When I like a restaurant I generally prefer to repeat the good experiences, instead of risking anywhere else. That’s what generally happens in Santarém, but, this time, I was rushy, and decided to try a restaurant somewhat hidden in a residential area west of town.
I didn’t repent because the simple restaurant served us quickly, decent food, at a small price. Not bad, and being close to the physiotherapist where I make regular treatments, i surely will try it again to make a definitive idea.
Address: Praceta Cón. Dr Manuel Nunes Formigão, loja 7/B
Phone: +351 243 372 262
Nothing to complaint, nothing to remember. I needed to have a quick lunch… and I did, without the poisoning fast-food. The food was seriously made but with a… industrial sensation.
The price was regular.
Located at the north entrance of town, not touristy, nor residential, nor even hardly industrialized, I couldn’t understand the target of this restaurant, but I don’t want to leave a negative image, since the hurry of our meal didn’t give us time and availability to check the menu and to try to find something more interesting.
Address: Vale de Estacas
Not so fast food
I don’t like eating in malls, because everything gives me the sensation of industrialization, where centuries of civilization are despised in named of business and quick feeding.
I accept a sandwich in a picnic, a stop in a trip, a meal squeezed in a tight scheduling, or in the absence of an alternative. I don’t like to see dozens (or hundreds) of people, in modern and sometimes pretentious places, eating like savages, licking fingers oiled by french fries, all coming from and returning to a paper basket.
I like to eat in a dish, with a fork and knife, clean fingers, and drinking in glass instead of plastic.
That’s me, an old fashion guy.
A couple of days ago I had to lunch in Santarém, in a mall called “W”, and, amidst the several fast food stalls I tried to choose the “slowest” one.
I choose “Praça” a restaurant with a buffet of normal food.
At the entrance, a placard announced 5.85 € for a full dish (with some weight and quality controls, in the small words).
The food looked good, and I decided to eat a cold entrance (tuna salad) and grilled meat with rice and black beans. Of course, I putted the cold salad in a dish, and the hot buffet in another, both in small quantities. Before me, a big guy, transported a dish full of everything, desperately trying not to spill anything.
The waiter at the register weighed his dish, made his price, and looking at mine, ordered: – You have to put everything in the same dish.
– Of course, I will not. I don’t want a hot salad or a cold grill. Charge me as you please, but I’m not going to follow orders about how to eat.
Normalization didn’t work with me. I paid the regular price, the salad was delicious and refreshing, the grill was tasty, the price was fair, but I didn’t eat dessert because for that I would have to mix the good looking fruit salad with everything else, IN THE SAME DISH.
I made a concession – Plastic to drink the regular wine.
Address: W shopping mall
If you plan to come to Portugal remember this word – “Lagareiro”.
Lagareiro is the professional that smashes the olives to produce olive oil, but it is also a common word in one of the Portuguese cuisine specialties.
As expected, something “à lagareiro” is food swimming in olive oil. No, it is not fat and oily, it is delicious and healthy.
Ninety per cent of the phrases “à lagareiro” follow “bacalhau” (codfish). Th other ten follow “polvo” (octopus).
Why this introduction?
Because in Portugal we say that “There is no rule without exception”, and I found the exception.
In this large, and good looking restaurant by the road, 6 km far from Santarém, and close to the industrial area, I found… “Bife (steak) à lagareiro”. Excellent!
It was made in the common way: Baking a few small potatoes with peel in a bed of salt, at the end, removed the salt, a small punch in each one opens them without smashing. After it they add the grilled bacalhau or polvo (or stake). Everything is generously irrigated with olive oil, covered with thin slices of garlic and coriander, and goes to the oven a few minutes just to eat the oil and mix the flavors.
Rentini reached the perfection: the grilled stake was tender and perfectly grilled. The fabulous balance of thetrilogy “coriander-garlic-olive oil” obliged me to eat… everything, until the last potato. (Yes! I know! I must dance one more hour tonight!)
Could you imagine that, after this, Fernanda’s good fried flounder with “açorda” (See? – there are words and tastes that you can only learn physically present) , wine and coffee, we paid 22 €?
We repeated this restaurant several times, and though the surprise is gone, I still like to eat there.
Favorite Dish: Bife à Lagareiro
Address: EN 114 Casais do Quintão Perofilho