Both were good and tasty. I thought the ground beef, which was mixed with diced green olives, had more flavor. We both agreed that they reminded us of an African Sambusa.
The Feijoada ($20) was popular among many of the Yelpers, which is why I went with it. Upon choosing it, the owner who was taking our order got very excited and explained that it is considered the national dish of Brazil. The dish is a stew of black beans, with pork meat and sausages. It is served with rice, farofa (toasted cassava flour mixture), vinaigrette and collard greens. The waiter also recommended some hot sauce, he said that it went nicely with the meal. We overheard the waitress at another table saying that the dish is eaten by mixing all of the ingredients together either on the plate or in the clay pot. I enjoyed the Feijoada from the pot with a little hot sauce, and it was delicious. The meal was rich, meaty, and savory. All the ingredients worked well together and were all equally good.
After much thought, Sarah went with the Amazonas ($21). She ended up asking the waiter for a recommendation. He said that the Amazonas was his wife’s favorite. That decided it. Sarah prefers to not eat many onions, which is often times hard to do with restaurant food. She mentioned this to the owner as he took the order and he said he would take care of it. Everything came out onion free and still tasted wonderful. The meat was delicious and moist. The rice was a bit creamy and she claimed it to be some of the best rice she’s ever had. The beans had a distinct bacon flavor that made it hard to stop eating.
Verdict: Samba – Taste of Brazil home page says the following: You’ll feel like our friends in our house. And that is exactly how you are treated – like a great friend stopping in for a home cooked meal. The owner is nice, chatty, and genuinely cares that you have a good experience at his restaurant. The staff is friendly and helpful. All in all, Samba is an inviting place with authentic and tasty Brazilian food. I suggest you check them out.
922 Main Street
Hopkins, MN 55343
Hours: Tuesday 10am-9pm Wednesday 10am-9pm Thursday 10am-9pm Friday 10am-10pm Saturday 10am-10pm Sunday 11am-8pm Mondays only open for Private