Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Dinner and sites in BH

I know I keep on calling it BH but it is politically correct since most Brasilians call it BH.
Anyway, I did just post but decided to go all out and talk about our fantastic dinner a bit more.

The GCJLA Crew
(L-R Travis, Olexiy, Jessie, & Ryan)

The only reason why we're all so happy - especially Ryan is that we're on our second bottle of wine :). We picked some Brasilian Cabernet that was pretty tasty.

So, let me set the scene. I've done a lot of research about going to Brazil and they say don't take taxis unless the hotel calls them for you. If a hotel calls a car for you and they take you anywhere but where you're supposed to go, that driver needs to be fired. Don't walk outside at night. Don't be alone, etc, etc. Basically the city is a bit dangerous. I was a little nervous and then the TC crew got me even more nervous about getting kidnapped and what not...

So anyway, tonight I asked concierge for a good reccomendation of an authentic, traditional Brasilian restaurant. She told me where to go and hired a driver for me. Our driver speaks no English conveniently. No biggie, we can handle it. An hour later, we're still looking for this restaurant and we're driving around and around a large lake. Finally we turn up a side road that is pitch black. I'm trying super hard not to burst out laughing because I'm thinking at this precise moment our worse nightmare has come true. We are the unlucky tourists with the bad driver...

I was literally covering my mouth because after all the reading I'd done on the bad stuff I just assumed it was going to happen to us. Then we hit another even darker road...

That's when the guys started smiling as well. Were we really screwed or was this restaurant really there somewhere??

Turns out the restaurant was there. We pulled up to an entrace where there was an armed guard and we got out and walked down to an open area with picnic tables all over and under hut-like roofs. It was very cool looking. We soon realized we spoke English and they didn't. It was pretty fun talking to the waiters using my Lonely Planet Quick Guide to Portuguese book. We eventually had them just bring out their best appetizers and best meals. We ended up being overwhelmed with terrific food.
The starters included a skillet of pork with a sweet sauce and onions and peppers. We also had a bowl of what looked like mozzarella sticks but were more potato-like in flavor and texture. Both were great.

For the meals they brought out 2 big meals for the 4 of us to share. One was a pot of chicken (which you can see in the picture above). It was basically a whole chicken broken up with a thin gravy sauce with lentils and greens. The other was pork on a bone, nice and crispy. We got a bunch of side dishes too: corn meal, beans, a bean mixture that I'm not entirely sure was in it, a very salty, green, stringy vegetable that we couldn't place, white rice, and cucumbers. All was delicious and fun to try.

I got desert since there was a bar of fruit to try out. I chose pureed guava, some mango and a very alcoholic-type banana and a small block of cheese. It was very tasty. All in all I think our meal was very good. And despite the driver freaking us out at first, it was worth the drive.

On the way back, he even stopped at this church/musuem called the Architectonic Complex of Pampulha. It's basically a mosaic covered church with great architecture and pictures of St. Francis of Assisi.

All in all, a great first night in BH before work starts tomorrow!

1 comment:

Jessie said...

It's Ocra not lentils...my bad :)

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