They (they, being the internets) refer to Aveiro as the Portuguese Venice due to its city canals and its moliceiros (similar to the Gondolas, but motorised). I’ve never been to Venice, nor do I have the desire to because I probably couldn’t afford to breathe there, but I think this comparison is probably a bit of a stretch. I (being an Aussie tourist) refer to Aveiro as one of the best smelling places I’ve ever been to. The smell of fish, Portuguese BBQ’s and bakery goods constantly sail around the small city and my nose could have died happy if noses could in fact die independent from the body they were attached to, which would be very weird.
We went to Restaurante O Mercantel the first night, after a tiring walk to our hostel made about 2km further due to a cruel joke on behalf of Google Maps. So we were in need of a bottle of red, stat. Then they put cheeses, bread and olives on our table.
When in Portugal, when the waiter places bread/cheeses/olives/fried fish/oysters/a cat, or whatever have you, THESE THINGS ARE NOT FREE. And you will be charged for them, and depending on how much you eat. It’s kind of cruel really, because as if I’m not going to eat that bowl of olives in front of me. And twice at other restaurants, we didn’t even eat the bread and it was added to the bill and we had to tell them to take it off and it was a really stressful time.
What I don’t understand is, sometimes if you eat half the oysters/cat/olives etc. they only charge you half. So what do they do with the rest of it after it has been sitting in the sun for 45 minutes? Either it goes to waste, get’s reused or the staff eat the rest. I’m hoping option number 3.
Long story short, the fish at Restaurante O Mercantel was so fucking good, I recommend the flounder which came with some sort of stewy rice sauce. All the waiters seemed pretty drunk, which also made the evening delightfully fun(ny).