In Brazil, in the big cities like Rio, São Paulo, Curitiba, Belo Horizonte or Recife it is very common for us to stop ina café for an afternoon tea, this is what my mother and I often do, and in Rio it is also a cultural thing to do, this café for instance is located in the BANCO DO BRASIL CULTURAL CENTRE, there is always a nice exibihition in a place where you can go to the thetre or to the cinema buying very cheap tickets, culture here is public and easy to reach!!!
AND THE CAKES OF COLHER DE PAU ARE A REAL ORGASM!!!
"If you have a sweet tooth you won't want to leave Rio without tasting the fudge-like brigadeiros and casadinhos at Colher de Pau". I read this somewhere before leaving on our trip and added it to my itinerary. Unfortunately to our huge disappointment the restaurant was closed for renovation. We went next door to this Portuguese/English language school to ask about the restaurant and when it might be open. The very helpful young lady at the front desk called the owner who lived above the restaurant and told him of our disappointment and he offered to make up a plateful of the delectable sweets. In about 20 minutes when we returned to the school the sweets where there prettily wrapped and tied with bright ribbon. Hmmm yummy!!!!
My favorites where the half white & half black casadinhos ( their name in English is "well-married" cookies & are often used as "wedding favors" a wish for a sweet life together).
If you have a panache for chocolate you will love the all chocolate brigadeiros.
I did try the casadinhos in other cities but the Colher de Pau lives up to its reputation of "par excellence".