After exploring the cliffs and beaches of Sagres, we took Memmo’s recommendation and headed to the adorable oceanfront town of Salema for dinner at Água na Boca. A fun part of staying at Memmo Baleeira is the little “Living Sagres” pamphlet they give you when you check in. It has a ton of recommendations about where to go, what to see, and, most importantly, where to eat. All the recommendations we checked out were incredible and, the best part: you get a free little treat at the restaurant if you show them your Memmo pamphlet. During our lunch at A Tasca, we got a free local dessert. The traditional desserts in the areas around Sagres are usually fig-based bits of deliciousness- be sure to try some if you visit the area.
At Água na Boca, thanks to Memmo, we started our dinner off with a nice glass of sparkling rosé. It was a good start to a great meal. The owner of Água na Boca is a really interesting person to chat with and we were lucky enough to talk to him for quite a long time. He knows his wine and knows good food. A good restaurant is reason enough for him to travel to a city, and he has eaten all over the world. He recommended an excellent Portuguese wine for our evening. I think it was 13 euro; he said to buy it now because the price is due to skyrocket in the upcoming years. The focus at Água na Boca is on the quality of the ingredients; everything was simple and clean, so the freshness really shone through. It was our type of food, for sure. We ordered everything off the specials menu. We started with some savory mushrooms with local cheese. For the entree, I got the BBQ Iberian pork ribs. You may roll your eyes at my selection (BBQ in Portugal!), but I stand by it and I thoroughly enjoyed it. TDL went a bit more local, getting the rock bass. It was scrumptious! I am not a fish person; this trip taught me to adore shellfish, and I will try anything, but I just don’t like the texture or taste of fish (mostly it’s the texture). This dish, though, I could have eaten all myself, if TDL didn’t devour it. For dessert, we had some port and a fig flambé dish with homemade ice cream. It tasted like the best fig newtons you have ever had, drenched in local aguardente (fire water, baby!), with a creamy ice cream. Yes please!
Can I do an aside here about how much TDL loves local fire water? I think it all started in Guatemala a couple years ago. We were staying on Lake Atitlán, in an amazing hotel, Vulcano Lodge, in the lovely, tiny, Mayan town of Jaibalito. We decided a nice day trip would be to walk on the lovely mountainside trail overlooking the lake to San Marcos for lunch. Along the way, we were robbed by machete. The guy left me alone, but had the machete at TDL’s throat and wrist. We only lost a watch and about the equivalent of $20 USD (which was a decoy in case of robbery, the rest of our money was in my bra), but needless to say, TDL was really shaken up. The entire town and the owner of the hotel felt horrible, so they took TDL to a local bar (someone’s house, actually) to share the aguardiente. He was incredibly drunk, but I think it eased the PTSD and since then, aguardiente (or however you say it in the language of the country we’re in) has been a comforting way to share some drinks with the locals.
Back to Portugal! Here are our iphone pics from Água na Boca:
If you can’t tell from the photos, Água na Boca has a really nice atmosphere. Most of the tables were tourists, but it felt local and cozy. The kindness and enthusiasm of the owner really shines through and the food really is mouth-watering. I would go back there in an instant!