I don’t claim to know Viseu very well. In fact, I only recently visited this charming city in central-Northern Portugal. I wasn’t even there long enough to sample lots of restaurants, but I did find a place that I felt was worth a blog post: Mesa Da Sé. If Viseu is on your itinerary and you want to sample traditional Portuguese food at affordable prices, keep reading!
At first glance, Mesa Da Sé (which means Cathedral’s Table in Portuguese) appears to be a typical Portuguese restaurant with simple but tasteful decor. On closer examination, however, I was quite taken by the details: cool azulejo graphics on the tables, the exposed stone walls, and the cork-covered menus. There’s an outdoor seating area in a small, medieval square as well as indoor seating. But what really makes this restaurant blog-worthy is the delicious food.
For starters, we ordered some pataniscas, which are traditional fried cod and egg dumplings (yum). The staff were kind enough to let us sample both the cod and the mixed vegetable pataniscas so we could decide which were better… it was a tie: I preferred the cod and my mom loved the vegetables. The pataniscas really opened our appetites!
For our mains, we had smoked salmon and queijo fresco salad, and bacalhau com broa e migas beirãs. This last one needs some explanation if you’re not familiar with Portuguese food. It’s a cod dish with crumbled corn bread (broa), oven-roasted potatoes, and a fried combination of beans, cabbage, corn bread, garlic and olive oil. If you’re never had this, it’s heavenly! (I should really post this recipe soon!) Mesa da Sé’s version was particularly delicious. There was so much of it that I even took home a doggy bag with the leftovers (the doggy bag cost €1, but it was well worth it as I got another good meal out of it!).
Finally, as we were so full, we shared a dessert… no matter how full you are, there’s always a little bit of room for dessert! The leite creme was very good and added a sweet ending to a very enjoyable meal. If you’re looking for an affordable, filling, and traditional meal in Viseu, do yourself a favor and visit Restaurante Mesa Da Sé.