Mecanhelas Fine Dining
January 16, 2013
The Mecanhelas market is a living organism: a constantly evolving tapestry which is forever weaving and reweaving itself. Case in point: Today I found a new food stand.
I was wandering the market, looking for eggs to buy. Sometimes eggs are in great abundance, while at other times I can’t find them at all. Fortunately, I know two or three shops that usually have them. After one shop failed me, I decided to take a shortcut down a small alley to another shop. The Netherlands may be famous for its random, narrow alleys, but this one could definitely give those Dutch alleys a run for their money. As I was shoving my bike between two walls, one made of woven straw and one made of cement, I realized that the straw building was new. After getting through the alley, I took a look through the thin sheet that served as the front door and noticed a table with several chairs around it. It was unmistakably a dining table- it was embellished with a centerpiece consisting of a plastic tray, which held a vase of fake flowers and a green, plastic triceratops toy.
This new food stand is right next door to another food stand which first sprang up in June of last year. It’s where I go to indulge my occasional craving for either rice and beans or goat meat and rice. I could have easily kept walking to my usual haunt, but I was strangely drawn to the triceratops. So I went in and asked the owner what kind of food they had. They only had the usual fare, but at my usual food stand, a plate of goat and rice is 25 meticais. Here, it was only 20 meticais. Score! I was hooked, so I ordered a plate and played with the triceratops while I waited for my food to arrive.
Just a few minutes later, I was handed a decent sized plate of goat meat with onions, tomato, and MSG infused rice. I really love me some red MSG rice, so I devoured it quickly. The goat meat was also excellent- not undercooked and chewy like it would sometimes be at the other place. Also, goat meat usually has a lot of bones, but the amount of bones in these goat pieces was minimal! All in all, it was a fantastic dining experience. At roughly $0.69, the price can’t be beat. I highly recommend it to any of you who happen to find yourself in the Mecanhelas area.