Avalanche Caffé, Fonte Férrea, São Brás de Alportel
A gem of a Café right in the middle of nature
If you love nature and seek out places to go and explore and enjoy a good walk or cycle ride then Fonte Férrea, just outside São Brás de Alportel on the edge of the Serra do Caldeirão is somewhere you must go to. Well signposted, the road then takes you down to a good parking area and in the wetter months, the stream that runs there is strong and rushes past the stepping stones that you can walk over. The walking and cycling trails are well presented on signs set up by the local Camara.
We all need refreshments though don't we when out and about and you will find a real gem of a café here: Avalanche Caffé. Run by a super local family with a passion for serving up food with love and their staff work to the same ethos and the same passion. If you do find yourself in the São Brás de Alportel truly do seek this place out.
They say that good things come in small packages and that is definitely the case here. From a tiny kitchen they seem to be able to endlessly serve up excellent food: the menu a mix of tapas and snacks. I challenge anyone to eat their "Bifana Brutus" on their own. Several of my friends have tried and failed miserably but it's worth every bite as you try. Truly tasty and if you take part of it home in a doggy bag I will totally forgive you. They offer up a "Naked Burger" for the calorie conscious - a locally sourced burger served on a bed of cooked mushrooms, with rocket and baby tomatoes, an egg on top but no bun. It's still a hearty helping but you don't feel weighed down by the bread. They do offer special evening meals if booked in advance for parties which include the famous Algarvian cataplana. I've witnessed the seafood one being presented to a table and it looked like a feast for Kings.
A passion and pride on using locally sourced and fresh produce is clear to see. When clams are on the menu the owner, Rui, will have been to the coast that morning to pick them up from his favourite supplier and they will still be in a fresh bucket of sea water before being cooked and presented in the tempting dish they are destined for. Black pig, anchovies, cured ham and cheese platters, vegetarian chilli-con-carne, peas with ham and egg, toasties and mini toasted bread buns with a delicious filling grilled are just a few of the treats. They have beer on tap, lovely smoothies on offer, serve excellent coffee and the wine selection is one I would expect to find in a restaurant. Oh and they have a good choice of Gins!
Whilst the seating inside is restricted they have extended this sensibly to an outside enclosed pod for those few days in the Algarve when the weather lets us down and there is plenty of extended seating under the shade of carob trees.
I can't think of a better place to be at one with nature and enjoy exploring the countryside at the same time as finding a super place to re-fuel your energy levels. If you are in the area please do go and check it out for yourself: Avalanche Caffé, Fonte Férrea, São Brás de Alportel