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Samba Brazil grows from farmers' market booth into full-blown restaurant

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The menus were still at the printer when I dropped by Samba Brazil, a new Brazilian restaurant that started serving pastels, empanadas and coxinha, or Brazilian sandwiches, yesterday at 5075 Leetsdale Drive. "The printer promised me the menus would be here by 6 p.m.," sighed co-owner Christiane Barros, who, along with her business partner, Andreia Nazario, opened Samba Brazil after customers at the Cherry Creek farmers' market, where the two have a booth, pretty much begged them to expand their tiny operation. "Our adventure started at the Cherry Creek farmers' market last summer when we were selling pastries and snacks, and a lot of people were asking us if we had our own place and if we knew a restaurant where they could have authentic Brazilian food," she told me. "After that we started with our project and that's how Samba Brazil Cafe was born."

For the next month or so, Samba Brazil will be open Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., but as soon as Barros secures her liquor license, which she hopes to have in hand by August 31, plan on a full-tilt party, at least on Sundays, when Barros expects to stay open until the wee hours. "We're going to stay open late on Sundays so we can samba," she said. And while the kitchen hasn't added feijoada, the national dish of Brazil, to its menu, that's going to be another Sunday-only special, according to Barros.

The restaurant is working on creating a website, but until it does, you can find out more about Samba Brazil by calling 720-629-1155.

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