Following my early morning adventure, I returned to the hotel to knock out. Regrettably, I did not text my friend, who was worried all day. I finally awoke to loud rapping on the door to my room. It was dark outside. Groggily, I got out of bed and greeted Tiago, my friend and colleague from Chicago, who was on the other side! As a younger man, Tiago graduated from hospitality school in Porto. Now he had taken time away from his family visit in Lisbon, woke my sorry ass up and was ready to show me the old stomping grounds.
Tiago was hungry so we looked into good late night snack bars. Ironically enough, we chose Café Pontual: Pontual means “punctual” in Portuguese. Unironically, the snacks here are delicious. We had Porto’s signature sandwich, the little Frenchy, made even more decadent with the addition of an over easy egg running into the slow-cooked tomato – beer sauce. We also shared a plate of alheira, pork-free poultry sausage invented by the Jews during the Inquisition.
Reenergized by Pontual’s midnight munchies, I texted my friend to apologize and let her know that I was alive and well, happily eating unhealthy food again. Tiago had a beer. I was too late to be punctual, but I was not too late for late night snacks at Pontual.