As we were studying the gulls at the marina in Vila Nova de Gaia, I suddenly became distracted by the scent of something delicious on the breeze. It was charcoal and fish, and my stomach began to nag me. While Pedro furiously photographed a gull that intrigued him, I began to search the sky above the nearby houses for any trace of smoke. I tried dropping some subtle hints about lunch, but the gull was far too interesting, and all Pedro gave me was an unenthusiastic "mm-hmm".
The idea of barbecued seafood got stuck in my brain, and eventually I declared it was time to eat. The scent had now found its way to Pedro's nose, and off we went in search of its origin.
Though I have a keen sense of smell, it was the smoke that brought us to an unassuming street corner tavern with a grill on the sidewalk and a line of people waiting to get in. With a nod of acknowledgement from a waiter who flew in and out of the building with plates and chilled bottles of wine, we took our place with the other hopefuls, leaning against a pole on the opposite side of the street. It was not long before a table for two opened up inside, and we were crammed in between a jovial group of thirty-somethings and a couple of intimidated Spaniards.
Would we like a salad? Of course. And some wine? Yes please. Yes to the cuttlefish, and yes to the skewers of assorted seafood.
I toyed with the idea of posting an unflattering photo from a series that Pedro took of my happy grin all coated in cuttlefish ink, but I will spare you the horror. It is pretty awesome though, and needless to say, the meal was incredible.
And we weren't done! There was dessert, coffee, and a mysterious xiripiti that the waiter was gleefully pouring into tiny glasses from a three legged can with a spout...
We joyfully swaggered out of the tasca, leaving behind a speedy portrait of the girl at the register, and Pedro's cartoon drawing of me with ink-stained teeth (which you can see in the above photo of the cake). The light was changing, and there were more birds to see.