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Local Seafood Specialties in Southern Portugal

Posted: 10/26/14

Local Seafood Specialties in Southern Portugal

Restaurant: Portugal

Nelson: Lagos is a sunny tourist destination with a city seemingly consisting of endless restaurants. We picked the restaurant Arcos Marisqueira because their specialty is seafood. Having spent the day at the beach and along the coastline we thought it was appropriate. As usual, the meal started with fresh bread. This time there was something unique that goes with it as you will see below.
But it's not these items. Cheese and olives are standard as appetizers to Portuguese meals.
Now this is what I"m talking about. On the right is honey butter, but it's not that special. On the left is a spreadable cheese, which again is not that special. It's surprisingly plain. What I'm interested in is in the middle which is a Sardine pate.
It's so popular here that they have disposable single serving containers. Pretty unique taste that packs in the seafood flavour, you have to try this if you like seafood. If you don't, you are going to hate this. It spreads onto bread and you just eat it like so. I wonder if the locals combine all three together, but we didn't.
We just visited Sagres, so of course we drank Sagres. Draft is good.
I ordred a local (southern Portugal) specialty, codfish in Braz style (8.95€). It reminded me of a fried rice with a lot of egg as well as onions, potatoes, olives and cod.
It tasted pretty good all mixed up like that. It reminded me of eating an omelette. It took us almost a week before we realized that everything is served family style here as we were ordering dishes for individuals. This would be strange to eat by itself, but our natural Asian instincts took over and we ate mostly in family style.
Kitty had the tuna fish steak in Algarve style (10.50€). What was amazing about this dish was how much prime tuna was served. It's hard to tell in the picture, but the steaks were gigantic. Yes there were more than one steaks in this dish. The tuna itself tasted like a land meat, almost like pork. Needless to say it was delicious, but on top of that were the great chips. They were salty and crunchy, but could still soak up sauce like anybody's business. Overall the dish was a bit salty, but we soon found out that all dishes had a lot a salt in Portugal.
Leo and Adrienne ordered the codfish in Cataplana for two (25€). A cataplana is a metal cooking instrument that acts like a clam. It came out piping hot with so much food that we were unable to finish. I really liked how there were vegetables in this dish as most dishes didn't seem to have very much in way of vegetables. The supposed star of the dish is the cod which came in huge salty chunks. The cod meat itself was a bit chewy. We would figure out a week later the reason for this, so keep on reading daily to find out!


Categories: Appetizer,  Bread,  Fish,  Portuguese,  Seafood,  

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