My wife and I could be called foodies. We enjoy a good meal and love to visit highly rated restaurants and eateries of all kinds. We made a point, during our Portugal trip, to explore the many great foods and restaurants available. Café Guarany was one of our stops.
Located on Avenida dos Aliados, in the heart of Porto, Café Guarany has been a popular gathering place for Portuenses since 1933. It’s a beautiful restaurant.Named for a Brazilian indigenous people, Renovated in 2003, the interior’s centerpiece are two paintings, “The Lords of Amazonia” by University of Porto alum Graça Morais.
We had a wonderful breakfast at Guarany. Ann Marie had the ubiquitous tosta mista, which is basically a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. The tosta mista is very tasty and we had several of these during our Portugal trip. We had a version of it in Coimbra with grilled chicken which was very good as well.
I ordered a crepe Alaska. I completely missed that it had a scoop of ice cream on top. Ice cream for breakfast? Yep, and it worked. The crepe was great, pineapple, berries, whipped cream and an orange slice, and a scoop of tangerine ice cream to top it off. It was really good and the tangerine ice cream was a nice touch.
Later we decided to stop in again for dessert, port and coffee. On the way there, the bus stopped and the driver said that something was happening ahead and that we would all have to to exit the bus and walk to another stop. We were just a short walk from the restaurant so we set out on foot.
We were at the restaurant before the dinner crowd so we had a nice leisurely dessert, accompanied by a glass of port and a coffee. While we were enjoying our meal, we noticed a policeman just outside the door, putting a police border across the road. Soon, a crowd began to gather and a news crew showed up. We watched with interest as we ate. I took this photo once we were done and had left Guarany. It was taken no more than 20 feet from the front door of the restaurant.
We made our way back to our hotel and followed the drama on the local television news. I’ve been learning the Portuguese language for a few months and we were able to understand that an unidentified black automobile was found abandoned on Avenida dos Aliados. Fearing that there could be a bomb in the vehicle, the police had cordoned the area off and had brought in the bomb squad. The news showed, in an endless loop, two policemen releasing a bomb sniffing dog to investigate the car as they watched, crouching behind the monument to Dom Pedro IV for protection against the potential blast.
About three hours later, the drama came to an end. Someone had finally thought to run the tags and contact the car’s owner. Apparently the car had stopped running and the owner simply left it there and took the bus home. The car was towed and the story was over. The event added an interesting and unique memory of our trip to Portugal.