Pioneiro dos Sucos
Av. Treze de Maio, 23
Rio de Janeiro
In the heart of Centro (our neck of the woods) we visited Pioneiro dos Sucos, which is a really basic, local, stand-up only açaí place, mentioned on Todo Rio. The juice bar always seemed to be full of locals and office workers so we figured it certainly would be worth a try. This type of simple stand-up juice bar is prolific in Centro. People go to these kinds of places to get a cafezinho or a juice and snack before/after work and at lunchtime. There are also sandwiches and more substantial items, but the majority of people just grab a snack and go.
Value: 5/5. Açaí was $5.80 for a 300 mL cup – with R$1 extra for granola. This was the cheapest price so far for a 300 mL cup in Rio. No complaints so far.
Taste: 10/15. Pioneiro do Sucos had a nice açaí flavor with a generous mix of fruits (probably strawberries and blueberries).
Texture: 7/10. The açaí had a decent texture, but tended towards icy and a little grainy.
Granola: 0/5. This is where our visit screeched to a halt. Now this was definitely a basic type of place, so we went in with modified expectations. However, everything went sour when we found a small black bug (beetle-ish) in our cup of granola. Gross! We stopped eating the granola right there, hoping it was a fluke. We figured the bug could have flown in from the street. However, we then discovered a SECOND bug deep in our cup of granola. That was it for us.
Extras: 0/5. So we were prepared for the lack of seating and bowls, and receiving no spoon, however the unclean atmosphere ruined the experience for us. Bugs in granola = bad vibes.
TOTAL: 22/40 – Probably best avoided.