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Evora & Alentejo

c
CMT May 12, 2011 07:27 PM

Recommendations for non-pork quality restos please

  1. n
    Nyleve May 15, 2011 05:04 PM

    In Evora we really enjoyed Botequim da Mouraria - it's sort of a tapas-style place. You sit at the bar, tell the owner (forgot his name) what you don't want to eat and just wait for the food to come out. We had a pile of fantastic little dishes - I seem to have misplaced my little notebook with details so can't tell you exactly what. I know there was a baked cheese sprinkled with oregano that made my toes curl, something with asparagus, other things with sardines and whatnot. There were 4 of us and two don't eat meat so we did vegetables and fish and there was plenty of choice. Actually I just remembered I took a picture of the menu (good for a chuckle) and I'll try to attach it here.

     
    11 Replies
    1. re: Nyleve
      j
      jmoryl May 15, 2011 08:34 PM

      "Fried skunks with garlic"? It is understandable why they are 16 euros!

      1. re: jmoryl
        monchique May 16, 2011 05:46 AM

        This one left me puzzled for a while, but I found the answer: A skunk is a "gambá" in Portuguese (with an accent on the 2nd "a"). But a "gamba" (without the accent) is a prawn. Mystery solved, I have eaten lots of strange things here, but skunk would have been a first...

        1. re: monchique
          n
          Nyleve May 16, 2011 07:03 AM

          I think that's why I took the picture. We howled (outside) - but didn't order the skunks when we sat down.

          1. re: monchique
            j
            jmoryl May 16, 2011 09:12 AM

            I'm a wine lover and spent some time going around to Portuguese wineries and visiting their websites. Some of the English translations are very odd, and often give me a laugh. But seriously, they should run some of this stuff by native speakers. One prominent producer of espumantes describes the bubbles as "slimy"!

            I understand enough Portuguese to know that a similar situation occurs for restaruants (alas, translation problems are not only confined to Portugal).

            1. re: jmoryl
              n
              Nyleve May 16, 2011 11:25 AM

              Speaking of which...I LOVE Alentejo wines. LOVE them. CMT - try as many as you can, they're wonderful.

              1. re: Nyleve
                j
                jmoryl May 17, 2011 06:06 PM

                While there are certainly some nice wines made in Alentejo, I'm more of a fan of the wines made in the north of Portugal (Minho, Bairrada, Dao....). There is a tendency for Alentejo wines to be made in a somewhat more new-world way and I have more of an old-world palate. But anyone visiting Portugal should get familiar with some of the native grape varieties, most grown practically nowhere else.

                1. re: jmoryl
                  monchique May 18, 2011 12:40 PM

                  When in Rome... Drinking Dao and Minho wines in the Alentejo would be close to insulting the restaurateur! Similar to asking for a Beaujolais Village in a restaurant in Beaune... But I try to keep away from Shiraz (like in "Incognito") as I find it has nothing to do in the Alentejo blends. If this is what you mean by new-world way, I entirely agree with you.

                  1. re: monchique
                    j
                    jmoryl May 18, 2011 02:21 PM

                    No, by all means drink Alentejo wines in Alentejo! There are some I really enjoy, like Quinta do Mouro or Mouchao (sort of expensive here in the US, though). And, while the native grapes are great, Alicante Bouchet makes some nice wines in the Alentejo.

                2. re: Nyleve
                  c
                  CMT Jun 3, 2011 04:01 PM

                  Agreed!,,,,all wines both branco\white & tinto\red are great

          2. re: Nyleve
            c
            CMT Jun 3, 2011 04:03 PM

            Enjoyed two dinners outside at resto called something like .....quarter to nine......great quality, service, suggestions and not pushing anything but reasonable wines...

            1. re: CMT
              monchique Jun 4, 2011 03:32 AM

              Could it be the Taberna Quarta Feira?

          3. monchique May 13, 2011 05:50 AM

            Like in your other post, please clarify the "non-pork" !

            3 Replies
            1. re: monchique
              c
              CMT May 13, 2011 06:16 PM

              Hi again,
              I am only looking for a resto that has local flavours where I get get dishes that are not built on pork.....i understand that rabbitt, duck, partridge options abound.....looking forward to suggestions...gracias/obrigado

              1. re: CMT
                monchique May 14, 2011 09:57 AM

                Ok, now that we know it is not some form of religious interdiction, have a look at this post: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/642199 which is still very accurate (except for restaurant Lis in Evora which does not exist anymore, the owner has a new one called BL Lounge which I am told is very good too!).
                Every single one of these restaurants will have a choice of dishes which are not (primarly) based on pork, but remember that lard (banha) remains the base fat for most of the Alentejo traditional dishes, far more than olive oil which used to be too expensive for most people. From the traditional Alentejo dishes, look for "sopa de cação" (a shark soup / stew with lots of coriander), the migas (bread pudding in many different flavours from asparagus to tomato to spinach, etc...), Salada de feijão-frade com atum (a salad of black-eyed peas with tuna-fish), tomatada Alentejana (scrambled eggs with tomato), all dishes of bacalhau (salt cod), lots of game in season (and out of season from the the deep-freeze) perdiz (partridge), codorniz (quail), arroz de pato (duck rice), javali (wildbore, unless it qualifies as pork?). These dishes are only a few I have eaten recently in the Alentejo, so you can eat very well indeed without having pork for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For information, the trend has shifted recently from the traditional Portuguese big fat white pig to the smaller and much leaner black pig (porco preto),so even eating pork is healthier!
                I promise you will not starve...

                1. re: monchique
                  c
                  CMT May 15, 2011 01:23 PM

                  Excellent summary.....much appreciated....we will report on our return......looking forward to great tastes

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