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
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.
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…