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Oporto Café

This Portuguese wine, tapas and espresso bar on Richmond doesn't take itself too seriously

My favorite of the tapas plates was camarões piri-piri, an oval dish of juicy shrimp sautéed in olive oil, garlic, lemon and piquant piri-piri pepper oil with a dash of Madeira wine for sweetness. The olive oil and garlic sauce, which I sopped up with bread, was the best part. It went wonderfully with a glass of fresh-­tasting Frascati, one of Italy's best-known white wines.

I also loved the potato salad with olives, garbanzo beans, boiled eggs and bacalhau, the Portuguese salt-dried cod. And for eight bucks, the pesto pizza, which had a reasonably crispy crust, was an excellent deal, although there was a lot of mozzarella and sliced tomatoes on it and not a whole lot of pesto.

My biggest disappointment in the tapas was advertised as linguiça. I should have paid attention to the menu, which called it "Portuguese-style sausage," a sure sign that it wasn't the real thing. The dish turned out to be cut-up sausage links sautéed with onions, peppers and some potatoes that tasted leftover. Polpetti de carne e salsicce turned out to be the same sausage chunks with some bland meatballs in a tomato sauce.

Oporto is good for lingering over a meat-and-cheese board and some wine.
Troy Fields
Oporto is good for lingering over a meat-and-cheese board and some wine.

Location Info

Map

Oporto Cafe

3833 Richmond
Houston, TX 77027

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: Greenway Plaza

Details

Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 9 a.m. to midnight Fridays; 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturdays.

Pizzas: $8

Panini: $7

Salad: $7

Shrimp tapas: $9

Potato bacalhau salad: $8

3833 Richmond, 713-621-1114

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Oporto doesn't pretend to be a dinner destination, and it's a mistake to try and turn it into one. The night we sampled the meats and cheeses with the bread basket, followed by a pizza, I ended up feeling like I had eaten too much bread — which, in fact, I had.

But Oporto is ideal for a long lunch, especially if you can indulge in a glass of wine. And it's great for an afternoon espresso and a panino, or a bottle of wine and some tapas after work.

You don't expect much from the food in a cool hangout like Oporto, which is why the tasty tapas come as such a pleasant ­surprise.

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