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"The Brazilian style of eating is a more healthy style. We don't use processed items, we don't open cans, we don't buy precooked items frozen in a plastic bag...Your tastebuds recognize something totally different. In our restaurants, you don't need a steak sauce to hide whatever flavor is in the piece of meat. We serve only certified Angus beef, and we have a butcher to cut it up every day of the week. We have a little T-shirt that says, 'Our owners are mad, our cows are not.' Brazilians in general are a much healthier population, not overweight, and having really good energy levels in life and love. One of the things that brought us to this level is the Brazilian gauchos, the heroes of the south, in the early stages of the Brazilian cowboy pampas -- in those days, there were not a lot of places to eat. You'd bring a piece of meat and put it on a stick, rotate it a little bit over a bonfire, and you'd get a knife and fork and slice a little piece, and you'd spend all day talking and eating and having a good time. And that's what life's all about. Life defines its own meaning when you do something that satisfies both your physical needs and your spirit."

His plans for Samba Grill's future? To have capoeira performances every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. To offer free Portuguese lessons on Sunday, samba lessons on Monday, and capoeira lessons on Tuesday. Clearly, he aims to turn Samba Grill into San Diego's own Brazilian cultural center, starting with the food and gradually expanding into all aspects of life.

[2009 Editor's Note: Samba Grill has since closed.]

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