Tonight, we ate at a restaurant on Rua Portas de St Antao (Street of St Anthony’s Gate/Doors?). This street is down over the hill and around the corner from our apartment. A short walk. It is full of restaurants, souvenir shops and tourist. However, for dinner on a Sunday night, it was easy. We ate at Restaurante Come e Bebe (Eat and Drink Restaurant).
Here in Portugal, they bring appetizers to your table. Our waiter brought cheese, bread, octopus salad and various spreads. You are only charged for what you eat. We asked for him to leave the bread and take everything else away.
On another table, there was a net bag full of small snails. We have seen those on tables at other restaurants and wondered what they were for. When we asked, our waiter brought us a small plate so that we might try them. They were snails cooked in garlic and they were very good. You use a toothpick to get them out of the shell. They were good but lots of work for such a small piece!
When our waiter brought them to the table, he said that back in the 1960s-70s, many of the population had lung problems. I asked if it was tuberculosis and he said yes. Now, something might have gotten lost in translation but he said that there were 14 sanatoriums where people were treated. He said that part of the treatment was eating snails 3 times a day between breakfast, lunch and after dinner. It was a cure for tuberculosis. He said that he knew of this because his wife was a patient in one. Today, there is very little tuberculosis in the city and that only 1 sanatorium is still open and it is used to treat alcoholics. Very interesting, no? I had never heard of eating snails to cure tuberculosis…again, something might have gotten lost in translation. The waiter said “lung” disease…so it could be some other lung ailment. I will “google” it!
For our main dish, David had rice and octopus and I had rice and shellfish. It was OK but a tad too
salty for me. Desserts were tempting but we passed.
We saw the cutest little boy in the square. He was 3 year old, Alfonzo, named after an ancient King of Portugal. He was on a balance bike, going along with his dad. He had all the safety gear…a helmet with blondish curls peaking out from under it and knee pads. He was just too darn cute! We asked permission to take his picture and his father was fine with it but when we asked Alfonzo, he said he didn’t like his picture taken. So, we respected his wishes. Somethings just need to be kept to memory and not recorded with photos, no?
This was my “creative picture” for the day….it is the silhouette of the statue of King Joseph I in the center of the plaza. It was a reflection in a window that we passed!