The conference rooms in the San Paulo office are named after traditional Brazilian dishes – Churascaria and Feijoada. Upon learning that Feijoada is a black beans and meat stew that is traditionally enjoyed as a Wednesday or Saturday lunch in Brazil, I would salivate every time I entered the conference room, just imagining how wonderful it would be to enjoy a big bowl of the hearty stew.
Unfortunately, my work ended at an odd time on Wednesday and had to miss lunch, but I was still determined to try Feijoada somewhere (anywhere!) before lunch hour was over and dinner began. Around 3:00 p.m., I walked by a restaurant that still had some patrons dining, so I decided to see if it had the dish I was looking for.
Lucky for me, this place offered food buffet style, and customers would pay based on the weight of the plate. This was very convenient for me for several reasons. First, the obvious reason, is that I didn’t have to exercise my meager Portuguese (all two words I learned) and order something expecting it to be one thing and turning out be something completely different. And second, because it gave me the chance to nourish my body with much-needed vegetables.
After mounting the plate with salads and side dishes, I finally arrived to the bean stew and poured a ladle-full of it on the bed of flavored rice. The stew had bits and pieces of everything – from beef chunks to sausages – and looked very hearty … and it certainly was. It was a total comfort food, and a good temporary departure from all the heavy meat dishes that I’d been devouring for days.