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“I believed the ads”
Review of Gringo Cafe

Gringo Cafe
Ranked #14 of 150 Dessert in Rio de Janeiro
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $5 - $25
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Delivery, Reservations, Takeout
Neighborhood: Ipanema
Reviewed July 7, 2013

A taste of home Phooey! No one at the restaurant spoke English. So if you think you will get a breather and be able to speak with a waitperson, forget it! If you think you will get sausage, you won't, except a Brazilian sausage. The bagels are nothing more than a crunchy cracker. The prices are exorbitant. The food was cold and the hash browns will nauseate you! You can't tell the staff unless you speak fluent Portuguese. If you are American or even British or Australian, you will not find a little slice of home. The only way it is similar to American is its use of deceptive advertising! Don't go! You can get eggs and this type of meat at a by the weight restaurant. They do have American chafe, dirty water and no refills!

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2  Thank Patrick O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
semisweetsb, Owner at Gringo Cafe, responded to this reviewResponded July 20, 2013

My staff and I are truly sorry you were so disappointed with your experience and that we failed to remedy the situation while you were there. While the English speaking staff was not there at that moment, the waiters definitely communicate well enough to exchange a meal when you are not happy with it. A frown or shaking your head "no" is enough to have us investigate the problem. When needed the staff will call me, the owner, directly by phone so that I can talk to clients personally.

Regarding your meal it seems it was not our best quality and I do apologize. It is unusual because the same day you visited we received many of compliments and sold out of our bagels and hash browns. The many reviews that compliment our real American food reflect our typical level of excellence, and again I apologize we did not deliver in your case.

While I understand your disappointment I disagree that our advertising in false. You may disagree with the sincere opinions of our happy customers here on Trip Advisor, but that does warrant an accusation of false advertising.

We never advertise or guarantee that the staff speaks English. Clearly we strive to offer that service as much as possible but we acknowledge it is unrealistic for our restaurant to make that promise 100% of the time. The menus are in English and the staff communicates with English speakers quite well. I think the many happy foreign customers and their reviews suggest this is true.

I do want to sincerely thank you for your feedback as we take it very seriously and constantly work to improve. Because you were so unhappy with your breakfast I would like to offer you a full refund, or if you prefer another full meal for free. I hope you accept my offer and recognize it represents our genuine commitment to providing a great experience for all our customers.

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Reviews (257)
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97 - 101 of 258 reviews

Reviewed June 10, 2013

First of all I would love to know where these other expats find their American groceries if they think that the prices are too high. I have been living in Brasil for over ten years and, if I can find it at all, will pay approximately $10- 15 dollars for a jar of peanut butter, $12-20 dollars for a small box of pancake mix, $26 dollars for taco shells and a sauce mix. $16 dollars for a small bag of individual Reese’s Cups and upwards of $13 dollars for a CAN of albacore tuna! ( Why do you all think we keep asking you to bring us these things????)

Sam’s Club prices, but maybe I am missing some great hidden grocery treasure. On top of that add in the cost of rent on one of the main streets in Ipanema and I think you can safely say that they are not making out like bandits on your $18 to $20 dollars per person. But enough of that, lets get on with the review.

As I mentioned, I an an American expat who travels frequently. I live 9 months out of the year in Sao Paulo and sometimes get a craving for home style food. Not a big deal if you cook at home and don’t mind the schlep to Sam’s Club to see IF they have what you are craving. The solution, for me, is Gringo Cafe and I am happy to hear that they are thinking of expanding to Sao Paulo. Wonderful food and, I thought, very decent prices. Late night dinner for four with two of our party drinking and a sampling of almost every cake, pie and pastry ( Thank you Sam!) was about a little over a hundred dollars or $25 dollars each. I have paid about that for two without alcoholic drinks at two of our other American chain food Steak Houses.( Yes, our American chain foods are more expensive here than the States, have you tried finding a dollar menu at McDonalds in Brasil??)

The food was wonderful and the portions extremely satisfying. Favorites like macaroni and cheese, turkey platters, spaghetti and meatballs ( NOT the typical find in other restaurants many which use pre-made frozen meatballs which are made with beef, pork and chicken meat) among many many others and a small coffee shop feeling that reminded me of my home town in Ohio will keep me coming back for more.

Our service experience was wonderful on all of my last three trips to Gringo Cafe with no complaints and the food served hot and on time.

I know it is not for everyone but you always have the option of reading the menu first and seeing what you will pay for the food that you are ordering. If you cannot afford it or feel it is too high ( Like the $7.00 can of coke at another restaurant in Copacabana) then go elsewhere.

I am sorry that all of you did not enjoy your experience at Gringo Cafe, but I had a ball and will heartily recommend it to others. Meanwhile I will sit here and drool over my memory of late night chili and count the days until they open here in Sao Paulo.

Thank you

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Thank mark m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2013

In the middle of exotic Rio at Ipanema Beach it was wonderful to find some American comfort food. From the Chinese chicken salad, to California style chile, to waffles, to meatloaf or a turkey platter the emphasis is on "authentic" American style food. The desserts are home made and decadent! The prices are mid-range. Having lived in Latin American for a while, I know how difficult it is to get the ingredients to prepare these dishes. So when you want a good American cup of coffee or a real muffin you go to Starbucks...when you want real (really good) American food, go to the Gringo Cafe. Tell Sam (the owner) hello; he'll help you out with good advice and good conversation. P.S. How could I have forgotten to mention the great hamburgers and fries? The Gringo Cafe is a major part of my great memories of Rio.

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Thank DSelf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2013

The breakfast is too poor! Never go there because if you are looking for a nice breakfast you will have to ask twice and pay for it twice.

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2  Thank AndreLucas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
semisweetsb, Owner at Gringo Cafe, responded to this reviewResponded July 20, 2013

I am sorry you did not find your experience with us worthwhile and it appears the service you received was not our best. However, I think we do offer a great value to our customers when we get the service right. We offer a completely unique product in Rio (real American comfort food) and yet our prices are lower than many other quality restaurants. Thank you for your feedback as we take it very seriously. We are constantly striving to improve and I hope you visit again and give us a chance to demonstrate our progress.

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Reviewed February 26, 2013

Turned up late for dinner with 9 friends, tables moved to fit us all in, orders taken and tasty Caipirinhas made in quick time, even asked for AC to be turned up, nothing seemed to be a bother to them, Very pleasant waitress with surprising interaction with us which rarely happens in Rio.
I had the spaghetti and meat balls which was amazing been back twice to eat it again, tried my friends spare ribs also tasty, really enjoyed the food and the evening.

Thank princessofvisconde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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