Eating Rio Again


Look who’s back! It’s a cheery Shimu from Toz.


There’s something rather depressing about visiting a blog for the first time in ages and finding it hasn’t been updated since your last visit. All those plans and aspirations of the author seem to be lying in a heap like some abandoned, unfinished construction project…

Well that ain’t happening to Eat Rio! Although this has been by far the longest I’ve gone without posting, my excuses are pretty solid.

First off, I’ve been writing a book! Facebook and Instagram followers will have seen the odd mention of this project – it completely took over my life from last October until about a week ago. Before you get any ideas of book launches and a glittering career as a novelist, it’s not that kind of book. It’s a guide book to Rio for an existing series of city guides. All the material is now in the hands of the editor/publisher so I finally have my life back and you can expect more information (and for me to plug it madly) once it’s published later this year.


One of my recommendations for Botafogo. I hadn’t visited this place for a couple of years so I was delighted to find it was as good as ever. I had to go for a bit of a lie down after this monster Osvaldo Aranha à Cavalo…


The book has been a great excuse for me to revisit restaurants, bars, bakeries, shops and galleries all over the city. I’m planning to really beef up the recommendations section of the site in the coming months, and also to write some more in-depth features on some of my favourite spots.


Santa Teresa regulars will recognise the man and the bar. Both legendary!



One for the music lovers – it was a real pleasure to meet and chat with the owner of this record store in Ipanema.


What else have I been up to since that last post in October? Well the food tours have been going really well – Eat Rio is now an official company with an accountant, members of staff and all kinds of exciting new tax obligations.  We have lots of plans for expansion in the coming year but I now know better than to make any announcements until everything is in the bag.

In early December I took part in a TV special with chef Hubert Keller which will be broadcast on PBS later in the year. Originally the idea had been that I would simply help them with advice on locations and contacts, but I ended up doing quite a bit of the actual filming with them. Again, you can expect plenty of plugs for this when the show airs later in the year.


What a pleasure it was to work with these two culinary stars. The charming Hubert Keller and Rio’s very own Kátia Barbosa (of Aconchego Carioca fame). Kátia is smart, friendly and utterly hilarious!


During my blogging hiatus Mrs Eat Rio and I have enjoyed all kinds of notable eating experiences ranging from an extremely expensive anniversary meal (at which Mrs Eat Rio disgraced herself) to a downright weird place that looked more like a pirate theme park than a restaurant – details/confessions to come in future posts.


Tough day at the office – I had to photograph this seafood extravaganza (meant for 4 people) over in Barra. The waiters looked delighted when they realised that I was going to leave the lion’s share for them.


There is so much more to discuss – Zika virus, Brazil’s economy, the Olympic Games, a mysterious disease that killed all my chilli plants and other lofty subjects – but  I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information on my first post back so I’ll draw things to a close for now.


No no, don’t look. Sadly some kind of blight hit my entire chilli population around Christmas time. I’ll be discussing (at length) the possible causes in a future post. Bet you can’t wait…


Getting back to blogging is a bit like going for a run after a long break – you put it off, make excuses, tell yourself you’ll do it “when the time is right” (the time is never right) and then finally you just do it, the results aren’t so bad and you wonder why you waited so long.


This is Ciclovia Tim Maia, the spectacular new cycle path that links Leblon with São Conrado.


But the real challenge is to get back out on the road a second and third time and then get back into the routine of doing it regularly. Fingers crossed I’ll see you guys here again in the not too distant future. For now all that talk of exercise has made me hungry – I’ll leave you with a shot of a divine piece of pork belly Mrs Eat Rio and I enjoyed on a recent visit to Paraty.


Perfectly crispy skin on top, soft, fatty meat below. Lots more calories for me to burn off on my next run!


[In case any of my friends from back home happen to read this, have a brilliant time at Jo and Sarah’s party tonight – I’ll be thinking of you all!]

4 replies
  1. Angela
    Angela says:

    What timing. Just a few days ago, I searched my emails for notifications of your blog updates. I feared they had been devoured by the spam eater. Then I came to the Eat Rio site and saw that there were no recent blog posts. Ah, he has forgotten us, I thought. No, I figured you were probably busy becoming a chef at a fancy restaurant or something. I’ve been busy writing and taking classes myself, so I know how consuming life can be.

    Great to see you back and I look forward to all your stories.
    Condolences on the chili plants. I grow plants and hate to see them blighted.

    • tomlemes
      tomlemes says:

      Awww, thanks Angela! So nice to hear that you hadn’t forgotten about the blog after all these months of neglect. I also love the idea that I might have gone off to become a chef 🙂


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *