19 July (written 5 months later)
Today we departed Hurlingham Manor early with Elna to get a ride to Park Station. She had a appointment at Wits University (or Univ of Joburg), so she was kind enough to give us a lift for our morning bus ride to Kimberley. We were going on our fifth week in South Africa and had spent much of our time in Gauteng with Elna. But it was on this ride to the train station we learned the most about her. She had grown up in Mafikeng, a border town with Botswana, where her father worked for the train company. She told us one of her earliest memories about Mafikeng was her out on the traintracks watching black migrant laborers heading to the Rand. One of the passengers had spit out a massive piece of chewing gum. Elna picked it up and chewed it, whereapon her mother found out what she had done when she arrived home and proceeded to wash her mouth out with soap. Elna seemed to make it seem that it wasn’t necessarily picking gum off the ground and eating it, but the fact that an African had been chewing it that was the part that needed cleansing.
It has always been of interest to listen to white South Africans, especially Afrikaners for their memories of the second half of the 20th century. They’re made out to be such vile and racist people, yet they were very similar to white Americans of the same era. Continue reading
Location: north end of town in Vilanculos. Take a left at the T intersection after you pass the Millennium bank on your left. Will be first building on your right. Proceed down the driveway and you’ll see the restaurant’s seating facing the ocean.
Food: This is some of the best pizza I have had full stop. While a thin crust is not the ideal for me, the cheese is cooked on top of the ingredients sealing in all the bits of meat, peppers, and onions as well as all the flavor. No running tomato sauce or grease, it’s simply well put together and the ingredients are well spaced and seem perfectly mixed so that you get a small bit of eat in every bite. The pizza is cooked just right, with no burning of the edges and leaving a firm but not brittle crust.
Located a block northeast of Mundo’s on Julius Nyerere, we found this authentic Portuguese restaurant on the advice of one of the Consular officers at the US embassy. It had the look of a German beer hall and it has been so long since I was in Portugal it was hard to tell if it was an authentic look or if they just liked pine.
We arrived around 1730, and were the first customers for that evening. The local eating time is much later but considering the sun sets around 1700 here we decided it better to be off the streets.
Food: We ordered two kebabs, mine a surf and turf, Alisa’s a chicken and pineapple. They were served on skewers dangling from holders about 1.5 feet above the table. Both came with a salad and fried potato crisps which were cooked just till they were crispy on the outside but still soft in the middle. The meat on the kebabs was quite tender save the sausage on mine. This is the second night of sausage and both seem to have used the same type and cooking method. Very little taste and a lot of ‘other’ piled into the sausage. However the onions and red peppers that adorned my kebab were cooked quite well and went deliciously with the crab, grilled calamari, and veal that was part of the surf and turf. This was the first calamari we had had that didn’t have its own marinate and the first I used lemon with in order to add taste to the meat. 4/5
Service: They were definitely pushing the other items on the menu, as they showed us samplings of the starters and deserts on offer. They seemed quite put off when we took nothing from either plate, but in reality the kebab was more than enough. Alisa did end up ordering some corn bread as we waited which was quite nice with the spices on order. They did the standard stand nearby you and stare off into the distance or look right at you that we have become accustomed to so far in Mozambique. 2/5
Bang for your buck value: Moderate. The total for the food plus one 1,5 litter water was 40 bucks. This is in keeping with the theme that Mozambique as a whole is not a cheap place to eat.
Atmosphere: Hard to gauge as by the end we were still just 1 of 3 parties in the place.
Overall: 3/5 on the strength of the food.
Costa do Sol is located a ways out of town, but is worth the trek (it cost 300 Mct. To taxi from Fatimas).
The restaurant has a large indoor seating area & bar as well as an outside deck that looks out over the Indian Ocean. The menu was simple: salads, seafood & meat. Although there were minimal food categories there were plenty of variations in the preparation. Costa do Sol is known for its prawn dishes, but neither of us ventured to try them.
We ordered a Greek Salad, grilled calamari, & a mixed grill (beef, chicken & sausage).
— The Greek salad had feta, onion, green pepper, cucumbers, tomatoes & olives. It was a wonderful combination of flavors and an excellent way to consume some vegetables.
— Grilled calamari came in a butter garlic sauce with rice pilaf, potato, and cucumber on the side. The calamari was a little fishy tasting and could have used a different sauce, but overall it was good.
— The mixed grill was delicious. The beef was tender and juice and the chicken was moist. Alex wasn’t a fan of the sausage; I thought it was fine, but nothing special.
The staff was mostly stoic and not very attentive, despite the lack of costumers.
Overall I would give Costa do Sol a 7 out of 10.