Ok, so once again I am confronted with a sea creature that I have feared most of my life: the razor clam! I first came across one when I was about nine years old,one breezy summer afternoon, while searching for small clams on the island of Tavira. The sight of a long and narrow shell from which peeked a slimy long mollusc was almost traumatizing! So, later in life, whenever someone mentioned the ever so popular razor clam, I’d cringe with disgust.
But now, I am all grown up and willing to face it in its most delicious state: arroz de lingueirão, razor clam rice. A brothy stew made with tomatoes, onions, garlic, white wine, clove and lots of fresh coriander. I am humbled to admit that it’s one of the most delicious meals I’ve every had. Of course, these sweet and tender razor clams were diced and not served whole so, that visibly, I believe, makes a great difference.
I was recommended Casa Velha and became weary at first because, right outside, I saw a menu in English. For a moment, I’d forgotten that this is the Algarve and there is a huge foreign population that come here all year round so, I mustn’t judge.
It turned out to be a genuinely good place to eat and if everything else is cooked as well as this rice dish, this place is phenomenal. I’ve heard they serve great fish and many other seafood stews as well. Perhaps that’s why it’s always packed and tables are really hard to come by and although at lunch time you most likely won’t have a problem finding one, it’s highly recommended that you make reservations for dinner. This is definitely no tourist trap!
Rua de Cacela Velha
Vila Nova de Cacela
Tel: 281 952 297