Sao Miguel to be specific. Ya know the Portuguese Archipelego.. Or officially the Autonomous Region of the Azores!
Anyhow, let me not get off track.
This is about food and one restaurant to be exact: Rotas da Ilha Verde - which is not only is it the #1 Restaurant in Ponta Delgada (according to Trip Advisor at the time of my visit) but it is the ONLY vegetarian restaurant on any of the islands. SCORE!
If you know me by now, I get bored pretty easily -
it doesn't matter what we're talking about, if I have the same routine/food/whatever over and over again I just get bored.
And I need a break...otherwise I may never enjoy that thing/place/whatever ever again!
Keeping this in mind and knowing that the island that we were at only had one suitable restaurant had me a bit concerned. How can I eat at the same place everyday of my vacation???
So during my trip planning and research I tried and tried again to find a variety of choices - ya know maybe Italian, Thai, Indian...
Whatever, but that whatever had to be a cuisine that had "accidentally vegan" menu choices.
Well, I almost came up empty handed. And then I did come up empty handed.
I had found an Italian restaurant on the island (yea like only one), but then once we got there (to the island), were quite hungry and searched for the establishment, it was no longer established and we were back to ground zero. But alas, we knew we had Rotas to try and to hopefully enjoy.
Later that first night (and each night thereafter) we drove the 30 or so minutes from our Hotel in Caloura to the restaurant (I was actually commended by a local the following day at being able to locate this small cafe - granted that the local didn't realize that I am pretty good with a map!)
Anyhow, back to business and you are here to read about the restaurant and the food. Let me carry on...
It was just after 8pm (they open at 7pm) and we walked in looking to be sat (we had no reservations).
I asked that 'John' take my name and that we'd return in an hour. Around this time, a lovely couple that had over heard our conversation noted to us that they would be leaving in around 10 minutes.
Which was great news to us, being that we were mighty hungry by this time of day. So being that the interior is a bit cramped to be standing around, we stepped outside and opted to wait out there.
Once we had reentered the cute and homie little cafe, we were offered a table by 'Carolina', and then began to study the menu.
While we were busy "studying", another couple had walked in without a reservation and were turned away - there were no more tables available for the rest of the night! Yikes - that could've been us!
Well, I wasn't gonna let that happen and go a single night without having dinner; So I kindly called 'Carolina' over to our table and had made reservations for each night of our vacation right then and there!
Now it was time to order, each of the entrees can be made vegan, the entree sized salads were vegan, they can adjust an appetizer or 2 to be vegan and occasionally the special and/or soup of the day is vegan, so we had a lot to choose from and I can tell you that by the weeks end we definitely made our way through just about each item on the menu that was available to us!!
We really grew quite fond of them over the course of the week we were there and even hugged them farewell on our last night. Promising to return!
*Azorean natives have such a wonderful and kind, friendly and non-judgemental characteristic nature that was truly incredibly refreshing to be around!
Both ‘John’ and ‘Carolina’ would warmly cater to each of the 6 tables in the two rooms of the small restaurant. They really made each visit memorable, treating each individual like an old friend, and greeting us by name upon each night. It was really like being welcomed home by family. (Warms my heart.)
Letting you know that each dish was DELISH.
My top 3 entrees were:
- Tofu with Tangerine Curry Sauce
- Seitan Steak with a Coffee Mushroom Sauce
- Chestnut Risotto
And you also have no idea how much we looked forward to going to Rota’s each and every night not only for the food, but for the atmosphere and to visit our new friends as well!
And guess what…I didn’t get bored even once!