Driving from Northern California back to LA, my sister and I stopped in Santa Cruz to see her college-age daughter and have lunch.
Niece recommended Cafe Brasil, said there might be a wait, and probably no parking. She was right, we parked 2 blocks away, and had about a 10 minute wait. Expected and not a problem!
We were seated, and it did take a while to 1) get menus, 2) get someone to take our order 3) get the orders served. But again, it was kind of expected, so wasn't annoying at all.
This is a really loud restaurant. There were screaming kids, lots of convos, not a sedate quiet restaurant, which makes sense with college in session and thousands of students out on a school day lunch break. Expected.
Unexpected was fabulous food!
Niece had a dish she has often - Rancheiros Two eggs over easy over flour tortilla w/black beans, topped w/cheddar cheese, salsa and sour cream. (served with baguette.) $8.75
Her mom had grilled fish (it was tilapia) with black beans (served with farofa) $7.75 and I had fish polenta: grilled tilapia over spinach & topped w/creamy polenta, also served with farofa. $9.25
In Brazil, where farofa is particularly popular, typical recipes call for raw manioc flour to be toasted with butter, salt, and bacon until golden brown. It's a crunchy, toasty starch. Each country has a variant using a different starch.
A popular dish my niece recommended was the acai bowl, which sounds nice for breakfast but maybe not so much at lunch for us who had 6 hours of driving ahead of us, skipping dinner. It’s a large bowl of Acai smoothie (Acai, mixed fruits and guarana) topped with granola and sliced fruit, available in smaller portions too. I think it would be great for students heading off to school!
There were many more items I'd like to choose, will enjoy a return trip!