Portuguese food when its best!

Yesterday we had very spontaneous but very good dinner in Graça

Penalva da Graca

Most of my friends think I’m hyper active on Facebook because of all my posts and updates.

I am NOT.

Almost all of my Facebook activities come from my blogs or other social networks.

I’m actually very bad in reading Facebook updates from friends, followers and the groups & pages I follow.

I only see direct messages and updates I’m tagged in and the ones that are published the second I sign in. Like the update from Louis’ Penalva which was the first I saw when I entered Facebook yesterday afternoon.

We had planned to have dinner at Penalva with a friend – a belated Birthday dinner for Annette. But our friend had to cancel.

Lets go alone and have oysters for dinner, I asked Annette.

10 minutes later we found ourselves on our regular seats in the bar with a glass of house wine (I usually drink beer – and Champagne which you can’t get at the local restaurant. If I drink wine its the house wine which I love) and a plate of the freshest oysters I’ve seen in a very long time – in the size we love.

Tordos Fritos at Penalva da Graça

HA Tordos Fritos said the wand-written sign right in front of us. Only 2,30 € pr piece!!! – I couldn’t help thinking about an old Bob Marley song

Ha Tordos Fritos

Have you seen the sign I asked Annette and pointed at the handwritten piece of paper hanging from one of the wine shelves right in front of us.

Tordos are tiny quail-like birds – thrushes – that Louis’ Mom fries in garlic until the tiny pieces of meat get soft and tender and the small bones crispy as chips. Absolutely delicious!

We ordered 3 pieces each with a mixed salad. Usually that’s enough for us on a week day with a starter of course 🙂


Ha Gamba do Algarve

OMG – fresh Algarve gambas!!!!

Having dinner at the bar is at one’s own risk.

You can’t help looking and the bottles on the shelves, the odd souvenirs and gadgets and all the notes that Louis or somebody else  have written on pieces of papers. Always fresh specialties that didn’t make the deadline for today’s menu.

Forget about Lobsters, forget about Danish Fjordrejer and all other similar sea food items. The white/pink Gamba’s from Algarve are the best. So we felt it was our duty to order a plate – just 400 gr for sharing.

Gamba Do Algarve at Penalva da Graca

For those of you who know and love Fjordrejer from Denmark – these fresh beauties are A MUST. Gamba Do Algarne – are 4 times as big as our Fjordrejer with a silky skin you either eat with the shrimp OR spend hours peeling off.

Ha Bolo de Bolacha

Shit happens – so since our dinner ambitions  had vanished with our first glass of wine we surrendered and ordered Mom’s homemade Bolo de Bolacha. Only one piece for sharing… after all Annette hadn’t had her birthday dinner.’

Bolo de Bolacha at Penalva

Bolo de Bolacha can be very bad. But when its fresh and homemade it’s one of the best desserts we can get. It’s a mix between the 2 Danish classics Kiksekage & Studenterbrød.

No coffee and no avec. Only the bill which ended at 50 € including tips.




We don’t understand the constant focus about cheap food in Portugal. It is as if all travelers take it as eating as cheap as possible.

It is possible to get a menu for € 10 with starter, main and dessert + wine and coffee. Within that price the restaurants have to cover their costs, VAT and their own salary. Do the math – at that price, you don’t get the quality products Portugal can provide !!!!

But IF you spend twice the amount and if you follow the seasons and if you are a bit curious and open-minded and go with the flow (and I’m not talking about the tourist flow – I’m talking about the local one!) then you get fantastic food….  like we did at Penalva da Graça. Our local restaurant for 4 years.


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