It will not have escaped the attention of keen travellers that the Azores is now Green, as far as the UK is concerned, so that means that more people can come not only to enjoy the fabulous food here but also to enjoy the spectacular scenery and sea life.
Incidentally, the island of Terçeira played a tremendously important part in WWII, as Salazar, in charge of Neutral Portugal, citing the Anglo Portuguese Alliance of 1373, graciously permitted the Allies to eventually build an Air and Naval Base there, thereby achieving victory in the Battle of the Atlantic.
It also, as with many volcanic areas, is situated on ‘Ley Lines’, which are strong forces of energy, known to impart great good will! So that meant that I was even in more of a good mood to enjoy the fantastic food here.
EN3 – 1A, Angra do Heroismo
966 431 126
This is a temple to meat and wine. The delightful Roberto proudly showed me his Acacia fed Ovens in which pre-ordered whole Kid and suckling pig were roasting. I ordered baby back ribs which were delicious. The vegetables were particularly good as no pesticides are used in the Islands.
Racks and Racks of wine adorn this place and Roberto cheerfully chooses for you based on your budget and taste. I had a bottle of Herdade Grande, which Roberto decanted and which was a bargain at under €20.
Plenty of good desserts too. You need to book and maybe order kid in advance too.
Next morning fish is needed at:
Largo Santo António, 1
Porto Judeu, 9700-368
295 905 182
This restaurant is named after the famous fish which frequents these parts as it has a Black Mark inside its mouth.
You come here for the famous ‘Alcatra de Peixe’ – fish stew. But first I had an amuse bouche of broad beans and delicious Flores (the prettiest of the 9 Azorean Islands) cheese. The wine was Frei Gigante, grown using the Verdelho grape, amongst the lava of Pico, a neigbouring island.
The Alcatra is an earthenware pot, which has ham fat rubbed on its base, before adding chicken stock, and the fish of Conger Eel, Lírio and Boca Negra. You need to order the version with bones, ‘com espinhas’, as this has more flavour. It is cooked for 90 minutes. When served, you place the warm Azorean bread to one side of the bowl and gently place the soup on top. The fish is carefully placed on the other side of the plate.
Then you devour!
As an encore please head to:
Canada do Porto 46
São Mateus da Calheta
+351 295 642 392
Another must book place, this is really the shellfish HQ of Terçeira.
I ordered Cracas, which are barnacles, as opposed to goose barnacles and Cavacos, which are like Slipper Lobster, with a sublime egg vinaigrette sauce which had a little bit of the water in which the lobster was cooked, within.
Many, many more choices here and for me this particular place ranked in my Global Top Ten Fish Restaurants of all time!
Areinha Velha 9
292 701 542
This was a major find. Genuíno is the only Portuguese Yachtsman to have circumnavigated the world twice, solo and once the wrong way!
The Restaurant is charmingly decorated with many of his boating memorabilia and the food is delicious. As always in this kind of places, I don’t look at the menu I just ask the boss! So Swordfish it was as it was the time of year for them. Delicious. Lots of other options too. Perhaps best of all was the chat with Genuíno himself, a great admirer of Sir Francis Chichester and other circumnavigators!
Book for window upstairs as you will look out to sea.
R. da Praia dos Santos 61
296 636 495
What a fantastic restaurant. Said to be the finest fish restaurant in São Miguel, I had rock fish, and fabulous local cheese with Ananas chutney, with some great local beer in a tankard. I loved the whole experience.
Rua Largo Teatro
296 584 290
Situated in the far eastern part of the island. Furnas is even more volcanic than the rest of the island. Great cauldrons of meat stew are naturally cooked with vegetables and natural juices in volcanic steam overnight. You can then inspect the withdrawal and then devour. A fantastic experience. For dessert have the local pineapple, called Ananas rather than Abacaxí. It the Venezuelan variety and is mind-bendingly wonderful! Must book.