Domingo Gordo (Fat Sunday), AKA Feijoada Day

feijoada @ Mother-In-Law Restaurante for Domingo Gordo

The Prato do Dia at Mother-in-Law Restaurante was not a surprise today: feijoada (bean stew). As is expected on Domingo Gordo, the Fat Sunday before Fat Tuesday, which I like to call Feijoada Day. This is one of my favourite meals at Mother-in-Law Restaurante, highly anticipated and seldom made. THIS is the dish I wish would edge out bacalhau at Christmas!

feijoada @ Mother-In-Law Restaurante for Domingo Gordo

feijoada @ Mother-In-Law Restaurante for Domingo Gordo

February 7, 2016
Album: Portugal [Winter 2015/2016]

Armazéns Cunhas, Art Deco In Porto

Armazéns Cunhas, Porto

I’ve always had an interest in architecture, but until I moved to Portugal it was mostly latent except when I was travelling. I photographed buildings often in Toronto but they didn’t span many eras — most were new. (To give you an idea, this is a list of buildings in Greater Toronto older than 1850; there are only 116. I did, however, shoot a wedding at the second-oldest building, The Old Mill.)

Armazéns Cunhas is my favourite of the Art Deco-style buildings in Porto thus far — there’s something about peacocks that draw me in. Architect Manuel Marques (1890-1956) and his associates Amoroso Lopes and Coelho Freitas worked together to combine three 19th century buildings into a single Art Deco façade in Praça de Gomes Teixeira. Armazéns means ‘warehouses’ and Armazéns Cunhas was originally known for its wedding and christening outfits, founded by Tito Cunha in 1960. (I’m still researching to find out how the building was used before 1960.) Today it’s a department store.

Some other notable Art Deco-style buildings in Porto are the Coliseu, Serralves, and Garagem Passos Manuel. I’ll be on the lookout for more Art Deco buildings to photograph to write a follow-up to this post. I’m also putting together a post of my favourite Art Nouveau-style buildings in Porto.

February 3, 2016
Album: Portugal [Winter 2015/2016]

Progresso, Porto’s Oldest Café

Café Progresso, Porto's oldest café (est. 1899)

If you are a coffee lover, you might find yourself stopping every fifty paces (or less) for a café in some parts of Porto. If you asked me how many cafés there are around the city, I couldn’t begin to guess a number. However, I can tell you which one is the oldest: Café Progresso opened in 1899, which makes it 117 years old this year, even older than the bookstore Livraria Lello & Irmão around the corner which just celebrated its 110th birthday. You know you’re living in the right place where merchants of coffee and literature have such longevity.

http://www.cafeprogresso.net/
Café Progresso on Facebook

While Café Progresso is the oldest café in town, don’t go with expectations of uniformed waiters, antique furniture, and Belle Epoque mirrors à la Majestic or Guarany. Progresso renovated extensively in 2005, and it’s modern and casual. Their specialties, I’m told, are Café de Saco (filtered coffee) and crêpes. In a city dominated by espresso machines, I was surprised to hear that anyone served filtered coffee. I’ve not tried the crêpes yet but I did try the café de saco and I think I still prefer the regular espresso-style that’s served (I take it with milk, a meia de leite, and no sugar). I’ll order both styles next time and do a taste comparison, but my theory is that since I drink filtered coffee at home I prefer the stronger stuff when I’m out.

The other feature that Progresso is known for is their event space upstairs, which is booked for poetry readings and live music and such. I’ll file away this space for future reference in case I need to organize something, as Progresso is in a prime location near Clérigos Tower (and my bus stop). If the walls could talk, I’m sure they would tell some stories from the past 117 years.

Café Progresso, Porto's oldest café (est. 1899)

February 3, 2016
Album: Portugal [Winter 2015/2016]