More Eating at Praia Fest

With Praia Fest only once a year for 10 days, it is necessary to enjoy it while you can.  Ryan was going out of town again and would miss some of Praia Fest, but we made sure to fit in one last lunch together there before he left.

This time we tried Estelas, which is from the Oeste region along the coast, and this place is in a region right on a peninsula that is not far from a small Portuguese island right off the coast.  I know I have had before that we are off the coast, but we are further than just off the coast.  This island is literally off the coast.  So it is no surprise that this is a seafood restaurant.
We started with olives.  These were not coated in garlic, but still very good.
We had some bread too.  I think some of this was the cornbread.
Since we both eat seafood, we split 2 dishes.  The first was monkfish prepared island style (Berlenga Islands, which are just off the coast of this region in Portugal).  We have been told monkfish is ugly if you actually see it, but when prepared, tastes very good.
That was very true.  It was very good.  There were some areas that seemed fatty and we picked those out, but otherwise this was really good.
The second dish was seafood risotto.  There were some shrimp here which I ate because Ryan is not a shrimp fan, and then we both had some of the fish.  I think they called it stone bass.
Ryan was headed to the airport after this, so we decided to go all out and get dessert too since it was his last time to enjoy Praia Fest.  I had the orange roll cake.
Ryan had the rice pudding.  I actually think they called it ancient rice pudding or rice pudding in the ancient style.
Now, if you think I was going to stay home and not go to Praia Fest just because Ryan was out of town, you are so very wrong.  I went two more days to enjoy the foods.

The day after Ryan left, I stopped in for a late lunch to enjoy a cheese plate.  I saw it on the menu and I knew I wanted to try it.
I didn't want just cheese, so I ordered some bread to go with this.
This cheese platter included a sampling from all over the region of Alentejo.  This is a large region towards the south of Portugal.  The only part further south is the entire southern coast, known as the Algarve region.
Mmm, this was really good.  I was glad I planned around this day and not only went to the gym first, but picked up some extra produce to eat earlier in the day because I knew this late lunch was going to be all cheese.  It was totally worth it.
Oh, and Mer, stop drooling!  I was thinking of you and wishing you were here.  And Biz too.

Afterwards, I checked out the sweets area.  I did look at O Forno again, but I can go there any time because it is on the island, so I thought I would try another vendor.  I am really glad I did because this little mini apple pie was heavenly.
Tonight, I decided to go back again, but this time for a quiet sit down dinner.  I went to O Flor, which we actually ate at last year during Praia Fest.  This restaurant comes from the Serra da Estrela region where the highest point of Portugal is located.
I started off with bread.  I was glad to see a new kind here.  It tasted almost the same as the white bread, but it was just a little darker.
Next, I enjoyed a plate of cheese.  Initially they brought out cheese and ham, but I was lucky and the server spoke English, so I was able to request a new platter with just cheese. 
 It was super soft and actually spreadable.
I made sure to sit myself so I was looking out into the marina area and could see all of the boats.  Since it was so relaxing, I decided to order myself a beer and just relax for a little bit.
Next came my entree.  Ordered the Bacalhau O Flor.  Bacalhau is the Portuguese word for cod, which is almost always salted.  I loved the presentation and I was excited that these were homemade and fresh made potato chips.
There were onions on top and a nice sauce.  The potatoes were really good, but I will admit that some were really salty.
I had no intention to stay for dessert, but the server let me know that they have excellent creme brulee.  Obviously it did not take much to sell me on that one.  I ordered it, and it was really good, so I am glad that I tried this. 
Well, there you have it, more days of eating at Praia Fest.  Praia Fest ends tomorrow, and I do not plan to go back again, but you never know.  I am happy ending the experience on a high note with dinner from tonight because it was an excellent meal.  I am truly happy to have had the chance to experience Praia Fest because it is amazing and so few people know about this outside of the islands and people who originally came from this island.

QUESTIONS:  Have you ever planned the rest of your meals around a special occasion splurge?  Do you like creme brulee?  Do you ever go out to dinner by yourself?


Astra Libris said...

Ohhhh, I'm swooning over the gorgeous creme brulee! Since Zach is out of town so much, I've learned to quite enjoy going out to dinner by myself. It's very relaxing! Your dinner sounded like a beautiful experience...

I didn't know Ryan is AF also! SO awesome! Zach is too, and it's so nice to know you understand all the traveling stuff! :-) I'm still getting used to it... :-) Thanks for your words of encouragement! They really help, and mean a lot to me...

Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

The cheese looks soooo good! I'm so jealous!!!! :) And yes, I do try to "even things out" when I know I'll splurge a bit later on... I can never say no to cheese... :)

Anonymous said...

That cheese Melinda!!! Yikes - heaven on a plate. It's funny, because when both Hannah and I ordered the cheese, I thought of you! :D

Simply Life said...

oh my gosh, those meals look amazing!

Special K said...

Salty cheese and sweety fruit...on top of bread. That is what "food porn" label was made for. In Paris this weekend felt like "cheese town." Goat, sheep and word. My belly hurts right now.
Okay! Let's plan three days somewhere...would you be interested in Istanbul?

Nicole, RD said...

I see you're updating both blogs!! Good for you! I'll try to keep up :)

I LOVE creme brule (what's NOT to love?!)!!

And that meal of cheese...sigh. That's my paradise right there!

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