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³I wanted a place where Brazilians would walk in the door and go 'Ah!¹, simpjavascript:passCharacter('225')tico owner Ronald Batista says about his almost two-year-old store, Brazilian Point (840 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Oakland Park, 954-630-8840). Batista is not necessarily referring to the skimpy bikinis and monokinis for sale on the racks behind the cash register. He and his wife, Maria, have loaded up the small storefront with every possible antidote for homesickness.

Can¹t live without jackfruit in heavy syrup? Brazilian Point has it. Desperate for a Bauducco chocolate cookie? Here¹s your place. Interested in catching up on the latest Brazilian novela? A satellite feed of Globo-TV shows an ongoing loop on a set over the freezer.

Batista¹s own longing for Brazil is partly natural and partly acquired. ³Though my parents are from Belo Horizonte, I was born in Brooklyn,² he admits. ³But I moved to Belo when I was 12 and fell in love with the country. I wanted all the Brazilians who live in South Florida -- and anyone else -- to have a place they can go to remember the little things that make Brazil special.²

Such as? The South Florida weekly for the Brazilian community, Gazeta, is available in a stack by the front door. Business and personal cards for every conceivable Brazilian service are stuck to the bulging bulletin board. And the food on the shelves, in the freezers, and behind the lunch counter at the back of the store is straight out of a mercado in Belem. Brazilian coffee, queijo fresco (fresh cheese), feijoada (bean stew), lasanha (lasagna), embadaos (meat pies), coxinhas (chicken croquettes), cheese bread, and kibe pies all await natives and expats of this country -- and even those gringos who feel that, in South Florida, life moves along better to a samba beat.

³Sometimes I dream about the beach at Cabo Frio,² Batista says. ³You can¹t compare it with Lauderdale beach -- nice as that is. The sand at Cabo is like sugar, and there are dunes and, late in the afternoon when the wind is blowing softly, it¹s hard to find a better spot on earth.²

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