The food of Portugal is inspired by the Atlantic and thus many of the dishes contain fish, especially salted cod, Small fish usually cost considerably less than the larger ones. Most often fresh fish are sold by the kilo and there can be a large range in price depending on the type of fish. Some fish are thought of as special delicacies because they are rarer and with much better taste according to the palates of the Portuguese so their price is accordingly much higher. The Portuguese will happily pay this higher amount because they know they are getting a special fish but the tourists may not realize or appreciate that the prices for these special fish are much higher per kilo than other more common ones.
A large fresh fish or the 'favourite special kind of fish' can be quite expensive, since they are sold BY KILO WEIGHT and the tourists often do not understand this. A normal fish to serve to 3 people could easily weigh one and a half kilos making the price of your fish alone €37.
Some restaurants that cater especially to tourists serve previously frozen fish. Even thought you or I might not notice the taste difference the Portuguese would immediately know the difference and would never accept this as a real fish meal. It is only in the past year or so that the Portuguese have started eating the typical English style deep fried battered 'fish & chips' that is most often made with frozen fish. Frozen fish can be much cheaper as it is often imported and made from the lesser valued fish. This is not to say that the meal wouldn't be good it would just be much cheaper for the restaurant to buy and they could therefore sell at a much cheaper price.
Many of Portugals lovely pastries were invented by Nuns during the 18th century. As times were hard the nuns made and sold them as a means of supplementing their income.
Many pasteries still have interesting names like Toucinho do Céu (bacon from heaven) Barriga De Freira (nun's belly) and Papos De Anjo"(angel's chests) all assosiated with the Nuns whe created them
A particularly delicious pastry and mine an my Mums favorite is "Pastéis de Nata," a small custard tart sprinkled with cinnamon i was shown how to make these by a Chef at The Pestana Alvor Pria Hotel were they make the best Pastéis de Nata i have tasted (up to now).
The Alvor Pria's Pastéis de Nata were the best untill i went to Belem during Euromeet 2009. we had the famous Pastéis de Belem and they were delicious.
Soup is served at most meals in portugal and there are a great number of different varieties. the most famous is probably gaspacho which is a soup of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, garlic, chillies and vinegar. another popular and delicious soup is Caldeirada which is a fish soup made with, tomatoes, onions and garlic and other ingredients which traditionally will depend upon the area and on the fish available that day.
In the North Seasonal vegetables as well as fish and meat are normaly used and another famous soup is caldo verde made with mashed potato, green cabbage, black pudding or slices of sausage, such as chouriço and salpicão with olive oil
During Euromeet 2009 i managed to take a photo of some soup (not the one i have used) which became a great laugh to other Vters that i actualy had a tip about Soup lol
Portuguese cheese is fantastic and varied, Queijo da Serra is a sheep cheese made in the Serra da Estrela region, Cabreiro is a a strong goat cheese while Queijo da Ilha which comes from the Azores is used grated and is very much like parmesan.
Queijo da Serra has smooth consistency with a delicate flavour and is great with crusty bread.
and on my lastest visit i brought quite a bit back among some other kinds.
As in Spain and Italy There are some fantastic pork products in Portugal.
The pig enjoys the acorn and white truffles widely spread in the cork oak groves of the Alentejo. Do not miss the famous "carne de porco a alentejana", made with diced marinated pork meat with red peppers and clams or the roasted piglet ("Ieitão assado"), golden and crunchy as desired. The sausages are excellent and you can delight with the smoked ham ("presunto") and the smoked pork sausages like the "paio" and the "salpicão". For those who like tripe, the Portuguese have a dish that will totally seduce you! The "Tripas à moda do Porto" is a popular dish made of veal and chicken tripe, sausage, smoked ham, dried beans, onions, smoked pork sausage ("chouriço"), herbs and spices and if you want to go the full Hog (pardon the pun) Suckling pig (leitão assado)
This restaurant had a much more intimate air than did our choice of the previous evening. The muted lighting with very nice background music and locals chatting away at some of the other tables made for a relaxed place to finish off our day! Once again, we were well looked after by the owner as he explained our possible choices on the menu. This restaurant had been recommended to us by a very pleasant young man, Bruno, who was running the local free internet cafe. We had stumbled upon this on our first night in Aljezur and were very pleased to get caught up on both the world and VT news for the first time since leaving Canada! The funny thing was, Bruno strolled into the restaurant to talk to the owner the evening we were there dining!
Favorite Dish: Sue ended up trying a very flavourful local Cod and rice dish served in a bowl while I had the more conventional grilled chicken pieces with french fries, lettuce and shredded carrots. The total cost including our drinks was E23 (US$30)
On our descent from Mount Foia at about 5 PM, we decided to stop at one of the many restaurants that we noticed alongside the road as we had driven up. At the 800-m level, we pulled off onto a treed road that looked promising and it soon led to a parking lot beside a large white-washed building. There were no other cars there or anyone to be seen. Not to worry, I wandered in the front door and soon saw a lady working in the kitchen. Once she noticed me I mentioned that we would like to have a beer and a vinho verde. No problem, she led us through the building and out to a very nice patio at the back where we waited while she went off to see to our request.
Favorite Dish: It turned out that we had stumbled onto a former hunting lodge built for the Portugese Royal Family, located among the pine trees in the cool mountain air, not far from Monchique. This restaurant/hotel has a swimming pool, 5 guest rooms and an apartment and also caters to groups of up to 500 people. It was great sitting there admiring the views amid the shrubbery and flowers surrounding the patio. A short time later, a Swiss/Dutch couple arrived and we had a good old chat with them over the next hour. They mentioned that the restaurant has a set menu when you come to eat. You do not have a choice in your selection but their meals are famous for their authenticity to local recipes dating from the 1500s. These meals are not cheap!
At the end of our second day in Aljezur we were ready for a solid meal after our drive south to Cape St. Vincent, Portimao, our southern beach, Monchique and finally Mt. Foia! We cruised around checking places out and eventually pulled onto a street that ran beside this restaurant. However, it was a one-way street that very quickly took us on past the restaurant and into the old section of Aljezur. Before we knew it, were were going up very steep and narrow cobbled streets that seemed to be turning into a maze with no escape! I was thankful for the tiny size of our Fiat Punto before we were done - we eventually came out the other side of town very high up, emerging at the Moorish castle ruins overlooking the town! Luckily we had visited there the day before so knew where we were and how to get back to town. On the next pass we pulled into the restaurant parking lot across the little brook and beside the supermarket!
Favorite Dish: See the next Tip
As soon as we had checked into our accommodations after the long and hot drive from Lisbon, my wife and I headed next door to a big restaurant. Although it was just before 5 PM, only the owner was there. He soon served us up a cold beer and a glass of white wine to bring us to our senses! As a result of this early encounter, we decided to keep things simple and return there after we had finished our beach excursion at Monte Clerigo. Although it was about 8 PM by then, we noticed a couple of guys in white outfits sitting on the restaurant balcony as we walked up. I mentioned to Sue that 'maybe we will be putting the cooks to work' and, sure enough, as we entered, they rose up as well and entered by another door! One of them came over an offered us a great corner seat on their open balcony overlooking the hills separating the restaurant from the Atlantic Ocean. We had a great time chatting away and even spoke to the owner again when he also wandered over to see how his only customers were doing!
Favorite Dish: We had our phrase book with us as the staff helpfully tried to explain their menu to us. In the course of our conversation, we mentioned that we would like something spicy, such as Piri-Piri powder with our meal and they said that it could be added to whatever we chose. As a result, both my Grilled Pork Chops and Sue's BBQ Chicken (E7 each) came seasoned with a dash of that. We nibbled away on the usual starters of olives, cheese and buns with our wine (E3 per half bottle), enjoying the evening airs as our food was prepared. A great meal to end off our first day on the road during our circumnavigation of Portugal ! The total cost without a tip was E23.15 (US$30)
Below the stairs to the Cathedral and the Moorish castle you find this nice reaturant. You can sit outside under the trees and wonderful panoramic views or inside in a great atmosphere .
Favorite Dish: We had Olives with sardines paste,bread and butter and of course a good red wine ;-)
This was a good choice for a little break in the shadow of the trees.
This restaurant is good mainly because of its location, not easy to get too, if you hate uphill walking! It is located at (almost) the top of the cliff! Next to Church of Santana. But it offers great views (front page Beach photo taken here :P) and the food is offered at excellent value! 5Euro for a plate of grilled sardines, and same for a plate of Chicken Piri Piri, the hottest piri dish I've tasted in the Algarve!
Favorite Dish: Chicken Piri Piri, cheap and the piri piri is a real challenge! I managed to down the whole plate without a tear! :P
This resturant is so easy to locate and it has a good view over the Fishermen's Beach in Albufeira.
Favorite Dish: Sole fish and GAMBAS :P
This is good because you pick which one you want to eat, if you know some stuff about cookery.. tell them how you want your dish cooked too. Well, I know how to boil an egg, so I left it at the expert's hands. Don't be afraid to ask how much your dish cost before ordering! Because, as always, they will want to stuff you! AND my friend, it could be quite expensive if you don't know what they put in your order.
Me and my friend ordered 1 sole fish, a plate of garlic prawns and a dessert. The dessert is just so-so, because you get the same menu everywhere else in Albufeira.
We were recommended this restaurant by the Villa owners. It was a wonderful restaurant, not particularly cheap but great food & a lovely atmosphere. We came here New Years Eve & saw the New Year in here, Great fun! We then returned again the following week.
Apparently Cliff Richard eats here! Well my mother was impressed even if you are not (~_~)
Now I am not really a one for chinese food but my family are so fair do to the Grande murhala in Alvor because this beats them all.
Victors restaurant in Praia da rocha also is there at the top of my list too.
The staff here were very friendly and helpful they also knew how too keep the kids amused when they started to get tired (or was it the other way around? I will never know)
We actually ordered a take away by phone one night and they remembered who I was and what meal I ordered.You can sit outside on a large upstairs patio and watch the crowd below you passing by
Favorite Dish: At the Grande Murhala I usually started with the Hot sour soup then either a beef or pork curry with superb light egg fried rice.My daughter enjoyed the beef hot pot and my four year old son the CHIPS!!!and of course the ice cream
More upmarket than most of the other indian restraunts that I've visited here which reflects in a somewhat slightly inflated price but well worth it.
Favorite Dish: Meat samosas,with tandoori chicken,mushroom bhaji and any HOT!! curry and I mean ~# H-O-T #~ oh yeah and a nan bread and lets have a couple of them popadpm things as well and some pilau rice and oh yes another beer please in fact make it two !
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