It wouldn’t be unfair to say that Palhuça has, since its opening by the hand of António Leal in 1985, a rich story to tell. It wouldn’t be unfair, but it wouldn’t be completely correct either. The truth is that the opening of the original Palhuça is lost in the annals of Aveiro’s history. António gave effectively continuity to the business of the street Antónia Rodrigues, nº 28, that was already in decline and revitalized it to become the famous house that is today.
However, before we realize the change affected by him, we should also know his journey. Originally from the district of Viseu, António came to Aveiro in search of a better life. His brother, José Leal, offered him a home and the possibility of finding a job. His first job was precisely the place where his brother worked, the 'cervejaria Rossio', where in ten years he acquired valuable experiences and know-how. His talent for cooking and the desire to have a business that he could call his own, led him to inaugurate Púcaro with his wife and a partner, a house famous for the art of grilled chicken.
However, opportunities sometimes arise when we least expect it, and for Antony the opportunity literally arose from under his feet. It turned out that he lived above the restaurant the Palhuça and realized that the owner wanted to claim a well-deserved rest. He launched himself with his wife in this new adventure, on April 15, 1985, and later his son, Luís Filipe, joined them. According to António, the house has worked steadily, what has changed is Aveiro itself. In the early years, the house had its usual customers, some of them from Púcaro, but it took a lot of hard work and dedication to keep the business 'afloat.'
Nowadays the restaurant already enjoys a certain reputation and the tourists, national and international, flock like mullets to bread crumbs in the river, which does not mean that the quality is neglected. The recipes that brought fame to the house, like the well-known eel stew, remain the same, because after all, if it’s not broke, one shouldn’t try to fix it. Antonio, with the exception of a few wrinkles, is also the same person as ever, who extends his hand with the same friendship and simplicity to all his clientele. Incidentally, those who frequent the establishment know that even the employees are the same since 1985. Special note for his wife, Maria Gorete, renowned cook, recognized in the book 'Gastronomia Aveirense' for keeping the culinary soul of Aveiro immaculate and providing her contribution with her ‘Trapalhada’, a much sought after sweet in the restaurant.
With all these arguments it's hard not to be intrigued by the fame of this house. Sometimes it's good to be curious... come in and discover the simple flavors of life!