New Brazil restaurant goes to the dogs

What pet dog wouldn’t want to tuck into a lamb-and-vegetable combo?

Afp January 16, 2011

RIO DE JANEIRO: What pet dog wouldn’t want to tuck into a lamb-and-vegetable combo, or a chicken dish, in the comfort of Brazil’s first restaurant catering to canine customers with all-natural food?

That’s the idea behind Pet Delicia, an eatery opened in December by a Brazilian-Swedish couple in Rio de Janeiro’s famed beachside Copacabana district.

“As soon as you have a pet, you want to give them the best possible treatment,” explained Zanardi, a 49-year-old Brazilian lawyer who lives nearby.

Zanardi’s pet dogs Davyd, a Yorkshire Terrier, and Julyane, a black dachshund Teckel, gulp down their food in seconds, leaving the plates — white, with an orange dog-paw design —  clean.

“I prefer to spend a little extra to have a pet in good health,” Zanardi said.

Roberta Camara, the owner of the restaurant in partnership with her husband Joergen, said that, despite the service and animal-friendly furniture, she tried to avoid calling it a restaurant.

“We prefer to say it’s an ‘area for dogs’ rather than a restaurant in a country like Brazil, where millions of people still suffer from hunger,” she said.

Camara, a former scientist, explained that the food was prepared to “very strict” standards fixed by the agriculture ministry, and was “better than that served by owners at home, because everything here is balanced and worked out by animal nutrition specialists.”

In the two weeks they have been open, they have already developed a loyal clientele and serve more than 20 plates a day, said Camara, who owns three dogs of her own.

To reassure picky patrons, the couple have their spotless kitchen on display behind glass windows, through which the staff can be seen cutting fresh meat and vegetables.

And in keeping with restaurant tradition, customers can order their food to eat on the premises — or, of course, in “doggy bags” containing frozen portions to be served up at home.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 17th,  2011.


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