The Portuguese love eating “empadas,” small pies that are perfect for a light meal or a mid-afternoon nibble. The art of making these treats reached great heights in the court of Dom Pedro II. The court’s chef, Domingos Rodrigues, regaled the royal guests with a wide variety of empadas made with fillings that ranged from wild boar to lamprey. His recipes are collected in The Art of Cooking, published in 1680.
Three centuries later, another chef, Belmiro de Jesus, applied himself to the art of making empadas. Belmiro loved the empadas made by his grandmother and spent a lifetime perfecting her recipe.
You can try the result of his efforts at Bel’empada, a take-out place in Lisbon’s Alvalade neighborhood. Belmiro’s delicious creations would make Domingos Rodrigues proud. Paired with a great bottle of wine, these small marvels are a royal meal.
Bel’empada is located at Av. João XXI 24, right at the crossing of Av. João XXI and Av. de Roma (tel. 21 407 5172).