“ Address: Largo da liberdade, 1, Burgau, Portugal „
I think most people like to visit a pizzeria when on holiday especially families with children. I know I do, I love pizza. One restaurant I can recommend is Casa Padaria in Burgau. I first came across this restaurant when I worked in Burgau a few years ago. I often finished work and had to wait a long time for a bus to Lagos so often popped in for a pizza.
I have recently been back to this restaurant and am still amazed at how tasty the starters and pizzas are. The décor of the restaurant is very homely in a Mediterranean sort of way with tiled floors, white walls, arches and decorative designs of trailing vine leaves. Lamp shades are in pretty Tiffany designs and there are various paintings hung on the walls adding vibrancy and vivacity to the restaurant. I particularly like the parrot canvas. Casa Padaria is a busy restaurant and one where visitors and locals return to many times.
Before I mention the pizzas, I want to draw your attention to the amazing starters this restaurant has to offer. Generally, I never order a starter before pizza but the selection is so appetising it is difficult to refuse. There are a number to choose from including salmon and cream cheese on toasted bread, decorated with tomatoes, radicchio and a slice of lemon but my favourite has to be the fig special. For a start the figs the cook uses are plump and juicy, blended with smooth goat's cheese and then wrapped in presunto ham; beautiful to look at and absolutely scrumptious to eat.
I like the salads here too as they are so colourful using tomatoes that have been quartered, cucumber, black olives, chopped green pepper, sweet corn and cubes of white, creamy Feta Cheese. Other ingredients can be added to green salads like fresh salmon, prawns, ham, pineapple, walnuts, blue cheese and tuna.
Now, it is pizza time. I usually order a spicy vegetarian pizza but sometimes I like a pepperoni and onion. There are two sizes; regular and large. The regular sized vegetarian pizza is enough food for me especially if I have eaten a starter and has just the right amount of spice in the topping. I do like the taste of cayenne pepper but I don't like it to override the other flavours of the vegetables. Ingredients consist of tomatoes, peppers, onions and chilli. Bases are light, crispy, and easily digestible with a generous portion of ingredients on top including 100% mozzarella cheese. My husband loves cheese as does my son so both like to order three cheeses. My son is a pizza expert, he has certainly eaten enough of them. He always gives his three cheese pizza 10/10 because of the amounts of blue cheese on top of the pizza. Most restaurants seem to dip out on the blue cheese and this annoys him. Other cheeses included on the top of this pizza are 100% mozzarella and Emmental. My son and husband like pizzas at this restaurant because they are not heavy in dough and not salty.
There is a wide range of pizzas on the menu with imaginative names like Atlantic Catch (tuna and sweetcorn), Farmhouse (Ham and Mushroom), and Tropical Fish (tuna and pineapple).
You also have the chance to create your own pizza by adding any other ingredients that are available. Gluten free pizzas can be ordered if you let the owner know 24 hours in advance. There is a £1.60 extra charge for gluten-free pizzas.
If you have any room left after tucking into a starter and pizza then Casa Padaria has a good selection of desserts at reasonable prices. My suggestion is to try the biscuit cake with a dollop of cream and ice cream. Highly calorific but it doesn't matter when you are on holiday. Figs are used in desserts too, presented with delicacy on a white plate, filled with ice cream, drizzled with honey and a swirl of caramel.
There are many wines on offer but really, I think the house wine (red or white) is good enough and comes served in a carafe. It is reasonably priced (£4) and quite delicious as is a glass of port if you want to finish your meal off with cheese and biscuits. It isn't often you come across cheese and biscuits in a restaurant in Portugal unless it is run by English serving English cuisine. I can live off cheese and crackers so am always pleased to tuck in when I am in Burgau. I like the way it is presented with a few grapes for decoration placed at the side of the cheese assortment which includes a slither of blue stilton, a triangle of Brie and a small regional cheese. There is also an individual wrapped carton of butter. When I eat my crackers I am transported to my days of visiting Berni Inns in UK. I always ordered cheese and crackers instead of a dessert way back then. No wonder my sinuses play up.
The atmosphere is one of warmth and friendliness if a bit rowdy in the evenings when the restaurant fills up but it is a jolly, good fun sort of rowdiness. All members of staff are pleasant and always want to please.
Casa Padaria offers a take away service. Prices are very good, £6 for the regular size and £9 for the large pizza. You are looking in the region of £35-40 for 3 people including a starter, a carafe of wine, 2 large pizzas and one regular and a dessert.
You can find Casa Padaria on Rua 25 Abril, opposite the bus stop on the road to the beach. You can't miss this pretty green and white restaurant with flower baskets hanging outside.
Burgau can be reached by car and a bus leaves every hour from Lagos bus station. If I remember correctly, buses do not run late in the evening so if you plan to stay later than 9pm you will need a taxi.
This restaurant doesn't accept credit cards so take your wallet or purse. Opening times are from 5.30pm until 10.00pm
There is a good choice for vegetarians including the starters which change regularly.