Alvor Portugal, Trip Report, Day Two, Part Two (Adega d’Alvor)

February6

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Later that same day we found a bar to sit in the sun by the harbour, sip Surper Bock and wait for the sun to set.

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We invited our new Kingston friends to join us and had a lovely visit. At that time, the girls told us about another dish that they had sampled. We were intrigued by their description of cataplana and so we did some research on it. We discovered that there were a number of versions sold in restaurants including our own hotel, where clams, potatoes and beef appeared on the buffet our first night. We learned that likely the best cataplana in Alvor was served at Adega d’Alvor so from the harbour we walked uphill to dine there.

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It had been chilly by the water after the sun had set so it was lovely to warm up by their fireplace. Once again, the restaurant was virtually empty and we were invited to sit next to the fireplace. I guess visitors to Alvor must dine later in the evening. We tried to keep as close a schedule as we could, to that of home. I adapted very quickly and slept quite well. D would stay up half the night watching videos as it wasn’t his bedtime back home in the centre of Canada. Our sever explained that the area that we were seated in was entirely opened up in the summer time. We imagined it to be a lovely spot but in the mean time we were happy for the fire and the promise of cataplana.

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Our server poured us each a glass of sparkling wine while we settled in. We were asked if we would like to have bread and olives and all of this arrived at our table.

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We tucked into these beauties; removing the head and peeling away the outer shell. They were delicious. The research we did on cataplana indicated that it was both the name of the special pan that the casserole cooked in and the name of the dish itself. So you served cataplana in a cataplana pan.

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These are the pans. They look like a shallow wok but they have a hinged lid attached to them. This creates a tight seal for the food to steam in natural juices.

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Above was our dinner for two at Adega d’Alvor. I made shrimp and mussel cataplana for D’s birthday dinner when we arrived back in Winnipeg. Even though I didn’t have the same pan, I used a heavy dutch oven with a tight lid and the results were delicious. When we arrived “home” we shared some wine and watched the Youtube highlights of the Golden Globes which had occurred the night before. We were as content as two peas in a pod.

Kath’s quote:  “There has never been a shrimp that I’ve eaten that I haven’t been like, ‘I am so lucky that I get to eat this.’ I would eat a shrimp enchilada, shrimp burrito, shrimp cocktail, fried shrimp, shrimp po boy, shrimp gumbo”. -Isabel Gillies

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Love never fails.

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