For those of you partial to your seafood shelled, Cervejaria Ramiro in downtown Lisbon is a little slice of heaven. Opened in the 1950s as a beer-house (its no-messin’ aesthetic practically unchanged since), the owners soon introduced seafood due to the Lisbonites’ love of enjoying the two together. Not only is Ramiro all about fresh fruits of the sea, its pricing is rather reasonably too. A bit of an institution, Ramiro sees locals queuing most weekends. Fear not though, table turnaround is quick due to the ridiculously efficient waiters and an abundance of seafood.
Naturally, we wanted to try everything, but went for crab, garlic clams and simple prawns. Hands ready to get mucky, toasted muffin-style bread covered in butter and parsley arrived quick-sticks. Equipped with bibs we were soon tucking into our clams in butter and raw sweet garlic sauce. The prawns followed; juicy, sizeable and nicely paired with homemade mayo. Sat patiently in the bustling restaurant, our plastic mallets and crab appeared – big and pink and ripe for cracking. I much prefer a mallet when dealing with a crustacean, more precise if you know where to whack. The sweet meat was heavenly and the crispy bread perfect for mopping up excess sauces. Covered in all sorts of delicious mess it was so much fun eating with your hands, no polite knife and fork here.
The atmosphere is as you might expect at Ramiro – one of banter and lip-smacking. There can be a lot of joy in such simplicity, which makes Cervejaria Ramiro a real must when visiting Lisbon.