(In the coastal town of Olhão in Portugal.)
It’s the same menu, the same simplicity, the same man who welcomes us with: “Non-stop fish!”
Except that the queues are shorter because the tables are more numerous (the prices are a bit higher, but so are prices everywhere these days).
No need for new photos, really. Skeletal remains of fresh generations of fish are – the same. We fill our plates until their rims brim with bones – just as before. The side dish of açorda is as moreish as ever, and the homemade mayonnaise is unmodified.
And yet, five years later, I don’t recall which images I captured back then. So I take some more, so that we won’t forget.
But things are different. There are loved ones we’ve lost, and kids who’ve grown and flown.
Nor can we seem to eat as much as we did back then. We refuse the owner’s renewed offer of “non-stop fish“, and he likens himself to Arnold Schwarzenegger with the promise: “I’ll be back!”
He returns with a wedge of pineapple for us to share (rather than the torta taken by mini-mooners in 2017). It’s good and sweet and disappears, chunk by chunk by chunk.
And so with new memories made, we borrow a phrase and tell the owner that we’ll be back.
Vai e Volte (meaning ‘to come and go‘) is open:
12-3pm & 7-10pm Tues-Sat
(closed on Mondays)
You can find Olhão here.