In my previous entry, I wrote about the five-day road trip from Brussels to Portugal. Algarve was our last stop in that very hectic schedule. All I could remember in the 4 days in Algarve was the food experience. THIS was what I call a VACATION. We were very relaxed, we did not site-see and we did not have an exact schedule to do anything but eat. The beauty of being with a local is they know where to buy the good stuff. My Aunt, who we stayed with in Portugal, was an expert on food and drink. We basically just followed whatever she suggested us to eat.
#1. MARUFO 1 in Quarteira, Algarve is a restaurant that serves Piri piri Chicken, Sardines, steak and Whiskey Tartar without the tourist rates. (It was 80 Euros for 5 people) This is where locals go to eat. We had to try what Portugal is famous for, the SARDINIAS. It is incomparable to ones we have in the Philippines that come in bottles. These were gigantic and was cooked only with salt and served with tomatoes, onions, and potatoes. It tasted amazing!
Together with the Sardinias was the “FRANGO” (Portuguese for Chicken) served with fries. Order these two and you’re good to go.
Save the best for last with a Whiskey Tartare (I swear it is THE BEST DESSERT I have ever had in my life! Even people who hate sweets would love this. (You can’t find this anywhere but in Portugal) and a shot of Medronho to top everything. (It’s a Portuguese drink that’s 75% alcohol. One shot can give you a hangover for days!)
#2 GROCERY STORE
Where else can you buy the best of everything? Wine, steak, cheese, bread and fish? The grocery store ofcourse! When traveling, trust me, you will find it too expensive to be eating out all the time. Make the grocery store your best friend! You can find everything you need at a way cheaper price.
Wine anyone? Portugese wine is known to be one of the best in the world. The amount of wine the country makes is only enough for the consumption of the locals. This makes their wine so expensive when you buy them in another country. But when you’re in Portugal, a bottle could be as low as 2 euros. On our second day, we brought home 15 bottles and devoured 5 that night.
Fresh fish at the local grocery called Pingo Doce! You even get the pleasure of mix and matching your food and seeing the chef cook it in front of you. Delish!!
#3. LOCAL FISH MARKET
We went to a local fish market one early morning to get fresh oysters, salmon, and langoustine. The oysters were still alive and kicking when we opened them ; all you need is lemon and eat away! This was hands down the best lunch we’ve had!
On a bright, sunny day, we decided to take a walk on their very famous golden sand beach and might take a dip if we feel like it. We brought with us beer too. BUT! the moment we got there, the wind was crazy cold! and it was impossible to swim in the ice-cold water! so much for our sunny beach day! ugh!! So we decided to go to Maria’s for some drinks and sweets. A very lovely restaurant right on the beach. I enjoyed my tequila sunrise.
Algarve is probably one of the top holiday destinations in all of Europe with its wild party scenes, the untouched golden sand beaches that stretch really wide and the magnificent cliffs that embrace the shores. It is the “Ibiza” of Portugal. Not in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine of reaching this part of the world but I did. We stayed at Valle de Lobo Village in Almancil. It was a 5 minute drive to the beach and a 30 minute drive to Villamoura where the yachts and party scene is.
Nik and I enjoying a wild night at Irish Marina in Villamoura with some Brisitsh on vacation. What a night after our 5 day road trip. Bad idea mixing Medroho, Armaginha, wine, and beer.
Another wild night at a birthday party we went to. I’ve never seen older adults dance this much.The Portuguese sure know how to throw a party!
ahhh the best part, enjoying the golden sand beaches of the Algarve.
(May 24-May 29, 2013)