I was taken to Bistropical, in Itanhanga area, Barra da Tijuca, this past Saturday morning for a delicious Brazilian brunch. This was my first time there, as it is about 30 minutes drive from where I'm living here in Rio, but it was well worth the trip. The bistro's ambiance is just lovely, surrounded by plants, with great china sets and a very courteous staff. It is located inside Chacara Tropical, an immense exotic flower shop and plant's nursery complex, that also houses a well stocked art gallery/store called Emporio Tropical. It specializes in Brazilian folk art from all different regions of the country, hand-picked by their own buyer. They have amassed a wide collection from the best skilled artisans and craftsmen that transform raw materials into elaborate art. This is not your run of the mill tourist-trap nick-knack shop, but a collector's quality inventory. I had a very yummy brunch and was glad to discover this hidden gem in Barra da Tijuca. Next time I have guests here this will be a sure stop on their visit to Rio, getting away from Ipanema for a change.