We have had our first ‘experience’ of traditional Portugal!?
There are probably a dozen restaurants in town but only one was open.
Cafe Correia, opened at 7:30. We were outside at 7:20, there were diners inside and the door was unlocked so we wandered in. Only one table was occupied however it seemed that the elderly lady greeting us really, really wanted to turn us away. Begrudgingly she led us to a table and reluctantly gave us a menu. This indicated a choice of stews for one or two people served in large metal pots. We immediately discounted shrimp options, they were for two people and there was no way John was touching shrimp. That left us with chicken, rabbit or pork cheek stew. We settled for chicken! The lady however wouldn’t accept our order if we simply pointed at the item on the menu. With a mischievous look on her face, she made Kim order in Portuguese!
With help from the Portuguese couple next to us, we managed to extend our order to a bottle of red wine and include rice rather than potatoes with our stew.
Dinner arrived and was simply delicious although it contained lots of bones which we didn’t recognise as being from a chicken and was very grey in colour…..
The decor was very traditional and unlike anything we’ve seen so far, which actually hasn’t been very much. The restaurant slowly filled up, the cook wearing a short sleeved jumper and chefs hat wandered round asking if our meal was ok. A waiter appeared and it started to feel less like someone’s front room.
The couple on the neighbouring table chose a dessert made from local almonds, figs, alfarroba and spices. With their help, and that of a translation app on the phone, we managed to order it too. It was too delicious to save for a photo.
Finally the bill was requested from the waiter. He had studiously avoided eye contact, we think he’d decided our lack of Portuguese made us too difficult to deal with. The elderly lady reappeared, from where she had been washing dishes in the kitchen, muttered and scribbled some figures down on a piece of paper for us.
We finished the evening with a walk round the cobbled streets of this traditional, historic Portuguese town determined to have walked over 30,000 steps.