Pizzaria O Passo
Rua São José 56
Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais, Brazil
So of course, after singing the praises of Mineira cuisine, the first food post of our food adventures in Minas Gerais is the decidedly non-Mineiro pizza! But no worries, even though pizza is an import to Brazil, Brazilians have latched onto it – and O Passo does an excellent rendition of pizza. We decided we needed more of a leisurely meal after walking down the grueling hills of Ouro Preto, and O Passo was consistently referenced as one of the best restaurants in Ouro Preto. The stock in trade at O Passo is pizza – though there are a variety of other Italian specialties – including a large assortment of antipasti, pastas and Italian wines.
The setting of O Passo is great – with a nice little terrace overlooking the botanic gardens (which are unfortunately closed). The pizzas come in 3 sizes – Individual, Medium and Large. The individual is roughly plate-sized and had 4 slices. Each was more than big enough for each of us (R$ 28 per individual pizza). There were 4 full pages of pizza flavors ranging from classic Italian combinations as Margherita and Quattro Formaggi as well as Brazilian flavors like Minas cheese and Frango & Catupiry.
M selected a (slightly) healthier riff on the quattro formaggi – the quattro tomate – which came topped with mozzarella, sundried tomatoes, tomato sauce, heirloom tomatoes and roma tomatoes. All the toppings were fresh; with the heirloom tomatoes still sweet and the sundried ones with a great flavor. L picked a cheesier variety with a Mineiro touch: Minas cheese and Buffalo Mozzarella with roasted garlic and fresh basil. Before too long, our pizzas arrived piping hot to our tables. They had more of a cracker-style crust unlike the Neapolitan style of pizza with a more leavened and bubbly dough. We were big fans of these pizzas – especially the crunchy crusts and generous toppings. All told, about US$30 for two excellent pizzas in a beautiful terrace in this great colonial town? It wasn’t Mineira cuisine, but it is all the more reason to visit Ouro Preto.