One of my least known cities and areas of Portugal, this is, however, a beautiful town, where life flows slowly and gently.
Main square in the old quarter, compensates in personality what it misses in commercial use and life.
A few small places, show the slow Alentejo pace.
City Hall dominates the square.
I was curious about this building, understanding that it should have played a significant role in town.
Well, as you may read in the link below, it seems to be a still working factory, and that, in the center of a town, it’s, today, a remarkable exception.
Walking in the old town is a nice and relaxing experience.
The city shows the transition between Alentejo and Beira, with stone added to the white walls, but in a lighter way than in the north.
Several palaces and churches may be seen, along the narrow cobblestone streets.
Started in the 16th century, the final version was only completed in the 18th.
Interesting, but not remarkable.
Facing and overlooking Portalegre there’s a mount with a cross in its top, with the best views of the area.
On its slope, and easily accessible, there’s a chapel from the 17th century that… I don’t know, it was closed!
Monument to the deaths of WW1
São Lourenço church
O Cobre – Quality and sympathy
A strange name in a discreet door in a quit street was the entrance to a simple restaurant, for my best experience in Portalegre.
I went there by recommendation of some locals, and I’m thankful to them.
All the staff was extremely nice, and the food a success.
We wanted “Sopa de Cação” which was not in the menu, but the waiter called the cooker, and she said that she could do it for us.
And she did it, with perfection. While we were eating, my wife saw a small plate passing with something looking like “pataniscas”.
Asking the waiter, he answered that it was something different (“peixinhos da horta”), but… “please don’t ask for it, because they were the last”. My wife told him not to worry, because dinner was good, and “pataniscas” would only be an additional caprice, nothing more.
A few minutes later, another small dish came to our table, with six “pataniscas just fried for you”.
They were divine, and (I checked) they didn’t put it in the bill. Dessert was good, wine was good, price was… good.
What else could we desire?
Address: Av. Pio XII, Lote 7 R/C Dto Phone: 351 245 328472
The interior part of Portugal, including Portalegre, suffers a lot with emigration, abroad and to the littoral.
To contribute to the promotion of these areas is common the public organizations to plan regular events there.
That’s what took me to Portalegre, a city that, otherwise, would be far for my priorities.
It is was a good idea, and I really loved the city.
30 years ago I passed, without stopping, by Portalegre (to be precise, I stopped just the time enough to take a general picture). Now, I WENT to Portalegre, and visited it. Comparing two pictures, took almost in the same position, it’s easy to understand the slow evolution suffered by most of the cities inland. That is bad, in terms of development, but good, in terms of preservation.
SOPA DE CAÇÃO
Ingredients for 4 people:
½ cup (coffee) vinegar, 1 tablespoon wheat flour, 1 bunch of coriander, 2 tablespoons olive oil + q.s. to cook the fish, 2 bay leaves, 2.5 liters of water, 3 cloves of garlic, 4 slices of Alentejo bread, 4 dogfish stakes, salt to taste
Cook the dogfish slices in a liter of water with olive oil.Place olive oil, crushed garlic, bay leaf, coriander, 1.5 l of water and season to taste. Then add the dogfish steaks and let them cook. Place olive oil, crushed garlic, bay leaf, coriander, 1.5 l of water and season to taste. Then add the dogfish steaks and let them cook. Dissolve the flour in the vinegar and add it to the soup, bringing it to a boil. Distribute the slices of Alentejo bread in a terrine, water them with the broth and, lastly, place the fish. Decorate with coriander leaves and serve immediately.
Where to eat
I had my best experience in a restaurant with a forgotten name in:
Alentejo is the largest wine producing area of Portugal with very good quality, so, the choice is very wide in the moderated price range.
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