Experience Brazil in San Diego at the Brazilian Carnaval in Mission Bay! With its growing popularity from last year, the Bahia Hotel brings back Carnaval in Mission Bay this summer for it's 2nd year! Carnaval happens every Thursday night beginning June 26th until August 28th with authentic Brazilian food and entertainment.
Bem vindo = welcome! You're warmly welcomed at the entrance and guests 21 and older are given a complimentary Caipirinha, which is Brazil's national cocktail! The drink is made of sugarcane liquor, sugar and lime. It's kind of like a mojito but without mint! It goes perfect with the sunset.
After a warm welcome to a secluded beach, you're given some time to enjoy the ambiance of the sunset over Mission Bay. After finishing up our Caipirinha's, we picked up a couple of drinks from the cash bar and then snagged our seat as the crowd quickly fills up.
Yum! The smell of delicious food fills the air. We quickly grabbed a plate at the buffet area, which is beautifully positioned over the sunset. Practically every single thing on the buffet smelled sumptuous. We stuffed our plates with Picanha (grilled Churrasco-style beef), Feijoada (pork and black bean stew - which is my favorite), Moqueca de Peixe (Brazilian fish stew), and Brazilian Beer Marinated Chicken. Oh and I almost forgot, there's also Calamari Salad, Brazilian Potato Salad, Tomato & Hearts of Palm Salad and Arroz Branco (Brazilian Style Rice). Bahia's executive chef, Rob Famulare and his team did such a great job of capturing authentic Brazilian cuisine.
It took all my strength to take a photograph of my plate.
It was, as the Brazilians would say, que deliciosa.
For a brief moment, there was silence as the guests enjoyed their plateful of goodness. Then chatter and exotic energy started to fill the air as the music started to play. They started off with Chorando Se Foi also known as Lambada.
Local Carnaval specialist, SOL e MAR, plays on with samba rhythms as their dancers get fired up. A couple of their male dancers get on stage with machetes and duel with the music. While kicking their legs up in the air, they dance in the fighting art of Capoeira.
There was a short break, so we decided to grab another drink at the cash bar and also pick up some desserts. They had Pudim de Laite (Brazilian Flan), Passion Fruit Mousse Cakes, Chocolate Mousse Cakes, Assorted Brazilian Pastries and the crowd favorite of the night, Rice Pudding.
The Bailarinas came out and samba'ed like there's no tomorrow. With the exotic music playing, they gyrated their legs, left and right to the rhythm of the drums. Of course they didn't have all the dancing fun to themselves.
They got some of the audience members to come up on stage to get their dance on too! They started with some of the children and then some of the adults who are celebrating their birthday that month. After that, it was pretty much a free for all for anyone who'd like to get on stage and get their boom boom on. Of course we didn't hesitate to shake our bonbons.
The finale of the evening was a dance off from each of the Bailarinas and then a lady, who reminds of Chiquita Banana, gets off stage and dances around everyone! Oh man, what a great way to start the San Diego Summer! If you're from San Diego or visiting on a Thursday, I highly suggest checking out Mission Bay Carnaval at the Bahia Hotel. You won't regret it!