Tonight we met Matt and Mary Virginia at Matsuri, a restaurant a few blocks away from our house that we'd been dying to try. The first thing of note was that we decided to go at 6:15 and made plans to meet at 7:00. It was a few minutes after 7 when we arrived and the place was completely empty. We contrasted that with our experience in our "old lives" in the US, having to meet at 5:00 for dinner or have a two hour wait. There were no other diners until 7:50. This is a pretty common occurance for us, but we're still used to our North American meal schedules and besides, we can have the whole restaurant to ourselves!
The restaurant is located on the edge of a little park, in a building with two other restaurants. I could never figure out what the other restaurants were, maybe Italian or something. Matsuri, on the other hand, is a Japanese/Chinese/Vietnamese/Indian/Sri Lankan/Thai restaurant. How's that for diverse? The majority of the menu was Japanese food but the front page had appetizers and entrees from all the other countries. Tonight we had Thai, our first sample of Brazilian Thai food. It was pretty good- just hot enough to make your nose run. The rest of the menu looked really good as well and I'm looking forward to go back and tackling another country's food.
Salvador seems to be just starting to discover international cuisine. The current trend is Chinese and Japanese. We pass at least six Chinese/Japanese restaurants on our way to class in the morning and there are several more nearby. Most places offer a combination of both Chinese and Japanese. Though Russell and I have been to Japan, I can't say we're in love with Japanese food, so we usually opt for Chinese. There are several more "ethnic" restaurants around: Spanish, Mexican, Italian and we've heard rumors of a couple German ones. It's always fun when you're in another country to eat food that isn't from that country. It helps you realize how colored food is by culture- American Chinese food is different than Brazilian Chinese food, which is drastically different than Chinese Chinese food. (We have yet to be satisfied by Brazilian Mexican, though as our last TexMex meals fade into our memories the food seems better and better!) We look forward to seeing what new restaurants will open in the future, bringing us tastes from around the world, Brazilian-style!
(We do eat at Brazilian restaurants too!)