Friday, October 8, 2010

Why cook when ordering in is so great?

Before you get the wrong impression, Luiz and I LOVE to cook. He likes to recreate the flavors of his childhood and I like to prepare food in a way that will not make me drop dead of a cholesterol-induced heart attack (and it actually includes a vegetable).

But after a few days of Luiz’s famous Brazilian-style stroganoff, perfectly pan-braised beef roast or incredibly thin panquecas (crêpes) with meat sauce – and my occasional ratatouille, Chinese chicken stir fry or baked salmon with organic snap peas and baby carrots, it’s time to order in.

The choices for ordering in seem endless.

There is the woman at the fair in the park every weekend who sells perfectly soft yet dense gnocchi in creamy tomato sauce with requeijão.

The family owned lunch counter nearby, which has occupied the same corner for two generations, sells their perfected take-out lasagna and cannelloni. They’re to die for.

If we are not careful the smell of spit roasted chicken (TV chicken, as Luiz calls it) will trump all other choices and we will go home carrying a cut-up chicken with potatoes and farafa.

Several little, flat magnets cling to our refrigerator reminding us of “comida caseira” (home cooked food) options available with free delivery. In many cases these are start-up operations where mom cooks at home and the son delivers on his bike.

Speaking of which, we recently discovered an older woman (neighbor) who prepares big, stuffed, roasted, boneless, whole chicken. OMG! It is scandalous. It costs R$35 and could easily feed a family of six – plus she includes roasted potatoes. The chicken is stuffed with ham, cheese, raisins and prunes. Her son delivers it in a gigantic Tupperware container and says he “hopes” we like it!!! We return the container when convenient. (Just writing this makes me want to call her right now.)

And if all else fails, we have a very good quality ‘comida de kilo’ restaurant directly across the street from our apartment building. The choices are extravagant, the quality top shelf (including a staffed BBQ for meats cooked to order) and we can cook the beans and rice part at home. We just pick up the entrée each of us prefers and I get a vegetable and some salad and we go home.

So many choices – so little time. (And all so reasonable in price.)


The Reader said...

trying again - blogger keeps saying "service unavailable" when I try and comment.

We also love delivery; I love that we have options for take out here other than pizza. So nice, even though usually we choose to go to a restaurant rather than eat in, but still, nice that the choices are there.

definitely a perk of living in Brazil.

Rachel said...

I love that I can have the pharmacy deliver! Food and drugs all at the tips of our fingers ;)

Anonymous said...


Jim said...

Thanks anon - you are so right. I mispelled it. Farofa.