The best sardines you can imagine when you eat them in Portugal.
Portimão, a city in the Algarve, is famous for the quality of its sardines. Our favorite place to enjoy the silver of the sea is Taberna da Maré (tavern of the tides), which opened in 1946. The current owner, Zeca Pinhota, restored the restaurant with great sensitivity and care, using the original floor mosaic, vintage furniture, and photos by Julio Bernardo, a photographer born in nearby Ferragudo 103 years ago.
The food is wonderful. When they are in season, between June and September, the sardines are the main event. But there are a lot of other delicacies. We had a feast composed of razor-clam rice, fried fish with “açorda,” clams Bulhão Pato, and grilled fish eggs.
We told Zeca that his clams are amazing. “That’s because they come from the sea to the restaurant. They do not spend time in tanks, shedding weight and flavor.” Zeca explained. “I call the local fisherman first…
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