I still have a bunch of Porto and Aveiro photos to put together for posts, but in the meantime, here is the final foodie episode — at least, that I have proof of. Alas, I forgot to take a photo of our lunch in Aveiro, which was a preparation of bacalhau (cod) that neither of us had ever had before, called feijoada de samos de bacalhau. This was a type of bean stew with amazingly tender chunks of cod, and it went down very nicely with beer. It was accompanied by some of the local bread, which I adored for its crunchy crust and tasty interior. (Northern bread got two thumbs up from me — I especially loved the broa de milho, which is better than any version I’ve found in the Algarve.)
But since I stupidly forgot to take photos, I can only offer proof of our last meal in Porto: dinner at Abadia, a nice restaurant with so many yummy-sounding dishes that we had a heck of a time choosing. I was very tempted by the cabrito assado (oven-roasted goat), but in the end we settled on the vitela assada com batatas à murro e grelos, which is a roasted calf steak with smashed potatoes and, um, grelos. I really have no idea what the greens were, and my wife couldn’t come up with an English word for them either.
At any rate, here is the platter that arrived at our table:
And I do mean platter. There aren’t any good size comparators in this image, but that steak would have covered most of an 8 x 10 photo, missing only the corners. Not only that, but it was a good four centimeters thick (1.6 inches). In theory, it was a serving for two. In reality, here is what the platter looked like after the two people at our table were served:
It was a meal for four. We were quite content after eating our first portion, but leaving that much fine steak on the plate was unthinkable. So we took a break and then tackled the remainder, managing to put most of it away. We couldn’t eat all of the smashed potatoes, though, which was rather tragic because they were delicious. And we couldn’t even think about dessert, which was also tragic because I’ve seen the photos on Abadia’s web site and their desserts look fabulous.
After working our way through this gigantic slab o’ beef, I will now take back my earlier words about not being able to find a good American-style steak in Portugal. We definitely found one in Porto.