By Mike Kinney
The little yellow house on the corner of Barrett Avenue and 45th Street in Richmond — the one flying both the American and Brazilian flags — is easy to notice. But what shines most brightly is what’s on the menu inside.
For a little over a year, brothers Matthew and Chris Santos have operated Brazuca Acai at 4500 Barrett Ave.
Their specialties include Acai bowls, fresh juices, smoothies, Brazilian burgers along with Brazilian pastries and sweets. Santos noted that the Acai berry is a staple in Brazil.
The Santos brothers are both recent graduates of Pinole Valley High. Matthew is 23 years old and Chris is 21. Before opening Brazuca Acai, Matthew specialized in auto detailing and mechanic work. Chris is a semi-professional soccer player who hopes to one day play for the San Jose Earthquakes.
Brazuca Acai started out in the Santos family home, but became popular enough to command the opening of the Brazilian café.
“We love the diversity of Richmond,” Matthew said. “My brother and I thought this would be a cool location for the residents of Richmond and the local Brazilian community to come to eat and relax.”
Brazuca Acai offers smoothies that are akin to Brazilian milkshakes. They are made from imported fruits from Brazil and fresh local fruits and cost $9 each. Ingredients include passion fruit, Brazilian cherries, pineapple, dragon fruit, raspberry, blueberries, mangos, and Brazilian cashews.
The café also sells a cheesy sweet bread called ‘enroladinho de queijo’ that is quite popular with their customers and goes for $7.65. Their popular specialty juices are $6.
They also make a wide diversity of Brazilian burgers and sandwiches ranging from $13to $25. The Brazuca Acai is known for its sandwiches, as well, which run $7.
“One of our most popular Brazilian sandwiches is made up of lettuce, tomatoes, ham, bacon, cheese, pineapple, sausage, corn, peas, onions and potato sticks,” said Matthew, noting it costs $15.
“We are proud that we can serve this fine Brazilian food and drinks here in Richmond to our community,” Matthew said. “We work very hard here so we can give you the very best Brazilian food anywhere in the Bay Area.”
Brazuca Acai is open Monday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 4500 Barrett Ave. in Richmond. Call (415) 240-1178.