A Brand New Eat Rio


Feijoada. Because by the time you read this it will probably be Saturday Sunday.


Hello readers! Remember me? I’m not sure whether a 7 week break can really be called a hiatus, but that’s what I’m going with. I’ve probably gone on about this too much recently, but things have been really busy over the last few months! There have been all kinds of adventures – lots and lots of food tours, recruiting new staff, dabbling in a little catering, changing accountants and getting boring businessey stuff organised, working with a major US broadcaster, preparing for an upcoming trip to Mexico and also working on the brand new Eat Rio website. Oh yeah, and it looks like an actual physical book with my name on it could possibly be appearing next year!

The book thing has not been confirmed yet so we’ll have to see how that goes, but the new website is almost upon us. Now then, long-term readers will read the last part of that last sentence with a certain amount of (justified) scepticism. Over the last 18 months I’ve mentioned this ‘new website’ many times but until now it has been all talk. But the time has finally come! With the help of Tamara at Just Add Glitter, the new site is finally done!


Eat Rio – The story so far

OK, so let’s just do a quick recap on the history of Eat Rio. Back in 2011, Tom (a newcomer to Rio with a lot of time on his hands) decides that starting a blog might be fun. With the help his mentor/sensei/wife, Mrs Eat Rio, Tom learns more and more about Rio and Brazil and is mostly enchanted (he still thinks brigadeiro sucks). He records his findings and recommendations in a somewhat flaky looking Blogspot blog.

Then, in early 2012, Eat Rio moves to its own domain, gets a fancy facelift and is set-up on the Wordpress platform.




In 2013, Tom and his friend Diana take a group out on a food tour and it goes pretty well. Over the following months Tom and Diana refine the tours and eventually they are listed on TripAdvisor. Things start to take off. Diana leaves Rio for new adventures in the US and Tom decides to quit his day job to concentrate on all things related to Eat Rio. It’s scary, but the 4 hour daily commute that he would leave behind helps him take the leap of faith.

The tours go from strength to strength, bolstered by the massive influx of new visitors coming to Rio for the FIFA World Cup. It slowly dawns on Tom that the single ‘Food Tours’ page on the blog isn’t really good enough. As hobby becomes livelihood Tom realises Eat Rio should be a business website with the blog on the side, not a blog with a business page tacked on. Tom decides to have a go at making a brand new Eat Rio website – as an IT professional of 10 years he assumes it will be child’s play.

Things don’t go well. Progress on the new site is slow. Progress grinds to a halt. Progress stutters back to life. Tom’s laptop dies permanently and Tom finally realises it’s time to get a professional on the case. Tamara steps in and does an amazing job – the new website is completed in 2 months.


The New Eat Rio

As I mentioned in that last section, the idea with the new website is that its prime purpose will be to support the new business ventures of Eat Rio (“business ventures” sounds fancy doesn’t it?). As well as the food tours, we’re hoping to start some other fun, culinary exploits in the next year and the new site will be ready to handle it. But the blogging definitely isn’t finished! In fact I’m hoping that the new site will help free up some time so that I can get back to writing regularly.


Many things are changing, but the chunky Eat Rio logo will remain!


The main structural difference between the old site and the new one will be the front page. Previously when you went to our homepage you would have been confronted with the latest blog post. With the new site our homepage will be a showcase of the various services/activities we offer. However, the blog will still be there – accessible from a link on the top menu bar. And if you don’t want to keep clicking that link then you can just bookmark the blog page to go straight there without having to deal with the front page every time. Simple!

The new site also has some new sections – there’s a “Where to stay” section where I’ve listed some of my favourite hotels, guest-houses and hostels. There’s also a “Where next” section which lists a few of my recommendations for popular onward destinations such as São Paulo, Buenos Aires and Salvador (these are by no means exhaustive and I’m always looking for new recommendations so please feel free to mail me your suggestions).

The switch over will begin tomorrow (Saturday 12th September) and should be fully finished by the end of the weekend. If things look a bit wonky during this time then bear with us – Tamara will be doing clever technical stuff that is beyond the understanding of mere mortals such as we.

I hope the newest incarnation of Eat Rio meets with your approval. I have a locker full of posts just ready to go so hopefully they’ll be following along soon after.


Here’s to a new chapter in the Eat Rio story!

10 replies
  1. Angela
    Angela says:

    Note to self: Do not open Eat Rio when hungry. That feijoada is calling my name. Luckily, I’ve got most of the fixings in the kitchen.

    Good to hear from you, Tom!

    What US broadcaster are you working with? What’s brewing with that? I’m in the television broadcast production business, so’z that’s why I’m so nosey about it.

    I’ll be checking out your website.

    • tomlemes
      tomlemes says:

      Ha ha! Sorry about that Angela! 😉 I don’t eat feijoada very often nowadays, but when I do I go a bit crazy for it! That one pictured was particularly delicious and I think I could probably have eaten the whole thing on my own if I was given the chance.

      I’m not sure exactly how much I should reveal about the TV thing – I don’t think I’m giving too much away if say that I was doing some work with a production company who are working on a show which will eventually be broadcast on PBS. So far my work has been solely advisory so I’m not in danger of becoming a TV star any time soon! 😀

      • Angela
        Angela says:

        PBS is an excellent choice. I’ve worked for them. Even with the zillion channels we get, I still watch PBS often. I thought we’d see The Tom Show. Seriously, I’d love the chance to work with you. (Shameless plug for myself on someone else’s site.) 🙂

  2. The Gritty Poet
    The Gritty Poet says:

    Congrats. I think you deserve the rewards of your entrepreneurship. And so do those with whom you collaborate. I would suggest, in like ten years time, a book about your experiences and views of Brazil from an immigrants perspective. I would obviously write the preface.

    I’ve been looking for someone to produce “The Gritty Show” for some time now. I’ve avoided mentioning this so to not discourage Tom in his endeavors (after all my half hour reality/sitcom of puns, political analysis and cultural observations will be hard to measure up against). Remember the “Ben Stiller Show”? Well like that, but without Ben Stiller. The considerable amount of positive feedback I’ve received throughout the years – cleverly disguised as hate mail and often delivered by process servers – have provided the incentive which was lacking before. Oh yeah, this would be pro-bono work on your behalf, with me being the bono part.

    • tomlemes
      tomlemes says:

      Thanks Gritty! I look forward to reading that preface for sure 😉

      And I’m sure the Gritty Show will be a great success. Also, I spent 10 minutes trying to think up a decent Napoleon-based pun to fit your final sentence but came up short… (bono part… came up short… BOOM! I still got it)

  3. Tom From England
    Tom From England says:

    New website looks brilliant mate! Really slick and professional. Glad everything seems to be going well for you. Just don’t forget about your old e-friends now that you’re such a big-shot.

    Next time me and my wife are in Rio I’m hoping we’ll finally make time for an eatrio food tour!

    • tomlemes
      tomlemes says:

      Thanks Tom! Sadly I can only really take an advisory credit for the site but either way I’m really happy with the new look.

      “Now that you’re such a big-shot” – ha ha! Yeah, better watch out or I’ll pretend I don’t know you guys! 😉 Would be great to meet you and your wife – drop me a line when you’re coming to Rio!


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