My neighbour informed me about one minute before we arrived that we would be having lunch at one of the most traditional Portuguese restaurants in Porto, we being a group of 14 people. You would think 14 people would be able to handle a lot of food, but as I will show you, even the hungriest person at the table cannot keep up with Portuguese servings — especially not at A Cozinha do Manel.
See that pot above? It’s filled with tripas (tripe) for two people, presumably two Sumo wrestlers. Not the rest of us. I, for one, could make an entire meal out of the appetizers. The bread and cheese were not standard-issue; they were completely addictive. I’ve consumed my weight in cheese in Portugal, and this one was a standout. I’d only been eating for five minutes and already I started making plans to return another day for the cheese and bread.
I’m a big fan of Pádron peppers and always put in an order when they appear on a Portuguese menu, but for the first time in my dining experience, the peppers played second fiddle.
The liver was also very good, and something of a surprise to see on the menu as an appetizer.
The rest of the dishes I shot from afar:
What surprised me the most about my tripas is that it tasted lighter than it looked. It was still a gigantic amount of food by volume, but the tripe was extremely tender.
This meal was full of surprises. I’ve been telling everyone about their rabanadas because the dish had figs and pine nuts. Something even more unusual: it was far less sweet than is typical for rabanadas.
The decor at A Cozinha do Manel also gets a mention, because it’s as traditional as you’ll find in Portugal. And you cannot miss the framed photos of Portugal’s famous figures, from politics to sports to entertainment, as they cover the entire length of the long wall from the door to the back dining room. The restaurant opened in 1989, and at this rate they may well run out of wall space soon.
I’ll be back for more “research” as I attempt to figure out where their cheese comes from and further examine their rabanadas, which I will try to replicate at Christmas. In the meantime, their info:
Rua do Heroísmo, 215
Reservations: Zé António 919 787 598
April 18, 2018
Album: Portugal [Spring 2018]
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This post first appeared on Gail At Large | A Canadian In Portugal, Travelling The World, please read the originial post: here