Thursday, January 23, 2014

Mr. Beer - Ribeirão Preto

These are a few of my favorite things...

Yes, I am going to talk about beer and food again. No Brazilian visits Ribeirão Preto, 3 hours northwest of São Paulo, without thinking of beer. It is the home of famous Pinguim, which I have talked about before and I cannot recommend highly enough a visit to the downtown (not shopping mall) location. Great sandwiches. Great chopp (draft beer). To get up to speed on things like chopp and cardboard coasters and important stuff like that, check out my August 2013 post here.

So, as I mentioned in yesterday's post, all the religion and baptizing made us thirsty and so we went to the Mecca (I am now going to be struck dead by both Allah and God, presuming they are different guys) of beer. No, not Pinguim. The Mecca of Indoor Beer.  Indoor Beer is what you have in Ribeirão Preto from November to March when you cannot stand outside without frying your brains. And melting the bottoms of your shoes. True story. I cannot abide the two indoor Pinguims which are in shopping malls. What's a gringa in search of air conditioning to do?

Senhor Chopp. Translated by me as Mr. Beer. Senhor Chopp is a wonderful bar/restaurant at the Novo Mercadão de Ribeirão Preto (the big new market of RP), opened in 2008. This "new" market is less about fresh fruit and vegetables and more about doo-dad selling than others I have been in. That's fine. What matters is the beer. And the food.

As we sat down with our menus, you can already tell you're in for good service. One of the waiters knew my father-in-law and shook his hand and asked after everyone in the family, etc. Later FIL told me that he knew this waiter from when he (the waiter) worked at Pinguim 40 years ago. My FIL was a medical student at the time. This guy has been a waiter for forty years. Happily. Solicitously. Successfully. He moved to Senhor Chopp a few years ago and am I glad he did.

Our 2nd waiter. Not the 40 year one.
I asked him first about a dish called "Lascas de Bacalhau" (for one delightful moment I read that at "Lashes of Bacalhau" and was looking forward to that stinky old fish getting a bad beating). Lascas actually means "chips". But not Brit chips. He said to wait, I'll show you. Off he went and got a plate of it that was being delivered to another table and showed it to me. Then I asked about what was an "Azzura" olive and he brought me two to test--a green one and a black one. Large and yummy. The olives, people. 

My father, who speaks only one word of Portuguese, which is by some weird coincidence "chopp", was then confused by what was a "chopp escuro doce" (sweet dark beer) or "chopp escuro normal" and of course they brought him a taster. I am saying "they" because we had two waiters taking care of us for a long time until the place was too crowded and we dropped to one. We felt lonely.
Escondidinho de carne with homemade spicy pepper. And beer glasses looking sadly half full...
Huge green salad with the best fresh arugula and palm hearts in the land. It fed six people, and cost US$10. Escondidinho de carne (see here). Shrimp, though not their specialty (RP being a land-locked city), was garlicky and good too. And we did get the lashes of bacalhau and they were good. A few chopps went down, because of course, when in do what the Ribeirão Pretanos do... Highly recommend. 

PS> This marks my 265th post. That means there are still 100 more to go to make my goal of one year of daily posts. Not all of them have been good, I admit, but all of them have been here. Thanks for reading along!

1 comment:

  1. I snorted at the "not Brit chips" quip!!
    Minnow x