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Traveling from the Couch

As the one year anniversary of COVID nears, I must admit the itch to explore and travel is getting harder to satiate. The wanderlust is REAL! Thus far, I’ve been able vicariously travel from the couch by watching all types of travel and food shows. One of my favorites is “Somebody Feed Phil” on Netflix.

Phil Rosenthal, the creative force behind the show “Everybody Loves Raymond”, is an infectiously genuine guide to the cultures and foods around the globe. His travel show, “Somebody Feed Phil” is in the fourth season, and I have watched all of the episodes-at least twice. It’s one of those shows that makes you feel joyful. It is the best of the world, and humanity thru the lens of food. I’ve always believed that much of the worlds problems could be solved around a table full of good food, and drinks.

© 2020 Phil Rosenthal World

If you have yet to watch this show, please give it a try and let me know what you think. I always feel happier, and hungrier after watching. It also leads to inspiration for me to explore in and out of the kitchen.

One of my favorite episodes from was from Season 1, episode 4, from Lisbon. Portugal is near the top of my bucket travel list, and the more I learn, them more anxious I am to visit. I keep lists on my phone of restaurants both local and abroad, dishes I want to try, recipes to find, and general foodie field trip inspiration. This way I’ll be able to remember these delicious tidbits, otherwise, forget about my brain remembering!

Today, we went on a little adventure to Fuquay-Varina, NC which is a little less than an hour drive from home. It was a chance to get out of the house, see something different, and to enjoy the fact that the rain had finally stopped. Although we were going for another reason, I was able to turn the little jaunt into a foodie field trip. I recently saw someone mentioning a restaurant in nearby Fuquay-Varina called Little Portugal, and it mentioned some of the same foods from the Lisbon episode.

located in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina

The restaurant, like many, is a small place in a nondescript strip mall. But what it lacked in location, was overshadowed by the friendly staff and the food we ordered. We took a sampling approach (translation – we overordered) with recommendations from the owners, Rosemary and Helder.

Sample of Pastéis de Bacalhau (fried codfish fritters) & Rissóis de Camarão (Portuguese shrimp empanadas)

Bifana, thin pork in wine gravy, with sautéed onions and red peppers, served on fresh made Portuguese roll

Prego, thin steak in a garlic, wine, and butter sauce, with sautéed onions and red peppers, served on fresh made Portuguese roll

Pastéis de Nata (Portuguese custard tarts)

Delicious Pastéis de Nata, Portuguese custard tarts sprinkled with cinnamon

Everything was so different, yet homey and comforting. It was a lovely escape, if only for an afternoon.

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