Eating out in Figueira.
On Sunday we went to the place in a sort of external box and had something fishy, sole I think, with veg and salad.
On Monday we went to the place down the sidestreet that I thought we had been looking for on Sunday. There we had pasta with fish.
On Tuesday we were planning to make use of the pre-paid dinner tickets we have from the chess tournament. This meant going to the Caçarola Dois restaurant near the casino. Unfortunately it was closed and so we went back to the place in the box and had more fish - sea bream this time - and salad.
On Wednesay the Caçarola Dois was open and so we carried out Tuesday’s plan.
The lovely Patricia, assistant organiser of the chess event, provides dinner tickets, €8.50 each, which get you a menu do día, but only at the one restaurant. So Phil had the menu do día, soup, rabbit stew with chips, a drink, a dessert and coffee, while I had a mixed salad, a glass of white wine, some of Phil’s chips, a dessert, some water and a coffee, for much the same price as the dinner ticket. I am quite glad I opted not to go for the whole menu do día choice. All the food was good, but so much of it, and the service friendly. We had to smile as the waiters tried to remember the English for “coelho” when serving a non-Portuguese customer. Having worked put that it was rabbit, they went round muttering “rabbit, rabbit, rabbit” for a few minutes!
At the table next to ours, two Frenchwomen came and sat down, ordering food à la carte. As ever, I earwigged on their conversation. This is a long-standing habit when I hear a foreign language being spoken, dating back to my teenage language-learning years. But it was not until their main course arrived, a delicious-looking dish of octopus and colourful vegetables tastefully arranged on a dish, that we got around to speaking. It was the stuff on the plate that a looked like spinach that sparked the conversation. Eventually the waiter told them it was not spinach, “épinards” in French, but the untranslatable “grelhos”.
Now, I know that these are “grelos” in Galicia, a prime ingredient in the soup they serve everywhere, “caldo gallego”, but also in the Galician’s favourite dish, “cocido”, an almost indigestible, in my opinion, pork stew, using just about every possible bit of the pig, including his ears. Restaurants proudly put up notices: “Domingo hay cocido” or “Jueves hay cocido” urging customers to book their table for Sunday or Thursday in order not to miss out on this amazing treat.
The French looked up “grelhos” on their phones and were none the wiser. “Les verts” or “greens” does not quite fit the bill. We discussed the impossibility of translating “grelhos”/“grelos” as in neither France nor England do we eat such stuff. The nearest I have come in English is “sprout tops”, which might come close horticulturally but not in any kind of culinary way!
Such are the joys of travel!
Today we woke to rain. Even though the rain had stopped by midxmorning, it continued damp and misty ... but also warm and sticky. Hence the mosquitos which attacked Phil in the night again - 4.00am, lights on, mosquito hunt underway!
Such also are the joys of travel!