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Bites Nearby: Sergio’s Sarava

Warm hospitality and hot Brazilian dishes

If you’d like to sample the energy and cuisine of Brazilian street life, but you’re not ready to fork over airfare required to land in Rio de Janeiro, head over to Shaker Square.

That’s where keeps the cross-cultural menu items flowing, whether you’re in the fireplace lounge or the main dining room.

The restaurant's "Street Plates" offer finger food as a starter. The tamale cakes feature plancha-grilled cornmeal cakes topped with guac, sour cream, tomato carioca relish and ancho sauce. Or you can just go with the artichoke fritters.

Under the Flavors of Brazil menu category, have a party with the Feijoada, a ceremonial dish highlighted by a rich black bean stew simmered with linguica sausage, smoked bacon, ham and pork loin.

For something lighter, the shrimp quiabo presents gulf shrimp simmered with okra in a spicy tomato-coconut broth over Brazilian rice.

And to top it all off, you could dip into a Brazilian caramel custard made to the Sergio family’s exacting recipe.

And by the way, if you want to travel to the real Rio, you could win a trip through Sergio's Rio Rewards program. Check out its website, www.sergioscleveland.com, for details.

13225 Shaker Square, 216-295-1200. Open: Mon.-Thurs. 5 to 10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 5 p.m. to Midnight, Sun. 5 to 9 p.m. Prices: Street Plates $4.95-$8.95, Flavors of Brazil $21-$25.95, Desserts $6-7.50.

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