As Anthony Bourdain so well put it in one of his first visits to our country: “Portugal is the place where you end up a three or four hour lunch deciding what we’ll have for dinner!” If you think about it, most of your day is spent eating and sleeping and, although a necessity some might go without, if done appropriately, can be a very pleasurable activity.
Boa cama, Boa mesa
I still remember the days when my dad would collect it with the weekly newspaper and keep it religiously on his car. We would mostly use it to find gastronomical experiences all around Portugal, but it always focused on the two most important experiences that can make or break your holiday: restaurants and hotels.
The title of this book, turned online platform, turned app, literally means “good bed, good table”. And that’s what it delivers.
The price ranges vary immensely: you can both find a small local restaurant with a couple of tables where you get a wonderful meal “on the buck”, or the exquisite gastronomical experience in some prize winning restaurant.
How to use it?
The online platform can be found here. But there is no English version nor is it Google translate friendly. Lucky you, it all comes down to this little box:
Yes, you guessed it, “Restaurantes” translates “Restaurants”, “Hotéis” to “Hotels” and “Cinema”, well, “Cinema”. The difficult part is the drop-down lists where you can select the basic search parameters.
Restaurants and Hotels share the same 1st and 3rd options: District/Region of your destination; Price range you’re aiming at.
The second option lets you choose the type of cuisine for restaurants and the nothing much of accommodation types for hotels.
For the district of your destination, refer to our article on “Portugal, the country and its regions”.
As for the cuisine types, if you are not trying to find a specific international cuisine you know you like or want to try without going to it’s origins, focus on these:
Autor – author, i.e., savouring experiences with Michelin starred chefs (or soon to be!)
Contemporânea – contemporary, somewhere in between author cuisine and the stuff you’d get at your mom’s house
Regional – regional, meaning you’ll find the dishes that are typical of the Region you are visiting
Tradicional Portuguesa – traditional Portuguese cuisine, not necessarily from the region you are visiting, but likely a good experience
Temporary (?) workaround
Although their content is great, both the online platform and app are constantly crashing or returning errors. It seems that they are too relaxed eating and sleeping well to have a chance to work on that. Still, it’s worth to go around those problems and use Google to search the website for good recommendations on your destination. This is how I do it:
For those who are not aware of these triggers,”site:” restricts the results to that web address and the quotes around the city name, make sure that this string of characters appears on the page in that exact order. Be sure to write it down correctly.