A dining out disaster.....
Honestly, I was shocked to see many positive reviews from this restaurant on Citysearch. My mother and I ate at Sampaio's for the first time a few days ago. The problems were numerous. When we arrived, half of the tables were empty. We were told we would have to wait 5 minutes. There was an older woman assisting with seating and when we inquired why it was taking so long, she spoke to us in a very harsh, rude manner. After waiting for 25 minutes, we were finally given a table. If half of the tables were available, why weren't we seated immediately? There were about 10 other people waiting with us all jammed in to a very small area immediately by the front door.
We wait 15 minutes for a server once seated. We then wait another 15 minutes for our drinks to arrive. The server takes our order. We wait another 20 minutes and the server comes over and says "What do you want to order"? This was after he had taken our order 20 minutes ago! When we told him this, he said "Really?" with this perplexed look on his face... he had no memory of us at all. So, of course, our order had not been given to the kitchen so we wait another long period for our food.
We order an appetizer of baked cheese bread. We get 6 bite-size rolls...tasty but not worth the ridiculous price of $8.00.
The food finally arrives and is not good at all. My meal that was described as chicken in a coconut cream and peanut sauce mainly consists of shrimp. When I question the waiter about this, he says that even though it doesn't say it on the menu, a large portion of this dish is shrimp. Huh? Why would a main ingredient not be included on the menu description? The shrimp and chicken were overcooked and the general taste is marginal at best. Definitely not worth the $20 price.
The restaurant was way too loud.
The hostess was clueless and seemed overwhelmed with her job.
Save yourself a night of poor service and lackluster food, do not eat here.
FIND ANOTHER RESTAURANT!!. After a week a few days with a reservation, a group of about 6 of us showed up excited to try the new restaurant we all heard so much about. So, here we go! First of all our table was ready after 45 minutes. While we were at the bar we ordered a round of drinks that were great, but when we finally got to our table and ordered another round of drinks, one of them wasn't as good (rum/coke) so we sent it back to the bar and said that there did'nt seem to be much rum in it. The waiter came back and said if we didn't like it the bartender would make another one but charge us for it! From then on, our waiter did not seem to want to be waiting on us. Lack luster, seemed annoyed when asked what some of the dishes were and pretty much wasn'nt interested. What really sucked is that we still payed a good amount for the meal. Food was good but sorry to say I will NEVER be back.
Austin's Finest. Sampaio's is a true Austin treasure and perhaps the pinnacle of Brazilian dining this side of the Sao Paulo. The food has never been less than amazing and the ambiance sets the perfect mood for the perfect dining experience. The steak is always cooked to perfection, the seafood always fresh and the vegetables and sides always compliment the main course and touch the palette in all of the right places. The waitstaff and service is always friendly, willing to make recommendations and attentive but never overbearing nor ever present. When enjoying all that Sampaio's has to offer make sure never to make the mistake of leaving without the coconut flanlike desert, truly the best possible ending to the best Brazilian dining experience Austin has to offer.
Unique, excellent food and recommendations from the staff.
We tried Sampaio's without knowing what kind of food it was (Brazillian!) and really enjoyed ourselves. Kind of a nice place tucked along the cute part of Burnet. Great atmosphere and a cheery staff that welcomed my wife and I (although I felt a tad under dressed in shorts, flip flops and a t-shirt).
We loved our waitress who was so funny and helpful with our selections on the menu.
My wife got the pork tenderloin - spiced with coffee and covered in a cherry demiglaze. I know sounds crazy but it was decadent and perfectly cooked. My dish was basically their take on stroganoff - chicken - and absolutely huge and delicious. Exactly what I was looking for and so good. I loved their sangria, my wife's margarita was fine but with so many places that specialize in that...why bother drink sangria!
After the delicious meal we tried their desserts of the guava bread pudding - excellent - and the chocolate cake which my wife loved. The cake was a little too fancy for me as I tend not to like grenache but it was good.
All in all a very nice meal for $80. The service was super nice, albeit the food a just a tad slow with so few people in the place but I think you'll find most Austinites impatient after years of having chips and salsa at hand to cram down their faces....actually waiting for a meal with no snacks makes people impatient.
The crowd was very diverse to young/casual on the outside deck to much older and well dressed couples out for a nice night. I did tend to notice this tends to be a "girls night out" as many of the tables had just women and I think the below review is typical when you get 6 girlfriends out for the night (harpies just waiting to find something to complain about).
Great place, I'd give it a 4.5 if I could but it is so different than the typical Austin Tex Mex, Mexican, BBQ joint may be the deserve that extra .5 stars.
Great food - Horrible service. Six of us girls went out for our first happy hour experience at Sampaio's last night and I can say that none of us will go back. Although the food was good and the wine was tasty, the horrible service made it less than desirable. The waitress rolled her eyes when we sent back some insanely undercooked salmon and we spent a great deal of our time waiting on her. I could understand if the place was packed, but she only had one other table! I was quite disappointed by this experience. They lost a great group of customers that were looking for a regular dinner/happy hour spot. Unfortunate - I was really expecting more from them.
Great service and food and drinks!.
We absolutely love Sampaio's. We go there at least once a week, sometimes more often. Whether we sit at the bar or get a table, we always have great service and outstanding food. The chef is so nice and will work with you if you want to change something up, and he's a GREAT cook. The drinks are great too.
One thing that it seems as though most people have not yet discovered is the Sunday brunch. I believe it's from 11-2. The food is the best brunch I've had in a long time, and you get bottomless mimosas for $5.00. It is so worth it!
For dinner, try the sliced steak with chimichurri sauce. Or the shrimp and chicken in the coconut sauce with greens. Everything I have tried there has been fantastic! The waitstaff is great and the manager is so sweet. Definitely in my top ten!
Favorite Austin Restaurant. I figured I owe Sampaio's a lengthy review. Sampaio's is simply incredible. I try to go with people at least twice a month. The service has always been outstanding. Not only do I always get excellent service from the wait staff but the owner comes up and converses with the entire table almost every time, she and most of the wait staff are actually from Brazil. The food is absolutely incredible and trust me when I say that you MUST order the Porco Tenderloin, it is to die for. The coffee crust with the cherry sauce is nothing short of awesome not to mention it is the most tender and juicy pork I have ever had the pleasure of eating, oh and the mashed potatoes that it comes with are outstanding. You also must do a few appetizers, they are all excellent. ALL of their drinks are awesome, I always end up having a few different cocktails throughout the evening. It truly is a lot for your buck. Two people can get out of there with an appetizer or two, a few cocktails, entree and dessert for under $100 bucks. Please try this place, they truly deserve recognition. I warn you though that there is a TON of repeat business and you MUST make reservations. I have never had to wait when making reservations.
Be sure to get cocktails!. My girlfriend and I went here on our "date night" and it was one of the best fine dining experiences we've had. She had a melt in your mouth filet, while I scarfed down the juiciest pork I've ever had. I also liked asparagus for the first time in my life. For me the real highlight were the Brazilian cocktails. I don't remember the name of what I drank, but it was a mixture of lime juice, rum, and simple syrup, and she had the best sangria.
Worst Service i have ever encountered!. Oh my gosh! I have tried Sampaio on several different occassions and the service is terrible! The last time we went, the host was not friendly at all and acted like he was doing us a favor when he seated us. It took forever for our server to acknowledge us and she seemed put out when i ordered an appetizer along with our drink order. We would have liked to have dinner there, but it took so long for the drinks and appetizers to get there, we figured we should just go somewhere else........... and we did and had a very enjoyable dinner just down the street at Fonda San Miguel.
At the right time, this place is HOT!. If you can catch this place when it's not crowded and loud, it is pure sensory pleasure. The decor is lovely, the music flows and is oh so mood provoking, the service has always been fabulous, the food is incredible and sitting in the corner-most booth is the perfect place. However, when this place is busy - forget it - it is loud and annoying, you feel like people are on top of you and it completely changes the atmosphere. And, for what it's worth, I have interacted with Magna (the owner) on a professional level and was no where near as impressed as I was on a personal level.