Posts Tagged ‘Food’

“The Boston Global” article about Porto

November 12, 2013

The Boston Globe journalist Christopher Muther has published an article about his visit to Porto. He planned to stay just one day, he ended up staying 4 nights.

What I found … was a series of charming old stone buildings, church squares, and open-air markets. There’s a river that glistens as it snakes through a city that clings precariously to cliffs and a night-life scene that rivals any European hot spot on a summer night.”

“I’m not one to take pictures of my food at restaurants. I usually feel that food is meant to be digested and not shared on Facebook. But I took out my camera, the good one no less, and photographed my steak tartare and the beautiful presentation of the truffle-style alheira (a meat and flour-based sausage) on a bed of toasted bread, bacon, and almonds.

Porto’s “Ribeira”

Read the article at:

http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/travel/2013/11/09/porto-sophisticated-new-edge/Qo25mGhnY4HaRTUzdKGpJM/story.html

 

Down to Lisbon: 1-Nazare

March 15, 2012

It’s been a while since my last post and with my complicated work hours I can only check some blogs from time to time and haven’t payed attention to my own.

This last February I had to go South to Lisbon to take care of some paper work. I went by car and took the A8 highway. The first stop was in Nazaré, a ocean-side village particularly famous to surf fans after some youtube video (check it down).

I had never been there but the view of the landscape and of the waves in the Atlantic Ocean was sure worth it.

For the lunch I decided for one of the backstreet restaurants. I usually prefer those because they have to impress the customers with their food while the restaurants in front of the beach can rely on the view.

Melgaço: Solar do Alvarinho

February 18, 2011

“Solar do Alvarinho” is a building in the old historical town of Melgaço – Portugal dedicated to the advertising, development and sale of Alvarinho wine. (Marked as a Cup in the map)

Alvarinho Soalheiro

Alvarinho is considered by many to be the noblest of the Portuguese white wines and is for sure the “Vinho Verde” which reaches the higher alcoholic graduations.

This wine has spread to other regions in the planet but the real Alvarinho production is limited to the sub-region “Monção and Melgaço” in northern Portugal. And it’s only made from Alvarinho grapes.

The building was among the centuries a town hall, a courthouse and a library. The top floor features a tasting room where you can try and compare the brands for FREE. Following the guidance of the employee I tasted the 2010 “Soalheiro” and a new addition to the Alvarinho family: Organic Farming – “Quinta das Alvaianas”.

At the ground floor there’s the bar/cafeteria and the shop where besides the wine you can also find other local traditional products like the “chouriço” or the “presunto”.

Wine&Spirits magazine describes “Follies Alvarinho 2009” like this:

“Rating: 92/100 – As reviewed by Wine & Spirits Magazine on 08/09. While the aroma is flinty and a little undeveloped, the flavors already show layers of fruit, from Mandarin orange and lime to white peach and an anise-like fennel note. The contrast between smoky richness and freshness makes this a luscious wine to enjoy in late summer with lobster and corn on the cob, both off the grill.”

For more information about Melgaço please check the other posts in this category.

Photos taken in January 2011.

Roasted Chestnuts

January 14, 2010

 

Roasted Chestnuts vendor

Roasted chestnuts street vendors aren’t as common as they once were. One of the spots where you can still find a regular one is the “Cidade do Salvador” square in Matosinhos. The owner has an ice cream kiosk too nearby so I guess this is how he does business throughout the year: selling ice creams in summer and chestnuts in the winter.

Roasted Chestnuts in a paper cone

 He sells them inside paper cones to keep them warm longer, for 2€ a pack.

——

Note: For more information about “Praça Cidade do Salvador” at Matosinhos please check the “Oporto: Matosinhos” post or the blog’s index.

Photos taken January 14, 2010

Madeira: Banana Tree

January 11, 2010

The archipelago of Madeira was populated by the Portuguese during the Discoveries historical period because of its strategic location along the coast of Africa. The islands served as a refueling station and a first stop from ships coming to Europe from India, Brazil and other Portuguese “Feitorias”.

The weather and the fertile volcanic soil of the islands allowed the introduction of multiple species from overseas, one of those being the Banana Tree.

The bananas produced in Madeira Island are relatively small but are considered to taste sweeter than bananas from other locations due to the concentration of their natural sugar. They are used in some of the local dishes, for example “Swordfish with bananas” (click here to view a photo).

Banana Tree at Madeira

This is a photo from a Banana Tree near one of the Hotels in Madeira Island. The tree only produces one bunch at a time with its distinctive purple flower. When the flower withers and falls, the bunch can be cut off the tree because the bananas will keep maturating outside the tree.

Note: For more info about Madeira Island check its category or the index page please.

Oporto: Cervejaria Gazela

January 4, 2010

“Cervejaria Gazela” is a snack-bar/restaurant in Oporto, located in the Batalha Square, near the “Teatro S.João” (Saint João Theatre). It is not far from “Aliados” and the “São Bento” Metro and Train Station. (Google Maps)

It is quite small inside, consisting in a “U”-shaped counter inside of which 2 or 3 friendly and chatty cooks prepare the hotdogs and serve everyone. The food is quite different from everywhere else and the price is predictable in the range of 10 to 15€.

The house’s special are the distinctive hot dogs made with a special spicy sausage and a slim slice of pork within a toasted mini-baguette. If you like spicy food and want it to taste stronger you can ask for some “molho” – sauce – on it.

Special Hot Dogs

There are also other good options like “Prego” which is basically a grilled pork steak that can be served in bread (“prego em pão”) or in a dish surrounded by fries (“prego em prato”). I personally recommend you to ask for the extra cheese, ham and egg that you can have with it as seen in the photos.

This place in one of those “secrets” that inspired me to create this blog, it is a snack-bar I would choose for lunch and a couple of beers if I had some friends visiting me at Oporto and I’ve never seen a tourist inside it! The few that are seen usually walk outside on their explorations without noticing the great food locals are eating inside.

Oporto: MixPão Pastry

December 16, 2009

MixPão (“pão” means bread in Portuguese) is a pastry/ snack-bar located in Matosinhos, on the Eastern side of the Fisherman’s roundabout “Praça da Cidade do Salvador”. (marked on the map)

It is particularly known for its croissants: simple, with chocolate or with cream.

1. Chocolate filled Croissants

As you can see in photo 2 there’s also other cakes like apple cake (1,20€/slice), carrot cake (1,20€/slice) and also other options like pizza slices (1,25€/slice) or “pão com chouriço” (bread baked with “chouriço” inside).

Nice place for breakfast or mid-afternoon snack.


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