I’m realizing every day that I’m not one of those sensitive people who lose appetite when they’re under work stress or pressure (or just plain busy). Instead, I’m one of those unfortunate ones who eat under pressure – and eat enormously. And it certainly doesn’t help when the food here in Sao Paulo is so darn good – perhaps one of the better food I’ve tasted in a long time.
One thing I had decided before arriving to Brazil was to reintroduce meat back into my daily diet. I will eventually stop eating animal flesh again, I know this, once this whirlwind of travel is over in a few weeks (I’m off to New York after this for work … hello steakhouses!) and I’m back into my normal routine. But until then, I’ve decided to unapologetically enjoy the fine Brazilian cuisine this place offers. So far, I’ve been sticking to my commitment, even maybe a little too well.
If you omit meat from the Brazilian diet, you’re left with pretty much nothing, or at least nothing as exciting. It seems like steak, rice and beans are the center stage of the Brazilian gastronomic life. Of course, there’s always an option for me to dine at an Italian restaurant or other non-traditional cuisines in town to avoid meat during my stay here but I think that’s would a shame when you have some of the greatest tasting meat in the world here. And I’m not kidding when I say this. The way the meat is prepared here is simple, often with only salt and pepper, but this simplicity makes each bite so juicy, flavorful, and soul-satisfying. And the rice that accompanies meat is flavorful too with strong seasoning, very similar to the Cuban way.
On the first night here, I ordered a room service for dinner, because all the restaurants nearby were closed. Unfortunately, there are no fast food restaurants around either where I can just grab something to go (maybe there are some around, but I haven’t found them yet) so the room service was the only resort to tame my hunger. The food offered at the downstairs restaurant, as well room service, is very fancy but Westernized and generic, much like the repertoire you would see in any hotels in the states but one thing that caught my eyes was this — Filet Mignon Escalopes with Wild Mushroom and Parmesan Risotto (above).
Maybe because it was truly the first time I indulged in a beef of this caliber in a long time, but my taste bud started exploding after the first bite. The steak certainly lived up to the reputation. Risotto was surprising amazing too – rich, cheesy, perfectly cooked with still a bite left in the middle of each, crystal-like grain.
A basket of rolls.
The next morning, I decided to try the Pao de Queijo, traditional Brazilian cheese roll, for breakfast that my friend in the states suggested that I must try while I’m here. Unfortunately, by the time I took a bite into this tiny cheesy delight, it had already gotten a little hard. There were a bit disappointing, but I’m determined to try them again when they’re still piping hot from the oven, maybe elsewhere.
Delicious omelet with fine herbs and tomatoes, with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. Totally delicious.
Here are some pictures from my home away from home.
The hotel room.
The hotel bath.
The view from the window.
P.S. My body is craving vegetables and I think I gained at least five pounds in the last few days, no joke. My pants that I brought with me are a bit snug now 😦 I went to the gym last night and ran five miles but I still feel very out of shape and bloated with all these meat!
Note: A few days later, I FINALLY got a dose of vegetable and fruit via this grilled vegetable sandwich and a side of steamed vegetable, along with the sweetest mango I’ve ever tasted! 🙂
Sao Paulo, Faria Lima