Updated on Sep.25, 2011.
Pinguim (www.pinguimochopp.com.br) is one of the best known draft beer bars in Brazil, and the Belo Horizonte branch was opened in the year it celebrated its 70th anniversary.
The BH branch occupies a vintage construction. During the remodeling, old trees were preserved and elements were added to reinforce the house's Minas Gerais style.
Pinguim's full name - Restaurante e Choperia Pinguim - reminds one that besides its great draft beer (chopp, roughly pronounced "showp"), the place also serves meals, from hearty dinners to tira-gostos, or appetizers to go with the drink.
Draft Beer at Pinguim:
At Pinguim, chopp is poured in such a way to form a thick block of foam, or head, known in Brazil as creme (cream) or colarinho (collar). In fact, in some of the bar's eight options of tap beer, the head is the drink.
The eight options are: claro (pale); escuro (dark ale); direto, (just pale foam); sexual (ale foam); ferrugem (rust, or pale draft with a dark ale collar); fantástico (pale foam with strings of ale foam); shortinho ("little tight shorts", chopp and head in a 1 to 4 proportion); and pingado. The latter borrows its name from one of the kinds of milk and coffee drunk in Brazil and consists of pale and dark chopp in equal parts.
Food at Pinguim:
There are several kinds of cold appetizers - carpaccio, buffalo mozzarella, ham - or hot appetizers like coxinhas, croquettes, and codfish cakes.
For a bigger appetite, order dishes such as the file a fazendeiro, or the farmer-style filet, a chicken fried steak served with ham, cheese, red and white sauces, seasoned rice, heart of palm, buttery peas and shoestring potatoes.
During the week, the restaurant serves almoço executivo, or a fixed price lunch menu. There's also a kids' menu (spaghetti, chicken breast or steak).
Daily 10:30a to the last customer. Lunch is served from 11a-3p.
Parking lot available.
Visa and Mastercard accepted.
Address & Contact Information:
Rua Grão Mogol 157
Belo Horizonte - MG