Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cantinho Dos Amigos

Cantinho is one of the restaurants that we eat lunch at most often during our stay in Portugal. I love the atmosphere and food at this place. Eating here gives you a really authentic Portuguese experience. The chef comes out to greet us, since Mãe is a familiar face at this restaurant.
The decor of this place is unique. The walls are covered in plates, saucers, and cups.Sardinhas or grilled fresh sardines are probably one of the most popular menu items in Portugal. Like cheeseburgers in America, sardinhas are the snack, lunch, and dinner food for everyone and anyone at anytime.
We are lucky because Cascais is so close to the Atlantic Ocean and Portuguese fishermen bring in the fresh catch everyday. Fresh sardines are very different from the canned version and don't have that strong fishy taste. The only downside to eating sardinhas is the difficulty of picking out the tiny bones with your knife and fork.
Although Sardinhas is the favorite of most people, I prefer Carapau (mackerel). The meat is fluffier and it's bigger than Sardinhas so it's easier to eat.Portuguese people seem to put oil and vinegar on pretty much everything... their fish, salads, veggies, bread, pretty much everything but dessert.Speaking of dessert... the dessert variety here is great. Today we had bolo de bolacha, a layered cake with crumbled biscuits. mmm...One thing that I love and hate about Portugal is the loooong time spent in restaurants. We LITERALLY spend on avgerage a total of 6 hours a day in restaurants. Thats like a full time job! Lunch is 2-3 hours and dinner is 3-4 hours. The food takes a while to come out and everyone has wine, appetizers, main course, dessert, and coffee at every meal. Lots of time is spent conversing at the table enjoying the food and the company of your family and friends. This gives hubby, sis & I plenty of time to play tic-tac-toe and draw on the paper table cloths.

Rua de Alvide, 560
Fontainhas 2750
Alcabideche Concelho
Cascais, Portugal
Tel: 21 4866428


meesh said...

yum! i love sardines too! if the little bones get caught in your throat they say just drink a spoonful of vinegar to help it dissolve (not sure if that is true).

VeggieGirl said...

I'm loving all these restaurant reviews that you're doing, while on vacation - so fun!

Peter M said...

Lina, I've been following your vacation...looks wonderful.

Next time you're eating sardines...eat them with your hands, much easier.

fumipuriri said...

mmm the iwashi's and aji's look sooo yummy!!

rowena said...

Wow Lina, you are just whetting my appetite for Portugal's cuisine. I LOVE sardines, and ha! am pretty much accustomed to the lengthy eating style since Italy is the same.

A request! Perhaps your mom-in-law or hubby knows of a place where they serve a really good Clams Cataplana? I've always wanted to see a blogger write about and review a place and share loads of pics. That is one dish that I wasn't able to taste last year.

That Girl said...

You sound like my boss who tried to convince me to try yellow tail because "it doesn't taste fishy." You people who like fish have no business determining what tastes fishy ;-)

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