Category Archive: Food and drink

Jul 29

Eat Rio Eats Mexico

Even though I’ve been running my own culinary tours in Rio for almost a year, I had never been on a food tour as a guest until just a few days ago. Mrs Eat Rio and I put ourselves in the hands of the good people at Eat Mexico Culinary Tours and we did not regret it!

Here are a few of the highlights:

anais-eat-mexico

This was our guide, Anais. First stop: a street stall for seafood tostadas.

 

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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 06

Babilônia Feira Hype

Photo: I Hate Flash (Filipe Marques)

Photo: I Hate Flash (Filipe Marques)

 

Hi everyone. Well, it’s Friday and I’m running very late on about 3 jobs, so I only really have time to quickly tell you about something fun happening in Rio this weekend. Babilônia Feira Hype is a huge market that was first held back in 1996. Back then it was a smaller affair and was held on Aterro da Flamengo. Over the years it has grown, changed and switched locations so that what we have today is more than just a simple market.

Photo: I Hate Flash (Filipe Marques)

Photo: I Hate Flash (Filipe Marques)

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Jun 04

Cachambeer: Pleasures of the flesh in Zona Norte

Brazilian-beef

 

Much as I love many Brazilian cuisine, I think very few people would described it as ‘sophisticated’. That’s not meant as an insult, but I think it’s fair to say that most Brazilian dishes fit into the category ‘comfort food’ rather than, say, ‘delicate and complex’. And although Brazil has 7,500km of coastline (more than twice that of Peru), many visitors are surprised at how little seafood finds its way onto Brazilian menus – meat usually takes pride of place.

Brazilian eating culture also places a lot of emphasis on dishes that are bem servido (served in generous portions) – restaurant menus often include suggestions for how many people main dishes will serve, but unless you’re a powerlifter you can safely multiply the suggestion by 2.

Well a couple of years ago I heard talk of a bar/restaurant way up in Zona Norte that took the Brazilian predilection for huge portions and roast meats to extreme levels and last weekend I finally got to visit.

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May 16

Galinha ao Molho Pardo

santa-teresa

Feeling lazy and hungry?

OK I’ll hold my hand up – from time to time I succumb to the temptations of exaggeration and hyperbole. When you’re trying to write about something in an entertaining way, it can feel a bit flat to say something is “nice” or “fine” or “pleasant”. That’s when I come out with phrases like “this is my favourite Brazilian dish ever!!!“. So, today I’m going to try to stay calm and keep the exclamation marks to a minimum.

About a month or so ago, Mrs Eat Rio and I were feeling both hungry and lazy, so we decided to wander up into Santa Teresa and find somewhere to eat out. We didn’t really have a plan, but we found ourselves in a low-key kind of place called Bar do Arnaudo. Well it might look low-key, but it turns out this place is amazing!!! good.

We ordered a nice cold beer and perused the menu. Arnaudo’s specialises in comida nordestina (dishes from the north-east of Brazil). One classic dish from the north-east is Carne de Sol and I love it, but Mrs Eat Rio has had just about enough of it as I went through a bit of a phase where it’s all I wanted to eat. So instead we went for a rather special chicken dish.

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May 13

Brazilian Brands: Goiabinha & Biscoito da Vaquinha

Working from home poses multiple dangers. I mentioned my struggles with procrastination in my last post – today I have to tell you about ‘The Kitchen Problem’. Throughout my working day, I am never more than 6 or 7 paces from the kitchen and all the good things that live there. When temptation is so close, the urge to wander in and make a snack presents itself approximately every 45 minutes.

I have developed a coping strategy: tea. I’m now getting through around 8 or 9 cups of tea per day (feels great to live up to my national stereotype). However, the kitchen and my own appetite have developed a counter strategy: biscuits. I expect this arms race of desire and denial will continue, but in the meantime let me tell you about my current biscuits of choice (yes, 2 of them).

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May 09

Good news for wine lovers and the end of Comida di Buteco

Tom-Le-Mesurier-drinking-wine

Cheers!

 

When I was living in London, one of my greatest pleasures was to meet up with a friend or two after work and drink a few glasses of wine. This was especially enjoyable when the weather was good – on sunny summer days, the people of Britain are possessed with a burning desire to go out after work and socialise, desperately aware that they might not see the sun again for weeks or even months.

So imagine my dismay when I got to sunny Rio to find that there weren’t many places that sold decent wine by the glass at affordable prices. All that sunshine and no wine? There is Coccinelle in Centro – they sell excellent wines – but they open mostly for the lunch time crowd. What was a wine loving person without vast wads of cash to do?

Thankfully, someone has finally come along to fill this gap in the market – and they’re filling that gap from a sweet little bar in Botafogo – meet WineHouse:

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May 02

The Chowzter Awards in London

British-bunting

 

First I tell you that I’m quitting my day job so I can spend more time on the blog, and then I go and disappear without blogging for a whole week! Well I won’t apologise as that sounds rather self-important (“How did you cope without me?”), but I will say that I’ve been busy!

Yesterday I got back to Rio after a week in London for the Chowzter Tastiest Fast Feast Awards. Chowzter have recruited some of the best food bloggers from cities around the world in their quest to track down the best Fast Feasts on the planet. A ‘Fast Feast’ could be anything from street food to a generations-old family recipe served up in a modest neighbourhood restaurant – the emphasis is on independent, non-pretentious, freshly prepared and delicious dishes!

As well as the awards ceremony, the weekend was filled with a variety of food related events (sometimes I wonder what I’ve done to deserve this good fortune!). And before that started, I even had a chance to catch up with friends and family around London. Now this, is what a proper pub looks like:

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Apr 25

DIY Palmito Assado

Palmitos

 

Any ideas what those two strange things above are? If you like asparagus and artichoke hearts, this is something you need to try. These are palmitos, known to us English speakers as palm hearts (or ‘heart of palm’ if you prefer). These are the central growing stems from a variety of different palm trees and are very popular in Brazil.

Probably the most common way to see palmito served is in salads. The long white cylinders are preserved in a light brine, then cut into smaller circular sections and served with olive oil. As I mentioned above, the end result is reminiscent of mildly flavoured artichoke hearts. But there is a far more exciting way to prepare and serve palmito.

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Apr 22

The Chowzter Awards in London

 

England-in-springtime

I love England in the springtime!

 

Well, it’s that time of year again – I’ve soaked up a few last rays of sunshine and I’ve packed my bags (not forgetting my umbrella!) for what promises to be a thoroughly enjoyable few days in London.

The last few times I’ve visited England it’s been in the depths of midwinter, so I’m really excited to be seeing a genuine springtime for the first time in a few years. Rio has some wonderful weather but it doesn’t really do a proper spring.

But I’m not going back just to enjoy the seasonal weather – I have work to do!

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