Tour Stop 1: Portugal

1841 Park Street, Hartford

April 27, 2013 at 6:30PM

Please just leave a comment below if you probably can and will be able to join us for this. Please include your REAL email address in the correct field (I’m the only one who sees it), and probable number in party (no more than 3). Signing up now is not a guarantee, but I will set the list (and alternates) “in stone” ASAP for those with babysitting (etc.) concerns.

Here is where this idea came from – the CT Restaurant Tour of the World.


364104photo1Parkville in Hartford is home to several Portuguese restaurants and bakeries and such. I chose O’Camelo after much debate with the Portuguesiest person I know, Helder Mira. (Although, let’s be honest, what the heck do I know?)

O’Camelo concentrates on their food, not their web presence. So all we have is Yelp. Note: O’Camelo is not the cheapest joint in town. Entrees are $15-$20 or so; throw in some drinks and appetizers and tip, you can expect $50 a person pretty easily.

As this is the first attempt at something completely new and different – and quite frankly, way out of my comfort zone – I decided to choose somewhere close (to me) and accessible.

Again, the idea here is simply to meet some new people, have some good conversation, and perhaps try some new (to you) cuisine. That’s it. This isn’t about “food blogging” or getting a free appetizer. This is about celebrating the various food cultures we have here in Connecticut – you know, “Destroying the Myth that there’s Nothing to do here.” CTMQ’s mission statement.

The rules:

1. The restaurant will be aware of what’s going on.
2. Each person/couple/pre-determined group will be responsible for their own bill. No one will be sharing bills with people they don’t know. Perhaps a pain for the waitstaff, but c’mon, it just makes sense.
3. Don’t drive drunk.
4. Don’t expect free food. Don’t you dare ask for free food.
6. Tip well
5. Try not to be late. I am never late to anything and I have a toddler and a special needs 7 year old. If you’re late, I will glare at you and remind you of this fact.
6. You do NOT have to know me – or anyone else. Just don’t be creepy.

Size of party is pending interest in this whole thing. So for now, please just comment that you want to join us. Then I’ll figure it out from there. I’m terrible at this stuff. I’ve capped it at 16 20 attendees.



Here are the attendees for this event. Be jealous.

15 responses to “Tour Stop 1: Portugal”

  1. Kerri says:

    Carl S. is like the Elijah of food adventurers. It doesn’t look like this has vegetarian options, so I’ll have to sit this one out unless it’s cool to just stop in for a drink.

  2. Mara says:

    Would be fun to meet you and your wife! As long as I’m not in NYC that weekend, I should be able to come. Should know in a week or so.

  3. Heather B says:

    I am so there, with my date River.

  4. Dorie says:

    I’m down.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Me, me, me! And I will bring my boyfriend Mike, too.

  6. Catie T says:

    What if I am late, but have a good excuse? This is fun! Don’t think I can make the 27th but hope to join you in the future.

  7. Gary says:

    Unique idea but I don’t understand how you can say in good conscience the restaurant will be ‘fully aware’ of what’s going on (a dinner with bloggers) then chastise people for asking for free food. You’re asking for free perks when you do this. Why not just make a reservation for the total number of confirmed guests and leave it at that? Restaurant doesn’t need to know anything.

  8. Steve says:

    Whoa whoa whoa, Gary. Whoa.

    You have (inadvertently, I’m sure) hit on something very, VERY important to me. For one, this is absolutely not a “dinner for bloggers.” That’s sort of my point that I suppose I failed to make clearly enough. I am certainly not a “food blogger,” nor do I ever hope or wish or dream of being one. If I have my druthers, these dinners will not include any self-identified “food bloggers.” At this point, none of the people showing interest are self-identified “food bloggers.” Hell, I don’t even own a smart phone or have an instagram account.

    On my theoretical list of things I hate in 2013, Freebie bloggers aka Floggers are very near the top of the list. In short, I hate them. Follow me on Twitter and you’ll see.

    I am unclear where you got the idea that I’m asking for “free perks.” In my contact with this and future restaurants, I make it very clear, “We do not want anything for free.” If that’s a secret code for “we want free food,” then I apologize as I did not know that. Of course, if the restaurant decides to send out some shared “free” appetizer or something, I can’t refuse it. I will tell them to stop, as they won’t be getting any publicity for it though. It’s bound to happen somewhere, sure, but I hope it doesn’t.

    If one of the guests at something I’ve organized actually ASKS for something for free, I can’t imagine how I would publicly humiliate that person. But it would really, really suck for that person, I assure you.

    My point in alerting the restaurant is to let them know that we are there to “celebrate” their culture so if there is some specialty or whatever, that’s what we want. And that this large party of 14 or whatever will need 7 separate checks and yes I know that sucks and please understand you’ll get your 18% or more gratuity you would expect. And yes, a few people may take pictures, but that’s because that’s what people do now, etc. And now that I’m writing this comment, perhaps I will point them all to this to read as well.

    Futhermore, in 6.5 years of writing this website, I have refused free stuff to the point of absurdity. I get invited to stuff all the time and refuse it all the time. I want this site to reflect the experience that anyone can have anytime – and I take great pains to keep it that way. I have paid for every single bite of every single thing ever eaten and every single drop of every single thing drunk for these Ingest pages. I have paid for entrance to every one of the museums that have an entry fee, save for 2 – TWO – which I clearly wrote about on those pages and won’t do again.

    Thank you, Gary, for the opportunity to write all that. Can I add you to the guest list?

  9. Rich says:

    Two weddings to attend that day means I’m out, but as a previous recipient of Mr. Mira’s O’Camelo tour, I’ll say that everybody in attendance will thoroughly enjoy it.

    Also, I’m off the Carl S. bandwagon. I just know that he’ll turn out to be a snotty, entitled Yalie, and that’s all I can picture now.

  10. Gary says:

    Thanks for clarifying, Steve, and being one of your Twitter followers I do know your stance on freebies which is why I needed a further explanation from you as something didn’t quite sit right with me. I still feel you may be setting yourself for ‘special treatment’ and for someone who is as uncomfortable with the thought of it as you I think the right move would be to just book a table for however many guests and do some research on common and uncommon dishes to order. Helder Mira, who was your inspiration in a way for this dinner, would probably point you in the right direction I would think. I won’t be able to attend but do think it’s a neat idea and a cool way to meet new people with common interests. Thanks again for clarifying and have a great time.

  11. Gary says:

    Sorry to have met the ire of some of your Twitter followers, Steve. Certainly not looking for a back-and-forth here on your site because I know your intentions are good, seriously. As dumbfounded you are with me though, I am with you, respectfully, because I do feel you are leaving the door slightly ajar for perks and I’m not sure how that’s not obvious to you since I know you are anti-perks. The restaurant needs to know how many people are coming and that’s it!

  12. Steve says:

    Sent you an email -

  13. Lucy says:

    Sounds like fun! I’ll be there and will bring my husband

  14. Allison says:

    Count me in!

  15. Margaret H says:

    Can’t wait to try this. Thanks Steve W for organizing.

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