these are the posts tagged ‘foooood’:

rota do petisco

for a few years now, a local association has been organizing the rota do petisco, a food festival in which you can taste small dishes from 300 or so restaurants. instead of putting them together in a single location though, the event takes place over a month in the restaurants themselves, all over algarve. this year we finally gave it a go, and i was a bit surprised to discover how much i enjoyed it! :D here’s five things i like about it.

1. the passport! you need a passport to have access to the food, and though it’s just a little book, it’s actually kind of fun to collect the stamps and see where you’ve been. there’s also a picture/description of the dish, and useful information about where the restaurant is or when it is open (something we always forget to check). at the end of the rota, you can use it to vote for the best dish of the year.

2. every dish costs €3 (for a main course) or €2 (for sweets or desserts) and includes a drink, no matter how fancy the place is. i really like this simplicity, as it removes all the guesswork and uncertainty out of the equation and makes it really easy to give new restaurants a try.

3. the dishes are small, usually focused on local stuff, but very tasty! one probably won’t fill you up, but if you have 2, or 2 + 1 dessert, you should be good for that meal. this gives people the incentive to try different nearby things, in a more informal setting that doesn’t require sitting down for a long time, like a proper meal. i’ve seen groups of friends hopping from one restaurant to the next, in a sort of happy “rally da tascas” (but with less drinking).

4. while you wait for the food, you’re encouraged to draw! the restaurants have paper placemats that double as drawing paper, and this year they requested fishes. our talents are a bit questionable… but it’s a fun way to spend the time while we wait for the food. the restaurant owners will collect these at the end of the meal and send them to the organization, who will exhibit some.

5. and finally, the timing! i like that it happens in the shoulder season, just before the heat and the wave of tourists come. it would be impossible to pull this off in the summer, when restaurants are full to the brim, and stress is high for the chefs and waiters. as it is, it feels like a very relaxed event, something that happens at algarve’s own pace.

so that’s it! it’s been a brilliant month, we’ve tried quite a few new restaurants, and found some that we shall be returning to. see you again next year, rota do petisco! :)

sergio aux noisettes

what is it with moroccans and naming products after people?


what we ate in london

it’s been hard finding the motivation to write. in between school and postcrossing, by the end of the day i just want to tuck in bed and sleep. if can make it through an episode of doctor who without falling asleep, i count that as a victory!

so where were we…? ah yes, london! there’s food to be celebrated! here are some of the highlights of our trip.

fish and chips! greasy and ubiquitous and delicious!

dear lord, the crisps were out of this world… especially with vinegar! who knew? or maybe it was just because we hadn’t eaten chips in years…

sandwiches, sandwiches, sandwiches! there was a street food market going on near the london eye, so we hopped through the stands and choose the meatiest options :)

crumpets covered in jam and scotch eggs… just because they’re so exquisitely british in our heads, and we’d never had them before! :)

omg, this bagel at borough market… when the man asked if we wanted mustard on the bagel, we said sure! but after the first bite we were cursing up the skies with burning sinuses, eyes tearing up and mouths open like fishes trying to grasp a bit of air… jesus christ, that was some strong mustard!! i bet one could clean some pipes with that – it certainly cleaned our noses for a few hours…

chinese! it was great to discover london’s chinatown, and grab some dumplings and takeout :)

and last but not least on the photographic series, custard cream on cake and chocolates. how come anything made out of chocolate is so cheap in the uk?

the high point of the gastronomic part of the trip though, is not portrayed here, since i didn’t take any photos. it seemed… disrespectful to the chef to waste time with such trivialities when there was real, proper, delicious food prepared for us. we had lunch on st. john’s, a small indulgence and our first foray into the realm of michelin starred restaurants. fanciful establishments don’t really attract me… they’re way out of our league, plus, i’m not a big fan of having to dress up to eat. but st. john’s was different. it’s all about the food here – and not just the finest pieces of steak, but the whole animal… literally, nose-to-tail.

(funny thing: i had heard so much about the place that i already knew some of the dishes i wanted to order… and in the weeks before the trip, i had the oddest nightmares in which we were eating there but had forgotten to order the bone marrow…)

between us, we had the famous toast with roasted bone marrow and parsley salad (uff! i didn’t forget!), fried eggs on black pudding, welsh rarebit, lamb sweetbreads with peas and bacon, eccles cakes with lancashire cheese and meringue with strawberries and cream.

it was… magnificient, from beginning to end. every dish so simple, yet so mouth-wateringly delicious. everything so serene, never distracting you from the purpose of your visit. i was a bit uncomfortably full by the end of it, but oh so happy to have had the change to eat there. i couldn’t help the giddy smile – it was worth it! :)

what we ate in paris

we love holidays because they are like cheat season chez nous… we eat what we want, when we want it, in order to fully appreciate the experience. paris was no exception… i even had a list prepared! here are the highlights of our 4 days:

crêpes de sarrasin, from the street. these had cheese, ham, mushrooms and egg, and were a steamy and deliciously stringy mess.

we had to try the croissants! they were ok, but my heart is loyal to their much fluffier portuguese version. the boy loves palmiers, so we gave those a shot too :)

ah… the croissants aux amandes are much more my style – oh the crème! and we tried the macarons, of course. we picked up some from ladurée, in their mini-version, and ate them in park nearby. they were surprisingly nice, and the small size was just right.

more galletes de sarrasin! we were staying in montparnasse, so we indulged in these quite a bit. with bacon and eggs, and with honey and goat cheese… mmm…

random sweets: tarte au citron and éclair!

oh, the omnipresent baguette! the french might not use the beret anymore, but true to stereotype, the ratio of baguettes/person is still surprisingly high. and rightly so, since they are heavenly. we treated ourselves to one every morning, slathered on with divine salty butter.

more baguettes with jam and cheeeeese! we had this cheese platter at the café des 2 moulins, while watching asian tourists smiling for the photo and cracking their tiny bowl of super-expensive crème brûlée.

ah! les escargots! my dad had delighted me with tales of snails from his years in france. so we went ahead and tried them too. and they were delicious, and tasted nothing like i thought they would. :) and we also tried fondue (finally!) and it was good as well.

one of the dinners was at breakfast in america, because by then we were feeling like less gourmet, more comfort food. and what better than a egg-filled burrito to satiate our hunger? :)

i’ve saved berthillon’s ice-cream for last. i wasn’t prepared for discovering this ice-cream, fully convinced no ice-cream could top our beloved vanille marille… boy, was i wrong. this… this was… magnificent. i have no words, and while i was eating it, i was delighted and furious at the same time. how dare they make this… this impossibly good ice-cream so far away from where we live?! oh the injustice!

the francesinha

this post is about francesinhas, one of my favourite portuguese dishes. it’s a contraption of a dish, consisting of with layers of yummy things wrapped up in melted cheese. it’s typically portuguese gastronomy: meaty, heavy, no-frills and so caloric that it might induce heart-palpitations on unsuspecting foreigners… :)francesinha @ café torres

wikipedia calls it a sandwich, and the definition is true insomuch as it consists of two slices of bread with lots of fillings in between them… but if one needs cutlery in order to eat it, can it really be considered a sandwich? it feels… like an over-simplification.
francesinha @ café torres
the layout, from bottom up, goes as follows: slice of thick toasted bread, linguiça sausage, a thin steak, a few slices of ham or mortadella, and another slice of bread. sometimes there’s a fried egg on top of all of that. then, you cover everything in slices of cheese, let it melt for a bit, and pour a beer-based sauce over it. if you’re like me, you’ll want the fries that come with it swimming in the sauce.
francesinha @ café torres
the people of porto are fierce about their francesinhas, and each have their favourite. the most famous ones would be in bufete fase or café santiago. mine is actually in ermesinde, my hometown, a few kilometers from porto itself. if you’re ever around, go to café torres and give it a try. i promise it will be worth the trip!
francesinha @ café torres
hungry? :)