Evening is falling in the northern Portuguese town of Arcos de Valdevez. We have been looking around the area and stopped here for a swim in the river and a look around.
Now tummies are rumbling so we cast our thoughts away from the cooling water to searching for a place where we can eat.
Himself remembers seeing a Cafe/Restaurant called the “dna cafetaria” at the end of the promenade type area where the jousting statues were located.
The rumbles in the kids tummies are starting to come out of their mouths in the form of sibling bickering and any wise parent knows that in order to stop this swelling riptide of whining, the best course of action is to stem the hunger pangs fast…so without any ado we make a bee-line for this place.
It’s still very warm, even as the daylight is fading so photos are getting hard to take, even though we are seated outside under the sun umbrellas. Little Mr. decides that this is an opportune moment in which to request a ” portrait photo-shoot”.
Little Mr. and good camera moments are based solely on the whim and mood of a positive co-operation level, and the right moment with a camera-to-hand and that these two events converge about as often as full moons. Therefore I seize the moment and grab a ” series” of photos of him in cute pose, actually enjoying the process for the family album.
The camera battery was flashing “Beware-I’m-getting-empty” messages as the food arrived so today I make do in this blog post with the few shots I took before the battery died on me.
Murphy’s Law was that I thought I was smart because I’d remembered to pack the extra camera battery but I’d totally forgotten to recharge it first, so as Confucius Says: “Duh, fat lot of use that is“.
Little Mr. went for the Portuguese version of a Hot Dog, Kiwi Daughter pleaded that since it was one of her last days in Portugal, wanted a special treat, put her best pleading face on and scored a pancake covered in chocolate sauce, followed by a toasted sandwich with massively thick bread slices.
The sight of this instantly transported me back to my childhood when the bread we bought came only one way: the white unsliced loaf. It was a special treat for us to make what we called “door-step” sandwiches with really fresh super soft and springy bread, super fresh out of it’s paper bag wrapping …the slices cut at least double usual thickness, still warm and very bread-y smelling.
Later we moved to the city and discovered brown bread, wholemeal, ready-sliced, wrapped in plastic, seemingly “progress” but actually not necessarily completely if you look at it hard with a keen eye.
I fancy a hamburger just a few times a year and once I spied Hamburger on the menu I decided that today was a Hamburger day…
Himself asked in Portuguese if there were any local specialties on the menu and the reply came back that “francesinha especial com batata” was such an item, so he ordered one of those. And No… he wasn’t exactly sure what it consisted of when he ordered it, but he was due to find out.
We ate well, even if “francesinha especial com batata” turned out to be very impressive if rather heavy meal, (I’m being polite) …
Reality was that it was mega-dripping with cheese , very heavy and the gravy made all the French fries soggy.
It was a somewhat similar construction to Kiwi Daughter’s toasted sandwich, but with more meat in the centre, as well as copious amounts of cheese, a fried egg on top along with yet more cheese, then the whole ensemble was drenched in gravy and served with fries.
Phew, I feel my arteries hardening a little just typing out the description LOL.
I suppose you could call it the local heart attack experience and we quickly concluded that a) I got a better deal and that b) Himself was happy to persevere this one time, but that it would remain a one-time experience.
He wasn’t just full at the end of it, it was more of a lead weight feeling, and that night’s sleep probably wasn’t the best he had all holiday.
The kids polished off ice-creams for afters and slept in the car on the journey back to camp.
All things considered it was a good meal… and I can’t remember exactly what we paid but I do remember that it was so cheap that I thought they must have forgotten a few things off the bill… they hadn’t. Definitely can’t say that we didn’t get value for money here, and the service was ok too.
We would come back here in a heartbeat, but Himself, valuing his heart, will likely be ordering something a tad lighter if we return. Oh well, that’s what you get for signing up for the local specialty… a surprise, a very unforgettable experience and a good laugh.