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Published: July 26th 2013
The highlight of today was most definitely the lunch down by the marina in Portimao on the boardwalk. There is a row of 8 seafood restaurants on the pier and they all have daily features out front on signboards. Tons of people cruise by trying to choose their lunch spot. Each restaurant has a "front man/woman" out by the signboard to try to convince you to come in and there is also a large cooler with all their fresh daily fish on display. One way to go is simply to pick the fish you want for your meal straight from the cooler and that will be the restaurant you choose! We chose a restaurant half way down for two reasons: they had baby squid as a daily feature and they had another special where for 6 euros (child) or 12 euros (adult) you can try all of the grilled fish they have that day (usually 7-8 different fish) and if you want more of any fish, you can have more! Nigel surprisingly did not go for the special but regretted it immediately once Russell's first fish came. I had the baby squid meal and Rachel had a bunless burger (not exactly seafood....). Nigel ordered beans with whelk which is Giant sea snail. Russell's first fish was a blue mackerel which he loved (it arrived on a silver platter, head still attached but opened up ready to eat, there will be photos). His next fish was a gillet head and his final fish was a sea breem. By his last one he was pretty full as each fish was a whole fish! We definitely want/need to go back to this restaurant (mostly cuz Nigel really wants to have the all-he-can-eat fish). When we do, Russell plans to skip the bread (covered with a thick layer of Sardine pate) and save his space for the fish!! He still did pretty well though and loved all the types he tried. My squid was also delicious and I had to figure out how to eat whole squids (I think I was supposed to clean out the guck inside before eating them which I did after the first one). Nigel enjoyed his whelk but was envious of Russell's meal....
I wanted to make some other general observations about Portugal before I forget. One thing we have observed is that other than Portugal license plates, we mostly see ones from Spain (expected), France, Netherlands, and Germany. In addition to interesting license plates, we regularly see horse and buggies driving around. There is one that goes up and down our road daily (if we don't actually see it, we see the droppings....). It feels like we have gone back in time!
Another interesting thing is the number of dogs here! We have one as a pet of course. Neighboring properties have anywhere from 5-10 dogs each (but can sound like 100 when they all get barking...maybe there really are 100!). There are also many stray dogs everywhere we go.
Everywhere you go here, every little village, has a Pastilaria (bakery) and several Snack Bars. We have been into some of these Snack Bars and they are actually bars (serving alcohol) and also serving snacks (sometimes a few bakery items like tarts). The one we went into had a bunch of local men sitting at the bar, there were 4 different TV's playing 4 different professional soccer games and the walls were covered with football scarves from all the teams. The men at the bar were watching the various games and sounded like a lot of loud trash talking going on. The snack bar was very small and smoky too. Lots of smokers here we have noticed. It was hard to drag Russell out in spite of the smoke.
Unfortunately Nigel is having trouble adding photos to the blog tonight...hopefully he will be able to tomorrow.
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All that fish......
...is making my mouth water. Good for Russell choosing the all you can eat. I'll bet he loved the sea bream - one of my favourites. I also love sardines, squid etc. Maybe I was Portugese in a previous life. Have you had any paella yet?
Disappointed in the lack of photos
As you can tell from my last comment, I was and still continue to be disappointed by the lack of visual aids to support the written content of this blog. While I am pleased you are seemingly enjoying yourself, I find myself dreaming of the action shots of old - remember the great action shots of old - the seagull attacking Nigel's sardine, the Tour de France wizzing
Whizzing by, etc... Let's see what tomorrow holds... Signed, Disgruntled in Michigan