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When in Porto ...
Sometimes a dip into another world comes at you fast and furious, and you’re buoyed by its thrill for days. Like that time in Portugal.
I was supposed to just run in for sandwiches.
Our kids had both fallen asleep en route to the Museu Serralves, a short drive from downtown Porto. Scott was behind the wheel. He would drop me off in front of this hole-in-the-wall tasca someone had recommended to us—a casual, traditional bar/eatery called Tasca da Badalhoca, known for its ham sandwiches—pull over, and hope the boys didn’t wake up while the car was unmoving (it happens). I’d be back in a flash.
But when I ran in through the heavy wooden doors, my eyes struggling to adjust to the dim interior, I was swallowed into another world. At the back of the boxy, crowded space was the meat and sandwich counter, lorded over by fast-moving, loud-talking staff and, above their heads, suspended legs of dry-cured pork. The front was a dark, hanging-out kind of room, a bar, I suppose, where men in blue jumpsuits and a few women stood around, chatting and eating sandwiches on the thin wooden counter that ran the length of the space. Nearly everyone was drinking glass mugs of pink sparkling wine. It was 11:30 a.m.Read more
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