Saturday, 11 July 2015

Atalho - Lisboa, a "Real" meating place."A melhor carne em Lisboa"

Os melhores bifes de Lisboa

If you are a meat maven like myself you will travel far and wide to find good cuts of meat.When dining out I more often than not choose meat for my main course.This obsession with meat began for me back in 1978 while wandering in the bohemian quarter of St Germain in Paris. At Number 9 Rue des Canettes ( a narrow little  back street),by chance we stumbled upon La Mercerie.Here I had one of the most memorable dinners of my life.Each course was exceptional - the flavours and combinations of ingredients were outstanding. This was one of the tiniest restaurants I had ever seen.I can still visualise the cramped rustic dark wooden tables, the exposed stone walls and the smoky haze wafting off the "grillade au charbon de bois", the wood burning cooker.Whether you chose Côte de boeuf pour 2, côte d'agneau,or the entrecôte you were guaranteed a meat feast.Since that day I have built up a collection of carveries,burger bars and brasseries that I would happily return to if perchance they were still open.London provided me with many a meat feast.The original Cafe des Amis du Vin I remember for its sublime assiette de charcuterie. Le Garrick Brasserie, also in Covent Garden, was as close to Parisian dining in London as it was possible to get.In the same street, by coincidence, was the short lived Prospect Bar and Grill, a kind of homage to the uptown American diner.To round up the meat scene in London where I spent the best part of my life. I am going to mention the Quality Chop House on Farringdon Road, just around the corner from Exmouth Market.I have chosen this not only because of its uniqueness and quality but also because it is the link to the main point of this post,which is to sing the praises of my most recent discovery.I am in danger of waffling like AA Gill so I will get right to the point.The Quality Chop House is a dining room which opened in 1869, and has been the Quality Chop House ever since.More recently, and this is the link, they have opened a butchers shop next door.It sells a range of British meats and produce from daily provisions to fresh produce, homemade condiments and pies.The connection is that both these establishments have their own butchers shop. Atalho Real, (The Butchers Shop) in Principe Real, Lisboa also has its own butchers shop.
The Atalho shop is not attached to the restaurant but in the new Mercado de Campo in Campo Ourique where you can not only buy the meat to take home but also have lunch or dinner.
In the same location they have now opened Atalho Burger House, a space dedicated exclusively to hamburgers.
Atalho is most definitely a place for those who appreciate meat. Good meat at an affordable price is not easy to find and here you find both, and friendly service to boot. Having dined at Atalho Real I am now more than ready to sample the experience of Atalho de Mercado.
What I loved about this restaurant was not only the superlative quality of the meat,but their undertaking to make you a custom made burger from a choice of 5 different cuts of meat. They also serve the best ever  Chimi Churri sauce  as a side to all the dishes.We all opted for the "entrecôte maturada" a dry aged rib eye which was particularly amazing.Obviously this restaurant, like any other, will got give away the secret to a recipe, so what they posted on their Facebook page as the ingredients for the Chimi Churri sauce was all I had to go by when I tried to replicate it at home.I think I made a pretty good job on matching the taste but maybe they put in more parsley to achieve a deeper green colour.

Chimi churri sauce inspired by Atalho Real
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
6 pimentos padrão, finely chopped
2 habañero peppers, finely chopped
2 cups salsa (flat leaf parsley), finely chopped
1 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp golder cane sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
Put all the ingredients into a processor and blitz

If you like steaks as much as I do, Atalho Real is my strongly recommended meat destination. Absolutely delicious meat!! And not just that, the prices are really good considering the high quality meat cuts they serve.This is the best and worth every penny.Where else in Lisbon can you find the best Chuleton Galego?
So around the world in eighty plates,whether my choice is onglet, entrecote, chargrilled Chuleton Galego, rare breed rib eye steak served with  peppercorn or béarnaise sauce or just a plain simple burger or Barnsley chop I am always in heffer heaven when there´s meat to be had.



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