We hadn’t visited a restaurant for a while here at the blog. Today we are presenting a 100% off-the-beaten track food experience we had during our trip to Manaus.
We learned about the peixaria do Jokka Loureiro on a blog review (you’ll be pushed hard to find a mention to it on a printed guide, whether in English or in Portuguese) and thrilled with what we read we headed to the fish restaurant, in the São Raimundo neighbourhood, Manaus west (exact location of the restaurant on Google Maps).
The restaurant is at the end of a cul-de-sac. You ring the bell and someone will open the gate for you. The interior of the restaurant couldn’t possibly be more spartan: chairs and tables and hardly anything else. Well, not entirely true, from the height of the restaurant you enjoy a fantastic view of the river Negro which by itself would be a good enough reason to go as far as the São Raimundo neighbourhood.
In Manaus, do as the locals. We went to Jokka Loureiro to feast on some Amazon fish. There is no printed menu, and the options available are truly basic: tambaqui, pirarucú or tucunaré, the finest of the Amazon fish. We had heard of the awesome costillas de tambaqui (tambaqui ribs) and that was what we ordered.
Along with the fish we had some beer and rounded up the meal with dessert. The final bill for 2 reached R$55.
Jokka Loureiro is on Rua São José, 9. The safest and less stressful way of getting there is a cab. Approximately R$20 from the centre of Manaus. The restaurant only opens for lunch, from 11:30 to 15:30, Monday to Saturday. It seemed really popular with the locals.
In the remote village of São Francisco, aka Cova da Onça, in the south of the equally remote island of Boipeba, there is a restaurant as humble as it is delicious: the Toca da Onça (in English, the Jaguar’s Liar).
The friendly and talkative Orlando manages the restaurant while his wife is the chef. Everything’s quite simple, just a handful of tables a few meters away from the sea. The very same sea from which most of the restaurant’s menu is extracted. Shrimps / prawns, lobster, octopuss and fish. A menu that, as it is quite common along the Brazilian coast, comes in two versions: a printed one, and a “life” version, as seen on the next photo:
We paid R$30 for a large platter of shrimps for two. Our travel mates paid R$55 for a lobster platter so abundant they couldn’t finish it. We asked Orlando how come he could serve fresh lobster during the ban. His answer left us none the wiser.
An excellent spot to have lunch during a trip around the island or just a trip to the village.
The sorveteria da Ribeira ice-cream parlour is an unmissable Salvador classic. It has a legion of devoted fans, and the local edition of Veja magazine has elected it the best Salvador ice-cream for 10 consecutive years. The sorveteria was founded in 1931 by an Italian inmigrant. In 1962 a Spanish inmigrant bought it from him. For the next 42 years, he run the succesful business. In 2008 a local businessman bought the sorveteria.
The sorveteria is located in the Ribeira (see its location on Google Maps), quite far away from most tourist sights. But it is in the vicinity of the Bonfim church – while you are there, extend your trip to the Ribeira. The Salvador bus, Salvador’s hop-on hop-off tourist bus stops right in front the ice-cream parlour and waits for you while your order your ice-cream.
In spite of its fame, the ice-creams served at the Ribeira have popular prices. R$3 for a cone with a ball, R$4 for two. Outstanding amont the list of flavours there is a long list of exotic fruits: biri-biri, jenipapo, chirimoya, cajá, cupuaçu, mangaba, umbu, sirigüela, graviola, cajarana, acerola. Ice-creams are still prepared in the traditional fashion and the fruits are peeled by hand.
You will find all the information we have on this blog on Salvador at the entry destination: Salvador.
SENAC is a private organization offering ocuppational training courses. It is financed by the Brazilian private sector. Bang in the middle of the Pelourinho, the best known part of the historic centre of Salvador, SENAC has a restaurant on a building of historical interest.
There is a por quilo restaurant on the ground floor (you pay according to the weight of the food that you eat). If you want to go to the traditional restaurant, take the door to the left and climb the stairs until you reach the restaurant.
The restaurant offers a buffet service. 40 savoury dishes representing all that it is traditional in cuisine from Bahia. And a dozen desserts too. All the dishes have a label with their name (in Portuguese and in English too) but in case of doubt, ask any waitress and she’ll be glad to give you more details.
Hard to resist the dessert section, it is calory galore, but there you go.
The SENAC restaurant is on the main Pelourinho square – ask around, anyone will tell you where the entrance is. It opens for lunch and for dinner (with the exception of Sundays, when it only opens for lunch). In March 2009 the price of the buffet was R$29 (drinks not included).
Right next to the restaurant there is a small and interesting Museu da Gastronomia (entrance is free).
For its exceptional location and for offering a perfect introduction to the local cuisine, the SENAC restaurant is a highly recommended place for a meal.
One night in Florianópolis we went out for a pizza. We had driven by the Nave Mãe pizza parlour a few days earlier and decided we would give it a go. Only later we discovered it is one of the Florianópolis haunts of local celeb and national heroe Gustavo Kuerten (tennis player). The pizzaria is on the southern shore of the Lagoa da Conceição, where there is a considerable amount of restaurants. Access without a car is not easy.
The dining room has individual lamps on the tables that help it recreate an atmosphere of intimacy. It is quite dark inside.
Nave Mãe prepares its pizzas with wholemeal dough. Its menu is quite, shall we say, ‘lunatic’. The names of the pizzas relate to galaxies and the space race (Saturno, Terra, Soyuz, Sputnik, Cruzeiro do Sul, Siryus, and so on). We ordered a pizza with three different parts. Asteróide (tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni and oregano), Lua (tomato sauce, mozzarella, bacon and oregano) and Soyuz (tomato sauce, mozzarella, ham, ‘catupiry’ cheese and pineapple). R$34 for a large pizza for two.
For dessert, we shared a conventional petit gateau, chocolate cake with ice cream.
What with one thing and the other we spent R$57. For someone who lives in São Paulo it is always difficult to judge pizzas prepared anywhere else – the risk of being unfair in our assessment is noticeable. The pizza was delicious. The base was slightly thickier than we are used to, but prepared with top quality ingredients.
The pizzaria Nave Mãe is on the rua Laurindo Januário da Silveira, 1296.