This week turned out to be far more hectic than originally planned. In beginning our preparations to return to the states, we discovered that getting Ashton out of the country might prove to be more difficult than we originally thought.
To make things easier and more efficient, we’ll leave Bauru Monday night and spend three days in São Paulo before flying home Thursday night. Should be fun, but getting everything done by Monday will be…. interesting. No matter how hectic, however, there is always time for food and wine.
Strange but Delicious
There’s a restaurant here in Bauru that has quite a reputation, called Espaço Bangkok. It’s equal parts lounge and restaurant, all outdoors, with fun mood lighting and great ambiance. But it’s also more than a little strange.
Indeed, that is a full-sized pool. To my knowledge, no one ever swims in it, it’s just there. But that’s just a tip of the weirdness iceberg, once you turn to the menu, curiosities abound.
You can get a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich, a Blooming Onion knockoff, a bowl of Thai curry or a Tex-Mex burrito, all under one roof, er… tent.
As strange as it sounds, more than one person had recommended this place for its great food, so we decided to check it out. I’d been under the weather all week, and craved something spicy so I had the curry vermelho and Tom had the burrito. Neither were perfectly authentic, but I was surprised by how good the chicken burrito was. The curry wasn’t as spicy as I would have liked, but was a nice bit of comfort food anyway.
It was truly a one of a kind dining experience, which is always a win in my book.
Feijoada – The National Dish of Brazil
On Saturday we feasted on traditional Saturday feijoada in an attempt to soak up as many authentic Brazilian experiences as we can before we leave. This dish, which is a black bean stew with pork and beef, is famous throughout the country and traditionally served in homes and restaurants on Saturday.
We actually had feijoada on our first Saturday in Bauru, because we couldn’t speak a lick of portuguese and our server decided since we couldn’t speak to him, feijoada we would have.
That was at a little food stand in centro, and was quite tasty, but for our final round we went to a wine bar we know and love that has live music and big crowds for their feijoada Saturdays.
This is a very rich dish, so we didn’t eat it often over the course of our time here. And I must admit I don’t really get down on pork rinds or other pig “parts”, so I mostly stuck to the tender carne seca and rice and beans.
It was the perfect foodie way to cap off this trip, almost like coming full circle. At least this time we knew what we were doing, and how to order it!
Mendel Unus 2012 – Mendoza
Although I would have preferred to have taken this home and had it with a grilled skirt steak with chimichurri, we decided not to mess with taking any wine home home with us in our already bursting luggage (though I do think we’ll manage to come home with one less suitcase than we left with, another win – downsizing!). Instead, we paired our favorite wine from our trip to Mendoza with a meaty pasta dish we threw together one night.
The thing about wines this good is that any pairing will be great. It elevated an otherwise ho-hum dinner into an occasion.