Rio’s Brazil­ian Cafe: Ap­ple Buzios

408 N. Pleas­ant Val­ley Road. 828-6617, www.rioso­faustin.com.

Austin American-Statesman - - FOOD & DRINK - — M.S.

Al­most any sit-down place with burg­ers will have a green salad with ap­ples, cheese and candied nuts. At Rio’s, they don’t bother with a burger and they don’t bother mak­ing that salad, at least not the way you’d ex­pect. Shar­ing a name with a Brazil­ian re­sort town, the Buzios ($8) shows off by plac­ing at its cen­ter a peeled green ap­ple, roasted in and sat­u­rated by red wine. It’s small but sur­pris­ingly heavy, hol­lowed just enough for a dose of tangy goat cheese and a candied wal­nut. The ap­ple’s fla­vor cas­cades through spinach and Ro­maine, pro­pelled by a sweet white bal­samic dress­ing that weaves through raisins and more wal­nuts and cheese. It’s an out­door salad, a sum­mer pic­nic on a plate, a roasted suck­ling pig with an ap­ple stuck in its mouth, mi­nus the pig. And Rio’s is the right place for it, a low green-and-yel­low cin­der-block cas­inha with Brazil­ian sal­gad­inho pas­tries, friendly ser­vice and dense, gooey cheese breads made with yuca flour.

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