Fado à Mesa
There’s no need to sing fado while seated at the table (or mesa in Portuguese) at this pretty café/fine foods shop. As of ten o’clock in the morning, Céline, the chef, and Victor, who works the dining room, send out breathtakingly good “Porto-style” bifanas. Or in other words, pork loin in an excellent marinade (white wine + beer + port + garlic + tomato sauce + mustard + bay leaf), tucked into a cornbread bun. Devour these chubby sandwiches while eyeing the shelves filled with mouthwatering canned goods, before sampling the tender pastéis de nata that are displayed on the wooden counter. At night, the petiscos (Lusitanian tapas) come out in mass: chicken gizzards with caramelized onions, trout en escabèche, garlicky octopus… Not to mention the artisanal pork goods and cheese from the covered market, plus the really cheap lunch menu (vegetable soup, a leek-goat cheese tosta, and a pastéis de nata for less than €15). // A.D.
FEELING THIRSTY? There’s a handful of craft beers (IPA, whites, lagers, amber ales, barrel-aged beers… from €6 to €8.20), and a few wines – a Trás-os-Montes red from Casal Faria or a Douro white Talentus Quinta Seara d’Ordens (€5 a glass).
PRICE: Menus €12.50 and €14.90 (weekday lunch), bifanas €5.50, pastéis de nata €2, petiscos and platters €5-20 (dinner).