Mercado de Campo de Ourique is a market and food hall within easy walking distance of the end of the Tram 28 line and Cemeterio dos Prazeres.
It is about one third the size of the monstrous Mercado da Ribeira, but seems to cater more to the local neighborhood rather than being a destination unto itself.
We went on a Sunday, and unfortunately about 30% of the stalls were closed. There is a large variety of vendors and food choices, include hamburgers, empanadas, Japanese, seafood, steaks/meat, gelato and a bar among others.
At the Carne stall, we got a ribeye plate. The steak was very tender, juicy and had great flavor. It was served with a side of French fries and a side salad. The fries could have been crisper, and the salad was served with very little dressing and had almost no flavor to the salad except for the inherent flavor of the vegetables.
The Lamb Chops came four to an order. They had nice grill marks, and were slightly overcooked. Would have been preferred medium rare, but these were more in the range of medium. The lamb remained tender and had a slight gamey flavor, but was an overall good dish.
From the Marisqueira, the Grilled Sea Bass was a decent sized portion. The fish was cooked nicely, and remained tender and flaky. It came with a lot of garlic and a grilled lemon wedge. Roasted potatoes and a small salad finished off the dish.
The Garlic Prawns were somewhat of a disaster. The girl who took our order spoke little to no English. She called over another girl assist, but she acted like she couldn’t speak English either. I even pointed to the first girl what I wanted by pointing to the Portuguese side of the menu. When our order was ready, out came garlic clams. I told the second girl that this wasn’t what we had ordered, and all of a sudden she magically spoke English and said that it would be corrected. It looked like they just removed the clams from the dish and threw some prawns on top, as the original dish looked exactly like this except there were prawns instead of clams. The prawns were slightly overcooked, but there was a strong garlic punch.
I am somewhat torn at the Marisqueira. The fish was excellent, but the service and seeming refusal to speak English put a damper on their food.
At the Empadaria, the ham and cheese quiche was just okay. The crust was flaky and the filling was fine. The dish was served at room temperature, and could have been improved if served hot. The chorizo empanada was also somewhat disappointing. The crust was a little oily, and there was plenty of cheese inside the empanada. The chorizo was very sweet, and almost tasted like the Chinese sausage lap chong.
To finish off the meal, we went to the fruit stand and asked them if they could cut up some mangoes if we bought them, and they agreed. The mangoes were sweet and juicy. I like my mangoes really cold, which was the only thing that could have improved the taste.
As Mercado de Campo de Ourique is more of a neighborhood market/food hall, seating was much easier to find. The atmosphere was also more relaxed and less frenetic.