We walk past Feel Rio quite a lot since it's in the center of Cascais, and it's so often full that it's been niggling at us to try it out.
Truth be told, this isn't our kind of restaurant, and we could sense that before we tried it out (twice within the same week!).
Still, we figured if there was that much buzz around it, and since it was far enough away from the dead center of town that locals had to be going to create that much foot traffic, we figured it was worth a try.
The first thing I'm going to mention here is something I wish I knew before I walked in the second time - their lunch and dinner menus are different and their lunch has 10/10 value Beef Ipanema + Cashew Juice for such a good price, this particular pastry as well as a number of others don't exist at all on their dinner menu, so go early if you want a slice of that action.
Here's a quick shot of their lunch menu in English in case you'd like to have a peek. Note that "Pastel" or "Pastry" section - amazing stuff there, but as I said, you don't have those options for dinner, so go early.
I also have to mention early here that the Brazilian steak we ended up having twice - once at this lunch and once for dinner later, and it was way better at lunch than it was at dinner. So the quality of what you get definitely varies.
Also, if we had to choose between this place and our current favourite Brazilian steak restaurant - O Segredo (reviewed here) it's hands down going to be O Segredo all day, every day. Literally no contest whatsoever. But O Segredo requires a reservation 99% of the time, so keep that in mind.
Now back to the Feel Rio discussion. Alright so first day - we order the Beef Ipanema + Cashew Juice and the Brazilian steak.
The Beef Ipanema - delicious, and great value:
Dry on the inside but they give you ketchup and mayo (I used the mayo, so much tastier) to dip it in if you prefer, the pastry bread is super tasty in my opinion.
Loved this, and the cashew juice on the side, super great.
This is my first time having cashew juice, apparently it's a very Brazilian thing and I definitely vouch, I have been missing out all my life.
Thomas also grabbed a Pineapple juice on the side and it was tasty - their juices are great, but it's Portugal so that doesn't stand out much here. You can grab a ridiculously good fruit juice almost anywhere you go, and that includes in regular grocery stores (like Auchan and Lidl) where you can get fresh fruit juice that's so tasty, it rivals any restaurant.
Back to the food - this particular combo steals the show, and if I ever come back to Feel Rio, it's for this for a tasty lunch.
The steak came with a whole slew of sides, Brazilian style. So here that included rice (probably cooked in fat, soooo good), salad (tomato salad, crazy zesty, love it), a deep fried banana, Brazilian black beans (I love, I just mix 'em in with the rice), and a thickening agent in case you don't want your breans to be runny (I mix 'em in with the rice so I don't use this).
Great value, maybe 8/10. The steak, please note North Americans, is going to be European, so if you ask for medium rare, you'll get the equivalent of a rare steak in Canada or the United States.
Here's our medium rare steak -
Just the way I like it. The one thing I'm not a fan of that my husband Thomas definitely is - they leave the fat on and it's quite thick, so if you're not a fan of loads of fat on your steak you may not like these.
I gave my portion to Thomas and he was well pleased - this time around. The second time we got the steaks, they weren't as good as this time.
Speaking of which, the second time 'round, we went with my brother and his husband, and we all tried so many things so we could really test the menu.
Since we went for dinner we couldn't get many pastries, but there was still something on the menu we could get, and that, in our opinion was the best thing we ate there - the cheese sticks:
Great value since the portion size was much bigger than expected, taste-wise not bad at all since they're (in my opinion) great with pastry dough, and the inside cheese:
Not stringy or creamy, but incredibly tasty. Would buy again.
The rest of the meal, however, was downhill. As I already mentioned, we got a second Brazilian steak and it wasn't so great.
I ordered the Picanha na Chappa with Cassava and Fries from their appetizer section:
This probably could have fed a family of 4 with a bunch of pastries on the side and made for a decent dinner.
I might be inclined to recommend it, but honestly, the fries were fine, the Cassava (those things that look like potato wedges, but aren't) was amazing, and the Picanha itself was so disappointing I didn't even want to eat it.
A lot of ligament and fat, which is fine if you tenderize the meat, but this was not tenderized so a lot of chewing and sometimes I couldn't even get through...
Yeah not getting it again, although great value, I will of course admit.
My brother-in-law grabbed the chicken stroganoff:
This was by far the worst. It was creamy, but not in a good way. Somehow they managed to make it way too creamy to be edible. And the chicken was very dry.
I'm not one to leave food on the plate, and even I (after trying) couldn't help him finish this dish. I even tried watering down the sauce by adding more and more rice, still couldn't be helped. This is absolutely a dish to avoid in my books.
My brother ordered the Chicken Parmesan. This was really good for the first few bites, then went downhill. Again, could not recommend.
My brother also grabbed a random pastry, not sure what it was; was not a fan but no one else seemed bothered by it. The moral of the story is - go to Feel Rio, get pastries for sure. At least something. And then if you want something else, no problem.
Both John and Kenny's dishes came with rice and salad on the side. The salad I didn't take a picture of because it was quite literally sliced lettuce with a piece of tomato on top. No dressing, nothing.
I don't even know, guys...
Drinks, we ordered plenty of between the two days. Their juices are delicious and worth it. Their mixed drinks.. well good but they come with a massive block of ice so not really worth it, value-wise.
Anyway, for a final assessment: personally, I wouldn't go again. Not for dinner. I would go back for lunch, grabbing pastries + juice.
If I had to choose something insofar as meals - I'd get the Brazilian steak, but that's because it was the only thing that was tolerable, and since the steak itself was hit and miss, not an ideal meal.
If you're here for good food quantity - you'll be happy enough. If you're here for good food quality.. not so much.
Here for the juice and pastries - you'll be happy. Here for the mixed drinks and meals - not so much.
Good vibes - if you like commotion and liveliness and a feeling of a place that's alive and vibrant - you'll be happy.
Good vibes - if you like quieter more family-oriented vibes in your settings - this place is not for you, like it isn't for me. At least not in the evening when it's really hopping.
Hope that helps you figure out if this is the place for you.