Faro’s Food – Fluctuating Finery

Food is about anticipation, expectations, and enjoyment. At times they all come together at the same time, often they offer us the chance to chuckle a bit and enjoy the experience as it is.

The first time I ever had Portuguese food was many years ago when I was in Hong Kong to do a couple of seminars, piri-piri chicken as I remember. Then when I would travel to Darwin in Australia, as I often did, I frequented a fast food placed called Ogalo, which featured Portuguese grill, and of course piri-piri.

Piri-piri is spicy hot and I loved it in both places, as a result I was looking forward to eating it in Portugal. When we were in Lisbon in January I never saw it on the menu, so I was hoping for better luck in Faro. Sure enough we saw a rather nice restaurant that had piri-piri on its blackboard, we went there for lunch. The wait was a nice comfortable European wait (way too slow for most Americans) but I figured it was well worth it for my long awaited reconnection with piri-piri.

Finally it came. First off it was not near as hot as what I had in Darwin where they cooked your order by the degree of heat you wanted, but the flavor was quite good, yet it was also quite dry. Actually it proved my father’s advice that “anticipation is greater than realization.”

The food here in Faro has been some of the best ever, more on that in a moment. Yet some things do get lost in translation even food. We stopped at a sports bar for a quick late afternoon snack. Futebol was on one screen and Formula 1 was on the other. The menu was quite like something you would find at a sports bar in the US, it even had hot dogs, which I resisted. I went for the nachos, other than when we make them at home it has been a long time. Here is what I got… not exactly what I had in mind.

Yet while in Faro I have had two of the best meals ever. The first was at Ostraria Lodo, just a short walk from our hotel. Thanks to the warm weather we could eat outside and received some amazing service, along with the totally enjoyable food.

For the entree I had a croquette trilogy of razor clams, prawns, and cockles.

Thanks to Tricia for many of these photos, check her blog out at Travels Through My Lens

Photo by Tricia

Tricia’s main was a fried shrimp salad, mine was grilled razor clams.

Then we could not resist trying Eton Mess for desert, oh my.

Photo by Tricia

Ostraria Lodo was a meal to remember. Yet there was more good food to come. We were wandering about yesterday looking for a place to eat and stumbled upon Resturante Dois Irmãos. Oh my! I did not think the Lodo could be outdone but this place was amazing, it is hard to say which is the best.

Tricia had a shrimp risotto. Let me be clear that for very good reason she is quite discerning with risotto, frankly because she makes about the best risotto either one of us have ever had, and since we both love it we have it often, so for her to say that this risotto was as good or better than hers says a lot. I begged for a taste, and must say she was 100% correct in her assessment.

Lamb is one of those things that I rarely ignore when on a menue, so lamb stew done Portuguese style was the obvious choice. Like Tricia’s Risotto it was le meilleur.

We have a couple other places marked for today. One thing we don’t do a lot of is read reviews, something that I learned from using Yelp when I traveled for business. Often a place with a few bad reviews would be so good, and often the reverse was true. And we enjoy finding the less popular spots. We prefer to wander the streets and see what we stumble on, it is a central part of why we travel, and so far Faro has not let us down.

I need to post this as there are food adventures awaiting us today… I think I saw Portuguese sausages stewed posted someplace, hmm…

7 thoughts on “Faro’s Food – Fluctuating Finery

  1. I don’t like reading reviews, either. It’s interesting that the piri piri was different from what you had come to enjoy. Food is so regional and also very personal. Quebec is unfortunately known for poutine, a horrible gooey mess if ever there was one, but Quebec also produces some of the best food ever (but I’m biased since my grandmother was Quebecoise and taught me how to cook. 🙂 ). Happy eating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have such a good point. I think also there is the aspect that a lot of time has passed so memories of good events get better. Also the aspect that I loved Darwin so everything is seen through those eyes. Thankfully your grandmother taught you. My Grandmother came from very poor roots in the dust bowl of Nebraska, she baked amazing bread, and I remember her turkey and home made noodles. Sadly I never got to be taught by her, i wish I could have learned like you did. Thankfully we, my wife and I, ended up being rather good, so it all worked out.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My grandparents didn’t have any money but their farm was a rich producer and no one went hungry. My dad told me that the shoes and clothes were terribly worn down, though and everything got repaired until that was no longer an option. The meals that originated out of poverty are some of the best, and I’m thinking that your grandmother’s noodles and bread were probably fantastic. It’s sad that we lose those links to family foods, but as you note, you and your wife have done well. Cheers.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. And of course as we know most of the great dishes in the world started from simple fare. My moms story sounds so similar. She talked about paper in her shoes, etc. They did not have a farm but worked on farms. When the dust bowl ment there were no jobs even in Nebraska they moved to Oregon to work in the hop fields, they were the early migrant farm workers. But it sounds like we have both done OK, and we are both proud of our families humble past.

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      3. Thanks for sharing about your family’s roots. Yes, mine were also humble, but my grandparents’ work created a rather wonderful life for their children and grandchildren. I’m thinking now about doing some posts on the origins of some of our favourite meals. Thanks for the inspiration!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. elissbaker

    So jealous! Your opening sentence, “Food is about anticipation, expectations, and enjoyment…” is perfect. So true. And Tricia’s photos are wonderful. Despite my envy, I am very happy you are experiencing such deliciousness. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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