When I arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil I had been traveling for approximately 22 hours. Many of those hours I was rushing to catch a train, to catch a flight, and to catch another flight. I dropped my bags off at my hotel, the Marina All Suites in Leblon, and went straight to the Hotel Fasano’s Al Mare restaurant in Ipanema to begin my first lesson in Brazilian cachaça with Leblon rep Eliana Pessanha.
There are tens of thousands of chifas, the local name for a Chinese restaurant, in Peru. They are found on almost every street corner in Lima and even in remote communities in the Amazon rainforest. They are overwhelmingly simple and generally inexpensive. They are far less fusion than most Peruvians think. While their influence on mainstream Peruvian cuisine is clearly evident (see Lomo Saltado), most chifas serve what is for the most part standard Cantonese cuisine. While there are a few chifas in Lima that serve dim sum and are a bit more upscale than normal, no major chef has attempted to neither reinvent nor modernize this variation of Peruvian food. Nikkei dishes yes, the chifa never.
It’s Cinco de Mayo, which isn’t Mexican Independence Day (that’s September 16), but a day to commemorate the Battle of Puebla in 1862, which no Mexican outside of Puebla talks about. Basically, it is a Mexican themed drinking holiday in the United States fueled by Mexican beer and Tequila companies. Let’s skip the margarita this year and even the Corona and premium sipping tequilas. Instead opt for one of two real Mexican concoctions that turn a beer into a sort of cocktail: the Michelada or Chelada.
Eating on Easter Island is expensive. Most restaurant meals average around $30 for a main course and a beer. The price of getting ingredients to the most remote island in the world is costly, therefore using the native ingredients and products from the island (like the new Easter Island beer, Mahina), which deforestation has limited greatly unfortunately, is advised to keep your budget on target. This means sticking to the island’s two most common fish: Tuna and Kana Kana.
If it is Friday in Puerto Rico head to the highland village of San Sebastian near the northwest corner of the country, where the local Farmer’s Market is in full swing. It’s not nearly as well known or trendy as San Juan’s Santurce market, rather it’s a rural outdoor collection of stands nowhere near a luxury beach resort