To start off with some irony, after you have sold all of your precious and well chosen belongings in order to move abroad, one of the first things you will likely need to do upon arrival to your new country is... buy some of those things again.
Yes. It's kind of annoying. Yes. It sort of feels like a waste of time and money. It's just a reality and part of the process for the vast majority of expats and immigrants. So now that we have that out of the way..
It's even more helpful when that same place has a restaurant on site so you can refuel after the exhaustion that will more likely ensue. Let's check out Ikea's restaurant at Mar Shopping in Loulé Portugal!
As you can see, the restaurant seating area is stylish and truly massive and it also extends outside.
Some of the soft drinks available at the self serve beverage area at Ikea restaurant in Loulé Algarve Portugal.
Prices at Ikea's restaurant remain quite affordable from vegetable soup for 0,50€ and full meals for €3-9. Beer and wine are also available as are a variety of desserts, and side salads, fruits etc.
Pernil de Porco (Smoked Pork Knuckle)
Almost every Portuguese person in front of us in line ordered the Pernil de Porco and a wise friend told us before we left to always do what the locals do ;)
I've had a lot of pork in my life and must admit this ranks at the top of the list. Incredibly tender, juicy, and flavorful. Even though we were eating outside, sweltering under the blazing sun in an effort to stay a distance from the crowd... it was worth it. We chose broccoli and mashed potatoes as sides for the meal which was the most expensive at €9 but fed both of us!
Not even a cheesecake person, but the berry cheesecake at Ikea was super yummy.
How To Get A Free Pastel de Nata At Ikea:
At the end of the restaurant line you can buy a pastel de nata and a cafe for 0,50€.
Or you can buy a cafe for ...0,50€.
So why not snag both for the same price?!
As you finish the meal with a cafe and a nata, take a moment to enjoy where you at. Look at the view from the terrace of the Ikea restaurant in Loulé Portugal. A beautiful location, hard to capture in a hasty pano.
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Filed Under: Vilamoura Restaurant Reviews • Algarve Restaurant Reviews • Portugal • Restaurant Review
Mourapão will always hold a special place in our hearts as it's the first place we ate after arriving in Portugal on the D7 visa. After those hectic final weeks waiting for the visa to arrive, selling belongings, hoping nothing important was forgotten, visiting with family, traveling and moving internationally for the first time (& during a pandemic!), handling canceled flights etc.... to finally arrive in Vilamoura was surreal. Nothing felt more simultaneously comforting and rewarding than the prospect of a pizza and a pastel de nata at the same time.
Located in Vilamoura near the Marina, Mourapão is a short walk from the secret apartment.
With indoor and outdoor seating available as well as an extensive menu, mourapão can cater to just about any guest.
Bonus, it's open until at least 10pm!
Here's what we have tried:
Tigelada is a traditional Portuguese dessert made with eggs, milk, and sugar. Typically baked in a wood fired oven inside a Portuguese ceramic bowl, this sweet dessert is all about the texture as shown in the photo above.
Pastel de Nata
Pastel de Nata is easily the most popular pastry you must try in Portugal with its flakey crust, pudding like custard filling and optional cinnamon topping. Remember when we made Pasteis de nata at home?
For an optimal experience, be sure to dine in at Mourapao and enjoy classic pizza made with fresh ingredients.
(Although you can get take out or pizza delivery in Vilamoura through apps like Glovo fyi) Take a look at that pizza slice - the cheese pull, the browning, the sheen... If this pizza is for you, you will know it. ;)
Discover more Pizza in Portugal here
Best Places To Stay in Vilamoura, Algarve Portugal
Algarve Restaurant Reviews
Last week we decided to try a new-to-us restaurant - Lemoona House. Currently opened 11am-9pm everyday except Tuesday, you can order take out or dine to enjoy "homestyle mediterranean" at Lemoona House. You can also have delivery via door dash ($30 off) or Uber Eats ($15 0ff). Hopefully grubhub will be an option sometime too. Thanks to our favorite credit card, we have free dash pass membership and an annual credit on door dash orders, yay! So we went the Door Dash route. Here's what we tried:
Greek Pizza - $9.75
Feta and mozzarella cheese, sumac marinated onions, gyro or chicken (we chose gyro), fresh tomato and tzaziki on the side.
The Greek Pizza was basically room temp by the time we got it (delivery woes), but was a promising thin crusted pizza.
Dolma - $3.99
Tender grapevine leaves stuffed with rice, onions, herbs, and Turkish spices. Rolled tightly and gently cooked with olive oil and lemon juice. (5 per order)
The dolmas were a good value and tasted good, but I actually prefer the herbs in these ones from a recent misfits or imperfect box, can't remember which at the moment.
Profitorole - $1.99
Cream puffs drenched in a dark chocolate sauce and sprinkled with sweet coconut flakes
These were exactly what I expected them to be and a really affordable price for a sharable, light dessert!
Baklawa - $1.50
Baklawa (aka baklava). Unfortunately these did not show up in our order, which was a bummer. And FYI, you only have 24 hours to report any issue with a door dash order, so don't procrastinate! :)
Lemoona Mix Platter - $15.99
Gyro meat, kibbeh, kofta kebab, chicken shawarma with rice, hummus, taziki sauce and Mediterranean salad, served with pita.
We opted for the Lemoona Mix Platter so we could try a variety from the restaurant at one time. The Gyro meat is excellent in flavor and may just be the way to go! I don't think there was any kibbeh on the platter, the chicken was a bit on the dry side and the mediterranean salad was very simple with a light dressing that was good, but nothing to write home about. Pita and taziki were good and the hummus was excellent.
I'd repeat eat at Lemoona House. This delivery order was definitely not perfect, but I feel pretty confident that an in-person experience would be significantly better. As far as their to-go orders are concerned, I'd love to see a switch away from styrofoam containers...
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Lemoona House Restaurant:
701 Philadelphia Street Indiana, PA 15701
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