4 feet 2 mouths

walking and eating our way around the world

Archive for the category “Brazil”

Eating too much and staying up late in Rio (by Carmen)

4 feet in the sand

4 feet in the sand

So we didn’t spend all day at the beach!  Although it was tempting.  We mixed it up with some good sights, food and nightlife too.  Our entire time in Rio was spent with my parents.  Four mouths to feed usually means that we got to try even more dishes when eating out.  But on our first night in Rio, all four wanted the same thing: feijoada.

Feijoada

Feijoada

Feijoada is the national dish of Brazil.  It consists of black beans stewed with meat, served over rice and other side fixings.  We chose a place that specializes in feijoada and were pretty excited to fill up on some homey comfort food.  All four of us ordered the feijoada but the waiter kept shaking his head and saying that was too much food.  He kept suggesting that we mix it up with something, such as la truta (trout).  It didn’t seem like he was getting money out of us – it was more of a cultural misunderstanding. Nonetheless, we insisted on getting feijoada and 4 huge bowls of it landed on our table.  We could’t even make a dent as it was a feast for ten people.  But it was good. And now, whenever a misunderstanding occurs (which is often) Nathan and I shrug our shoulders and say ¨la truta!¨(you have to say it very emphatically with a long drawn out “ah” : )

Bossa nova nightlife

After the feijoada we were in food coma mode.  But we charged on to the bossa nova club.  It was awesome!  The singer performed a mix of old standards and a few less familiar songs too.  My dad would play bossa nova while I was growing up and I’ve loved the genre ever since.  This was a special treat.

Shrimp wrapped with fried noodles at Manekineko

Shrimp wrapped with fried noodles at Manekineko

Brazil has a lot of Japanese immigrants so we were excited to find Manekineko, a japanese brazilian fusion place.  Fusion in this case means mostly japanese food with the chefs adding cheese and frying things when they found the opportunity.  Nothing amazing but it was fun.

Fresh juices and smoothies at Market

Fresh juices and smoothies at Market

I think the best thing about the Rio food scene (and Brazil for that matter) is the wonderful array of juices.  Everything from pineapple to kiwi to avocado to pears.  Mixed the way you want.  I want a juicer now!

Palm hearts and sashimi at Market

Palm hearts and sashimi at Market

One of our best lunches was in the palm shaded patio at Market.  The organic certification reminded me of California.  As did the quinoa salads and salmon sandwiches.  But after so many heavy dishes, I liked being reminded of home.

Samba club in Lapa

Samba club in Lapa

Our meals fueled us up for a big night out in the Lapa district, which is a hub of Rio nightlife.  We went to the club with the biggest crowd and loudest samba band.  I loved how people of all ages were dancing between the tables.  It was great to put my year of samba lessons to use!  This inspired me to come back for Carnivale…maybe next year…

Copa and Ipanema, the Beaches of Heaven… (by Nathan)

Sidewalk along Ipanema

Sidewalk along Ipanema

Rio is by far one of the most beautiful and exciting cities.  Imagine walking along a beach with incredibly soft sand.  The waves are crashing in front of you.  Behind you there are majestically steep mountains surrounding a city of highrises that come right to the water.  These are the beaches of Rio.  And they are blissful.  The beaches and laid back atmosphere sometimes reminded us of California.   But the setting was much more urban.  Los Angeles can learn a lesson from Rio on how to build a proper beach side city.  LA, you planned it all wrong!

Delirio Salads

Delirio Salads

Even the food has a California type feel with an abundance of fresh local salads.  At one of our first restaurants we were hit with the flavors of Brazil and the realization that finally we were in a country that loved their veggies.  The variety of salads is something to awe  at.  Vegetables cooked and raw and delecately infused with new and known spices.  And Brazil cares about variety so we lucked out.  2 blocks from our beashside umbrella on Ipanema was Delirio Salads which was had some 20 options that were all fenomenal.

Girl from Ipanema (i.e. Carmen)

Girl from Ipanema (i.e. Carmen)

First let´s describe the sand.  The magic I think must be in the sand.  The beaches are not exactly white sand, but the texture is soft, real soft.  Slipping your feet into this sand is like having your feet wrapped in warm velvet.  The sand is like like brown sugar and just as sweet for your toes.

Copacabana Beach

Rio’s beaches are enormous.  The two popular ones, Ipanema and Copacabana make up about 5 miles of bliss.  The waves were big and there was a hefty riptide.  There is also a beautiful sidewalk along the full length of the beach, tiled with Poruguese black and white patterns.

Sunset on Ipanema over ¨Two Brothers¨

Sunset on Ipanema over ¨Two Brothers¨

The beaches can be enjoyed at almost all times of the day.  The sunsets there are breathtaking and the sunrises are passionate with color.  The beauty is omnipresent.

Ipanema sunrise

Ipanema sunrise

These beaches are destination worthy sights on their own.  Thrown in the amazing food, the history, the samba nightlife, the mountain-top vistas and crazy high-speed bus rides and Rio has become one of my favorite cities.

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