The food in Minas Gerais is renowned in Brazil for its heartiness and simplicity. The favorite dishes are rich stews and bean dishes with pork. Two typical Minas dishes are Tutu á Mineira and feijão tropeiro. In Tutu the beans are cooked, mashed, cooked again (similar to Mexican refried beans), and served with roasted pork, sausages, bacon, collard greens, egg, and rice with side dishes. The feijão tropeiro is fairly similar except the beans are kept whole and mixed with cassava flour. Two other traditional dishes are made with chicken: frango a molho pardo and frango com quiabo. Frango a molho pardo, originally a Portuguese dish, is a stew made with fresh chicken blood -- a little gruesome sounding but surprisingly tasty. The other chicken dish is a rich tomato stew with okra. There's also vaca atolada, a kind of beef rib stew, and torresmo, crunchy deep-fried pork rind. You'll find these in almost every Minas restaurant. The servings are always enough for two.
House of (Cheese) Bread
Among its culinary claims to fame, Minas is home to the pão de quiejo, the little round cheese bread ball now ubiquitous throughout Brazil. Mineiros claim there are no cheese breads like Mineiro cheese breads (they claim much the same about cachaça and women). The place to test their claim (about the cheese breads anyway, for booze and women you'll need to try elsewhere)? Any corner lunch counter should do, or you can try the Armazem Dona Lucinha, Rua Padre Odorico 38 (corner of Av. do Contorno; tel. 031/3281-9526).
In addition to hearty home-cooking, BH is known for its botecos, simple bars selling cold draft beer and hearty home-cooked snacks. Botecos are a great place to relax after a long day, or if you feel like a snack but aren't hungry enough for dinner. BH's botecos typically open Monday to Saturday noon to 3pm and then again from 7pm to midnight (or later). Sundays they're often closed. Clube da Esquina, Rua Sergipe 146, Funcionarios (tel. 031/3222-5712), offers cold beer and snacks in a 1902 heritage house. Petisqueira do Primo, Rua Santa Catarina 656, Lourdes (tel. 031/3335-6654), features Galician-style snacks (cod and potatoes, paella, and so on) and, of course, beer. In business since 1929, Tip Top, Rua Rio de Janeiro 1770, Lourdes (tel. 031/3275-1880), features German bratwurst, pig knuckles, sauerkraut, and beer.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.