I do not like writing bad reviews and I think that my previous ones reflect this. However sometimes it is necessary. What makes it worse is when someone on TA has taken the time and trouble to recommend one of their favourites!
We had not had the time to book Dom Pedro and so were on the doorstep when they opened at 19:00. We thought we were lucky to obtain the last unreserved table.
We were quickly seated in the lovely, very traditional dining area, menus brought and drinks order taken. As we had stopped for a glass each of Porto Seco on the way to the restaurant, we ordered a carafe of house red. This turned out to be excellent. Nice and fruity and not overly dry.
Jean did not want a starter and satisfied her hunger with the bread, butter and small pots of sardine pâté. The bread was the one with lots of holes. Now we had eaten this for breakfast in the hotel so had a basis for comparison. The hotel bread was soft and fresh. The bread at Dom Pedro was not so fresh, being slightly dry. However it was edible so we did not say anything. I ordered the clams in garlic butter. This turned out to be a large bowl containing a generous portion of clams swimming in a sea of garlic butter. They were lovely, tender and juicy. I made use of the dry bread to sop up as much of the butter as possible.
For our main course Jean ordered the cubes of pork with clams and she asked for rice rather than chips. I ordered the pork ribs.
These came in good time. However, there was no rice on Jeans plate but a dish of chips on the side. The rice and more chips were on my plate. When I told her I would get it changed she said not to bother as she loves good chips anyway!
It turned out however that these were not good chips, they were frozen. A particular hate of mine!
Worse was to come. Whilst my ribs, four in number, were tasty they were rather salty. They were also a bit tough. Still I have my own teeth and quite like salt so said nothing and managed to eat most of them.
Jean's dish was another matter. There were seven or eight clam shells mixed in with a generous portion of pork cubes. The first problem was they were just that; shells. No mater how she tried she found only one clam. The pork cubes were another matter. They were so tough as to be uneatable! She cut a couple into tiny morsels but was still unable to chew them. She gave me one and I had to agree. We told the waiter (proprietor?) and to be fair, he did offer to have the dish cooked again but we declined. If a dish cannot be properly prepared the first time it is unlikely to be any better the second!
We decided to move elsewhere for coffee and cake and so asked for the bill.
I was a little surprised when the waiter said that following restaurant policy we had only been charged 1/2 for the offending dish. This is a policy they need to review and change! On the rare occasion that we have been totally unable to eat a dish we have not been charged for it at all! I have never before been charged 1/2 price for a dish that could not be eaten!
I am sorry to be so negative about this restaurant as I am sure this was just a temporary aboration and that on another night all would have been wonderful. But what really irked me was being charged 1/2 price for a meat that, if the chef had been on the ball, should never have reached the table in the first place.
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