One night in Aveiro, four friends crossed the crowd of the fish square, leaving behind grave indistinguishable songs and crowded esplanades, sometimes people, or empty glasses. At number 31 on Rua Antónia Rodrigues, Alice Conceição, the owner of the Buraco Restaurant, was waiting for the friends in order to show them their table. Before, however, a short break to rest and remember. The four friends, separated after the end of the course, organized a last meeting, before one of them left Portugal behind, in search of a better life. As they headed for their table at the back of the room (it was always the one they chose), the murmur of the street was becoming increasingly blurred, muffled by the fusion of Jazz & Blues that gently enveloped the entire space. The warm tones and woods seemed to want to keep the cold out of the street, while the dim lighting of the room and the cozy space brought a sense of intimacy to the group, almost like a secret meeting.
Without asking anything, D. Alice arrived with four imported beers, all different, depending on the taste of the four former students. One of them walked the wall with his eyes until he found, in a corner near the foot of the table, an inscription with the name of three of them. 'It's 87, when you did not study with us yet.' The young man absent from the inscription looked suspiciously at D. Alice: 'That's true, but it's not my fault,' the lady laughs. 'It was mr. John who set up the business in 1987.” Alice and her husband were emigres in Canada and upon returning to Portugal they decided to revitalize a popular among the habitués.
D. Alice married the already excellent choice of beers, wines and snacks with dishes of traditional Portuguese cuisine such as the mixed grill, the pork of Alentejo, the cod with cream, the duck rice, the entrecote of veal and the octopus, made by the experienced hands of her husband. This was simply a divine union. The old clientele remained, simply changed the t-shirt of the course by the shirt and tie. Yes, those who know the Buraco do not forget it easily. The house has always had its students (and former students), its most loyal clientele. Christmas dinners of Biology course, Environment and Mechanics are religiously fulfilled every year. Saturdays are the nights of a group of CETA and from time to time a dance group comes to eat a woodpecker with a beer.
As for changes, there are some. Tourism begins to make itself felt in this city by the sea and the Buraco is no exception. Perhaps an opportunity for D. Alice to remember her French. The tourists, in turn, are getting more and more in love with the establishment, of which a group of Germans is the perfect example. Every year they visit Portugal and every year they go to lunch at Buraco. Without exception! But it is not surprising, either. Good food and drink at affordable prices, in a place away from the hustle and bustle where memories of unhurried memories reign, seems to be a great combination. It even has a fireplace, for those cold winter days ...
At the time of writing this story, Buraco has just changed management. Alice and her husband leave the house while they help keeping the testimony. When we see the new and the old management side by side, exchanging ideas and funny episodes of restaurant management, we can say that the spirit of the Buraco is still alive. A farewell to the couple who has served Aveiro so well all these years and a sincere 'welcome' to those who will surely take him to good shore.