Jul 23

Eat Rio in Mexico City

Hola from Mexico everyone! Just a quick update because if I spend too long on the computer, Mrs Eat Rio will kill me! Still, I think I’ve just got time to show you the ridiculously delicious dish we tried yesterday lunchtime. This is Cochinita Pibil:

Cochinita-pibil

Pork that has been marinated in bitter orange juice and then slow roasted. Served on a banana leaf.

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Jul 18

The way things are right now

Image source

Chilaquiles Image source

 

Well it’s Friday, and in days gone past that would have meant a guaranteed post here at Eat Rio. Then along came the World Cup and a deluge of food tours and my whole writing/posting routine got messed up.

So now that the World Cup is over, things should be getting back to normal, right?

Well, not quite yet. Mrs Eat Rio and I have been working 7 days/week for the last 3 months, so we are both completely exhausted. A few weeks ago we decided to book ourselves a holiday to Mexico so we can get away from everything and fully unwind.

I visited Mexico back in 2010 and absolutely loved it. For Mrs Eat Rio it will be her first time in the land of tequila, mole and chilaquiles (we plan to indulge in all 3 of those items, plus much, much more).

Of course I’ll be indulging in some serious relaxation, but I will also be taking my camera with a view to record my experiences and perhaps draw some parallels and contrasts between Mexico and Brazil. And when I get back, things will get back to normal (promise!).

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Jul 15

World Cup 2014 – How did it go?

Brazil-World-Cup

So long, and thanks for all the football…

 

Well, that’s that then. The World Cup 2014 is over. All the worries and concerns about whether the tournament would be a success can be laid to rest because this thing is over.

How do you think it went? Sadly, through an overabundance of work, I didn’t get to attend any of the matches in any of the stadiums, but I was out and about on the streets of Rio throughout the tournament and also met a huge number of tourists who were in town specifically for the World Cup. Here’s my take on the tournament:

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Jul 08

World Cup 2014: What to do if you don’t have tickets for a Brazil World Cup game…

Rio-metro

The Rio Metro on World Cup game day.

 

Well, it’s World Cup 2014 game day again and the nerves are jangling here at Eat Rio HQ. Personally I’ve been fairly confident on Brazil’s behalf for all of the preceding games, but Mrs Eat Rio has been a bag of nerves from day 1. But going up against Germany in the semi-final of the World Cup? Well, let’s just say I have some painful memories

The game today will be played in Belo Horizonte in Minas Gerais, but what should you do if you’re in Rio and want to get the big game atmosphere? How about walking through Cardeal Arcoverde metro station on the way to the Fanfest in Copacabana? Here’s how it went down in Brazil’s most recent game against Colombia:

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Jul 04

World Cup 2014 – Penalties on the beach

Brazil-football-bar

 

Phew! I’ve finally managed to find time to write a new post. I would like to post more often, but things have been ridiculously busy over the last month – I’ve been working 7 days a week with a mixture of food tours and writing assignments. So far my new career as freelance writer and food guide is going well and although I’m looking forward to having a little break, it feels good to be this busy.

Eat Rio Food Tours have been going really well and I am now up to number 38 in TripAdvisor’s list of Activities in Rio – take a look at some of the lovely things people have been saying.

Anyway, enough random talk, let’s get back to the football shall we? Last Saturday Brazil took on Chile in their first knock-out game and I decided to go out on assignment to capture the drama of the occasion (of course I had no idea quite how dramatic things would be). In the photo above you can see that the bar near Eat Rio HQ was taking things very seriously.

I hopped on the metro and was almost immediately absorbed into a group of Brazilians on their way to the big screens on Copacabana beach:

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Jun 27

Tucum and Gift Brazil

Havaianas

Havaianas – a great holiday present (though not hugely original).

 

One question that comes up a lot from visitors to Rio is “What is a nice gift that I can buy here to take home?”. The usual list of suggested presents/mementos goes like this: Havaianas, cachaça, coffee. That’s it.

Well, actually of course that’s not it – there are other imaginative suggestions like pão de queijo mix (both my parents have been the lucky recipients of this Brazilian treat), hammocks (my sister) and giant bird-head masks (my friends):

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Jun 24

Cutting Crispy Couve

feijoada

Photo: Rodrigo Moreira

 

If you’re visiting Rio for a few days and you’re interested in eating some typical dishes, one of the items that should be near the top of your list is feijoada (pictured above). It’s a rich, heavy stew of black beans, carne seca, linguiça (sausuage) and various cuts of pork, not unlike the French dish cassoulet. Traditionally, it is served with rice, torresmo (pork scratchings/pork rind), farofa, orange slices and couve.

Couve is that shredded, green vegetable you can see at the top of the plate above. In the US they call it Collard Greens which is basically the same as what the British called Spring Greens – basically it’s a thick, slightly bitter green leaf from the Brassica family, not a million miles from Kale.

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Jun 19

Watching Brazil vs Mexico

Casa-Alto-Vidigal

Casa Alto Vidigal is a hostel and bar sitting right at the top of the Vidigal favela.

 

Well, Brazil have played 2 games now and I think it’s fair to say that most people have been pretty underwhelmed. So far there have been no dominant displays and no goleadas – just a feeling that something isn’t quite clicking when the team get out on the field.

I have a few Mexican friends living here in Rio, and they had all decided to watch the game at Casa Alto Vidigal, a hostel/bar at the very top of Vidigal favela. The journey would normally take a little over an hour, so I gave myself a little over 2 hours and set off on my journey. Within minutes I received messages from other friends who were also trying to get to Vidigal – everyone was telling me that the traffic was the worst they’d ever seen in Rio.

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Jun 13

World Cup 2014 day 1: post-match

brazil-football-dogs

On my way to the game, I saw that even the dogs were getting in on the act.

 

Well, things didn’t quite go as scripted for Brazil: an underwhelming performance, an own goal, a very dubious penalty decision and many people saying that Neymar should have received a red card. However, the score finished 3-1 and Brazil have the expected 3 points.

I was planning to watch the game at the FIFA Fanfest on the beach in Copacabana, so I hopped on the bus. I decided to stop off in Ipanema first to see what the World Cup atmosphere was like. With just a couple of hours to kick off, the beaches were eerily empty.

empty-ipanema

Where is everybody? Getting comfortable in front of a TV somewhere…

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Jun 12

World Cup 2014 – Day 1

vespera-da-copa

This was the scene on the beach in Ipanema yesterday. Mostly cloudy with the beaches fairly quiet. Was this a bad omen?

 

Well, after all the anticipation, speculation, worry and protest, the day has finally dawned. Day 1 of the World Cup 2014. Yesterday was my first chance to get out of the house and wander the streets of Ipanema to see how things looked and I have to say it didn’t look great.

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