Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Bugo Art Burger - Porto, Portugal

If you desire fine or adventurous Porto dining, get to know O Porto Cool. It's an online blog dedicated to "cool" dining, fashion, art, and more. And first on the list is Eatin' Cool. This dedicated blog led me to Bugo Art Burger. O Porto Cool featured tempting pictures and a Facebook link. Further research demonstrated affordable prices (featured restaurants tend to be expensive) and a killer menu.
Bugo is located on Rua De Miguel Bombarda near the Palacio Cristal. It is walking distance from the Carolina Michaelis metro station. Tucked in this neighborhood, it attracts businessmen, couples, and groups of friends. They offer lunch and dinner menus.
My first visit, one month ago, started with their house red wine. Like most Portugal wine, it's affordable and outstanding. This picture was taken at their front bar. They have 4 or 5 seats here. You're welcome to dine there or wait for your table.
As I waited for a friend, I casually took pictures. You can see the sangria in the upper left hand corner (to be sampled later). After the bar, the room is a chunky L shape with a strip of tables to the right (pictured), and a 6 person nook to the left. The kitchen is in the back and you can see a cook reflected in the mirror. Note: I've been impressed with the amount of upscale restaurants with open kitchens.
Still waiting, I decided to sample an appetizer. Welcome the tomato confit, goat cheese, and basil bruschetta. The sliced roll was a glorious textured orb of tasty colorful goodness.
I paused my devouring for another tempting image.
Settled into the nook with my dining companion, I received my main entree, The Oriental Assortment. There were three miniburger varieties - grass fed cow, azores tuna, and free range chicken with three oriental sauces (mayowasabi, teriyaki, and sweet and sour). It was served with Asian noodles and sauteed vegetables. The burgers were well cooked, the sauces great fun to pair, and the noodles an unlikely but successful match.
Chowing down, practicing my chopstick eat-fu.
If one desires the full restaurant experience, dessert should not be skipped. This is the fruit crumble with ginger and cinnamon ice cream.
This is the port wine pannacotta with berries jam. The fruit crumble won the dessert battle. Presentation was a draw. We both decided the pannacotta was too sweet, though I still finished it. The crumble with its fruity interior, crusted exterior, topped with cinnamon ice cream won us over.
And the sangria? Well, it tasted more of fizzy fruit water than a strong red wine.
My second visit was on a blazing hot day. Thank goodness for outside umbrellas (advertised as the only spot for this on Miguel Bombarda) and the cool indoors.
Many people were inside around 2pm. It seemed to be business related inside, friend related outside. I was just here to nurture my stomach's desire for good food. If you glance at the menu again, you'll notice you can order a simple burger or one with sauce and they come with two sides.. A sauce increased the price from €.50-€2. I ordered the Grass fed meat Burger with Porto e Serra (onion confit in port wine, topped with traditional Portuguese Serra da Estrela cheese). They did not have the roasted potatoes in olive and rosemary, so I ordered the fried potatoes (like the above, only fried I was assured) and basmati rice. I was also asked if I wanted water. I responded negatively but the cute waitress said it was hot outside, the water was free, and I shouldn't get dehydrated in this weather. Free water? Surely, a lie!
 Before the burger arrived, I was teased by these delightful rolls with olive oil and balsamic (?). They use these for their bruschetta pictured above. Since I left my home without much money, I didn't chance eating these in case I was charged. Sniffle.
Darn you Bugo! Are you trying to get me addicted? You're succeeding. Crisp shelled potatoes with soft interiors, plentiful rice soaking up the meat and confit juices, half and half ketchup and mayo, and a burger topped with onions and stinky cheese. The red meat fell apart amongst sweet onions. The potatoes were covered in red and white. Mmmmm. Good food backed up by Caro Emerald playing over the speakers.
Once I was done, I was offered dessert and free coffee. Instead of accepting, I decided to pay my bill at the front register. Total cost: €7.50. The water was free, the burger less than anticipated. This place is amazing. Now, I'm curious about the rolls. Do I go back?

Rua Miguel Bombarda Nº 598
4050-379 Porto – Portugal

The front
More Caro Emerald

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