Monday, September 6, 2021

Bacalhau Score

If you're new here, you'd be smart to question how I, a stranger blasting through quickly, could claim to have found some of the best possible bites in lots of different places. You might be satisfied by my explanation that I'm a professional with a preternaturally good nose, 40 years of experience, and a reputation for making killer finds. If that's not persuasive, I understand. I, too, wrestle with the presumptuousness and hubris of it all.

I arrived at Galeria Restaurante in Almada, Portugal at 2:59pm, a mortal sin in Southern Europe. It was out of the way and generic-looking, but I’d sniffed out a single obscure lonely tip online and deemed it legit. "Are you still serving?" I asked the peevish waitress, who glanced at her watch and looked up at me like the culmination of every terrible thing that had ever happened to her. But I was seated and handed an enormous menu, which I ignored.

I told her that I knew the restaurant is a little bit famous (completely redeeming my earlier transgression) for certain dishes, and I wanted one of those. She began listing some, starting with "bacalhau com broa", a homey old-fashioned dish, seldom seen in restaurants, of codfish topped with crunchy buttery garlicky toasted crumbs of heavy cornbread. Yes! Stop listing now! I want that!

The following work of art was produced in like seven minutes:

If you don't mind a brief cry, go ahead and blow up the photo.

Extra detail (you’re welcome):

Spud shot!

I returned for dinner (maybe the fourth doublehitter in my lifetime) with friends, and we ordered a bunch of stuff without asking for recommendations, and it was merely good. I think every element of the above story was necessary for my lunch success.

1 comment:

George Reis said...

I hate to gush, but I have the sensation of having waited my entire adult life for this post.

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