LAGOS, PORTUGAL, Nov 16, 2012/ — When staying in Lagos, Portugal it is fun to experience local lunch spots with special character. You can travel by car a couple kilometers from the harbor to Casa Chico Ze.
What is surprising about this restaurant is that it is attached to acreage that has a farm-like zoo. After or before having a meal one is free to wander the grounds visiting horses, donkeys, and mules in their stalls, lounging pigs, flirting peacocks, goats, and cuddling sheep. This is a favorite of Irish satirist, Barney of Barna, author of “Barney’s Ballads and Blarney.”
The stone entrance to Casa ChicoZe features an old grind stone. On the left is a display of fresh fish on ice. It is popular and some days there may be a fairly long wait. For those so inclined there is a bar area closer to the parking lot. The massive covered outdoor dining space is truly family-style with enormous tables, and long benches. In this area you may be seated with strangers unless you happen to come with family and or friends of a dozen or so.
Once you make it to the head of the line for seating indoors you can chose to be seated with strangers or wait for a smaller table. The interior of the restaurant is decorated with old farm tools. Lunch comes with a large bowl of lettuce with tomato and onion, to be shared. Upon request you will be served a basket of bread, butter, and sardine pate. If you decide to have fresh grilled fish you must ask to have it prepared without the head if you are squeamish. This restaurant also serves a variety of grilled meats. It is only open for lunch and is closed Sundays.
A restaurant that has an incredible ocean view overlooking steep cliffs is called A BarrigadaRestaurante (Barrigada: bellyful). It has recently been renovated. It has a full menu of seafood, chicken, and grilled meats but if you want their specialties oflamb, fish stew or rabbit it is best to preorder. Across the parking lot there is a private farm with a family of pigs. My friends call this the two seagull restaurant as there is a winged couple that loves to hang out here.
Do Cais Bar and Bistro (Cais: wharf) is one of the many restaurants and bars at Lagos Harbor. It is a nice place to stop for a view of private boats. If you want to have lunch at the ocean shore within walking distance of Lagos Harbor, a comfortablecasual place is Linda the Beach Bar. It is a simple wooden beach shack. It serves a wide variety of food; fish, clam chowder, and even chicken wings. From most tables there is a view of the ocean. It is lovely on a sunny day. One can take a walk down to the water for a stroll. These are a few of the spots in Lagos that have character with a dash of nature.
[MARSHA BENTLEY HALE]
Photos by Marsha Hale